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Cost of living causing consumers to think again about retrofitting

 

RICS and YouGov survey shows homes therefore less likely to be able to cope with climate impacts or to mitigate rising energy costs

The cost of living crisis, has cast new doubt on the progress towards the United Kingdom’s Net-Zero ambition. Previous research from RICS* had found that homeowners were citing cost of retrofitting as a barrier, but despite new policy measures, new research from RICS and YouGov shows that consumers are now concerned about paying for the cost of living above upgrading their homes.

Retrofitting has obvious benefits, such as being able to maintain a constant temperature in the home, as well as increasing the desirability of your property – the December 2019 Residential Market Survey*, prior to the energy crisis, cited almost two thirds of the survey’s respondents believed that the willingness to pay for energy efficient homes would rise in the next three years.

However, the latest consumer research from RICS and YouGov shows that homeowners are unsurprisingly looking to concentrate spending on escalating household costs.

The new research backs up previous calls made by the institution in 2020 for more policy measures to incentivise industry and consumers to retrofit the UK housing stock. The research found that while 34% of homeowners said they would invest in green technology to lower bills in the future, 45% would be focusing on using any savings to pay for their existing living expenses, meaning more incentives and cheaper options must be made available if the country is to stay on track to meet target and green 15million properties*.

This latest research follows the RICS January 2020 Residential Market Survey* where members operating in the residential sales and lettings market stated that without strong market driven incentives, regulation was the policy lever with the greatest potential to improve energy efficiency outcomes. Alternatively, a tax policy could achieve a similar effect through a mix of stamp duty and a reduction of VAT on home improvements.

Currently, the Government’s ambition to hit Net-Zero carbon emissions requires significant numbers of private homeowners to retrofit their properties to make them greener.

51% who confirmed they hadn’t already installed new energy saving measures in their homes but would know how to, said it was because of the costs involved. And of the same group, even those who would consider it to make their home more attractive to prospective buyers, 40% said they’d only consider spending around £1000 to £5000 on energy improvements, which could pay for some solar panels** but wouldn’t cover the heat-pump.

As the cost of living continues to consume more household finances, measures are needed to avoid many properties failing to meet targets and becoming un-mortgageable. To review the potential impact that failure to support consumers would have on the housing market, most homeowners (55%) would consider installing energy saving schemes if they knew it would make their property more attractive when it came to selling up. With figures from Rightmove showing that greener homes can attract a higher premium, properties need more than an EPC assessment to help inform decisions**.

As EPCs aren’t the best measure for all properties, as some listed buildings can’t have triple glazing for example, RICS is recommending and working with lenders and government to look into ‘Retrofit Surveys’ which would enlist the expertise of a professional – such as a building surveyor- to provide detailed advice on what technologies homeowners could install to help inform their decisions. This is supported with 77% of homeowners saying they’d find this advice helpful when thinking of buying a new home.

Sam Rees, Senior Public Affairs Officer at RICS, said:

“The retrofitting of millions of UK homes will be essential to helping to meet our net zero ambitions, however homeowners’ immediate concerns are understandably with the rising cost of living, especially their energy bills. It is important to recognise that retrofitting and the cost of living are not mutually exclusive issues.

“A suitably retrofitted, low-carbon home can help with the long-term challenges of the cost of living and reducing high levels of energy consumption. Achieving this however is not cheap. With the UK Government giving financial support to homeowners to support them with rising energy prices, RICS is calling on the government to extend this support and provide additional financial incentives to homeowners to encourage retrofitting and ultimately helping to tackle the cause of high energy usage.

“Before any significant investment is made on retrofit measures, RICS urges homeowners and the government to ensure a retrofit assessment is undertaken on the property first – ensuring that no unintended consequences occur such as overheating or increased energy demand. This is critical to protecting consumers and RICS is undertaking significant research to support such assessments.”

