Housing associations looking to modernise their building stock should consider upgrading doors and windows with aluminium systems. Andrew Cross, Marketing Manager of Kestrel Aluminium Systems, explains why.
New windows and doors could be a real benefit to housing associations looking at their next schedule of upgrade works, thanks to the energy efficiency and lower lifetime maintenance costs they offer. There are tens of thousands of housing association properties across the UK still fitted with old, tired windows and doors. Some may have single-glazed windows with old, wooden frames, while others may be double glazed, but with the original double-glazed panes that have long since been surpassed by the features of modern glazing and aluminium systems.
Removing these old windows and replacing them with modern, aluminium alternatives can help to greatly reduce heat losses in a building thanks to their enhanced thermal insulation. Today’s aluminium systems are manufactured with thermal break technology to prevent the expansion and contraction of window seals causing issues that were once prevalent in early double-glazing products. This helps keep tenants warmer and makes it easier for them to turn their thermostats down and reduce energy costs – something that many desperately need to help them better manage their bills during these high cost-of-living times.
One of the most important benefits of modern, aluminium windows and doors for housing associations is just how low maintenance these systems are when compared to more traditional materials. Wooden frames need regular cleaning, then sanding and re-painting every 5-8 years to keep them in good condition. This can be a significant time and financial commitment for housing associations when they have to carry out this maintenance process on potentially hundreds or thousands of properties in their portfolio.
This maintenance programme can be made even more difficult if the maintenance teams struggle to contact tenants to arrange a suitable time for these works to be carried out, or if tenants do not want to have tradespeople entering their homes.
In comparison, aluminium doors and windows need no sanding, painting or maintenance outside of a routine cleaning regime, which can save housing associations significant amounts of money, time and aggravation over the 45-year lifetime of the window, while keeping the home looking as good as new for decades.
Another feature of aluminium is its protective oxide coating, which makes it naturally corrosion resistant, durable and damage resistant – both while being installed and once in use. Some manufacturers, such as Kestrel Aluminium Systems, also offer a range of surface treatments including powder and anodised coatings, that can be added during manufacture to further improve the product’s overall strength.
Most of Kestrel’s aluminium sections are stocked in mill and white powder-coated finishes, and we also have our own powder-coating facility in operation at our factory, which means our customers can request a wide range of standard RAL colours to suit any décor or building style. These can then be delivered to site with industry leading turnaround times of just five working days, ensuring that any building works can be completed on time with no complicated delays.
Aluminium window and door frames also offer enhanced security features for tenants. Aluminium is incredibly strong, as well as being lightweight and extremely malleable. This high strength-to-weight ratio means the systems can be very slim, making it possible to design large aluminium doors and windows with very narrow frames. Not only does this maximise the light and view that comes in through the window or door, it also improves the security of the finished product, as it is more resistant to damage or ingress and helps improve the security of the home for tenants.
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 first published in Housing Association magazine's May issue.