Information about windows

When choosing new windows, the function of the window is just as important as the aesthetic aspects. Here we have collected some facts and information to help you make the right choice, to choose the window that is the best for your needs.

From considering which material is the right choice for the frame to the cost-effectiveness of the thermal insulation and noise protection, to security aspects and safety, the following pages contain valuable information about windows.



Frame materials

The European window frame market is dominated by three materials: wood, aluminium and PVC vinyl. Which material is used depends on factors such as the building type, the owner's personal tastes and cost. One factor that is gaining in importance is the environmental impact caused by production, installation, usage and disposal. With a market share of 54%, PVC is the most important construction material in Germany. In Europe, the market share for vinyl windows has grown in the last 10 years from 24 to 38 percent.


The anti-vinyl campaign in the mid-80's fostered a negative trend in public opinion, and forced vinyl window manufacturers to consider environmentally friendly ways to recycle old windows.


In the following years several studies followed, all dealing with the environmental impact of the different window materials. The studies showed that PVC was actually highly recyclable. Thus, wooden and vinyl windows could only be disposed of by traditional means until 2005. After that, only materials with less than 5% ash content after incineration could be so disposed, but this is neither the case with wooden frames nor with vinyl. However, since vinyl window profiles have a closed-circuit life cycle – from extrusion through usage to reclamation – this is not a problem.


 The economic factor also plays an important role in evaluating window frame materials. In the window manufacturing branch, PVC is known to be an attractive choice in cost comparison with the alternatives.

 While the initial purchase costs between all three materials is about the same, the costs of maintenance for vinyl windows is clearly lower. Tests have proven that the maintenance costs for wood frame windows can be, during an average window life span of 25 years, up to 1800% higher as vinyl windows. How high the difference really is depends naturally on how important appearance and functionality is for the homeowner. Tests have proven, however, that periodic maintenance on vinyl windows is low in cost and helps extend the value.