Watford Community Housing Trust and Profile 22 short-listed for top award

A commitment by Watford Community Housing Trust and window systems leader Profile 22 to recover and recycle 25,000 old PVC-U window frames has been short-listed for a top award for sustainability in housing.

The Sustainable Housing Awards 2010 recognises cutting edge innovation and sustainable development in the built environment and social housing.

The joint entry by the Trust and Profile 22 is among a select number of submissions to have been short-listed in the Waste Initiative Award category for works to recover and recycle end of life-cycle early generation PVC-U windows.

Diane Lee, chair, Watford Community Housing Trust, said: “We have made a commitment to make homes better for tenants and to manage and maintain our properties as sustainably and as energy efficiently as possible.

“Our rolling programme is now into its third year having already delivered considerable improvements. The installation of new energy efficient windows is driving this process onward, making homes warmer and more secure for tenants.

“But we’re also conscious that what we take out, and the ‘waste’ that we generate as part of delivery is managed responsibly and in specifying that the windows we’re taking out are recycled we’re able to do that, that commitment is being recognised on a national stage is a great achievement.”

Set up as a pioneering partnership between tenants and leaseholders in 2007, Watford Community Housing Trust owns and manages 4,700 homes previously owned by Watford Borough Council. Founded as a Community Gateway (the first in the South) the Trust works alongside tenants, leaseholders and communities, to provide quality improvements to homes together.

As part of this promise – and facilitated by lead partners Mears Group and Mulalley – the Trust commissioned Profile 22, to deliver a unique and ongoing project to replace and recycle 25,000 early generation PVC-U windows with new thermally advanced Window Energy Rated (WER) ‘A’ rated windows. The UK’s largest WER ‘A’ rated window refurbishment programme, the project began in summer 2009.

Collected and reprocessed by Profile 22 through its parent company, the Epwin Group, the Trust has been able to recover almost 200 tonnes of ‘waste’ PVC-U generated by the project that might have otherwise gone to landfill.

Re-extruded for use in a new generation of advanced performance, low maintenance and thermally efficient products by Profile 22, the window systems leader and the Trust have worked in partnership to effectively close-the-loop on the recycling process.

Andrew Reid, sales development director, said: “PVC-U windows are a great fit for the social sector, delivering direct and tangible benefits for the social landlords but equally importantly, by making properties warmer, more comfortable and secure, better for tenants.

“Now in addition to all these positives they are fully recyclable at end of life. Achieving an ‘A’ and ‘A’ plus rating for material sustainability in the Building Research Establishment’s Green Guide and delivering substantial carbon savings in life, they have become not only a low maintenance but also hugely sustainable choice for refurbishment.”

The winners will be announced in front of an audience of sustainability experts, social housing providers, journalists, architects and contractors at a lunchtime event at the Park Lane Hilton on the 22nd October 2010.

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