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Can we achieve net zero carbon by 2050 given the planning regime and Conservation planning rules?

To meet our net zero targets we need UK homes to be energy efficient. Are existing homes fit for purpose?

We are led to believe that there are 9 million existing homes that require home improvement work in order to sufficiently insulate them from the vagaries of our winter weather, thereby reducing their energy consumption, as described by all the leading politicians as a key component of COP 26, and the aim to achieve net zero carbon by 2050.

How easy will it be to upgrade these homes?

By our standards some 25 to 30% of these homes come under conservation planning rules as set out by English Heritage and their devolved equivalents in the rest of the UK.

Included in the scope of the planning rules, and rigidly kept to by most local authorities, is the fenestration including windows and doors. The vast majority of these are products made from timber and more than often historic box sash windows. The condition of most of these are in a bad way and were made in times when the performance of the products to reduce noise, energy consumption and provide security was not a major consideration.

Today's fenestration standards include criteria for performance

Today modern manufacturing methods and the treatment of the timber component are such that, compliance under the building regulations for these key performance standards is a given.

The condition of the existing windows and doors is such that most leak air and water, provide no comfort for thermal efficiency and as a result will not help to reduce energy costs. They are normally single glazed putty lined.

The modern window has energy efficient features and can include a slim double-glazed unit 14mm for the heritage market, paint finishes that can be warranted for 12 years and have proven through lifetime cost analysis to have a life expectancy of 65 years.

How can Timber Windows help to meet modern performance standards in conservation areas?

With our supply chain partner Timber we provide a collection of specially designed windows and doors that have gained positive feedback and planning approval from planning authorities across the UK.

When presented to the home they are an exact replica of the existing products, but have a slightly heavier section to carry the performance characteristics, so do not detract from the period design the houses are meant to maintain.

Approval from the planning authorities does not come readily, however, homeowners wanting to improve the thermal efficiency, security and sound insulation will find a sensible discussion with the planning authority to explain the features of the products will generally win approval.

The end result will provide protection for the maintenance of the Heritage state of the home whilst providing all the benefits of modern performance in security, thermal and sound insulation.

The New Window Company based at Frieston Heath near Grantham has extensive modern showrooms and will be pleased to discuss your needs. We are exclusive distributors in this region for Timber

Would you like to choose timber for your home? Contact us for a no obligation quote or visit our projects page for ideas and inspiration. 

Want to know more about timber? See our materials page or watch our owner and chairman, Roy Wakeman OBE, answer some of our frequently asked questions