FURTHER INFORMATION

*RICS UK Residential Market Surveys UK Residential Market Survey (rics.org)

**Rightmove-Green-Homes-Report.pdf

The top energy saving measures homeowners who know how to make their home more environmentally friendly said they already had installed in their property were:

Double or triple glazed windows – 71%
Energy-efficient lighting – 69%
Loft/cavity wall insultation – 63%
Energy efficient appliances – 52%
Solar panels – 17%
Air source heat pumps 5%
Geothermal heating – 2%

All figures, unless otherwise stated, are from YouGov Plc. Total sample size was 4357 adults of which 2776 are homeowners. Fieldwork was undertaken between 31st May – 3rd June 2022. The survey was carried out online. The figures have been weighted and are representative of all GB adults (aged 18+).

* 15 million homes need energy efficiency upgrades – Lloyds Banking Group plc

** Solar panels typically cost between £2,900 and £6,700 according to the Energy Saving’s Trust.

Timber frame and SIPs panel manufacturers can speed up the installation of windows and doors by using the Sidey Kitfix system. Pressure is on for builders and developers to get on and off-site faster. This means looking at ways to reduce the time spent installing windows and doors.

“With the Sidey Kitfix System, windows and doors can be accurately fitted at the factory stage,” says Steve Hardy, Managing Director of fenestration and offsite construction specialists Sidey Solutions. “It’s quick too – 11 windows can be first fixed in 23 minutes. They are installed when the walls are horizontal in the factory and the innovative Kitfix brackets are twist fitted to the window or door frame. Air tightness, thermal and acoustic seals can also be included at this stage.

“This system makes transportation simple and once on site, the panels are erected as normal. This means homes are wind, watertight and secure much sooner, and makes the build much faster. It also eliminates the need for separate deliveries of windows and doors, with no site storage required either.

“The latest changes to planning laws announced on 5 March mean there is even more pressure to get the job done quicker,” adds Steve. “Choosing Kitfix to install windows and doors will help builders and developers build fast.”

For more information go to www.sidey.co.uk.

A smart hub that let’s you take control of door, window and safety systems is being launched by GEZE UK at the Smart Buildings Show, (7-8 November 2018) at the Barbican, London.

GEZE Cockpit acts as ‘a brain’ – intelligently integrating door, window and safety technology into building management systems – and giving building designers greater options to create the next generation of smart buildings.

The hi-tech system, which is the first of its kind, uses the latest technology with open interfaces, and can be seen in operation on the GEZE UK stand, in Hall 2, Stand F3.

Offering more efficiency, security and convenience, combined with intelligent smoke and heat extraction and dynamic fire protection to protect targeted escape routes, the GEZE Cockpit can be used as stand-alone solution or integrated into an over-arching building management system (BMS).

With its open BACnet standard integration, GEZE Cockpit can be managed remotely using a PC, tablet or smartphone, providing flexible control via an IO 420 interface.

It can monitor external and internal temperatures and provide CO2 management – automatically opening vents to dissipate stale air and allow fresh air into the building to improve conditions for those inside.

GEZE Cockpit also features a night time ventilation programme which can reduce internal temperatures and provide the ideal climate for those entering the building in the morning. The system works with any autonomous ventilation system that the building may have in place and can also work alongside any mechanical system.

In a fire situation, GEZE Cockpit can quite literally be a life saver. It enables the automatic release of escape routes, opening doors and clearing emergency exits to provide a faster escape for people in the building.

GEZE Cockpit can be fully integrated into any building management system using the BacNet protocol but also has its own application package which can be accesssed remotely using a range of devices.

For more information visit www.cockpit.geze.com or to see GEZE UK’s comprehensive range of automatic and manual door closers call 01543 443000 or visit www.geze.co.uk

2018 is a milestone year for GEZE UK, which celebrates 30 years in the business as a ‘go to’ manufacturer and supplier of innovative door and window solutions

GEZE UK, is part of the global GEZE GmbH, a family-run business where traditional values are combined with pioneering strategic vision.

So, it was entirely fitting that to mark three decades of business success, its UK workforce and their families should enjoy a fun-filled family day of celebrations, hosted at Rodbaston Hall, near Penkridge in Staffordshire.

Kaz Spiewakowski, GEZE UK’s managing director – who himself celebrates five years at the helm this year – said that “GEZE was most definitely “a family business” and this is reflected in how it treats its employees.

