Bournville Works Housing Society has begun a major home energy efficiency improvement programme, replacing windows and doors across its properties with new high performance energy efficient windows.

Set up in 1919 to provide housing for employees and pensioners of chocolatiers, Cadbury, Bournville Works Housing Society (BWHS), part of the Bournville Trust Group since January this year [2011], manages and maintains 314 homes in the Bournville area of Birmingham.

Having conducted a successful pilot project last year it committed to an energy efficient window and door refurbishment programme across its portfolio beginning in the summer. This includes the wholesale replacement of old windows, for the most part original 1920s timber installations, with WER ‘A’ rated energy efficient PVC-U replacements.

The preservation of the area’s unique character through sympathetic replacement of these timber original windows form, as a consequence, a central element of the two-year delivery programme.

Appointed by BWHS and working in partnership with it commercial window manufacturer Stafford and window systems specialist Profile 22, developed a specification featuring the systems company’s cream wood grain foil finish to deliver a near perfect match to timber originals.

Sam Chatterley, chair, Bournville Works Housing Society, said: “The aesthetics were important to us. We didn’t want to damage or undermine the character of individual properties or the area at large.”

“The original product from Profile 22 was 90 or 95 per cent there when we got it. The cream wood grain delivered a strong match to the old timber windows – it was simply an issue of refining it a little, for example fret bars and hardware, to deliver a near perfect match to originals.”

The committee, Profile 22 and Stafford also worked closely alongside the specification team at Bournville Architects to refine PVC-U window frets to deliver a strong match to the old timber windows.

Dee Benning, commercial sales and operations manager, Stafford, said: “I actually grew up not very far from here and you always knew Bournville was a bit special. On a personal level I’ve felt a lot of responsibility to get this one ‘spot on’ and to make sure that what we’re installing is as strong a match to original windows as possible.”

“That we’re able to do that in PVC-U shows just how far our product has come. It’s still low maintenance but the aesthetics are far advanced. That makes it a very cost-effective material choice, both at point of purchase and in life, for the social sector.”