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This authoritative Whole Life Analysis of WWA timber, modified timber and alu-clad timber windows vs PVC-U includes detailed analysis of:
- Service Life
- Whole Life Cost
The report shows that the timber-based frames considered last longer, are better value and have significantly lower environmental impacts than comparable PVC-U frames.
They have a service life of around 60 to 80 years, compared to 30 years for PVC-U.
Although the PVC-U frames are the cheapest, timber frames offer better long-term value, even allowing for maintenance; while for severe exposure and high-rise buildings, aluminium-clad and modified timber offer the best value.
The cradle-to-grave LCA report provides evidence that all the timber-based window frame materials considered have lower environmental impacts than PVC-U alternatives in every end-of-life scenario considered using SimaPro analysis.
In the critical Global Warming Potential (GWP) measure, all timber windows outperform PVC-U alternatives by a considerable margin. Choosing a timber-based window frame instead of PVC-U will save around 1.5 tonnes CO2e over the 60 year life of typical 10 window building.
A management summary of research undertaken by Dr Gillian Menzies of the Institute for Building and Urban Design, Heriot Watt University, Edinburgh in 2012.
The full report.
Click here for a summary of how using wood windows can help gain some of the credits required to achieve different star ratings. Full technical guidance on how to comply with the code can be found here.