In your article about BAA being forced to remove plastic windows from listed buildings, Douglas Kent says “putting plastic double-glazed windows into an old building is like dressing your great granny up in hotpants,” and “from an energy conservation viewpoint is one of the least effective measures you can take.”
I strongly disagree. With authentic designs and close attention to detail, the character of our buildings can be maintained using modern materials. Yes, we need to preserve our heritage, and sometimes this will mean secondary glazing. But it’s never as energy-efficient as modern PVCu. It can also look terrible, detracting as much from the property as poor replacement windows do.
I invite Mr Kent to look at one of our PVCu sash windows and a traditional timber sash and see if he can tell the difference. An inspector from the communities department said they were “virtually indistinguishable from timber originals, even at close quarters”, when overturning a council’s objection to a PVCu sash window installation.
While wanting to preserve their properties, homeowners also seek to reduce carbon emissions and save energy. Many open-minded councils are enabling homeowners to strike this balance by replacing existing windows with double glazing – it’s one of the most effective measures they can take.
Mr Kent can have his cake and eat it, too. The windows he had removed may have been inappropriate in design but he could have had PVCu windows that could not be distinguished from timber and helped save carbon dioxide emissions, too.
But is he interested?
Alan Burgess, managing director, Masterframe Windows