BPF slams attack on PVC-U windows

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The British Plastics Federation (BPF) has labelled as ‘inaccurate’ an article in the Financial Times which suggests PVC-U windows are damaging the planet.

Writing in the FT, Dr Simon Thurley, chief executive of English Heritage, said PVC-U windows caused “serious damage” to the cultural value of historic town and village centres.

He wrote that an estate agent survey in 2009 found house prices could be depressed by the installation of PVC-U windows and doors, some of which had been fitted illegally.

“Research has now shown that the energy savings generated by PVC-U windows will never cover their capital cost because most have a life of less than 20 years,” Thurley further claimed.

The BPF hit back, arguing that organisations such as the Building Research Establishment had put the lifetime figure at a minimum of 35 years.

Nor was any credit given to PVC-U window’s energy efficient characteristics, the trade body said.

Describing the article as “misleading”, the BPF said it had written to both Thurley and the FT to state the material’s case.

In a statement the BPF said: “The unfortunate article alleged that most PVC-U windows had a life expectancy of only 20 years and that consumers installing PVC-U windows were ‘damaging the planet’.

“To permeate the text with more misinformation, the article says that PVC-U windows are ‘instantly recognisable because they cannot imitate historic mouldings, glazing bars and proportions’.

“The BPF has written to Dr Thurley pointing out the inaccuracies of his article, with details including case studies of successfully installed PVC-U windows where heritage designs were required,” it concluded.