Redefining Sustainability in an Age of Austerity

Published: 17th March 2011

Redefining Sustainability in an Age of Austerity

The Epwin Group, the specialist low maintenance building products group, has warned that choices of building material and products in a new age of austerity could exert an adverse impact on the built environment for generations to come.

Speaking at ecobuild, Excel, London, David Wrigley, managing director, Epwin Group Extruded Products, argued that faced with growing fiscal constraint the choices made by specifiers would have a far reaching impact.

Urging contractors, developers and the public sector to come together, he argued it was imperative that a new approach to project delivery was adopted if future works were to deliver not just environmental sustainability but social and economic too.

He said: “Reality is biting for the construction sector. The money simply isn’t there in the volume that it was and it needs to tighten its belt accordingly. This needs to begin with a re-think. Re-thinking the supply chain and re-thinking material choice – austerity increases responsibility for prudent spend. It doesn’t have to equate to cutting the number of projects that are delivered.

“We are here today at ecobuild surrounded by example on example of how innovation in building product technology is offering the construction industry and the social and public sectors affordable and sustainable building solutions. Present challenges need to be seen less as a reason for non-delivery and more as an opportunity to reassess material and product use in modern construction.”

This theme was developed by the Epwin Group at this year’s building expo – the fourth year in succession that Group had showcased its award winning product portfolio at ecobuild. This included RECO22, the low carbon window system from Epwin Group business Profile 22.

Featuring profile extruded from 100 per cent recycled PVC-U and a thin foiled colour or wood grain finish, added to ensure colour uniformity and to deliver an enhanced aesthetic, the system is the first and only window system to date, to have secured an A+ listing from the Building Research Establishment in the Green Book Live.

It’s manufacture from 100 per cent recycled material also means that the award winning system  cuts the carbon footprint of extruded profile to just six per cent* of that manufactured using virgin material.

Profile 22 sister company and roofline specialist Swish Building Products also attended this year’s event with its pioneering, ‘low CO2’, recycled PVC rainwater system – short-listed in the same category for the National Recycling Awards 2010. The Epwin Group’s specialist door business Permadoor also exhibited at this year’s event, showcasing the new RECO22 door frame.

Wrigley concluded: “Technical innovation means that solutions are there at the disposal of specifiers. They can deliver the same strong aesthetics, the same or enhanced thermal performance, and importantly, lower life time costs but to do so they need to face the reality that that may involve something of a reconsideration.

“The economic climate will remain hostile for the near future. The economic landscape has changed and the construction industry needs to change with it or we run the risk of leaving a whole generation of building projects from schools and colleges to social and affordable housing, undelivered.

“Conversely the technical innovation is there amongst building products suppliers to meet this challenge if the appetite is there among specifiers to do so.”

For more information on sustainable and energy efficient products from the Epwin Group visit  or

< Back to News Page

Share This

Twitter Facebook Goolge+ LinkedIn