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Buildings 2012, 2(4), 542-553; doi:10.3390/buildings2040542
Article

Carbon Footprint versus Performance of Aluminum, Plastic, and Wood Window Frames from Cradle to Gate

1
 and 2,*
Received: 15 October 2012; in revised form: 22 November 2012 / Accepted: 5 December 2012 / Published: 12 December 2012
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Design and Construction)
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Abstract: Window frame material has significant impact on the thermal performance of the window. Moreover, with sustainable design becoming a necessity, window frame materials need to have higher levels of environmental performance to be considered sustainable. As a result, a holistic performance metric is needed to assess window frame material. Three similar frames were considered, manufactured from aluminum, polyvinyl chloride (PVC), and wood. First their thermal performance was evaluated and compared using a heat transfer model. Then, carbon footprints of the three materials were considered for 1m2 of window area with a similar thermal performance. It was found that the thermal, as well as the environmental, performance of the wooden window frame was superior to those of aluminum and PVC. On the other hand aluminum frames had high environmental impacts and comparatively lower thermal performance. This study provides a holistic viewpoint on window frames by considering both environmental and thermal performance.
Keywords: life-cycle analysis; window frames; thermal performance life-cycle analysis; window frames; thermal performance
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

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MDPI and ACS Style

Sinha, A.; Kutnar, A. Carbon Footprint versus Performance of Aluminum, Plastic, and Wood Window Frames from Cradle to Gate. Buildings 2012, 2, 542-553.

AMA Style

Sinha A, Kutnar A. Carbon Footprint versus Performance of Aluminum, Plastic, and Wood Window Frames from Cradle to Gate. Buildings. 2012; 2(4):542-553.

Chicago/Turabian Style

Sinha, Arijit; Kutnar, Andreja. 2012. "Carbon Footprint versus Performance of Aluminum, Plastic, and Wood Window Frames from Cradle to Gate." Buildings 2, no. 4: 542-553.


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