Modular manufacture of new homes has a track record of delivering big savings. Big savings on time alongside big cost efficiencies. This also extends to carbon reduction.

John Duckworth, Director of Commercial Sales, Deceuninck




A recent study by the University of Cambridge and Edinburgh Napier University found factory-produced homes can lower the carbon footprint of new homes by as much as 45% compared to traditional methods of residential construction.  The study last year of two modular housing schemes in London totalling more than 900 homes, saved a combined 28,000 tonnes of carbon.
“The modular housing sector is making some very exciting inroads into reducing its carbon footprint, with lower energy usage and more efficient manufacture, reducing input costs – but also lessening environmental impact”, says John Duckworth, Director of Commercial Sales, Deceuninck.


“As suppliers of energy efficient windows and doors into the modular sector, we’re conscious of the part we have to play in lowering the carbon embodied in new homes and have made a pledge to significantly reduce it.”   Deceuninck committed to ambitious targets to reduce greenhouse emissions through the corporate carbon reduction scheme, Science Based Targets (SBTi) in 2022.

This includes a commitment to cut the CO2  emissions from its own operations (Scope 1&2) by 60% by 2030 from a 2021 baseline. Allowing for future growth in real terms this means reducing CO2 per tonne of product produced by 75%. This goes significantly beyond the SBTi minimum target of 42%.  It has also committed to cut emissions from within its supply chain (Scope 3 emissions) by 48% per tonne by 2030, as part of its wider journey to net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050.


“We see it as an opportunity for our customers across sectors”, continues John. “As we lower our scope 1 and two emissions, by default, we lower the scope 3 emissions of our customers, contributing to an overall lowering of the carbon footprint of new build schemes.”

Embodied carbon, which is emitted by the production and transport of materials during a scheme’s construction, currently accounts for around 11% of global emissions.

In the UK, emissions from embodied carbon are between 40 and 50 million tonnes. Emissions are lower in modular builds because of efficiency gains in manufacture but also fewer transport movements to and from site.  As part of its strategy Deceuninck has invested more than €15million in one of the world’s most advanced recycling and compounding facilities to create the capacity to reprocess up to 45,000 tonnes of post-consumer and post-manufacturing PVC-U per year.  In real terms this gives it the capacity to prevent more than three million windows from going to landfill annually.

“The window and door industry is committed to rising to the challenge. Deceuninck developing low carbon manufacturing technologies and a new generation of products which deliver big through-life energy efficiency gains”, John explains.

“We’re designing and developing windows and doors which deliver an enhanced level of performance through-life, but which are easier to recycle and use lower energy to do so, at end of life.”  With Future Homes looming large on the horizon in 2025, the through life performance of windows and doors, is under the microscope, with fundamental changes to window design inevitable.  According to the National Housing Federation the UK’s 29million homes produce 58.5million tonnes of CO2 every year. That’s more than the CO2 produced annually by all car journeys.  It also makes up round 14% of the UK’s emissions and with a commitment to cut total UK emissions by 80% relative to 1990 levels by 2050 under the Climate Change Act (2008), that’s a big problem for Government.  As a key element of the building envelope and a potential major source of CO2 (according to Government figures, 18% of heat loss occurs through windows), windows and doors are a key element of the building fabric.  “This was recognized in the changes to Part L that we saw last year which introduced a new requirement of 1.2W/m2 K for new build windows and doors; and 1.4W/m2 K for replacement windows and doors.
“It was, however, in fact just the start of what will be a series of performance changes for windows and doors in the coming two-to three years, with consultation on future changes to Part L, and under the Future Homes Strategy, imminent”, continues John.
“This could see u-values for new build reduced to as low as 0.8W/m2 K, or more likely 0.9W/m2 K. Even at the latter, the modular housing sector and its supply chains, are going to have to re-think window and door specification because products as they sit today, aren’t going to deliver required performance.”

Deceuninck’s new energy efficient fiberglass composite window system has been developed as a future-proof window system with u-values as low as 0.8W/m2K.   It’s defined by contemporary minimalist features, creating a strong architectural aesthetic which replicates aluminium in an advanced, low maintenance and energy efficient, composite system.  John continues:

“Elegant, our award winning, new ultra-energy-efficient window and door offer sits within our wider sustainability strategy.  “It’s a next generation window system which has been designed to deliver exceptional through life performance, while it’s also easier and use less energy to recycle at end-of-life”, he explains.  “Factory-built homes have been proven to lower carbon-footprint.  “Partnerships with building products suppliers who are pursing innovative programmes to do the same within their businesses, can support the modular sector in delivering even bigger savings by lowering embodied carbon in manufacture and delivering better performance, through life.”

