Aluminium door and window systems can offer significant benefits to housing associations looking for quality, low maintenance and sustainable solutions. Andrew Cross, Marketing Manager of Kestrel Aluminium Systems, explains more.*
Housing associations are facing challenging times, with shrinking maintenance budgets that they’re having to spread further and thinner as energy costs spiral. Despite these challenges, government regulations are continuing to tighten as the UK attempts to meet its carbon emissions targets.
In 2025, the Future Homes Standard is expected to require that housing associations and social housing providers make further efficiency upgrades to the fabric of their properties, all aimed at reducing their energy consumption. This is likely to put even more pressure on maintenance budgets and will prompt builders to seek out more efficient solutions that can futureproof any properties that they are building between now and 2025.
Aluminium door and window systems can be a sensible option for housing associations looking for high efficiency, quality and low maintenance. As a lightweight metal, aluminium is easier to transport and manoeuvre on site, and can also be formed into many different sizes and shapes while remaining strong enough to support even large pieces of glass.
It is also a very sustainable metal, and one of the most recyclable building materials available to door and window manufacturers. Aluminium can be recycled many times without loss of quality, with very little energy required to extract the raw material and reform it into another product. This gives it a much lower carbon footprint during manufacture than alternative materials – exactly what the government is looking for in its attempts to create a more sustainable economy.
Perhaps the most important benefit of choosing aluminium doors and windows is the fact that they are extremely low maintenance. Unlike timber windows, for example, they do not require repainting, sanding, treating or any complex maintenance other than just routine cleaning, even across a 30 to 40 year working life.
Aluminium’s protective oxide coating also makes it naturally corrosion resistant, which means it is durable and damage resistant both while being installed and once in use. Kestrel also offers a range of surface treatments, such as powder and anodised coatings, that can be added during manufacture to further improve the product’s overall strength.
Modpods bring efficiency to Housing Trust
One such example of where aluminium windows and doors have brought low-maintenance efficiency to a housing association can be found in Hockley, Birmingham.
The Birmingham Municipal Housing Trust chose Shelforce, a leading window and door manufacturer, to deliver windows and doors for its first ever modular home – the ModPod. The homes were built to address the local need for affordable housing, particularly on brownfield sites.
The ‘ModPod’ comes as ground and first floor units, both essentially steel frames with insulated walls and customizable façades. It features a 4mm thick acrylic brick finish on the ground floor and a corrugated aluminium exterior on the first. Sleeping up to four people, it has everything expected of a modern home, including upstairs and downstairs bathrooms and a master bedroom with balcony.
Shelforce fabricated the door and window systems for the homes using Kestrel’s products, working closely with the company throughout the fabrication.
Kestrel’s 60mm casement window system was installed to help the property meet the exacting standards of Approved Document L. Used in conjunction with low U-value double glazed units, this ensured the new homes were secure and energy efficient, and would help keep occupants’ utility bills down.
Shelforce also specified Kestrel’s Thermal Rebate Door system, which uses the same profiles and hardware as the windows. This ensured a streamlined, thermally efficient and complementary design across the whole building and gave the property a sleek, modern look. All the profiles were dual-colour powder coated to provide a durable and long-lasting finish that would require minimal maintenance.
Kestrel’s aluminium window and door systems have been supporting UK installers and fabricators for more than 30 years. The company offers excellent customer service and high-quality, reliable products that to allow projects to be completed on time and to a high standard.
For more information on Kestrel’s systems, visit www.kestrelaluminium.co.uk or call 0121 333 3575.
- This article was originally published in the March issue of Housing Association magazine.