Reusing windows raises the question of energy performance. Windows are effectively a focal point in current building projects and play a crucial role in meeting modern requirements in terms of heat insulation and air tightness.
In fact, two specific cases apply here:
Firstly, antique windows, usually made of wood, sometimes fitted with stained glass, and which are sought after for their aesthetic quality and materiality. As they were not designed with energy performance in mind, these windows are generally used in such applications as interior design, heritage-based restorations or any application that does not require high performances.
Alternatively, modern windows that meet stricter performance requirements can also be found on the reclamation market. They come from the demolition of more recent buildings, or even new frames from surplus production. Another scenario is where a communication error leads to the production of frames that do not fit the bay that have to accommodate them, leading to the disqualification of the batch delivered to the site.
Working with reclaimed windows requires designers to modify their working processes slightly: the bays for the windows need to be sized according to the frames. But it is often worth the effort as, with greater dimensional tolerance, it becomes possible to acquire high-quality elements at competitive prices and consequently to reduce the cost of an important category in building projects.
Frequently encountered products include:
- modern, double-glazed window frames, in wood, PVC or aluminium
- antique wooden window frames, some with stained glass
- old skylight frames (for roofing)
The prices for modern salvaged window frames usually vary between 20 and 40 % of the new equivalent prices.