For more information about Deceuninck’s product and service offer please


call 01249 816 969








In 2019, the UK Government committed to the Net Zero target as recommended by the Climate Change Committee – and the construction industry will have to play a big part if that is to be achieved.
UK construction produces 400 million tonnes of waste a year, accounts for 36% of energy use and 39% of CO2 emissions, and 30% of construction material is waste.

The drive in the construction sector is towards sustainably sourced or recycled building product to help reach net-zero greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.
Barton Windows, which provides an extensive range of aluminium systems and specialises in aluminium windows, doors and curtain walling, is looking at a sustainable future and the fabricator’s Director, Ian Smith, said:

“More expectation is now being placed on businesses in all sectors, but particularly the fenestration and construction industries and we want to make sure Barton is doing everything it can when it comes to sustainability and reduce our carbon footprint.”

The importance of aluminium

One of the big advantages for Barton is the sustainability credentials of aluminium. Arguably the most sustainable building material in the world, it can be recycled back into high quality aluminium and the recycling process saves 95% of the energy required to produce aluminium from raw materials.
As a material it is also durable, highly resistant to rusting and corrosion, and requires very little long-term maintenance. It is also light weight, making it easy to handle which reduces the environmental impact and cost of transportation.

“The life span of aluminium products can be measured in decades rather than years and this, coupled with its recycling process, makes it hugely sustainable. After all, aluminium is known as the green metal for a reason,” said Ian.
“With the shift towards greener products only set to continue, aluminium will play an increasingly significant role as a building material in construction and the fenestration as we head towards a greener future. If we are to have any chance of hitting important targets in 2025 and 2050 then aluminium provides the best chance of doing it.”

Investing in modular

With Barton Windows being part of Modular Group Investments Limited (MGI), modular construction also plays a big part in the 35-year-old company’s focus.  MGI is a rapidly growing group focused on acquiring businesses around the off-site sector with the goal of making a positive contribution to UK offsite and modular manufacturing.
Ian said:

“With the UK so far behind in terms of the number of new houses that need to be built, modular is the answer to not just build quicker but greener too.
It generates up to 90% less waste than traditional construction, it means 90% less vehicle movements to sites, thus reducing the carbon footprint and 94% of materials in modular construction are sourced in more eco-friendly ways.”

Taking care

Not content with contributing to construction’s drive for a sustainable future with its aluminium products and its supply to the modular sector, the North Lincolnshire fabricator is doing its best to reduce its own carbon footprint.
Meeting its Environmental, Social, and Corporate Governance (ESG) values is playing an increasing role in Barton’s business agenda. A formalisation of a business’s collective conscientiousness, among other things it looks at how a business performs on environmental challenges, including waste and recycling.
Moving to lower emissions on its fleet, it recently taken delivery of its new hybrid Toyota Corolla Commercial van, which replaces a diesel van, and achieves 60 mpg so is good for the environment.
Ian added:

“We have always taken our environment obligations seriously and that includes manufacturing responsibility and more sustainable working practices so we can meet the sustainability requirements and expectations of our customers.”

For more information on Barton Windows CLICK HERE TO visit the website

or call 01652 633897


Plastic is bad right? Yet, low maintenance, thermally efficient and highly recyclable, on paper it has a lot to offer the construction sector. So where is it going wrong?

You’re on site. It’s a muddy winter’s day and bundles of shrink wrap and tape are blowing like tumble weed in a Western movie, across the muddy puddles, waiting to entangle themselves in neighbouring hedgerows.  It’s as negative an image of plastic as there can be (unless its ensnaring marine wildlife). And while the construction sector has taken steps in the right direction, plastic waste remains a big problem.  Recent government data shows that the UK has cut plastic waste by 2.7% over the past two years as we switch to paper straws and reusable bags. But at the same time plastic waste in construction jumped by 46%, reflecting increased sector activity.

So, can plastic ever be green? Or should the construction sector be turning its back on it once and for all?

“Plastic waste is definitely a problem for construction”, says John Duckworth, Director Commercial Sales, Deceuninck. “Site waste can be massively damaging.
“But the issue is less about the material than our attitude towards it. If we stop seeing plastic as disposable, the problem goes away.”  This is the point of contention for Deceuninck, the PVC-U window systems leader. It has invested more than €15million in one of the world’s most advanced recycling and compounding facilities to create the capacity to reprocess up to 45,000 tonnes of post-consumer and post-manufacturing PVC-U per year.  In real terms this gives it the capacity to prevent more than three million windows from going to landfill annually.  “It’s about the circular economy”, continues John. “Manufacturing products with less embodied carbon; designing them better so that they are more energy efficient; and making them easier to recycle at end of life.  “It’s about lowering carbon and to do that we need to change our approach to material choices.”

