High performance PVCu windows designed and installed to the right standard, supplemented with draught proof doors and external wall insulation (EWI), represent the most powerful weapon that social landlords have in the fight against stubborn fuel poverty.
That was the message from UK PVCu systems company Sheerframe, and window, door and curtain walling fabricator and installer CMS Window Systems, at the latest seminar in the CMS Technical Masterclass Programme.
Held recently at the company’s state of the art educational facility, the Innovation Hub, the seminar was attended by more than 25 housing specifiers and managers from local authorities and housing associations across Scotland.
According to David Strang, Sheerframe’s Key Accounts Director, who presented the seminar, the absence of a joined up strategy to meet the demand for new homes, coupled with the impracticality of controlling UK energy prices, means improving the building fabric of our social housing is the obvious way to help those most at risk from fuel poverty.
“The Scottish Government pledged to eradicate fuel poverty by 2016, but with only a few months left before that deadline it seems we’re a long way from where we are supposed to be. So we must keep up the drive for better quality building fabric, particularly in social housing, to reduce the need for heating in the poorest households and allow tenants to save money.
“Up to 67% of household heat loss is through the windows, doors and walls – so upgrading using today’s proven, thermally superior window and door technology is as high a priority as boiler and central heating replacement.”
Sheerframe window systems are used by CMS to manufacture all its PVCu windows. The thermal performance of these windows is optimised thanks to the design of the multi-chambered Sheerframe 8000 profile which is reinforced using Thermlock FP. This is a structural PVC foam fixing reinforcement made from 100% lead, barium and cadmium free PVC, which eliminates the need for poorly insulating metal reinforcements – it also makes windows 15% lighter so less demanding for installers.
David adds: “Installing triple glazed Zero Carbon windows and doors with 0.8 W/m2K U values are increasingly seen as effective solutions to reducing fuel poverty.”
The Sheerframe seminar was the third in the Technical Masterclass Programme organised by CMS as part of its support for clients, designed to help them improve the quality and energy efficiency of their housing stock. Previous seminars have helped specifiers gain best practice insights into hardware and security, with expertise provided by Yale and Securistyle, and the latest advanced glazing options thanks to technical guidance from GLASSOLUTIONS Saint-Gobain.
The next seminar will take place in November in conjunction with Rockwool, with technical insights into external wall insulation (EWI) on the agenda.
To find out more about the Technical Masterclass Programme and CMS Window Systems visit www.cmswindows.com.