YPRADO GRP Windows and Doors

This week, one of the senior chaps from YPRADO came to the ARCO2 / ecofab offices to do a presentation on the YPRADO company and their Pultec®  GRP Windows & Doors.

Great to see a full sample window and a corner cross section.

GRP goes under several names:
GRP = Glass Re-enforced Plastic = Fiberglass Reinforced Plastics (FRP) = composite

Great to have the presentation and then discussion with Chris Dixon from YPRADO and the ARCO2 ecofab team.

  • Manufacture.
    • The GRP is pulled through the pulleys etc. The even and controlled drying out / curing of the GRP means that if damaged (like a GRP surf board) you don’t exposed glass fibres and un-cured resin that can give osmosis star crazing.
  • Maintenance needs (super low, just the metal hardware)
  • Lifespan (75 years plus, ease of replacing any glazing units that fail).
    • Outlasting PVC, Alu clad wood etc. means ends up being cheaper and lower environmental impact as one set of GRP windows and doors = 1+ sets if PVC, wood or Alu clad wood.
  • End of life recycling (theoretically possible, but nobody is currently doing this, but how much are Alu clad timber frames etc. properly recycled? Sadly, few if any).
    • In Europe their seem to be only 3 factories who can recycle GRP. ERCOM in Germany, MCR in France and Miljotek in Norway. They struggle to find markets for their recyclate.
    • Current end of GRP life is landfill (relatively cheap), incineration (50% becomes ash which is landfilled) or into cement production (energy from incineration and ash into the cement).
    • There is currently no market value for waste composite in the UK as recyclate. Other than a few firms which grind production waste and use it as filler. At the moment the recycling cost is too high. As the price of landfill goes up or the raw material price goes up, this could change.
  • Cost.
    • Outlasts alternatives, so over 30 years apparently cheaper than PVC.
    • Wood required re-painting every 3 or so years. Factor that cost in and the shorter life and more expensive.
    • Initial outlay can be lower. Current GRP quote from Pultec is a LOT less than the quote for Alu Clad wood doors and windows (that don’t have as good a thermal U-value !)

Photo of the sample window brought to the meeting. Focusing on the handle!

YPRADO - window handle

Pultec GRP Windows Specification

  • Triple glazed
  • Krypton fill
    • Argon has a thermal conductivity 67% that of air,
      krypton has about half the conductivity of argon.
    • Krypton is an inert gas, heavier and denser than Oxygen. It is colourless, odourless, tasteless and harmless. The Earth’s atmosphere is made up of approximately 0.00011% krypton. It is obtained by separating air into its constituent components by fractional distillation.
  • Warm edge spacers
  • Double Low ‘E’ softcoat.
    • This metal coating reflects heat (keeping heat in during the winter and sun heat out in the summer)
    • Soft coat Low E glass is more reflective than hard coat Low E glass.
    • Soft coat Low-E glass,  involves the application of silver, zinc or tin to glass in a vacuum. The glass enters a vacuum chamber filled with an inert gas which is electrically charged. The electricity combined with the vacuum allows molecules of metal to sputter onto the glass. The coating is fairly delicate or “soft.”
    • A “hard-coat” low-e application is done when the glass is in a molten state. The process results in a durable coating that can be used on storm doors and windows. A “soft-coat” low-e application happens after the glass is made. The soft coat is more efficient at reflecting heat energy, but also more delicate. This low-e coating always faces the insulating airspace in double or triple-pane glazing. Since soft coat emissivity can oxidize when exposed to air, argon or krypton gas is often used in the insulating airspace to help preserve the coating.

Summary of advantages of GRP Windows:

This summary is from an email from YPRADO.

Sustainability:

  • “A” Rated in BRE Green Guide to Specification for Sustainable Construction (UK)
  • BREEAM: 4½ extra credits potentially available.
  • 22% is from a recycled source. Product 100% recyclable upon disposal.
  • 65% glass content, (silica/sand, the most abundant substance on the planet)
  • Sensitivity Report (emailed to me), quantifying environmental credentials by sustainability consultants Price & Myers, London.

Energy Efficiency:

  • “U” values 0.8 – 1.6 “U” W/M2K on the total window. 1.2 U value achieved with double glazing only, no need for triple (thus cheaper and less wear on hinges)
    • I’ve asked for triple glazing, so even better U Values.
  • Low embodied energy in pultrusion manufacturing process (confirmed by GreenBuildingForum threads, where there was however some discussion regarding the embodied energy of the raw materials).