Deceuninck’s recycling facility also encompasses the largest dry blending facility in Europe, fully integrated with its main manufacturing facility, the approach connects process, while reducing CO2 emissions by 90,000 tonnes compared to virgin feedstocks. It also delivers a 90% energy saving.

This forms a key pillar of Deceuninck’s commitment to ambitious targets to reduce greenhouse emissions through the corporate carbon reduction scheme, Science Based Targets (SBTi).

This includes the pledge to cut the CO2 emissions from its own operations (Scope 1&2) by 60% by 2030 from a 2021 baseline. Allowing for future growth in real terms this means reducing CO2 per tonne of product produced by 75%. This goes significantly beyond the SBTi minimum target of 42%.  It has also committed to cut emissions from within its supply chain (Scope 3 emissions) by 48% per tonne by 2030, as part of its wider journey to net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050.  John continues: “In the UK PVC-U has an A+ Green Guide Rating on the basis that it can be recycled more than 10 times, without impacting on performance.  “PVC-U windows have a reference service life of around 35 to 40 years, so the material used in each window made with virgin feedstock could be recycled and still be in use in 350 to 400 years’ time.

“The key thing is we have to recycle it.”

Deceuninck’s main suite of energy efficient window and door profiles can include up to 50% recycled material. This is manufactured using leading edge co-extrusion technologies, which isolate recycled content in areas away from the surface of the product, guaranteeing finish and performance.


“The technology is there today to manufacture a 100% recycled window”, John continues, “We’ve done it with Phoenix, our 100% recycled window.  “In bringing post-consumer material back into use on a day-to-day basis at a lower level, we’re already lowering the carbon footprint of our products but critically, designing them to be easier to recycle at end of life, pushing down the carbon footprint of the next generation of products.”




Elegant is one of a new generation of energy efficient window and door systems from Deceuninck. The fiberglass composite window delivers a step change in performance achieving U-values as low as 0.8W/m2K.  The system is built around a single ultra-energy-efficient modular frame which is available as a standard 76mm system. These can be combined with any of five different sash options.

It can also be combined with Decoroc, Deceuninck’s next generation foil, so fitted alongside aluminium products as part of dual-specification installations.

“Elegant gives you a lot of design flexibility,” John says. “You’re getting a window that can be optimised for either commercial or residential applications with a massive amount of flexibility within those markets because of the combination of sash and frame options that we can offer.”


Given this combination of design, flexibility, advanced thermal performance and recyclability at end of life, John argues that PVC-U building products continue to offer significant value to the construction sector – but moreover, can be part of a greener future.

“We maybe need to get over one or two prejudices that we have about materials and to judge them on what they actually deliver”, he says.  “There are underlying issues about our attitude towards plastics but much of that sits with our cultural attitude towards them and the fact that we have seen them as being disposable.  “If you’re judging PVC-U as a building material and PVC-U windows and doors within that category, you should be approaching that process factually.  “The material is energy efficient, it can and is being recycled and new generation composite PVC-U products can and are being used to maximise value on a wide range of projects.”

For more information call 01249 816 969

CLICK HERE to email Deceuninck



Two recent projects – one in Canterbury and one in Watford – demonstrated how partnerships within the supply chain could drive new efficient ways of working. We report.

Pressures facing the construction industry in 2022 require new approaches to supply chain management and new ways of addressing challenges. And as the cost-of-living crisis continues to bite, and energy bills put further pressures on household budgets, the role energy-efficient buildings play in mitigating those challenges are coming under greater scrutiny.
In two recent projects involving companies that manufacture windows using profile from Deceuninck, new approaches to project management realised new efficiencies that cut the time on site (despite Covid restrictions) cut costs, and introduced more energy efficient products.

According to John Duckworth, Head of Commercial Sales at Deceuninck (pictured above), having an open mind about the integration of a project’s separate elements is vital to avoiding significant pitfalls, such as project delays and installation errors.
“Today, it is more evident than ever before that the technical expertise and knowledge required to complete sometimes very challenging jobs are coming from the specialist suppliers,” John says. “As result, we are seeing greater collaboration earlier on in the life of a project to iron out issues and maximise opportunities.”

