uPVC Windows Alliance

Read all the latest news and information regarding uPVC Windows, the energy efficient and low maintenance alternative to traditional window frames.

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As urbanisation continues to grow and our cities’ growth corridors are frequently located along major transport routes, buildings will increasingly need to be built or retrofitted to reduce the effect of nearby traffic noise. This can be done through improving insulation of walls and/or windows.

Double glazing windows is one of the most effective barriers against unwanted outside sound, and when combined with uPVC window frames, can reduce perceived noise by up to 80 percent, or as much as 45 decibels.

The science of noise abatement is based upon the interruption of noise travelling from the noise source to a particular receptor, for example the most exposed façade of a nearby building. Sound is measured in Decibels (dB) with a logarithmic unit, such that a 20dB noise is actually 10 times louder than a 10dB noise. Therefore, reducing noise by as much as 45 decibels will have a huge impact on your peace and quiet at home or in your office.

It sounds simple, but the requirements for effective, acoustic insulation are demanding. An effective acoustic barrier needs to be a continuous face to the noise source with certified sound transmission loss capabilities. Double glazing achieves this by accommodating a variety of glass thickness and types allowing the window unit to reach high acoustic control requirements. Using two (or more) layers of glazing increases noise reduction at most frequencies, but by how much also depends on the space between the two panes. Sound insulation is improved further with larger air spaces between the glazing units, from about 20 to 100 mm. Combine this double-glazing with an effective barrier frame material such as uPVC and excellent acoustic insulation is provided by the whole window unit.

uPVC windows can be readily retrofitted to provide an effective, low maintenance yet highly durable noise barrier. Ongoing exposure to loud noises – like outside traffic, overhead planes or noisy neighbours – can continually disrupt concentration and increase general stress levels. Noise reductions of up to 40-45dB may improve sleep, decrease stress, improve a work environment and concentration, and add re-sale value to your home.

Tagged in: Noise Reduction
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It’s a simple goal in modern-day home life ... keep cool in the summer and warm in the winter. But up to 70 percent of heat is gained or lost through standard 3mm window panes and even more can be lost with heat transfer through metal frames.

In winter, a single-glazed, 3mm-deep pane of glass can lose up to 15 times more heat than an insulated wall of the same area. In summer, single glazed standard windows of an average home account for over 25 percent of total heat gain.window5

Double glazing creates an air pocket between the two glass panes providing an insulating barrier, which significantly improves the window's thermal and acoustic insulation. The greater the gap between window panes, the greater the temperature and acoustic insulation.

Using double glazing with uPVC window frames will further improve the result as uPVC doesn’t conduct heat well and therefore doesn’t transfer temperatures from inside to outside, or outside to inside.

The low conductivity of uPVC as a material, the tight seals uPVC windows provide and the ease with which they can be fabricated for double and triple glazing, make uPVC double glazed windows an excellent choice in energy efficient buildings.

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While many new home builders are benefiting from fitting double glazed uPVC windows, there is no reason why existing home owners cannot enjoy the same thermal, noise and overall energy efficiency from high performance uPVC windows.

uPVC window frames are superior insulators, specifically designed for double glazing. Over their lifetime, uPVC windows will increase the energy efficiency of your home while reducing your household greenhouse gas emissions, saving you heating and cooling costs.

According to the Efficient Glazing tool, if you replace typical aluminium-framed single-glazed windows in a medium sized house in efficient glazingMelbourne with typical uPVC double glazed windows, over one tonne of greenhouse gas emissions will be saved every year! Use the Efficient Glazing tool to see how you can save by switching to double glazed uPVC windows. 

uPVC windows are a great choice for replacement windows in older homes. They can be designed to suit the s
tyle and age of your home, whether a heritage era house or more modern. With less noise, better thermal comfort and little maintenance, your home will become a haven.

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uPVC Windows are proven. Available across Europe and America for the past 60 years, uPVC window profiles are today the most popular choice to deliver superior performance: worldwide, uPVC windows accounted for 55% of all new and replacement residential windows. That was almost 290 million window units in 2012, chosen for their durability, low maintenance, high energy efficiency performance and style. Here’s our five reasons why uPVC windows are the best choice:

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Tasmanian company and Vinyl Council member Envorinex is expanding a recycling program, leading to 125 bulker bags of waste from various Melbourne-based uPVC window fabricators being recycled into new products.

Since 2011, Envorinex has been working with the Oakleigh Centre for Intellectually Disabled Citizens in Melbourne who were supplied a granulator by the company to manage recycling of the uPVC waste collected. The Oakleigh Centre inspect the material to the Quality Assurance standard required, granulate and pack it into new bulker bags which are then shipped to Envorinex in George Town, Tasmania to be manufactured into 100% recycled commercial products.

“Envorinex recognises the importance of environmental sustainability. That our Melbourne recycling program has seen over 200 tonnes of uPVC waste diverted from landfill so far and made into commercially viable recycled products is not only exciting, but fitting with our sustainability responsibility and our recycling mandate,” said Ms Jenny Brown, Managing Director, Poly Marketing Pty Ltd trading as Envorinex™.

Envorinex has been collecting waste uPVC from window fabricators in Tasmania for the past three years. Due to the overwhelming demand for its recycled product range, Envorinex sourced additional waste uPVC material from Melbourne as feedstock for converting into new products.