Durability:

  • Twice the strength to weight ratio of mild steel – cannot deform like aluminium
  • 75 years service life + 12 year Warranty.
  • Negligible coefficient of expansion, even if coated black
  • Performance unaffected in temperatures between +100C and -100C
  • Impervious to UV degradation
    • But the paint will slowly fade in colour.
    • The paint is over the white GRP frames. The paint chemically bonds to the GRP (unlike paint on Aluminium frames).
  • Impervious to salt corrosion and sea water.
  • Impervious to the harshest weather – effectively, indestructible by natural forces.

General performance:

  • Robust! – used on Young Mental Offenders Secure Units – Meets MOD anti-terrorist glazing requirements – DMG2 “Normal”
  • Secured by Design accredited – Police preferred specification – including both BS 7950 and PAS 23/24
  • Zero maintenance required – however, surface damage, structural repairs and re-painting can be easily undertaken on site, with no consequential liability for future applications.
    • You can just use surf board resin or similar.
  • High resistance to impact damage – will not deform under impact.
  • Highly price competitive with aluminium and timber/alu composite windows.
  • Any RAL colour available (200+ options)
  • Impervious to all chemicals and most acids.

Mats

In addition to the main front door having a flush inset door mat (see below), this probably also makes sense for the entrance to the boots & coats room

flush-inset-door-matt

 

flush-inset-door-matt-02

 

For general floor mats, these “eco mats” look good:

Eco barrier and door mats to keep your home clean and looking great. We’ve got fun door mats, mats for dogs, for keen gardeners and for doing your laundry. Super absorbent and durable, the mats get softer the more they’re washed and are made of 100% recycled materials by UK manufacturer Hug Rug.

 

 

Bamboo Flooring

I have some samples from www.bambooflooringcompany.com.

Bamboo flooring is one of the hardest natural materials available for flooring and is an excellent alternative to hard wood flooring. Bamboo has a higher fibre rating than any hard wood, which gives it exceptional hard wearing qualities.

bamboo is a rapid growing grass and not wood, it can be harvested every 3-5 years, unlike 15-25 years for most wood. This makes bamboo a very environmentally friendly product for flooring.

BambooFlooringCompany - 01

 

Also get samples etc. from http://pandaflooring.co.uk/engineeredcrossplyclicklockbamboo.html

“Modern” kitchen elements

From http://www.houzz.com/ideabooks/1393668

“Contemporary” typically means of the moment or current, the design of right now. “Modern” refers to a specific design style from the early to mid 20th century that broke with the traditional styles of the days before the Industrial Revolution.

When I think of modern kitchen designs, I think of frameless cabinets, sleek and simple hardware, strong horizontal lines and a lack of ornamentation, with the natural beauty of the materials shining through.

Looking at the Houzz page on Contemporary kitchens, I’m biased to their definition of “modern”.

Back to the Modern Kitchen look and feel:

Flat panel door style (aka slab-door)

modern-kitchen_flat panel doors

Full overlay door, ie the door overlays the cabinet box.

modern-kitchen_full overlay door

 

Lack of ornamentation. ie no patterned tile shapes or multiple materials with textures. So sleek hardware, full height glass splashback. No patterns or veining on coutertops.

Emphasis on horizontal lines.

The picture below is also from Houzz.  Long clean lines.
– but on the detail, I want the hob elements on the island, not the sink. It’s more social to cook around the hob and putting the sink on the back wall means dirty dishes and dishes that are drying are more out of sight.

contemporary-kitchen

 

The picture below is from the Remo Alabaster Linear Second Nature kitchen. They have Falmouth and Wadebridge offices.

Slate and bamboo floor inspiration

From http://www.houzz.com/ideabooks/1362722.

Chinese slate floor tiles span the first floor. “We wanted to use the most irregular floor surface we could find. This room is used a lot, so we wanted to have a rough floor that we could walk on without worrying about damaging the floor,”

Chinese irregular slate floor tiles - 01

Chinese irregular slate floor tiles - 02

Chinese irregular slate floor tiles - 03

and the very small unit bamboo element wooden floor:

bamboo floor - 04

bamboo floor - 03

Bamboo has good eco credentials in terms of sustainable growth.
– but you need to check this.

