Kitson Windows is dedicated to environmental responsibility, and we believe that our products and procedures are amongst the most environmentally supportive and energy efficient available within the industry.
PVC (short for polyvinyl chloride) is a cost-effective, low maintenance, lightweight, strong, versatile and fully recyclable material that is adaptable to many applications.
It’s light weight, low maintenance thermal properties deliver major benefits in construction. It’s properties encourage the wide use of PVC in irrigation and roofing with benefits to users in the Third world. PVC is also ideal for many medical applications. Whilst PVC is widely used in short-life applications (such as packaging), 90% of PVC applications are designed for medium or long-term use. It is one of the most versatile materials to have been invented with thousands of uses that cannot be economically or practically replaced with other materials.
PVC products are widely used in building and construction; windows, doors and related profiles; pipes and ducting; flooring; roofing and cladding; electrical cables and wiring; and building membranes. When used in building products such as window frames PVC requires little maintenance and offers high insulation and excellent cost savings during the lifetime of the product.
During initial production and also conversion into finished products PVC is comparatively low in energy and materials consumption. The material is also difficult to ignite and will not sustain flammability when the combustion source is removed.
PVC is 100% recyclable and may be recycled 10 times and more without significant loss of integrity and structure. Theoretically therefore, assuming a 35 year installation life for PVC windows which are then removed and recycled, the PVC from which the original windows were manufactured would have a useful life of 350 years!
57% of the basic PVC molecule is derived from salt, an element in plentiful supply with an estimated 50 quadrillion (one thousand million million) tonnes of dissolved salt in the world's seas alone, with the remainder from oil.
PVC is inert, a quality that makes it ideal for use in medical products and environments; and the modern production process for PVC is also environmentally friendly: an average European PVC production plant would need to be operating for 30,000 years to produce the same amount of dioxins as on one bonfire night!
The PVC industry as a whole has made a voluntary commitment to recycling; in Europe this means a commitment to recycle 100% of collectable waste by 2010.
Closed loop recycling
The PVC industry has invested millions of pounds developing a sophisticated recycling service, bringing thousands of tonnes of ‘waste’ material back into use in a new generation of advanced energy efficient and sustainable products.
Importantly, Kitson Windows operates to the European Standard ISO14001 for environmental procedures and together with our recycling partner Dekura we include a capacity to recycle not just production off-cut but also old PVC products removed from installations, that have reached the natural end of their life cycle – closing the loop on the recycling process.
Old pvc windows are far more complex to recycle than factory off-cuts because they inevitably contain building debris, for example steel, concrete and sealants which need to be removed before re-processing.
Windows, doors and other building products are first broken down, then powerful magnets remove and separate out ferrous metals, other less magnetic materials for example stainless steel and non-ferrous materials, for example aluminium. Once separated these metallic materials are sent for recycling by other specialist recyclers.
A more refined cleaning process using electrical charges then remove any remaining debris, for example tiny fragments of metal or rubber. This is followed by colour sorting using advanced systems that can be calibrated to pick out even the slightest variation in colour between individual fragments.
The material by this stage has achieved a near ‘virgin’ quality and can be compounded into pellets or pulverised material ready for use in a new generation of advanced products.
Research suggests that PVC can go through this process up to 10 times without losing performance while independent studies suggest PVC products have on average a reference service life of 35 years or more. This means each product could have a total life span of 350 years or more.
The energy efficient choice
Today’s advanced performance PVC windows and doors can deliver significant energy savings. As such they can play a positive role in making homes more sustainable by cutting carbon emissions, not to mention heating bills.
According to the latest research the average UK home produces six tonnes of carbon dioxide every year. Multiply that nationally and you get a total of 83 million tonnes.
The installation of advanced performance windows, for example a C rated window, will save 852kg of CO2 per year, per property – the equivalent of five double decker buses filled with gas - and over a 35 year period this rises to 29.8 tonnes. Fit an A rated window and the carbon saving becomes even higher, even positively adding heat to the property.
And there are also financial savings. Based on current energy prices fitting a minimum performance E rated window compared to an old single glazed window can more than halve the heat loss from a property.
Kitson Windows advanced performance A rated windows can even positively add heat to your property through solar gain resulting in a net zero heat loss.
The PVC industry is at the forefront in the development of energy efficient window frames, with Kitson Windows leading the way as the first PVC window manufacturer in the region registered with the British Fenestration Ratings Council as manufacturing C and A rated advanced energy efficient windows.
