Without a doubt, developments in London and in particular riverside homes and apartments continue to buck the trend of general housebuilding nationwide. Presently the London skyline contains hundreds of cranes and thousands of building sites. London continues to market its river developments heavily and our capital city arguably is recognised worldwide for premier homes.
Surrey Quays close to Canary Wharf is one such place where Berkley Homes are creating the Marine Wharf development offering apartments and penthouses complete with the seemingly obligatory nowadays, concierge, gyms, leisure and shopping facilities.
What is noticeable is the lack of plastic windows at these London developments.
For many years now architectural aluminium has been used in the developments of premier homes and apartments not just in London, but all over the country. Why don’t architects consider plastic windows and doors?
The pvc industry certainly markets its products at high end homes in their literature, yet plastic windows are rarely used apart from mainstream developments of new homes in new estates. Why are they not used in high end builds?
Plastic windows are now also available in colours but you won’t see coloured plastic windows installed.
Plastic Systems companies now produce curtain walling systems of sorts, yet you will rarely see plastic curtain walling installed in penthouses for example.
Plastic windows also meet standard for security and weather performance in high rise applications, yet aluminium windows are installed.
Why if developers are always looking to build homes whilst watching costs do they not use the cheaper plastic window?
Metal Technology has recently supplied Berkley homes with curtain walling, windows and lift and slide doors to the Marine Wharf development. All these fenestration products are available in plastic derivatives as well as aluminium, however aluminium remains the choice material.
The use of aluminium for windows and doors in such properties is not simply down to it being more expensive. In these sorts of buildings the aesthetics of aluminium products compared to plastic cannot be questioned. Curtain walling for example, that needs to cover large spans lends itself perfectly to aluminium as it has the facility to create large glass spans with minimal sight lines. Plastic curtain walling on the other hand will simply be plastic squares coupled to structural mullions (mostly aluminium or aluminium reinforced).
Tilt and Slide doors in plastic are well known to be troublesome longer term in the same way that plastic bifolding doors are generally shunned in favour of aluminium for the same reason.
Metal Technology in their curtain walling used their tried and tested System 17 a curtain walling system that is not only slim but offers a range of mullion external cappings for real choice in aesthetics. It is aluminium curtain walling systems that offer real architectural flexibility to architects and building designers.
The aesthetics of aluminium compared to pvc cannot be ignored. One needs only to compare the clean assembled corners of an aluminium window to the welded corners on a plastic window as just one example. Often on the same four corners on a plastic window the corner cleaning will be irregular and inconsistent.
Despite the availability of colour on today’ plastic windows, the painting process on pvc simply cannot match the paint quality on an aluminium window whether the aluminium window has a matt, satin or gloss finish applied.
Developers such as Berkley Homes and their architectural divisions clearly see the advantages aluminium has to offer over plastic. If you are involved in developments such as Marine Wharf, we would love to hear your views on why you don’t specify pvc.