I’d be biased towards bigger “elements”, so that it looks a bit more like wood until you look at the detail.

I’m less certain about the Chinese slate. Some comments suggest less than ideal extraction and transport etc. But I do like the idea of the rough textured surface and the size of the tiles in these examples.

Pro’s and Con’s of kitchen counter top options

From http://www.houzz.com/ideabooks/1623075

USA and US$ figures, so likely to be a bit different in the UK:

Granite

Pros: Granite’s beautiful mottling and the host of colors and patterns found in nature make each piece one of a kind. It stands up well to splashes, knife nicks, heat and other wear and tear.

Cons: Like most stone, granite must be sealed every so often to avoid stains. And its heaviness means you’ll need very sturdy cabinet boxes to support the weight.

Cost: $35 to $100 per square foot, installed

Solid Surfacing

Made primarily from acrylic and polyester, solid surfacing first was sold under the brand name Corian, which is often (erroneously) used as a generic term for it. Today, it’s made by a host of manufacturers and has enjoyed steady popularity over the years.

Pros: Because solid surfacing is nonporous, it’s virtually maintenance free — no sealing or special cleaning required. Although it can be susceptible to scratches and burns, those are easy to sand out. Color and pattern options are extensive, and because you’re not trying for the look of a natural material, you can experiment with vibrant hues such as turquoise or tomato red. Seamless installation means there are no cracks to trap dirt and debris.

Cons: Solid surfacing can have a patently artificial look and feel, yet can approach the price of natural stone. As mentioned above, it doesn’t stand up to hot pans or sharp knives as well as other materials.

Cost: $35 to $100 per square foot, installed

Quartz Surfacing

Crafted of resin and quartz chips tinted with color, quartz surfacing (also called engineered quartz or engineered stone) is a good compromise between the beauty of stone and the easy care of solid surfacing.

Pros: Quartz surfacing has the same advantages as solid surfacing with regard to maintenance. As an engineered product, it’s available in a far greater range of colors and patterns than natural stone.

Cons: This material doesn’t have the natural variegation of granite, so it may be evident that it’s an engineered product. It’s relatively pricey, although its durability can make it a worthwhile investment.

Cost: $40 to $90 per square foot, installed

Marble

Is there anything that looks and feels more glamorous than a marble countertop? Peerless in terms of its luminescence and distinctive veining, it’s an ultratraditional choice.

Pros: Nothing beats marble for sheer elegance. It stands up to heat well, and because it remains perennially cool, it’s a traditional choice for pastry and baking stations (read: Dough won’t get too soft).

Cons: Marble is very susceptible to stains, even with sealing. For that reason, it’s not often used throughout an entire kitchen — most homeowners limit it to one or two small areas. It can also scratch and chip.

Cost: $40 to $100 per square foot, installed

Tile

Modular and inexpensive, ceramic and porcelain tile offers nearly limitless options for colors and designs. Tile works with almost any kitchen style, from country to majestic Old World.

Pros: It holds its own against heat and sharp blades, and resists stains. If one or two tiles chip or crack, they’re fairly easy to replace.

Cons: Tile’s uneven surface can make it difficult to balance a cutting board or roll out a pie crust. Unsealed grout is prone to staining; standing moisture can damage it and contribute to bacterial growth.

Cost: $10 to $80 per square foot, installed

Laminate

Made of paper blended with resins and fused to particle board, laminate has been a kitchen mainstay for decades. In the past, it hasn’t always had a reputation as stylish, but that’s changing: The latest designs on the market mimic stone, butcher block and other pricier surfaces.

Pros: Laminate is one of the most affordable countertop materials, so it’s a good choice if your budget is tight. It’s low maintenance and easy to clean. Its light weight doesn’t require the support of a thick cabinet base.

Cons: Laminate is prone to scratching, burns and, in some cases, staining. With wear and moisture exposure, the layers can peel. Because of the raw particle board core, you can’t use laminate with undermount sinks, and it’s also difficult to repair if it gets damaged.

Cost: $10 to $30 per square foot, installed

Soapstone

Although it’s in no danger of overtaking granite, soapstone has come into its own as a countertop material. It offers subtle, nuanced beauty yet feels humbler than granite or marble.

