Energy efficient to the core

Ian Cocken
Ian Cocken

Aluplast’s director of sales & marketing, Ian Cocken, explains why energy efficiency, along with sustainability, shouldn’t be treated as separate features, but as part of a brand identity.

Since the turn of the century, Part L of the Building Regulations (conservation of fuel and power) has helped make energy efficiency a key feature of new buildings, in the drive to reduce carbon emissions.

In recent years, the reduction in legislated U-values has slowed, but the private demand for products to be more energy efficient has increased. This has led to an increase in demand for products that can achieve Passive House levels of performance despite legislation not requiring it.

There is clearly a correlation between rising energy prices and an increase in demand for energy efficient products. All building owners can appreciate the benefit of investing a bit more up front to benefit from long term gains – ie, lower energy bills.

But carbon reduction is still key in this drive towards lower U-values. The Future Homes Standard, with its focus on zero carbon emissions, will replace Part L of the Building Regulations for new build in 2025, and will be joined by initiatives such as CBAM (Carbon Border Adjustment Mechanism), a carbon tariff on carbon intensive imports (such as steel and aluminium) which will be implemented in the UK by 2027.

So, despite energy efficiency and sustainability being treated as separate features of home improvement products – such as windows and doors – they are both intrinsically linked.

There are also significant advantages for those companies that recognise this, and build a compelling brand around energy efficiency and sustainability.

At Aluplast, sustainability and energy efficiency are central to everything we do, including product design, product manufacture, and distribution.

For example, we have invested heavily in our profile design and manufacture, which is made using Ecotech at its core. Ecotech is made by extruding PVC-U profile in a highly advanced co-extrusion process, which isolates recycled material away from structural elements of the profile and the surface, guaranteeing manufacture to exacting tolerances and surface stability.

Aluplast’s surface profiles are completely flat, virgin material with depth of gloss, no pits, and no extrusion ‘lines’, but they still result in a product that is lower in embodied carbon, is more sustainable, and is still highly engineered and long-lasting.

The Ecotech element in the profile is often a different colour, so you can see how the two elements are co-extruded. This, to us, is like a badge of honour.

Our customers use this as part of their own sustainability narrative, and are winning significant customers and contracts partly on this basis.

We build Ecotech into our modern class-beating products, such as our new Smart Slide Neo, which has a contemporary minimalist design with slim sightlines and a frame depth of just 154mm. It can achieve widths up to 6m and a height of 2.5mm, helping designers create desirable openings with limited visible profile.

Smart Slide Neo can achieve Passive House levels of thermal efficiency, and can span 4.5m with just two panels – one fixed and one sliding. Three and four-panel options are also available.

Thanks to class leading hardware from either Maco or Siegenia, the Smart Slide Neo achieves excellent performance for both air/water permeability, meeting BS6375 for weather tightness, while achieving PAS24 for security.

Smart-Slide Neo can be finished in smooth anthracite grey, an Aludec foil that is designed to accurately replicate the look and feel aluminium. This finish is one of 40-plus colour options, which help to meet the current significant demand for colour from homeowners looking create a contemporary look to their home.

Significantly, we are pulling together multiple threads to create a valuable brand and a market-leading proposition for our customers. With Aluplast, energy efficiency, sustainability, market-leading performance and high-end aesthetics are woven together to create opportunities in spaces where other window and door brands struggle to compete.