PVC-U and Grade II

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PVC-U windows and Grade II buildings have historically been strangers. For planners and conservation officers, Grade II listing (and all too often, conservation zones too) have meant one thing only when it comes to windows: timber.

It was something that Bison Frames had always felt was very unfair, so when one customer came to the team asking them to develop a PVC-U vertical slider that would be accepted for use on his Grade II listed home in Blackburn, the team was happy to accept the challenge.

Mark Tetley, Bison’s director, says, “In many cases, a modern timber window is inferior to its PVC-U counterpart in terms of durability and thermal efficiency and is also more expensive. We wanted to develop a product that would give homeowners in listed and period buildings a genuine choice when they upgraded their windows and this project gave us the perfect opportunity to do it.”

He explains, “We involved the planning officer on the project right from the start, so we could understand and overcome any objections they had when it came to PVC-U. Amongst other things, we discovered that they were not keen on the cruder detail of the jointing around the sash horns on a standard PVC-U VS window and that the welded joints and a shiny PVC-U finish were not options they were happy to consider.”

After much development and design work, the Genesis Vertical Slider was born. It takes advantage of the rapid development of PVC-U technology in recent years to create a window that’s a stunning reproduction of a traditional timber vertical slider. It uses traditional timber jointing methods on all joints and has a low sheen finish. Period look high security cam locks and sash buttons, run through sash horns and a deep bottom sash rail as standard complete the beautifully authentic appearance.

But perhaps the greatest sign that the Genesis authentically replicates the traditional timber alternative is the fact that it was accepted for use in the Grade II listed home that started the product’s development.

Mark concludes, “PVC-U on heritage properties is always going to be a sensitive subject. I would be the last person to suggest that we should allow standard white PVC-U windows to be installed in a listed building. But as the Genesis VS proves, our idustry has come on in leaps and bounds and PVC-U can be more than a match for timber in terms of aesthetics and thermal efficiency – and let’s not forget that PVC is virtually maintenance free, unlike timber. Such high quality products can enhance a building’s appearence, as well as helping reduce carbon emissions, heating bills and ongoing maintenance”.