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Using products that contribute to more energy-efficient and sustainable developments is a key feature of many council and housing provider planning strategies. Here, Glazerite UK Group’s Area Sales Manager, Peter Smith, explains how its installers can meet the needs of customers operating in these markets thanks to leading supplier VEKA’s commitment to the environment.

Glazerite customer, K2 Aluminium Systems, is one of the North West’s leading commercial uPVC and aluminium installers. The Birkenhead-based firm work on both new builds and renovations, with notable projects ranging from installs at Anfield Stadium in Liverpool to the Christie Hospital in Manchester.

Recycling container

When Warrington Borough Council (WBC) approved plans for the £5 million renovation of an eight-storey housing block in its Latchford suburb, growth and regeneration group Torus and its construction partner, HMS, turned to K2 to provide new windows for the ambitious overhaul.

Both WBC and Torus Group are committed to delivering energy-efficient developments and sustainable homes. As VEKA manufactures its products in a sustainable and ethical manner and uses recycled material within its uPVC profiles – sourced from sister company, VEKA Recycling – VEKA’s products fitted the brief perfectly.

The mammoth project has seen K2’s installers remove first-generation frames from the 1960s housing block. These have been replaced with VEKA M70 fully reversible frames in Anthracite on white, with casement windows featuring an auto vent and residential doors installed into each of the block’s kitchens.

For WBA, Torus and their residents, it’s an important step towards ‘greener’ living, with the new windows, render and insulation helping to improve the building’s energy efficiency and ultimately contributing to reduced heating bills.

For K2, being able to share the sustainable credentials of VEKA’s products has been further complemented by the input of VEKA Recycling, who were able to place skips onsite to collect the old frames. Having access to VEKA products and VEKA Recycling is a great story K2 and other Glazerite installers can share with their customers and is the perfect example of a closed-loop process.

K2’s Liam Bird explains: “A real positive for our client was the fact we could recycle the old frames through VEKA Recycling, who placed skips onsite for the waste and then transported it back to their site in Northamptonshire.”

Once old frames are collected by VEKA Recycling, they are taken to their state-of-the-art facility in Wellingborough for further processing. Each step has been perfected in order for VEKA Recycling to be able to extract the maximum amount of uPVC possible. First, the uPVC windows, doors and off-cuts are shredded and metals that might be mixed in are removed. The material is then further separated and sorted by colour and reduced in size before being turned into contamination-free pellets. It’s these pellets that can be extruded into new products which are just as durable as their brand new uPVC equivalent.

The entire process demonstrates to homeowners and commercial customers the value of uPVC and how it can be recycled over and over into new VEKA windows without compromising on durability. This is especially important given VEKA research has shown that more than three-quarters of homeowners want to see their old windows recycled.

Encouragingly, the message is getting through to installers across the UK, with more than 1.5 million old frames being sent to VEKA Recycling in 2021. It’s a great example of our industry’s commitment to responsible recycling and one we will continue to share. In the current climate of raw material shortages, it’s also an important and continuing source of material that VEKA can use in new profiles.

Windows being replaced

Crucially for installers, the use of recycled material in new windows shouldn’t be a hard sell either, given we now see recycled material in use in everything from packaging to clothes. As consumers, we know that recycled material doesn’t mean a compromise on looks or performance and in the case of uPVC, it is just as durable as virgin material. Better still, all of our Glazerite products carry the same 10-year product guarantee to reassure even the most cautious of customers.

Having products containing recycled uPVC and being able to tap into the services of VEKA Recycling is hugely beneficial for our installers who can promote greener products and no longer pay for landfill. This reduces their overheads, keeps costs to a minimum, and opens the door for new business.

Back in Warrington, the 18-month-long renovation of Kingsway House is due for completion by the end of this year. Once finished, residents will see a complete transformation of the building with the new windows complemented by external rendering, landscape improvements, and new kitchens, bathrooms, lifts and balconies all contributing to a greener, warmer home.

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