Some of the milestones in the development of sustainability and energy efficiency at Kitson Windows:
Self Cleaning Glass
Recycling - ISO 14001 Rating
Window Energy Rating (WER) The Future of Energy Efficient Windows
Energy Efficient Windows (2008)
After almost eighteen months in development with partners Profile 22 and Clayton Glass, Kitson Windows has been granted certification by BFRC (British Fenestration Registration Council) for their new generation casement frames as 'A' rated under the Government backed scheme to assess the performance of windows.
These windows are officially recognised as the highest performance available making Kitson Windows the first (and currently the only) manufacturer in the region to produce frames to this standard.
Consumers, specifiers and legislators are increasingly focusing on the energy efficiency of building products. To respond to the challenge of raised expectations, the window industry must provide energy efficiency information that is easily understood and can be used to compare products. The simple U value does not fulfil these requirements because it only focuses on the heat loss from the window and takes no account of the solar heat gain that windows are responsible for and which can improve the overall energy efficiency of the house.
Window Energy Rating Labels
The British Fenestration Rating Council (BFRC) energy performance label can help you determine how well a product will perform the functions of:
* Helping you contain and conserve heat within your building in the winter
* Cool it in summer
* Keep out the wind and resist condensation
By using the information contained on the label, builders and consumers can reliably compare one product with another and make informed decisions regarding the energy performance of window products.
The basic label lists the manufacturer, describes the product, includes the essential energy performance data and provides a source for additional information.
Thermal transmittance (U-value)
This measures how well a product prevents heat escaping.
The energy rating value is based on a standard window to enable comparisson of product.
This does not represent the actual energy efficiency for actual product installed.
The BFRC Rating is calculated from the formula:
Rating = 218.6 x g-value - 68.5 (U-value +L50)
This measures how well a product blocks heat caused by sunlight. The Solar Factor is expressed as a number between 0 and 1. A lower Solar Factor means less heat gain.
The factor L50 in the formula is an air leakage factor. For good quality windows, air leakage makes little difference to energy performance, for leaky windows, the impact is significant.
Each rating label is specific to a manufacturer and is non-transferable. The BFRC Certificate Number relates to the specific certificate and details of the certificate can be obtained from this web site. The BFRC rating is provided for a standard window to represent typical window sizes. The size is 1.48 x 1.23 m. This enable comparission between different products.
The BFRC is a collaborative venture between all stakeholders in the windows industry. It was established in 1998 with the assistance of the DETR and the major trade associations from the window industry.
Our objective is to create and maintain a "fair, accurate and credible" rating system to impartially measure and assess the thermal efficiency of windows.
In developing the BFRC Rating, the BFRC is advancing new methods of energy assessment for window products.
Pilkington Activ SELF-CLEANING GLASS From KITSON WINDOWS
Minimising the use of harmful detergents.
This new revolutionary glass can now be incorporated into Kitson double glazed units at a minimal charge to enable the action of sunlight and rain to keep the glass clean!
This saves time, money, inconvenience and the use of harmful detergents affecting the environment.
The unique dual-action of the Pilkington Activ™ coating uses the forces of nature to help keep the glass free from organic dirt, giving you not only the practical benefit of less cleaning, but also clearer, better-looking windows.
Saves you time and money and is safer than cleaning your own windows.
Can be used in almost any external domestic application.
Unique coating is not worn away or rubbed off - lasts the lifetime of the glazing itself.
Easily cleaned during dry spells by hosing down or wiping with a soft cloth and warm soapy water.
Can be used in conjunction with other Pilkington glass products to provide increased energy efficiency and save on heating bills.
Kitson Windows Goes Green
Having been awarded ISO 9001 back in 1998, 2007 sees our additional accreditation to ISO 14001 - which is good news for the environment, good news for our customers and good news for us. We are one of only a handful of businesses within our industry to reach this standard.
Our 'New Generation' frames have been designed to be 99% recyclable while still able to achieve an 'A' rating in the proposed new government energy rating legislation.
One of the most effective ways to minimise environmental risks, meet legislative requirements and demonstrate corporate governance, is through the implementation of an environmental management system (EMS).
Certification to the internationally recognised EMS standard, ISO 14001 is becoming a preferred choice for organisations looking to demonstrate their environmental credentials.
First generation PVC frames removed by Kitson Windows are stripped of all hardwear and glass for local recycling and the now safe frames are sent to the specialist Dekura plant for recycling.