Environmental Policy

 

In a time of phrases such as “carbon-footprint”, "eco-friendly" and an ever on going push for a more sustainable planet there has never been a bigger need for more eco friendly products to be used across the market of construction.

 

Timber windows and doors are an ideal solution to reducing carbon footprints and making the planet more sustainable. Recent advances in the production of timber windows and doors makes them all the more affordable and a much better option over uPVC alternatives.

 

There are, generally speaking, two options for windows and doors: timber or uPVC. Governments, the EU and even the UN are pushing timber products over uPVC in a bid to make the global environment sustainable.

Timber Vs uPVC

 

Production

* Timber is a sustainable resource. The timber Olsen products use are sourced from properly managed forests and care is taken in the choice of preservatives, paints and stains, timber windows are by far the best environmental choice.

* The production of uPVC windows leads to the release of highly poisonous chemicals which threatens the environment and human health. uPVC production involves no less than six of the fifteen most hazardous chemicals listed by European governments for priority elimination.

Design & Cost

* Developments in timber window design and finishing products mean that modern, high performance timber windows need minimal maintenance and potentially have a significantly longer life than uPVC.

*Timber doors and windows can be coloured to almost any colour, stain or lacquer. uPVC frames do not allow for this in any way, even finishes that are designed to look like authentic wood still do not come close to the real thing, looking cheap and plastic. 

* High performance, timber products need not cost more than uPVC equivalents. In fact the National Housing Federation and some local authorities have found uPVC products to be more expensive in terms of initial capital cost and more expensive or equal to timber over the lifetime of the windows.

Maintenance

* uPVC windows do degrade, they are not maintenance-free and worst of all they cannot be repaired when necessary.

*If timber windows are to ever get a scratch a simple patch up job with a matching finish can be done, making the window as good as new. If uPVC frames ever get scratched then nothing can be done, it will remain there until the windows are replaced.

*If the need ever arises for the colour of doors and windows to be changed to fit in with internal/external redecorating then a simple coat of paint can be applied to timber products, it is near impossible to change the colour of any uPVC products leaving no flexibility in their design.

*uPVC products DO deteriorate, if not maintained they can become permanently discoloured.

*Sunlight also makes uPVC products turn yellow and become brittle, creating hairline cracks; compromising the weather tightness

Recycling
*When the time comes for disposing of timber doors and windows recycling is at a maximum – nearly 100% is recyclable. Glass and aluminium trims and fittings can be melted down to be re-used. The timber can be cut down to create new chipboard, it can be compost recycled, creating natural fertilizer as well as several other options.
*uPVC cannot be recycled and thus is either incinerated (a process which creates twice as much waste to be disposed of) or dumped as a raw product in landfill sites.
 
Local Authorities, Government, the European Commission and the United Nations
*Local authorities and building regulations on certain buildings and in certain areas require the use of, and favour, timber products over uPVC.
*The UK government has agreed to eliminate hazardous substances (including uPVC) by 2020 as part of a convention set out by the European Commission.
*The United Nations already have protocols in which the elimination of hazardous chemicals, which can be found in uPVC products, is set out. They are also pushing through international agreements to reduce the releases of pollutants by human activity – including the release of chemicals by the action of incinerating uPVC products at the end of their life.
 
Information taken from: Greenpeace Recycle