RESTORING THE WINDOWS OF IRELAND
A MILLENNIUM PROPOSAL FOR THE BENEFIT OF EVERY TOWN & VILLAGE IN IRELAND
(An end to PVC in Irish buildings by the end of the millennium...)
THE URGENCY OF CURRENT SITUATION
The widespread publicity following the Dusseldorf airport uPVC fire has
long-standing international concerns among health and safety organisations
for the use of uPVC. With the object of advancingnm the objectives of the
Rio Earth Summit
Agenda 21 it is now proposed that there should be an im- Mediate initiative
to curtail the use
of uPVC in windows and doors and return to the use of timber from
environmentally sustainable, managed sources, and steel where appropriate
in new buildings.
1. That the Minister for the Environment by means of amendment of the
Building Regulations, to prohibit the use of uPVC windows, doors and other
materials, including electric cable ducting on the most im- Mediately
achievable phased basis.
2. Training of Work Force into Alternative Methods or Materials.
Given the extent of uPVC use, not just for windows, but also for doors and
downpipes, a major training initiative is needed for workers to be able to
develop the necessary skills to work in other materials. This will require
no net loss of employment, but even a positive gain , since the quality of
skills required in timber window repair and manufacture are higher and more
intensive in labour, while less in material cost, which, ultimately, is
more economically sustainable and of more benefit, both to society and to
3. Financial Incentives. That financial incentives be introduced for
property owners on buildings which are Listed or of architectural
significance, to remove uPVC windows and to restore timber sashes of the
appropriate design. The financial incentive should form either a grant up
to 20% of the cost, or a tax relief certificate for up to 50% of the cost.
For buildings with surviving old windows capable of repair the financial
incentive would be granted for repair only. For new windows he grant would
be payable only if the window replacement were to be carried out with a
sliding sash design of the correct glazing bar detail and window pane
design and arrangement to follow the original design. Any application would
require photographs of the building and of adjoining ones to be submitted
along with research information on the correct arrangement of window panes
and glazing bars. Grants or tax certificates would only be made after the
completion of work to a satisfactory approved standard.