What are the environmental impacts of uPVC double-glazing?
uPVC is a safe choice, in all phases of its life. According to CSIRO, "the adverse environmental effects of using uPVC in building products are very small, and no greater than those for other materials." Requiring fewer resources than metal alternatives, uPVC lasts longer and requires little maintenance, if any. uPVC is resistant to weathering, chemical rotting, corrosion, shock and abrasion. This improved performance and little maintenance means less reliance on harsh chemicals involved with preservatives, paint and cleaners.
With a working life of over 40 years – double that figure in many cases – uPVC is partly derived from the renewable resource, salt. uPVC is also recyclable and can be reused in commercial floor tiles, stormwater pipe and fittings, plumbing pipe, roadside guideposts and many other applications.
Not only does the actual production process create less energy, but also long-term uPVC will outlast timber and aluminium in terms of 'life expectancy', thereby eliminating the need for additional energy requirements as a result of replacing warped timber or corroded aluminium windows.
The only drawback of uPVC double-glazing is replacing the window in order to switch to a uPVC double-glazed window. While materials are being replaced before their time – which in some cases may be considered a environmental impact – the energy savings achieved by far outweighs any negative impacts.
Aside from the physicality of the product, uPVC windows reduce the harmful emissions polluting the environment.