Future Homes now
The Future Homes standard, due in two years’ time, should be informing your decisions now, according to Rob McGlennon, Deceuninck’s MD.
The government is commited to cutting total UK emissions by 80% relative to 1990 levels by 2050 under the Climate Change Act (2008), and reducing household carbon emissions is seen as key.
The changes to Part L seen in 2022 introduced a new requirement of 1.2W/m2K for newbuild windows and doors with a glazed area of more than 60%; and 1.4W/m2K for replacement windows and doors.
It will be followed in 2025 with expected changes under the Future Homes Standard, which could see U-values for newbuild windows set as low as 0.8W/m2K.
“Improving the energy of homes is currently key to keeping energy bills to a minimum,” says Rob McGlennon, Deceuninck’s MD. “But we’ve also got to keep in mind that we have a longer-term objective of reducing carbon emissions.
“We are developing a new generation of products that deliver a step change in window and door performance, using new technologies to deliver windows that are more secure, which maximise design flexibility, and which deliver exceptional through life performance.
“The changes that we saw to Part L last year are just a stepping-stone to those longer term 2050 net zero objectives.
“The next big change on the horizon will be the Future Homes Standard, which only two years out, needs to be factored into planning today.”
This, he says, is driving a new approach to window design, which combines excellent thermal performance with new levels of sustainability.
Elegant is the next generation window from Deceuninck, and can achieve U-values as low as 0.8W/m2K.
Elegant also delivers on aesthetics with contemporary minimalist features, which replicate aluminium in an advanced, low maintenance and energy efficient, composite system. It can also be combined with Decoroc, Deceuninck’s next generation finish, so fitted alongside aluminium products as part of dual-specification installations.
“Elegant is a tilt-and-turn system,” Rob says. “It has reach in newbuild projects but also replacements.
“Thermally, it is in a new class of product, delivering up to a Passivhaus equivalent level of performance.”
The system is built around a single ultra-energy-efficient modular frame which is available as a standard 76mm system. These can be combined with any of five different sash options.
The next generation system is also available in Deceuninck’s extruded insulated thermal reinforcement, which maximises design potential without the need for traditional steel reinforcement using embedded steel wires in a low-density insulating foam core.
Combined, this delivers a 30% increase in thermal efficiency with 40% savings on materials and weight, when compared to windows manufactured using a traditional steel reinforcement.
Elegant is also easy to recycle at the end of life, and it feeds into a model of window manufacture that not only delivers significant carbon saving during its lifetime, but also lowers carbon in manufacture, for example by using renewable energy and recycled raw material.
“And by making windows easier to recycle at end of life, you are helping to sustain the circular economy,” Rob says.
Deceuninck’s advanced recycling and compounding facilities allows the systems company to reprocess up to 45,000 tonnes of post-consumer and post-manufacturing PVC-U per year, which is the equivalent of preventing three million windows from going to landfill annually. Use of recycled material also reduces CO2 emissions by 90,000 tonnes when compared to virgin feedstocks, as well as a 90% energy saving.
Deceuninck has also committed to cut CO2 emissions from its own operations 60% by 2030 from a 2021 baseline, and cut emissions from within its supply chain by 48% per tonne by 2030, as part of its wider journey to net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050.
“Energy efficient and sustainability – these are driving legislative change in the next few years, but they are key design features now,” Rob concludes. “Understanding the circular economy and improved thermal efficiency could be winning you work now.”