“There are family members engaged in the business at all levels and GEZE considers each and every member of our 250-strong team very much part of the extended ‘family’. Everyone contributes so it was wonderful to get together this September to enjoy some downtime, celebrate our achievements and toast our continuing success in the years ahead,” he said

2018 was also a milestone year for head of the GEZE family, Brigitte Vöster-Alber, chief executive officer of GEZE GmbH, based in Leonberg, Germany, who this summer celebrated 50 years with the company. Taking over in 1968 at the age of only 24 years, Brigitte asserted herself in a man’s world and has since developed corporate strategy, the product portfolio and international business whilst continuing to champion the visibility of females within the workplace.

For more information about GEZE UK’s comprehensive range of automatic and manual door closers call 01543 443000 or visit www.geze.co.uk

VELUX® is offering people who buy white painted roof windows for their home renovation or extension projects rewards, redeemable at top brand retailers and restaurants, during March and April.

The promotion will reward installers, builders and homeowners across the UK and Ireland who choose VELUX white painted products.

The rewards of £25 in the UK are redeemable at a range of retailers and restaurants. In the UK, this includes M&S, Argos, Thomas Cook, Curry’s PC World and Tesco.

Customers have a two-month window from 1 March until 30 April to buy white painted products, perfect for homeowners wanting a lighter, brighter living space.

Richard McArthur, marketing manager from VELUX said “We have timed the offer to coincide with spring, which is traditionally the time of year when many families start sketching their plans to transform their homes, from smaller projects such as replacing windows through to large-scale single storey extensions.

“We’re urging our customers to take advantage of the offer, which includes the entire VELUX white-painted roof window range, from manual, centre-pivot and top-hung standard roof windows to combination solutions, and automatic electric and solar VELUX INTEGRA® roof windows.”

To receive rewards from VELUX, upload your proof of purchase at www.velux.co.uk/rewards.

30 years ago, most windows were timber and maintenance was a major bug-bear. There was almost no requirement for thermal or sound insulation, glass was single glazed, little concern existed for the environment, or security – and the concept of ‘whole life costs’ and thus, ‘best value’, was just a dream in the minds of the more enlightened.

Since then, the introduction of PVC and aluminium windows to reduce maintenance, worked well for a while, but then, these new window materials began to struggle under the inexorable rise in performance requirements under Building Regulations, ecological considerations, global warming, architectural preferences and clients wishing to exceed these performance standards, even further.

Thinking outside the box and using synergy, a ‘smarter’ solution was developed by some industry innovators, exploring better uses of current materials.

Timber, despite its susceptibility to water, has many benefits of sustainability, inherent insulation and acoustic properties, ease of workability, and a desirable appearance – and when engineered into laminated profiles, becomes extremely strong and dimensionally stable (Example: Structural “H” beams).
Aluminium on the other hand, is a very poor insulator, and lacks the appeal of a warm internal finish, but makes an excellent water barrier.

So, combining the two and making an engineered timber window, with all those added benefits, but protecting it from water, by fitting an outer shield of aluminium – and the “Composite” Window was born – which has since become a legendary revolution in the industry, outpacing the growth of all other window types, in recent years. This applies equally to progressive designers of Schools and Student Accommodation, since long life, minimum maintenance, low U values, high acoustic attenuation and competitive pricing are all essential.

One of these leading pioneers, in the mid 1980’s, was the Uniform Group, in Italy, who manufacture exclusively, the uni_one® Composite Window System, which, today, sells all around the World.

Introduced into UK, in 2014, through Uniform Architectural Ltd (a wholly-owned subsidiary of Uniform) the many benefits of the uni_one® system, even over other composite windows, have been welcomed and appreciated by clients, architects and contractors, alike. Many unique features set uni_one® apart, as follows:-

Examples –
A) Structurally bonded glass to improve strength and rigidity allowing much larger sashes to be produced, which architects and clients often prefer.
B) Vulcanised gaskets providing a continuous seal around the glass corners for much better and more durable weather-sealing.
C) Internal timber profiles are veneered in a variety of finishes, to provide significantly longer life, durability, appearance and protection from wear and tear, especially in heavy duty applications.
D) Unusually high acoustic performance, avoiding the need for secondary glazing is available beyond Rw50 and especially suited for traffic noise attenuation.
E) Triple glazing can take U values down to well below 0.8 W/M2K.
F) Sheer quality of manufacture of the finished product, cause many customers to ‘adopt’ us as their preferred window supplier, recommending us to their clients on future schemes.
G) Cost advantages over others on Tilt & Turn windows, due to economies of scale from high volume manufacture across Europe.
H) Cost advantages over aluminium-only windows, whose increasing raw material prices now make them more expensive than our composite windows, very often! Ironically!
I) An enthusiasm and passion by all within this Italian family owned business, to make the best window on the market; to embrace customer’s special requirements and strive to meet their needs.