Pros: Soapstone has a natural softness and depth that fits very well with older and cottage-style homes. Although it usually starts out light to medium gray, it darkens with time. (Most people enjoy the acquired patina, but you may consider this a con.)

Cons: Soapstone needs polishing with oil to keep it in top shape. It can crack over time, and it can’t handle knife scratches and nicks as well as some other types of stone. The natural roughness of its surface can scuff glassware and china.

Cost: $70 to $100 per square foot, installed

Stainless Steel

Once found mostly in commercial kitchens, stainless steel has slipped into vogue within the past two decades. These countertops are custom made to fit your kitchen, so you’re guaranteed a tailored look.

Pros: There’s a reason stainless steel is used in restaurants and other high-traffic kitchens: It’s nearly indestructible, and it resists heat and bacteria. It also provides a very distinctive look that feels appropriate in contemporary and industrial-style kitchens.

Cons: Fingerprints show and must be wiped off frequently, and stainless steel can also dent. It can be loud as pots, pans and dishware clang against the surface. Chemicals can affect its color and cause unwanted etching. Stainless steel is extremely expensive due to the custom fabrication.

Cost: $65 to $125 per square foot, installed

Concrete

Think concrete is just for floors? Think again. Slightly edgier than other materials, concrete countertops have an industrial chic that fits right into a loft or adds interest to an otherwise traditional space.

Pros: Concrete is extremely versatile: It can be cast in any shape and custom tinted any shade you wish. You easily can add unique inlays, such as glass fragments, rocks and shells. Concrete stands up well to heavy use, although it isn’t as heat resistant as some other surfaces.

Cons: Because it’s porous, concrete will stain without frequent sealing. With time and settling, small cracks can develop. Concrete is extremely heavy and will need strong support beneath. Like stainless steel, its custom creation ups the price tag.

Cost: $75 to $125 per square foot, installed

Butcher Block

Butcher block has a classic appeal and always looks fresh. It’s especially fitting for traditional, country and cottage-style kitchens.

Pros: Many homeowners like butcher block’s warm, natural appearance and variegated wood tones. Although knives scratch it, many people like the shopworn look it develops — after all, it’s what chopping blocks have been made of for years. But you can also sand scratches down with ease.

Cons: Wood swells and contracts with moisture exposure, and butcher block is no exception. It harbors bacteria and needs frequent disinfecting. Oiling is a must to fill in scratches and protect the surface.

Cost: $35 to $70 per square foot, installed

Paper Composite

Paper countertops? You read it right. Created from paper fibers mixed with resin, this surface is ecofriendly and a whole lot more durable than it sounds.

Pros: Paper composite evokes the look of solid surfacing or laminate but with a warmer sensibility. It’s surprisingly hardy and can withstand heat and water admirably. It’s also a great deal lighter than natural stone or concrete.

Cons: The material isn’t scratchproof and is susceptible to chemical damage. It needs an occasional rubdown with mineral oil, and even sanding, to refresh it. Although it sounds as though it would be a lower-budget option, it isn’t (unless you install it yourself).

Cost: $85 to $125 per square foot, installed

 

Article on the pro’s and con’s of different carpet types

http://www.houzz.com/ideabooks/1407736?utm_source=Houzz&utm_campaign=u76&utm_medium=email&utm_content=gallery22

WOOL
Pros

  • Hides soil
  • Strong, elastic and resilient; great for heavy traffic
  • Responds very well to cleaning, as moisture makes the fiber swell and release dirt
  • Naturally flame retardant
  • Neutralizes indoor air contaminants and does not reemit them
  • Environmentally friendly

Cons

  • High cost
  • Prone to distortion by excess agitation
  • Stains easily, due to its absorbency and ease of dyeing
  • Very sensitive to chlorine bleach

 

NYLON

Pros

  • Most commonly used fiber; readily available in a wide range of colors and textures
  • Good elasticity — very important in heavy traffic areas where furniture may be dragged across the carpet
  • Abrasion resistant, surpassing even wool
  • Wear guaranties often available
  • Resilient; can be crushed for long periods and regain its original shape
  • Responds very well to most professional cleaning methods and treatments

Cons

  • Can have problems with bleaching, fading, urine reactions and so on
  • Synthetic, so it off-gases

 

SISAL
Pros

  • Can stand up to high traffic; good for stairs
  • Gives your room a great natural look while adding texture
  • Biodegradable and nontoxic

Cons

  • Uncomfortable against bare skin
  • Can be pricey (but generally less so than wool)
  • Susceptible to moisture damage
  • Can be difficult to clean

SAP calculations (Air leakage, U-values & thermal bridging)

As we head towards sending in the planning permission (we’ve had 2 positive pre-planning meetings), the design has been sent for a preliminary SAP analysis.