New frontiers for offsite construction
Deceuninck fabricator Dempsey Dyer was involved in the construction of new student accommodation at The Riverside at Canterbury. The company delivered 666 Deceuninck 2500 Heritage Chamfered windows over a two-year period as part of a £115 million mixed-use development, and was involved in every stage of the project – design, build and delivery.
In a bid to drive efficiency and quality, and to overcome obstacles, Dempsey Dyer pioneered new ways of working including shipping products and expertise between continents.
Main contractor Bouygues UK wanted to drive a new approach to modular building, and enlisted the help of Dempsey Dyer as its fenestration partner. To ensure the windows fitted the modular build efficiently, Dempsey Dyer worked closely with Deceuninck, which was also involved in the architect’s drawings and submission.
Bouygues UK moved the construction of the student accommodation pods to Rabat in Morocco. Once constructed, these were shipped back to the UK where they were assembled on site. This took place over a 12-week period.
To ensure the safe transit of the windows to Morocco, Dempsey Dyer designed a crate to suit the window sizes, and the windows slotted down inside the crate. These were then loaded into shipping containers, which were transported by lorry to the port at Dover, before being shipped to Casablanca in Morocco. From there they were transported by lorry to Rabat, where the factory was located.
Dempsey Dyer’s Project Manager Anna Cusworth and Installation Manager Steve Burton spent two weeks in Rabat in Morocco to teach the construction workers at the modular construction factory how to install windows correctly.

“The workmanship in the factory in Morocco during our time there far exceeded the standard we see in UK construction,” Anna says. “Modular build enables a level of quality that is much harder to produce in the UK due to the nature of a construction site and all that affects it – weather, access, tolerances of all trades.”

As the pods were constructed and returned to the UK, they were assembled on site in Canterbury, where Dempsey Dyer installed bespoke cills for each window.
The main challenge facing all parties on the project was the restriction on movement following the Covid outbreak. This meant that during the design phase, Dempsey Dyer worked alongside the design teams from other organisations via Teams.

“In theory this was considered a negative, but in practice it worked exceptionally well, and it was a big positive for the project because most problems were ironed out thanks to swift collaboration,” Anna says.

Reduced cost, improved performance
Cortland Cassiobury on Ascot Road in Watford, is a 485-home build-to-let scheme, developed by American-based Cortland. The first phase of the project involved the construction of five multi-storey blocks, the largest of which has 23 floors.
Having passed the planning process with aluminium windows, the client later sought to cost-engineer the project. FastFrame was approached for an opinion after architects saw completed FastFrame projects using Linktrusion profile from Deceuninck. The architects liked the fact that Linktrusion products could replicate the look and size of aluminium windows, but at a reduced cost.
After winning the tender process, FastFrame took on full design responsibility for the building’s interfaces, allowing the fabricator to ensure the building envelope was fully weathertight, fit for purpose, and had no inherent defects for the completed build.
FastFrame worked with Deceuninck to prove that the windows and patio doors were fit for purpose on the higher floors – one block was 23 storeys high. This included demonstrating that the products would cope with the higher wind pressure at the greater height, and that they would be weathertight. This was completed via testing and simulation programmes.
FastFrame supplied products for 1,872 apertures across all five blocks. These include: Deceuninck 5000 tilt and turn windows – Decoroc-coated in Umbra Grey; Balcony doors manufactured using a fibre-glass reinforced profile (Linktrusion) from Deceuninck, which allowed them to go up to 1,100mm wide and 2,400mm high, and can’t be achieved in PVCU; Decalu Patio Doors from Deceuninck, which were colour-matched with the PVCU products; and all the aluminium cills.
FastFrame is the only UK fabricator to manufacture Deceuninck’s full PVCU range, including Linktrusion which is reinforced using fibre glass. This allows windows and doors to go to larger sizes where PVCU wouldn’t typically be considered. Linktrusion also comes in at about 60% of the cost of aluminium. FastFrame is also the only company outside Belgium to apply Deceuninck’s unique Decoroc coating to products, which matches aluminium powder coating for looks and performance.
Due to complications on site and the restrictions brought about by the Coronavirus pandemic, windows were not required on site until six months later than originally planned. Rather than pushing back the end date, FastFrame helped to bring the completion date forward, so a two-year project was completed in a year and a quarter.
FastFrame worked closely with the installation team – APW Installations – so that product was delivered on time. Part of the strategy to bring forward the completion date was that the five blocks were built concurrently rather than consecutively, which required careful negotiation between the different parties on site.


For more information about Deceuninck’s product and service offer

please call 01249 816 969

CLICK HERE to email Deceuninck

CLICK HERE to visit the Deceuninck website

A leading manufacturer of uPVC windows and doors for the modular and offsite construction sectors is gearing up for 12 months of ambitious growth.

Euramax Solutions, a Modular Group Investments (MGI) company that also supplies to national builders’ merchants and new build and holiday home markets, is growing rapidly thanks to high demand.

A plan to grow by more than 35% in the next 12 months is in place, with everything from supporting and extending its existing customer base, investment, recruitment and net zero a focus to help achieve it.

Emma Chapman, Euramax Solutions’ new Business Unit Director, explained: “After a successful first quarter of 2022 we are in a position to push forward with our growth plans for the next 12 months.