For more information please visit www.uniform-arch.co.uk, call 01275 217227 or email enquiries@uniform-arch.co.uk.

Narrow frames and superior performance characterise Slimline 68, a new window system that’s been launched to the trade by leading aluminium systems company Reynaers.

This window, designed for UK homes, completes the range of specialist systems from Reynaers that are ideal for the trade market.

Design options

With a huge range of design options, the SL 68 has industry-leading thermal insulation and is one of the most secure windows available – meeting PAS24 and Secured by Design standards. This security is enhanced with hinge-side security brackets, a multi-point locking mechanism and lockable handles.

Rebecca Cope, marketing manager at Reynaers, said “The SL 68 system has been specifically designed to meet the needs of the UK residential windows market and has incredibly slim frames with high performance.

“The outward opening window means that customers can now choose a product that gives them maximum daylight access, whilst keeping properties warm and secure. With no compromise on thermal efficiency or weather resistance, the system is designed to be timeless.

“The slim frames and clean lines make this window ideal for both contemporary and more traditional properties and what’s more, its 68mm frame depth makes it perfect as a replacement window as it usually fits within the existing plaster line.”

The SL 68 can achieve a Window Energy Rating of A++ and a U-value of 1.0 W/m2K with triple glazing. When it comes to double glazing, the Window Energy Rating is A, with a U-value of 1.4 W/m2K. This level of market-leading performance allows fabricators and installers to add real value to their product ranges. Innovative adjustable corner profiles for bay and bow windows are also possible.

SL 68 security meets PAS24 and Secured by Design standards, as well as achieving Class 4 air tightness. The window has a wind-resistance rating of E2400, and water-resistance of E1050. As the name suggests, SL 68 has a frame depth of 68mm, and can carry a maximum glass thickness of 43mm.

First of its kind

Reynaers prides itself in offering specialist and innovative products, and it identified a need for a high-quality and high-performance standard casement-style window for fabricators and installers in the UK but with the additional benefit of slim frames. The SL 68 aluminium casement window is the first of its kind for Reynaers, in line with an increased focus on the trade market.

SL 68 is designed to offer the ultimate in flexibility and streamlined performance. The strength of the aluminium frame and clever design make it possible to create windows with large panes of glass. Ease of maintenance and durability make it the perfect window for fabricators, installers and end-users alike.

Available in hundreds of colours and combinations, the SL 68 has a choice of handles to suit each individual project. Reynaers’ impressive selection of doors, together with this latest offering, means that fabricators and installers are able to choose from a range of trade products of exceptional quality and performance. A full suite of brochures are available for customers to use to showcase the systems and target the end-user of the products.

If you’re a fabricator or an installer, call 0121 421 1999, email reynaersltd@reynaers.com, or visit www.reynaers.co.uk to find out how you can incorporate SL 68 into your range.

(Image: Frederico Capela (left) and Paul King)

Following five successful years at Vicaima, including three as Managing Director, Barry Waddell has decided to take early retirement from the company at the end of the year. Arlindo Leite, Vicaima Group CEO thanked Barry for his tireless contribution to Vicaima and wished him every happiness for the future.

As a result of this decision Frederico Capela will assume the position of Managing Director for Vicaima Limited effective 1 December 2017. Frederico has played an active role within the Vicaima Group for over 17 years, including two periods within the UK and four years as Executive Director of our operation in Brazil. Speaking about his appointment Mr Capela said, “I am really excited to take on this new challenge and I look forward to the continued growth of such a successful and well respected manufacturer within the interior joinery market”. He went on to say, “Vicaima have everything it takes to reach even greater heights; committed employees, great products and a real passion for innovation”.