A fundamental objective is to create a thermally efficient building, so that over it’s lifetime, the amount of energy to keep the interior at a comfortable temperature and humidity more than offsets the cost (money and environmental cost) to achieve this efficiency.

In crude financial terms, the cost of heating an uninsulated house is nearly three times that of heating a modern well insulated property of the same living area.

Heated buildings loose energy in 3 ways:

  1. Air leakage through holes (hence an airtest and an “air-tight” building).
  2. Through the fabric of the building. The u-values of the materials measure how much heat is lost through them. This is primarily the walls, floors, windows, doors and roof of the building.
    The lower the U-value, the better that section of the structure. For example, a wall with a U-value of 1.0 will lose heat twice as fast as a wall with a U-value of 0.5.
  3. Through the cold bridges between the different elements. These are the Ψ (psi) values.
    – “Thermal bridging occurs where the insulation layer is penetrated by a material with a relatively high thermal conductivity.”

The SAP assessor will look at all of these. They will multiply the Ψ (psi) values by the total length of their construction in the building to get a y-value. The y-value is analogous to an aggregated u-value for all the junctions in the building.

What y-values are used in the SAP calculations can have a big impact on the end figure.

Either:

  1. SAP assessor can use default value of 0.15, or
  2. Calculated value using the Ψ (psi) values listed by the Building Regulations for Accredited Details (normally 0.8 or higher, or
  3. A calculated value using thermally modelled junction Ψ (psi) values, which can come out as low as 0.04 depending upon construction details used.
The difference can, apparently be the equivalent of an open garage door on the side of the building ! (best to worst).

Fire + TV + Log storage

The plan for the east wall of the lounge is to have a wall with the fire, a TV and a log store. Potentially also the HiFi equipment.

lounge-layout-130204

I’m currently thinking indoor fire with a TV into an insert above it (so onto the fire chimney wall, that is built for thermal mass) and logs to one side and possibly also below.

I recognise, that with an efficient house, the fire will need to be small (lower thermal output). But any heat will fill the whole open plan downstairs and then travel up the 3 storey stair well column.

Here’s the a few of the current images of ideas for the fire.
– I’m not having an open fire, but some of these images show an open fire.

Above has the fire, woodstore, TV and a bench in front of the fire to sit on or leave stuff.

On the photo above, at the top of the block to house the fire is an exposed section of fire chimney pipe, which will transfer more immediate heat into the room.

Note the metal lining to the log store 🙂

This layout (above) could also allows the fire to be moved lower, making it easier to put the TV at a more normal height, but above the fire.

Example low fire position below:

fire - low - StovesOnline-co-uk - Stovax-Riva-50-Stove

I do like the above idea of a bench that sticks forward from the fire.

Or have the fire in a fire breast column with a bench to side for the TV etc.

fire - bench to side - poss 4 TV - - Wendron contura-ci4-4-sided

 

fire - vertical log store - poss lower fire - wide bench to side for TV

An alternative is a bench onto which is the fire and TV (if heat between the 2 is OK) with logs below. Riva do a bench up to 180cm wide. (wider than the one below).

fire - bench from RIVA Screenshot - poss with TV + logs underneath - Riva freestanding on Riva bench - see PDF brochure

Further  great log storage photos and ideas at www.houzz.com/ideabooks/4327237/

Slate hearth

As the lounge area is to have a wooden floor, it’d be good to either have slate on top of the wood, or instead of the wood, just in front of the fire. Dropping logs (whether alight / hot or not).

fire - vertical log store - poss lower fire + so lower TV - slate hearth

 

 

Inset slate floor in above photo. On top slate on the photo below.

fire - slate hearth - StovesOnline-co-uk - Stovax-Riva-66

To the north (sea view side) of the fire:

To the north of the fire, on the west wall, the idea is to have a tall vertical window and maybe a comfy seating area.