“We have rapidly grown into the modular sector and are currently targeting more partnerships in the modular and merchant world while continuing to strengthen our support for our customers. We are also looking to invest in new machinery so we can not only continue to make our high-volume products but bespoke ones as well.”

Recruitment and staff retention and an emphasis on Euramax Solutions journey to reduce its carbon footprint will also be important, according to Emma.

“Due to the growth we intend to make, we need to make sure that we have got the personnel in place to help us succeed, so we will be looking at doing another recruitment drive,” added Emma. “We are also focussed on our net zero journey and our plans to reduce carbon, which will reduce costs.

MGI CEO Nick Cowley said “The UK offsite and modular sector is only going to get bigger and both Euramax Solutions and MGI will be at the forefront.”


For more information, call 0330 1340 290 or email


This time last year, when Modular Group Investments (MGI) acquired uPVC fabricator Euramax Solutions, the company had struck a pivotal deal that would see it become one of the fastest-growing players in the modular construction market.


A year on, MGI now owns three fenestration businesses with a combined annual turnover of nearly £40 million, a total of 227,000 square feet of manufacturing capacity, and nearly 120 years of combined expertise.


Former Euramax Solutions Managing Director Nick Cowley is now the CEO of MGI, where he oversees the investment in businesses that actively support the growth of MMC and off-site construction. “MGI’s goal has been to bring together suppliers who serve the modular sector under one umbrella, offering everything a builder needs, exactly when they need it,” Nick comments.   “With the three businesses acquired last year, we’re well on the path to achieving just that.”


How did it all begin?
The first port of call was to conquer PVC, and so in March last year, MGI set its sights on Barnsley-based Euramax Solutions, now a well-established, 71-year-old window and door manufacturer.

“I was Managing Director at Euramax Solutions at the time, and with a long history of serving the holiday home market, the company was already perfectly set up to serve the modular sector,” Nick explains.
“Today, Euramax is headed up by new Business Unit Director Emma Chapman, and boasts a 220-strong team working from a 205,000 square foot manufacturing facility. The company makes around 3,000 frames a week, having bought over half a million metres of PVC profile from trusted suppliers Eurocell, Rehau, and Profine.
“In 2021 alone, Euramax Solutions manufactured over 36,000 uPVC doors, nearly 3,500 patio doors, and over 150,000 high-quality windows, firmly establishing the company as a leader in the MMC market.”

With Euramax Solutions firmly under its belt, MGI soon looked to expand its PVC offering, and the following month, acquired Rapid PVCu Systems, a 12-year-old fabricator based in Doncaster.
Manufacturing windows and doors for the new-build market, the company was already set up to provide a complete package for new-build customers, including expert technical advice, and input on minimising costs. “Acquiring Rapid not only boosted MGI’s productive capacity, but also diversified our customer base within the modular market,” says Nick.
Now headed up by industry veteran Simon Bingham, Rapid now has a 60-strong team working from a 15,000 square foot factory, and last year manufactured over 36,000 PVC windows, and nearly 5,000 doors, after buying over 1.1 million metres of extruded profile.




Expanding market
With a PVC division firmly established, MGI’s next ambition was to reach out into aluminium – a fast-growing sector within modular construction.
By October last year, the company had acquired Barton Windows Limited, a 35-year-old aluminium fabricator.
Working from a 7,000 square foot factory, the company now manufactures Euralite, a high-quality range of aluminium decking and cladding that combines all the benefits of aluminium with the sought-after aesthetics of timber.
Nick comments: “There’s huge demand for aluminium decking and cladding across the UK construction market, especially within modular construction, and for architects, developers and others looking for a reliable, long-lasting and sustainable alternative to timber, Euralite is set to be a market-leading aluminium range.”

Record numbers
It’s been an incredibly successful past 12 months for MGI, with the company having acquired three businesses that together, have the potential to serve the entire modular sector under one umbrella.
Whether it’s PVC or aluminium, MMC builders can source everything they need from Euramax Solutions, Rapid PVCu Systems, and Barton Windows Limited.

Nick concludes: “The company has grown significantly in the past year, thanks to the acquisition of these three fantastic businesses.
“The numbers speak for themselves – we’re achieving record levels of output and sales, and with plans to expand product ranges across the board in the coming months, we’re planning on growing even further.
“It’s a very exciting time for MGI, and I very much look forward to seeing what the future holds.”

Inflation and disruption is putting massive pressure on the construction supply chain. That can’t be at the expense of supply chain integrity. We report.

A study published by the Chartered Institute of Procurement & Supply (CIPS) found that 48% of supply chain managers did not believe their organisations were transparent enough with clients and regulators about sustainability.

A further 19% admitted not even knowing how sustainable their products were themselves, despite marketing claims about commitments made to sustainability.

