Sustainability in Social Housing

Kestrel is committed to minimising the impact we have on the environment

Sustainability represents the balancing of social, environmental and economic concerns whilst recognising the decisions made today will have a very real implication to future generations. Environmental impact is more than just a matter of conscience today - it is a critical business driver.

Sustainability, whether in building design, the carbon footprint of materials or in the actual building process itself, is under intense scrutiny and increasingly regulation. Every stage of the supply chain has a part to play. Kestrel is committed to playing our part in minimising the impact we and our clients have on the environment. We have company wide environmental policies to ISO2001 and recycling initiatives in place and are at the forefront of working with industry on REACH and VINYL 2010.

As defined in Agenda 21, the action plan for sustainable development for the world in the 21st century and drawn up at the U.N. "Earth Summit" in Rio in 1992, it defines Sustainable Development as:


“Meeting the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their needs”

Integration of supply processes can play an important part in the delivery of sustainable services. Higher quality solutions will reduce the cost of running and maintaining projects after their completion. We support the focus on the whole life costs of the solutions we deliver, and seek where possible to contribute to the potential for recycling and reuse. Kestrel has an in house recycling plant and water used in the extrusion process in recycled. We monitor energy use and regularly find ways to lower our carbon footprint, made easier by that fact that our team are Lean Sigma trained so are qualified to seek continuous improvement in waste reduction and adding value. The most important contribution Kestrel is making to sustainable solutions within our industry is our investment in 100% calcium organic stabilised products.

Whole Life Costs

Whole life costs and best value are important considerations in the social housing sector. PVC-UE has excellent whole life costs that are easy to calculate - installation cost divided over lifespan. The BRE currently rate PVC-UE roofline & cladding systems with a 35 year lifespan and with modern stabilisation technologies (see REACH info) these can be recycled up to eight times, giving an overall life span of 280 years. There is also added security that human error i.e. lack of maintenance cannot add un-envisaged costs.

Hardwood has a BRE rating of 35 years and as an alternative has a more complicated and uncertain whole life cost that relies on continual maintenance and, if not adhered to, will lead to catastrophic failure. Firstly, there is the installation cost which is comparable with PVC-UE. Timber then requires an ongoing maintenance program, with repainting every four to seven years and all the costs associated with this (scaffolding, labour costs and materials). This repairs programme also has negative effects on the environment with regard to CO2 emissions i.e. paint manufacturer vehicle use, etc. Also with continuing visits to the roofline there are possible ramifications with the working at heights directive.


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