Home Windows Why timber’s eco credentials means more projects and a greener planet

Why timber’s eco credentials means more projects and a greener planet

By Steve Winscott, Managing Director at Nine Zero Timber Windows and Doors

The industry shift towards eco-friendly and sustainable building materials has never had so much momentum. With the uncertainty around Building Regulations we have seen within the window and door industry this year, it has become critical for installers to understand the environmental implications of the materials they are using – as more and more of their business depends on it. 

Regardless of where legislation takes us, we know that homeowner demand for sustainability is only getting stronger, in fact a recent study by Ovo Energy revealed 83% of active British homebuyers are seeking properties with energy efficient upgrades, reduced carbon emissions, and high EPC ratings. 

Installer knowledge of the differing eco credentials of timber, aluminium and uPVC – and the glazing it is paired with – means informed choices and increased confidence in guiding customers on the windows and doors that are going to work best for them. 

Steve Winscott, MD at Nine Zero Timber Windows and Doors

Why timber comes top 

By choosing timber products for your project, you are helping to save operational energy across the lifespan of that home or building. Nine Zero uses FSC-certified Engineered Redwood, Red Grandis, Abodo and Accoya timber, meaning all our timber windows and doors are made from sustainable, responsible, and renewable materials.

As a renewable resource, timber absorbs carbon dioxide during growth, combatting climate change. When harvested responsibly, timber has a sustainable life cycle that does not deplete valuable resources, with superior energy efficiency and insulation, which leads to reduced energy consumption. Couple this with thermally efficient glazing, and the eco credentials get higher still. 

Sustainable timber also produces significantly less waste than other materials. Studies indicate that, when evaluated based on their ‘whole life’ cost, timber windows and doors are approximately 14-25% more cost-effective than other materials. 

Aluminium is widely regarded as a sustainable choice for windows and doors, offering strength and recyclability, but the initial extraction and processing of aluminium as a material is energy-intensive and emits high levels of greenhouse gases. Recycling aluminium consumes only 5% of the energy used in its production, but that initial environmental impact must be considered.

UPVC is valued for its durability and cost-effectiveness in construction, but its production releases harmful toxins like dioxins and BPA. Despite being recyclable, the complex process and lack of suitable facilities needed to do this leads to significant landfill waste.

Tapping into conservation projects 

For installers, choosing timber shows a commitment to sustainability and the opportunity to win the projects that place eco credentials at the top of their tick list. It also means tapping into the market for conservation properties and listed buildings. 

Conservation areas brings unique considerations, that can be intimidating. Every change, big or small, must align with local regulations for historical character, and this involves obtaining permissions, selecting materials that fit the environment, understanding the restrictions and working with conservation officers. 

We know how hard it can be for installers to find suppliers that have the expertise to support them and the projects they are working on. This is something we do every day at Nine Zero, and we are really passionate about simplifying the process for our installers, advising on their timber product options and guiding them through legalities so they feel confident about delivering for their customer. 

Nine Zero and Net Zero

In a groundbreaking move towards sustainability, the UK Government launched a comprehensive Timber in Construction Roadmap in December 2023, aimed at boosting the construction industry, reducing emissions, and propelling the nation towards its ambitious Net Zero targets. It called for the supply of sustainable timber products in the UK to be increased, an initiative we of course celebrated at Nine Zero. 

The Timber in Construction Roadmap can help reduce the Whole Life Carbon of the UK’s built environment, getting us closer to Net Zero by 2050. Simply by using timber in construction, the embodied emissions coming from the construction materials in a single building can be reduced by 20% to 60%. There needs to be more awareness on how pivotal timber can be on the path to sustainable living, and that’s certainly something Nine Zero is committed to being part of. 

www.nine-zero.co.uk

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