The CIPS suggested a lack of procurement involvement in setting corporate sustainability strategy in the UK is at least partly to blame.
Much of the UK’s carbon footprint is generated abroad, several tiers down the supply chain in the extraction of raw materials, manufacturing of products and transportation. It argues the procurement function has a crucial role in understanding, measuring, and addressing the sustainability of this supply chain.

“If you don’t know where something is coming from then you run the risk of making claims which aren’t true”, says John Duckworth, Head of Commercial Sales, Deceuninck.
“Whether that’s intentionally or unintentionally greenwash is something contractors need to be very careful to avoid – that includes throughout their supply chain”, he continues.

He argues the launch of the Green Claims Code by the Competitions and Market Authority at COP26 last year is a precursor to more aggressive prosecutions for false or unfounded claims on sustainability.  This is based on existing law but makes it clear that firms making green claims “must not omit or hide important information” and “must consider the full life cycle of the product”.



“This is one of the points that is always a bone of contention for us as a PVC-U window and door systems company”, continues John.
“There’s no point us pretending to be something we’re not. PVC-U windows are essentially manufactured from a polymer made from hydrocarbons – oil – and chlorine derived from salt. There’s a lot of the latter about, less of the former.  “If we’re going to use oil as a finite resource, surely it makes more sense to put it into a high value and infinitely recyclable product, than to burn it in heating and our cars, especially when those products deliver significant through life energy savings.  “That’s a sustainable way forward – recycling something, over and over. It’s not only about renewables.”



Deceuninck has invested more the €15million in one of the world’s most advanced PVC-U recycling and compounding facilities.
This gives it the capability to reprocess up to 45,000 tonnes of post-consumer and post-manufacturing PVC-U per year – the equivalent of preventing 3million windows from going to landfill annually.

Use of recycled material also delivering a reduction in CO2 emissions of 90,000 tonnes compared to virgin feedstocks as well as a 90% energy saving.
The focus the PVC-U building products industry has applied to sustainability, supporting its BRE Green Guide A+ rating.
“The PVC-U supply chain is comparatively short and most importantly, it’s transparent”, John continues. “Critically, it is recyclable. Each window can be recycled up to 10 times without degradation of performance.

“Given an average reference service life of around 35 years for each window, it means that the raw materials used in each product could still be making homes warmer and more energy efficient 350 years from now – as long as they are recovered and recycled.”

This is something the PVC-U industry has committed to drive forward. Deceuninck is one of a number of leading PVC-U window and door systems companies to have signed up to Vinyplus, a voluntary 10-year commitment to drive a circular economy in PVC-U manufacture.



“We know through figures from Vinylplus that collectively the industry has recycled more than 6.5million tonnes of PVC-U since 2000. That’s roughly 27.5% of the PVC-U ‘waste’ material that we could recycle, so we have more to do, but it is nonetheless a very significant figure.
“We expect the inflationary pressure that we’re now seeing on oil prices, to drive higher rates of recycling across Europe”, John said.

Deceuninck offers an extensive commercial window and door range, working with commercial window and door manufacturers specialising in modular builds as well as other specialisms including steel-frame construction.

Its’ flagship commercial system is the 5000 series, which extends the design potential of PVC-U using patented glass fibre technology, removing the requirement for steel reinforcement, increasing thermal efficiency and reducing weight.

Available in Standard, Slim and the ultra-energy efficient Neo option, as a leading edge, tilt-and-turn window it achieves U-values of as low as 0.84W/m2K, air permeability is 600Pa, watertightness of up to 600Pa and wind resistance is 2000 Pa.

“It’s about the circular economy. Creating next generation products from old ones which deliver a better level of performance through-life and which are being and can be recycled more easily at end-of life”, John argues.

Its own research also evidences just how important sustainability is to end-users with more than two-thirds of end-users (68%) stating that they would choose windows and doors with a higher recycled content over and above products that don’t contain recycled content, or which did so at lower levels.
The independent survey conducted by YouGov during COP26, also found that 63% of homeowners said that they would be more likely to purchase home improvements which they saw as being more ‘sustainable’. Of these, 38% would be prepared to pay more for home improvement products that had higher recycled content and reduced impact on the environment.

“PVC-U is energy efficient, it’s low maintenance, recyclable and far easier to be recycled than many other products which are seen to be sustainable – for example timber.

“What we have to do is get better at capturing that material and that requires a change in the way that we see it and in the way that specifications are drawn up to increase focus on not only whole-life costs but also end of product life and a circular value chain.”

