How sustainable composite windows can help in green construction
In the construction of new buildings, ‘Green’ materials or technology can help to achieve energy efficiency and sustainability, such as reducing the carbon footprint of the building and its impact on the environment.
Every aspect of the construction process has a role to play, including the design, situation, construction materials and the systems installed to operate the building services.
When considering sustainable windows for a new building there are key aspects that can be addressed to achieve a greater energy efficiency and sustainability:
- Glass – Double and triple glazed sealed units provide the latest high performance energy efficiency which is achieved through argon gas filling and composite insulated super spacers. Alternatively krypton glass filling can be used to achieve a superior energy efficiency.
- Solar control – High performance solar control glass coatings can be applied to limit heat gain within the building without sacrificing light transition. This is particularly important on buildings with large areas of glass, such as office buildings, apartment blocks or education buildings, therefore reducing the energy required to regulate or cool the environmental temperature within the building.
- Smart glass – Incorporates an electromagnetic coating which automatically tints the glass to achieve the optimum level of light required. The light transmission is regulated through sensors positioned on the roof which read light levels from all directions and automatically adjusts the level of tint to create a comfortable indoor climate. The tint can also be adjusted manually, for example in a conference room if the room needs to be darkened.
- Sustainable materials – When considering the sustainability of Westcoast composite windows, the timber is PEFC certified, with chain of custody audits to ensure it is sourced from sustainably managed forests. The frame and sash profiles utilise laminated timber sections in order to reduce waste and improve dimensional stability of the finished product, whilst the composite construction eliminates the need for the use of impregnated timber and therefore no harmful chemicals are involved in the manufacturing process. Only water based paints and stains are applied to the finished timber surfaces. The aluminium extrusions of the window are manufactured from a minimum content of 15% recycled material and provide very significant strength and robustness to the overall construction. They also significantly reduce the external window maintenance and extend the anticipated life to over 50 years, thereby reducing life cycle costs.
- Biodegradable and recyclable materials – Due to their aluminium and timber construction, Westcoast composite windows are fully recyclable. The aluminium extrusions are 100% recyclable at the end of their service life as they contain no thermal break components.
- Sustainable manufacturing – Westcoast Windows’ manufacturing facilities are based at Trollhättan on the West coast of Sweden. Here the residents and commercial businesses benefit from years of investment into sustainable energy technology. The local heating system recovers excess energy from industrial activities which is recycled and complemented with local biomass production to heat the whole city. Westcoast Windows’ waste timber contributes to this renewable energy source and power generation is principally from Trollhättan’s own hydro-electricity plant, supplements by local wind farm and solar energy sources with occasional nuclear support at times of exceptional demand. Furthermore, Westcoast Windows products can be specified for ‘zero carbon’ developments that are required to achieve Code level 6.
For further information read our Environmental & Sustainability policy
Westcoast Windows are the ideal sustainable glazing solutions for many construction applications, including the case studies shown here:
HOGIA OFFICE BUILDING
NOAH’S ARK CHILDREN’S HOSPICE