Study: Which facade and window materials are really sustainable?

There are only minor differences in the overall performance of the different materials for use in commercial buildings.

No holistic studies are available with regard to the sustainability of different facades and window materials. To achieve transparency for clients and investors, Drees & Sommer teamed with PE International to undertake a comprehensive study to assess the sustainability of aluminum, wood and PVC.

The goal of the extensive study was to compare the sustainability performance of the materials commonly used in facade and window construction – aluminum, wood and PVC – based on recognized, practical criteria. The key finding: No material offers the best sustainability performance across all criteria. Overall performance varied only some ten percentage points from the average, with all materials performing similarly well. The study also showed that resource requirements and life-cycle costs during the operation phase are of considerable importance. A summary of the study is available for download here: Download