For more information about Deceuninck’s product and service offer

please call 01249 816 969 or email



The construction industry is under pressure to use more sustainable building methods and product choices. When it comes to also addressing the additional challenges of offsite and modular construction, PVC-U can be part of the solution as the sector starts to prepare for the impact of the Future Homes Standard (FHS) in three years’ time, says Martin Benn, Head of New Build at Eurocell.

Eurocell is working hard to extend sustainable product options for the construction industry   through market-leading PVC-U recycling and manufacturing processes. This commitment is helping to reduce the volumes of plastic waste heading for landfill and tackle the problem of carbon reduction. The company offers an extensive range of high performing PVC-U window and door solutions that not only look good, but also help organisations underpin their sustainability objectives.

The nation’s housing stock is viewed by national policy makers as a key component of the long-term ambition to deliver a low carbon future.
COP26 outlined the perils of the impending climate crisis and government moves such as the changes to Part L of the Building Regulations are designed to ensure that we start building more energy efficient, low carbon, sustainable homes. As an interim measure before the full force of the Future Homes Standard becomes a reality in three years’ time, the immediate objective is to direct the construction of new homes so that they produce 31% lower carbon emissions.
According to the Climate Change Committee, the built environment accounts for around 40% of UK greenhouse gas emissions, with approximately 14% of this coming from the 28 million homes in the UK. This puts the future construction of sustainable new homes front and centre in the challenge to ensure we collectively achieve on our future low carbon aspirations.

PVC-U is already playing its part in helping to meet important environmental and regulatory obligations. Set against other potential product choices such as aluminium or timber composite for windows and doors, PVC-U offers long-term durability and high performance, attractive aesthetics to support design visions, cost effective value and, through Eurocell’s vision and industry leading recycling processes, a truly sustainable product solution.
The sustainable choice

To further substantiate the sustainability credentials of PVC-U, the Faculty of Science and Engineering at Manchester Metropolitan University has reviewed an array of data sets and modelling emanating from peer-reviewed publications. This has established a life cycle assessment of the use of recycled PVC-U window frames within Eurocell’s manufacturing operations.

For example, a typical semi-detached house comprising seven windows and a pair of French doors will see an average weight of post-consumer PVC-U within the eight products plus cavity closure of 122kg. Therefore, a development constructing on average 2500 units of semi-detached houses will save around 627 tonnes of CO2 equivalent per year by specifying recycled Eurocell windows and cavity closures over a competitor who is using full virgin PVC-U windows.

Eurocell-Recycle – leading the way

Eurocell has, for the past two decades, been a strong and industry-leading advocate of the wider benefits that recycling can deliver. Its recycling service allows the company to meet two primary objectives: it prevents the requirement for clients to send discarded plastic window and door frame waste to landfill and, secondly, it enables Eurocell to recycle the old plastic window and door frame waste into new PVC-U extrusions used to create the range of products demanded by the trade and consumers.

Two busy waste plastic recycling plants drive the Eurocell-Recycle service, and their combined efforts is delivering tangible benefit.
Based on a ‘closed loop’ recycling system that deals with both post-consumer and post-industrial plastic window waste, the plants are responsible for processing over 40,000 tonnes of plastic window and door frame waste per year – a figure that has been steadily rising as demand for recycled product solutions has grown in recent years.

The closed loop system is a six-stage recycling process. Old and discarded plastic windows, door frames and other plastic offcuts are collected by Eurocell’s fleet from company sites and waste management centres across the UK. On arrival, the material is sorted and separated to divide metals, white polymer, and coloured materials, as well as capturing material which is non-recyclable.
After a transformative process which creates a powder or pellet form, the recycled plastic is used together with virgin PVC-U material by Eurocell to manufacture its extensive range of extruded plastic products.

Recycled PVC-U product choices can support future sustainability ambitions for the construction industry. The challenging targets set by Part L and FHS as we enter a transformative period for the sector, means that the spotlight will remain firmly on those charged with making the sustainability product calls needed if net zero by 2050 is to be achieved.

For more information about Eurocell’s range of PVC-U solutions

and its commitment to a sustainable future, CLICK HERE

One of Britain’s biggest and fastest-growing uPVC window and door manufacturers is proving its worth in partnership with a leading modular manufacturer.
Euramax Solutions, which manufacturers its products for modular and offsite construction companies across the UK, secured a three-year contract with Portakabin last October to supply 5,000 windows per year for its range of modular buildings.

Portakabin produces modular buildings for commercial offices, education and healthcare facilities as well as construction site accommodation.  It was Euramax Solutions’ development of a bespoke solution for Portakabin, however, that has really set the partnership apart.   From its headquarters in York, Portakabin was developing a new product, a portable building system specifically for Europe.   As part of the system, they wanted to develop a way of installing windows and doors around 175mm deep walls made up of insulation and external finishes either side. After approaching several companies about a solution, it was Euramax they chose.