The position of Commercial Director, currently held by Frederico, will now pass to Paul King, currently Head of UK Marketing. Paul has been part of the senior management team since joining Vicaima and has played an active role in shaping the strategy. He has a comprehensive understanding of the Vicaima product portfolio and its customers, in addition to which his construction industry knowledge, especially in relation to the doors sector spans more than 35 years.

As they look forward to 2018, Vicaima will continue its strategy of constant innovation, exacting performance and superior quality to which this new team are fully committed.

For more information please visit www.vicaima.com.

Leading aluminium systems company Reynaers is showcasing its complete trade offering for the first time at this year’s FiT Show at the National Exhibition Centre (NEC) from May 23 to 25

Transforming homes with SL 68

The theme of the first-ever appearance for Reynaers at this year’s show is ‘bigger, better, breathtakingly beautiful’ and it will be displaying its comprehensive range of aluminium window and door products on stand N10.

Designed for UK homes, Reynaers’ brand new Slim Line 68 window completes the range of specialist systems that are ideal for the trade market.

Rebecca Cope, marketing manager at Reynaers, said: “We are so excited to bring the new SL 68 system to the FiT show. It’s been specifically designed to meet the needs of UK households and the windows have incredibly slim frames with high performance. With sleek, clean lines, these beautifully designed windows can transform the appearance of any home.”

With a huge range of design options, the SL 68 has industry-leading thermal insulation and is one of the most secure windows available – meeting PAS24 and Secured by Design standards. This security is enhanced with hinge-side security brackets, a multi-point locking mechanism and lockable handles.

The window system is available with double and triple glazed options and benefits from U values as low as 1.1 W/m2K. Its window energy rating is up to A++ and innovative adjustable corner profiles for bay and bow windows are also possible.

Another trade-specific highlight on Reynaers’ stand is the Secured by Design-approved CF 68 folding door system, which has a unique adjustable side jamb for ease of installation.

Rebecca Cope said: “A unique adjustable profile on each side of the frame allows up to 9mm adjustment during installation, ensuring efficient assembly. Inward and outward opening doors use the same profiles, so less stock holding is required by our trade partners.”

Also on show will be the lift and slide CP 130 system, which boasts a high quality stainless steel mechanism, optional slim meeting section and industry-leading performance. This system also meets Secured by Design standards.

Further details are available from: Reynaers Limited on 0121 421 1999 or reynaersltd@reynaers.com.

FIT Show moves to NEC with more than 200 exhibitors and dozens of aluminium exhibitors for the first time ever!

Taking place towards the end of May at the National Exhibition Centre, the Fabricator Installer Trade Show – or FIT for short – will have more than 200 exhibitors showing a huge range of the latest windows, doors and related products and equipment in a business-to-business event that has grown by more than 60% over last years event. But what makes this window and door exhibition the most exciting for at least 20 years is the sheer diversity of products.

Whilst ‘the FIT Show’ is now a household name amongst window and door manufacturers and installers especially in the home improvement sector, the ‘FIT’ acronym does not ring bells for everyone. And yet behind the brand lies the most powerful buying tool available in the UK for commercial buyers and specifiers of residential windows and doors.

With more than 200 exhibitors showing the vast majority of major and minor brands serving the UK market, the event provides a fertile buying ground for design and procurement professionals from all sectors. But what marks out this year’s event is the huge contingent of exhibitors showing aluminium window and door systems and finished products in addition to virtually every PVC-U systems supplier in the UK.

An estimated 30% of exhibitors are showing aluminium window and doors, more than at any other similar UK event for at least 20 years, providing a huge choice for visitors from all sectors. And emphasising the continued buoyancy in the market and the success of the FIT Show in satisfying the needs of buyers hungry for innovation and choice, for 2017 the event moves to the NEC for the first time, taking place from 23rd to 25th May in halls 6, 7 and 8.

 

A look at the current exhibitor list will more than justify the decision to attend, with more exhibitors signing for the last few available stands on a daily basis.

The Fabricator Installer Trade (FIT) Show, 23rd, 24th, 25th May 2017, Halls 6, 7, 8 The National Exhibition Centre, Birmingham. Register now to visit here.