With the move towards a more sustainable lifestyle, architects and designers are also looking at more sustainable building materials.
Considerations are given to the whole lifecycle of different material used in a building – including windows and doors – and the following issues are taken into account: from the responsible sourcing of raw material to the way the products are manufactured, the shipping distance, expected lifespan and if they can be re-used or recycled at the end of their life.
The longer a product has a useful life, the longer it will take for the need to replace it which means it has less environmental impact and becomes more sustainable. Durability can be increased by using the right materials and manufacturing processes, thereby reducing the need for disposal or replacement.
Timber certifications like FSC and PEFC show a commitment to take environmental, ethical, and social considerations into account, and timber is a renewable resource. Energy-efficient manufacturing methods, the use of non-toxic finishes and a commitment to a waste management system play a part in a products lifecycle environmental impact.
A safe and healthy indoor environment and good air quality inside a building is also created by using materials that do not contain highly toxic compounds and volatile organic compounds (VOC’s).
Materials that can be reused, recycled, or disposed of without damaging the environment are also attributes of sustainability. The longer a product is in active use (longevity), the less often it needs to be replaced, and the less energy, raw materials and natural resources are required. Accordingly, the pressure on the environment is reduced by longer lasting products. Generally, the lifespan of building products can range from 30 years to hundreds of years, with timber one of the longest lasting materials. Historic buildings prove that timber windows can last more than a lifetime.
Therefore, the choice of building materials is critical in achieving real sustainability through longevity. Paarhammer products provide this.
Read ‘30 Years on – Windows still perfect‘ to get the view of owners who chose Paarhammer windows in 1991, or read a case study on a house that was designed to last 100 years ‘Bangalley – Bushfire Safe‘