The right solution – The Euramax Solutions team set about designing and developing a specialised clamping system that attaches to the Euramax window and door products so they can be clamped around the wall rather than fixed.

Nick Cowley, Euramax Solutions’ MD, explained: “As a new building it has some of the deepest walls yet used at 175mm. The problem with insulation and a steel  external finish as a wall structure is, while it’s very thermally efficient and as a panel is very strong, it’s not easy to screw into it to fix a window or door as it’s full of insulation in the middle.
“So, rather than fix through, the method is to clamp the windows and doors around the 175mm wall depth. As well as developing our specialised clamping system, we also developed bespoke extrusions, mouldings, and fixings to facilitate the installation.
“It was fantastic to be able to collaborate with Portakabin to develop the bespoke solution that has allowed them to meet their client expectations.
World class delivery – While the window and door solution has allowed Portakabin to solve a problem for customers, the delivery of the system from Euramax Solutions’ delivery method is also providing multiple efficiency benefits for Portakabin.

The products are delivered in bespoke stillages that are order and batch specific and arrive assigned to the specific module, which can be taken from the stillage straight to the production line. The stillages also protect the windows during transportation and minimise unnecessary packaging waste, further helping to streamline production processes for Portakabin.
“Our lineside delivery process from cradle to grave is in Euramax’s DNA. It’s not just about the product, it’s about the manufacturing, it’s about the logistics to deliver the product in specialised delivery stillages, for lineside delivery and installation with Portakabin,” said Nick.

“Once the products are made, they’re loaded onto crates here and then mechanically handled before it’s fixed to the module at Portakabin. They’re all fully glazed and operational for speedy installation using the specialist fixing systems, so no onsite glazing is required. It’s vital that our windows and doors contribute to the quick completion that Portakabin require.”
The perfect partnership – Ian Donal, Head of Supply Chain, Portakabin, said: “Euramax Solutions invested a lot of time and money into the design, development, and technical support for our new European product, and they had the insight into what we required.

“They have not only impressed with product design, but also with how the product is supplied to us. Modular builds are renowned for quick completion, and we can install Euramax Solutions’ products efficiently, so we don’t keep our clients waiting.

“Once our relationship got strong thanks to the European project, we wanted Euramax Solutions to help with the rest of our business. We are delighted with how the collaboration is progressing.”

A derelict mill in a Cumbrian hamlet has been transformed over a three and a half year self-build project into a stunning four bedroom, four bathroom house, together with workshop and office space. Featured on Channel 4’s Grand Designs programme, the project saw a new timber-framed, SIPS-construction house built within the footprint of the existing mill building, with many of the original materials, retained or reclaimed and reused.

The blacking mill, a Scheduled Ancient Monument, had lain empty and deteriorating for 60 years and required full restoration. Marlin Windows, one of Smart Architectural Aluminium’s key partners, worked closely with the architect and client to design, fabricate and install 40 windows and 7 doors as part of the project.

Adrian Martin, Marlin Windows’ Managing Director, said: “Our brief was to provide contemporary aluminium windows and doors with flat, square edged profiles that would not only echo the design style and architectural lines of the building, but would also maximise the natural light coming into it. We were also tasked with ensuring the colour and finish were sympathetic to the reclaimed stone and new timber facing materials, as well as the surrounding natural environment.”

For the main feature windows, the experienced Marlin team installed Smart’s EcoFutural system, with its slim profiles and outstanding thermal efficiency enabling the maximum glass area to be achieved. Smart’s Alitherm 800 casement windows were then used elsewhere to provide natural ventilation and fire exit options.

Two large Smart Visoglide Plus sliding doors were incorporated to enhance the open plan living space, flood the room with light and open up the panoramic views beyond. Featuring slim frames to maximise the glazed areas, Kevin McCloud, Grand Designs’ presenter, said of the seven metre wide sliding doors: “That vast window is panoramic, it’s like a super-wide cinema screen. It almost completely fills my field of vision.”

Providing a stunning main entrance to the property, a wide Sherbourne door style from Smart’s high-performance Designer Door range was installed, featuring a low threshold for easy access and matching glazed side light. The company’s Alitherm Plus door system was installed for access to the workshop, utility and roof garden areas.

The windows and doors were all painted in textured Vulcan Black from Smart’s sensations colour range, the colour selected to harmonise with the local environment and adjacent materials.

Smart’s Managing Director, Eddie Robinson, said “This is a fantastic project, with huge credit going to Adrian and the team at Marlin Windows for the quality of the fenestration work. The products not only look magnificent in this unique project, but their thermal performance will make a significant contribution to energy-efficiency.”


External shots: “Images courtesy of Marlin Windows”

Internal shot: “Image courtesy of Grand Designs”