17 Successes: The Window Seller
Meet Benoit, he sells windows and doors in one of Europe's capital cities. "I spend about 80% of my time at clients' premises: homes, offices and retail spaces. I advise clients on the best soutions for their needs for window frames and doors. I also meet a lot of architects and construction companies. Together we look at building or renovation projects, product technical feasibility and devise solutions".
Polyvinyl chloride (PVC) has been used as a window frame material for over 60 years. Because PVC is so long lasting, many of these windows are only now being replaced to make them even more energy efficient by installing double glazing. PVC helps seal off buildings from rain and wind, as well as keep heat in. Even at the end of their life-cycle, PVC windows can be easily recycled. In 2012, over 2.5 million PVC windows were recycled to make new window frames. Benoit notes that "PVC products last better, have excellent insulation features and are well-priced." Another important feature is that PVC windows tend to require less maintenance (e.g. painting) than some traditional alternatives.
The European Joint Research Centre estimates that 56% of all window frames produced in Europe are made from PVC but window frames can also be made from aluminium. This important metal is extracted from rocks using another key chlor-alkali chemical, caustic soda.
In Germany alone*, there are over 6,700 window manufacturers, employing an estimated 100,000 people. Chlor-alkali chemicals help these people to keep our homes safe and warm.
Find out how else chlor-alkali contributes in our homes in this video.
*2011 VFF data