uPVC (unplasticised polyvinyl chloride) is a naturally warm, easily cleaned, material commonly used throughout Europe and North America for window frames in residential housing. To withstand the wind loads imposed on a building it is often strengthened with steel profiles inserted during the manufacturing process. uPVC windows and doors are available with a variety of operational options and some manufacturers are able to provide a range of colours and/or external finishes that better resist exposure in harsher UV climates.
One of the most common reasons for choosing uPVC, over another material, is that it’s a good insulating material and because of its low conductivity and therefore higher thermal efficiency it reduces the risk of condensation forming on your window frames. uPVC is easily recycled or downcycled into other products.
At this time, uPVC window sections are primarily imported and bring their European and North American design influences, including functions and features not usually available with traditional New Zealand product. Some of these influences must be considered when integrating into local building design and construction methodologies. Whilst some manufacturers can provide a range of colours and/or external finishes, uPVC windows and doors are most commonly white in colour.
All windows and doors, regardless of material, must comply with the New Zealand Building Code, for structural integrity, durability, weathertightness, energy, and safety. Often imported, windows, systems, and/or raw materials are labelled as compliant with Standards from their country of origin.
Before making a purchase, discuss with your intended supplier how their offering compares and complies with the provisions of the NZ Building Code.
More information can be found here