Sustainable thinking

Pressure is building on government to introduce a far more rigorous set of standards for new build homes, according to Ian Cocken, director of sales and marketing at Aluplast.

Drill down and the figures speak for themselves: 45% of UK carbon emissions come from the built environment; and of these, housing stock accounts for 27%. Dig down further, and 72% of domestic emissions come from heating.

At the same time 32% of landfill waste comes from the construction and demolition of buildings, while a staggering 13% of all construction products are sent directly to landfill without being used.

This is culminating in a growing pressure on government to drive new standards in new build construction.

According to the UK Green Building Council, the draft revision of the National Planning Policy Framework published in March this year, suggests that the government is willing to empower planning authorities to set new requirements for the sustainability of new homes locally, beyond those required nationally.

This is already evidenced by early-adopter authorities that are setting Code for Sustainable Homes Level 4, as the standard for new build.

With the NPPF in the draft revision stage, the Green Building Council has also leant its weight to the pressure currently being placed on government. This includes calling for a 19% reduction on the Dwelling Emission Rate (DER) against the current requirements of Part L, in the immediate term. It goes further to argue that all new homes built by 2030 should be zero carbon.

There are a large number of factors at play which make the sustainability increasingly important in new build, with ramifications for the supply chain.

Legislative drivers are only a part. Energy efficiency and material sustainability are very much in the public consciousness, with a series of lenders launching ‘green’ mortgages in the first half of the year, while plastics have got a bad press because of the significant impact some are having on the environment.

If you’re a new build specifier, or a supplier into it, the net effect is that energy efficiency and material sustainability are more important than ever.

This has informed the development of Aluplast’s PVCU system offer. Our slim line Ideal 70 system has been developed to accommodate 24mm to optimum 40mm triple glazed options, easily achieving a WER A++ rating with standard components and A++ with specific profiles and IGUs.

This has also driven its development of the Ideal 4000. The cutting-edge thermally efficient 70mm PVCU system is defined by a contemporary ‘SquareLine’ profile, achieving a thermally efficient WER A++rating.

The major selling point is that this can also be achieved with it aluskin, Aluplast’s highly ‘clip-and-fix’ external aluminium fascia. This delivers a far lower cost aluminium aesthetic and far higher thermal performance.

This technology is also employed in our new Lift-and-Slide Patio Door, which – capable of spanning openings of 6.5m x 2.8m with just two sashes – goes a step further to offer U-values as las low as 0.65W/m2K.

The major advantage of PVCU in addition to through life performance is that you’re manufacturing in a multi-chamber product and can achieve a far higher level of thermal efficiency and performance, without the same costs associated with doing so in say an aluminium system.

This is a distinct advantage for fabricators in that it allows them to keep a control on costs but also the specification sector.

So what about PVCU and sustainability? The Ideal 70 is supplied in the green ecotech option. The Ideal 4000 is also supplied in this configuration as standard.

Ecotech allows us to bring recycled content back into use, isolating it only in the core web of the product, and not in any surface facing elements of the profile.

We do this through an extrusion process that uses pre and post extrusion product and post fabrication waste, plus known source post installation pelletized, PVCU.

Two compound screw feeds then push recycled and virgin material simultaneously through the profile dye to create the profile while maintaining a distinct separation between the two.

This separates and isolates recycled material away from surface areas of the frame, or which perform a structural role, which means that we can guarantee surface and finish quality.

The Building Research Establishment’s Green Guide, gives PVCU an A+ sustainability rating. PVCU products also get an average reference service life of 40-years, while research suggests it can be recycled up to 10 times, without losing performance.