Pressure is building on government to introduce a far more rigorous set of standards for new build homes
Drill down and the figures speak for themselves. 45% of UK carbon emissions come from the built environment. 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 it suggests is already evidenced by early-adopter authorities who 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 in its entirety”, says Ian Cocken, Director of Sales and Marketing, aluplast.
“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 of its PVC-U system offer. Its 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 PVC-U system is defined by a contemporary ‘SquareLine’ profile, achieving a thermally efficient WER A++rating.
It’s major selling point is that this can also be achieved with it aluskin, aluplast’s highly innovative ‘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 its 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 as0.65 W/m2K.
“The major advantage of PVC-U 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”, says Cocken.
He continues: “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 PVC-U and sustainability? The Ideal 70 is supplied by aluplast in its green ecotech option. The Ideal 4000 is also supplied in this configuration as standard.
Pioneered by aluplast, ecotech allows the German systems house 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.
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 at the same time isolates recycled material away from surface areas of the frame or which perform a structural role, which means that aluplast can guarantee surface and finish quality.
“It’s clearly good to recycle but you need to do it properly”, says Cocken. He continues: “You need to make sure that you’re recycling the right raw materials and to manage that process correctly to guarantee the stability of the profile and through-life performance.
“Our approach has been to isolate the recycled content within the profile and away from the surface or structural elements. This is a technology only available to a handful of leading PVC-U systems companies.
“What it gives us and ultimately anyone supplying or specifying aluplast windows and doors a product that’s guaranteed to deliver through life, which isn’t necessarily the case with all systems using recyclate in their construct.”
The Building Research Establishment’s Green Guide, gives PVC-U an A+ sustainability rating. PVC-U 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.
“PVC-U isn’t necessarily seen as the most recyclable material but the reality is that it’s one of the most sustainable building materials and that’s a key message that we want to deliver to UK housebuilders”, says Cocken.
“That sustainability is the product of a very substantial amount of investment. Recycling and recovery of end-life material is critical. What is no less critical is that isn’t done at the expense of through-life performance.”
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