Ms Sophi MacMillan, Chief Executive of Vinyl Council of Australia explained: “uPVC windows are the most commonly used window type in regions such as Europe and the US, and today, we are seeing growing demand in Australia for these high performance windows to improve home energy efficiency and reduce carbon emissions.

“As the use of uPVC windows frames increases, we will see growth in fabricator waste volumes available for recycling programs such as this one. The uPVC material is very recyclable, as evidenced by the tens of thousands of tonnes of fabrication and post-consumer uPVC windows that are recycled every year in Europe.”

“Envorinex is a great example of a company putting its PVC Product Stewardship Program commitments into practice,” concluded Ms MacMillan.

Many of the imported profiles used to make uPVC windows in Australia already contain recycled post-consumer window material, demonstrating the feasibility of cyclic management of the product’s materials.

Currently, Envorinex are in discussions with a disability centre in Sydney to replicate the Melbourne recycling business and meet ongoing demand for PVC recyclate

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IPCC calls for construction industry to adopt more Green Building

The most recent Fifth Assessment report released by the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has concluded that making a greater effort to improve the sustainability of the built environment will be essential worldwide to reduce the impact of global warming.

The built environment has been a significant contributor to greenhouse gas emissions, and according to this latest IPCC report, is expected to undergo a doubling of energy consumption and related emissions by mid-century if the status quo is maintained.

An article in response to the ICPP report on Sourceable.net , calls for the construction industry to take responsibility for employing more green building measures to have a meaningful impact on reducing greenhouse emissions, applying green building to the full lifecycle of buildings from planning and design, to construction, operation and end-of-life.

uPVC windows have been proven performers in the US and Europe in reducing energy consumption for heating and cooling and consequently, over their whole life cycle, in effectively reducing greenhouse gas emissions. The installation of uPVC windows reduces the energy consumption in households by as much as 48% - 61% in comparison with aluminium framed windows according to a study conducted by Spain’s Polytechnic University of Catalonia .

According to the efficientglazing.net tool, if you replace typical aluminium-framed single-glazed windows in a medium sized house in Melbourne, with typical uPVC double glazed windows, over one tonne of greenhouse gas emissions will be saved every year!

Today in Australia, uPVC windows are an easy and responsible choice for the construction industry looking to make a positive contribution to reducing this country’s carbon emissions. Installing these high performance windows makes a real difference to the building’s energy efficiency and overall performance.

The Vinyl Council of Australia has launched the uPVC Windows Alliance, an online on-line communication platform designed to share information about uPVC windows to meet the growing interest in Australia in using these high performance windows to improve energy efficiency in buildings.

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The Vinyl Council of Australia has launched an on-line communication platform sharing information about uPVC windows to meet the growing interest in Australia in using these high performance windows to improve energy efficiency in buildings.

Vinyl Council members with an interest in the window market have come together as the uPVC Windows Alliance to provide information on the benefits, suitability, uses and environmental performance of uPVC windows in an Australian context.

In stark contrast to regions such as the US and Europe where they are the most popular choice of window, uPVC windows currently account for less than 5% of the Australian window market. However, there is growing interest from builders, architects and home owners here that are looking for improved energy efficiency, durability and low maintenance over traditional options available.

Ms Sophi MacMillan, Chief Executive of Vinyl Council of Australia explains the platform:
“The market is looking for solutions for high performance windows. Double –glazed uPVC windows have a long track record in Europe and the US in significantly improving energy efficiency in buildings, particularly in new homes and renovations.

“The uPVC Window Alliance communication platform is going to provide home owners, builders and architects with the information about uPVC-framed windows they need to make an informed decision about the type of window to use. In Australia today, there is a new option over traditional materials – aluminium and timber – in uPVC.”

Hear Richard Walker, President & CEO, American Architectural Manufacturers Association discuss the potential of uPVC windows in Australia based on the experience in the US: http://upvcwindows.org.au/about-us

Certification program to benefit consumers
In addition, the uPVC Windows Alliance is currently developing an Industry Code of Practice (ICP) which will set out performance requirements for extruded uPVC profiles to be used in Australian windows and doors. The ICP will be adopted by suppliers of profiles to local fabricators to give confidence to consumers in the durability of uPVC profiles under Australian climatic conditions by having the extruded uPVC profiles meet specific composition, weathering resistance, colour and strength requirements. This will be in addition to the uPVC window units themselves being certified to the Australian Window Association window certification program.


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The uPVC Window Alliance is pleased to announce the release of a draft Industry Code of Practice (ICP) related to the manufacture of unplasticised PVC (uPVC), or vinyl, profiles to be used in windows and doors in Australia, and invites public comments on the draft.

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While uPVC* is the material most widely used for window frames across Europe, they are still a relatively small, but growing, part of the Australian windows market. Local demand for uPVC windows is, however, increasing due to home owners’ and building designers’ desire to limit the environmental impact of their homes and buildings through limiting carbon emissions.

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Victorian company, PVC Windows Australia has recently commissioned significant window fabrication infrastructure, with the uPVC window industry poised to experience major growth as the benefits of polymer frames become better understood in Australia.

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