While the window industry continues to wrestle with the conflicting arguments about which material is the greenest, most recyclable or offers the lowest lifetime energy costs, one section of the market is quietly but very positively offering what is probably the most environmentally friendly solution of all.
Mila Maintenance, part of the Mila Hardware group, is encouraging specifiers and facilities managers in the public sector to think again about just replacing failing windows – whether they are in PVC-U, timber, steel or aluminium – and instead to consider a repair and maintenance programme which can deliver enormous savings on cost, Health & Safety and resources.
Mila Maintenance Projects Director, Dave Cooke, says that repair is essentially the greenest solution since it extends the life of the windows which are already in place and can improve their energy performance at the same time by replacing sealed units with the latest energy efficient, argon filled alternatives.
He says: “Window and door repair, along with ongoing cyclical maintenance as an alternative to replacement, minimises waste sent to landfill, reduces the energy required to manufacture replacement windows and lessens the impact of client disturbance.
“In the current economic climate, I believe we all, including RSL’s, have a duty to consider repair rather than replacement on every contract. We are not offering a ‘make do and mend’ approach but rather a highly skilled service which offers benefits for clients and tenants alike.”
Mila can quote many examples of successful projects where the figures present a quite compelling argument to support Dave’s views. For example, at Atholl House in Aberdeen, a seven-storey office block tenant managed by the DTI, quotes were received for replacing the 700 failing aluminium vertical sliders ranging from £3.5 to £4m. Mila Maintenance in contrast was able to complete a thorough window repair and refurbishment programme complete with a three year ongoing maintenance programme for less than £200,000.
Similarly, at Pembrokeshire College in Haverfordwest, 583 aluminium vertical sliders were totally refurbished by Mila Hardware recently with new spiral balances, fitch catches, gaskets and custom designed stay restrictors for a cost of £78,600. The estimated cost of replacement would have been in excess of £2m.
The client benefited because Mila Maintenance instigated a programme which minimised long term disruption by carrying out all the work during college holidays. It also reduced costs further by carrying out the entire refurbishment from inside the building, eliminating the requirement for costly, external scaffolding.
The Mila Maintenance service encompasses planned, cyclical and responsive window and door maintenance programmes, as well as safety and security upgrades, glazing upgrades, replacement of defective gaskets and weatherstrips and sound and thermal insulation. All work and materials are guaranteed for 12 months and installation is carried out by NVQ qualified engineers.
Mila Maintenance, founded in 1985, is based in Barnsley and has directly employed service teams operating across the UK.