Why Restoration Ticks The Sustainability Box For Period Homes

Chorlton House_Double Glazed Sash Windows by Ventrolla 1
Period Home Sustainability: The Ventrolla team, hard at work sustainably renovating a timber sash window

Whether you’ve just become the custodian of a heritage home or you’re working your way through updating your period property, it’s likely that over the years you’ll have to make a decision about whether to repair or replace features like tiles, fireplaces, floors, the roof or windows.

Weighing up the cost of renovations versus renewing is obviously going to come into the equation. But what about sustainability? In today’s ‘greener’ landscape, more and more people are considering the impact on the planet when they do work on their home.

Repairs vs. new

Research has compared the energy consumption required to produce different window types with renovating an original timber window. And the results are an eye opener. Renovation is clearly the more environmentally-kind option when it comes to tackling the windows in your home – using a staggering 21 times less energy than it takes to produce uPVC windows*.

* Data extracted from (1) School of Engineering, Edinburgh Napier University – Life Cycle of Window Materials and (2) Embodied Energy Study – Victoria University, Wellington

Energy Comparisons
Life Cycle Energy Comparisons by Window Type

Even if you think your timber sash windows look beyond help, they can often be repaired, enabling you to retain your home’s original features, as well as giving you the peace of mind that you’re being ‘greener’. It’s not always easy to tell yourself if they are suitable for renovation or will need replacing – but specialist companies, like Ventrolla, can carry out a survey and advise you. Draught proofing, secondary glazing or even double glazing can also be incorporated into original wooden windows combining character and energy efficiency, to give you the best of both worlds.

Repairing my windows isn’t an option – how else can I be sustainable?

Choosing sustainable timber for joists, beams, flooring or windows and doors is very much an option. But what wood should you go for? There are a number of types of hardwoods and treated softwoods available, that are an increasingly popular choice for interior and exterior projects. Accoya® – loved for its performance, durability and sustainability – is one of the woods used by Ventrolla to manufacture its period timber windows and doors. Interested to find out more? You can read about Accoya® in more detail here.

I want to restore features in my home, but can I be eco-friendly, too?

While re-using and restoring features like windows, fireplaces and floors is the sustainable choice, this is also the time to look at the products you use in terms of their impact on the planet’s future. Traditionally, paint strippers and cleaners have used harsh chemicals which are detrimental to the environment – but there are more and more eco-friendly solutions around now – like these.

What else can I do to be more sustainable?

If you have to remove stone flags or tiles from their original place in your home, why not see if you can use them outside? Flags can make a great garden paths and tiles could be repurposed on garden furniture. Roof slates can become flooring inside or outside, or broken up for use in planters or flower beds.

My home is missing its original features – now what?

If you’ve hit a brick wall when it comes to reusing or repurposing materials in your home, don’t give up hope of being ‘green’. You may not be lucky enough to have original flooring, fireplaces or tiles, but that doesn’t mean you have to buy brand new. Salvage yards and online auction websites are a treasure trove of features which have been reclaimed from other properties, ticking style and sustainability boxes.

Original features enhance a period home
I'd like your help renovating my windows

Our team are on hand to visit your home and provide you with helpful, impartial advice on whether renovation, replacement or reinstatement is right for you, your home and your budget.

Contact us today to arrange a no-obligation survey.