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Doors, windows & glazing


Window revolution


Neil Puttock of Boavista Windows explores how material innovations can foster tangible benefits


A


n American engineer and professor by the name of William Edwards Deming once said, “Innovation comes from the producer – not the customer.” This arguably rings true for fenestration.


What is the incentive for housing associations to seek an alternative to tried,


tested and familiar fenestration products when those products do exactly what is required of them: they let light in, enable those inside to see out and provide an adequate level of security? However innovation, like evolution, plays a key role in not only enabling


housing managers to adapt to the constant changes and demands of a continually changing world, but also pre-empting those changes and demands by developing products and services that significantly improve the lives of those who use them.


A GREEN WINDOW OF OPPORTUNITY From a sustainability standpoint, fibreglass performs highly due to its reliance on silica, which is naturally found in abundance. In fact, there is at least 10 per cent recycled glass used in its production. Using the latest in pultrusion technology, fibreglass frames are created by


pulling resin-soaked glass fibres through heated dies, which only consumes 0.07 kilowatt to produce a linear metre of window frame weighing approximately 1kg.


When the windows need replacing, they can simply be shredded into sections


and then mixed with concrete and asphalt to deliver a lightweight, stronger and crack and shrinkage-resistant composite material – a process that requires little energy to carry out. In terms of insulation, fibreglass is a natural insulator as a result of its low


thermal and acoustic conductivity, which means housing associations willing to incorporate fibreglass frames will be helping to ensure that residents are able to keep the heat in and the sound out.


“Innovation comes from the producer – not the customer” - William Edwards Deming


DESIGNING OUT COMPROMISE While it is true that window frames generally represent one component of the built environment and a relatively minor constituent in the construction of the UK’s social housing stock, they are a key contributor to the overall aesthetic of a building. Windows also have a long lifecycle, meaning that what is installed today is likely to be around many years from now.


www.housingmmonline.co.uk | HMM January 2018 | 39


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