VELUX turns century-old wood into new roof windows
VELUX Group brings new life to old wood from buildings constructed in 1910 by making reclaimed timber roof windows for a project in The Netherlands. They represent a ‘VELUX experiment’ to meet a special request for the use of upcycled building materials.
This unique product innovation showcases the willingness of the Group to listen to customer needs and to try new things. It is a kind of ‘VELUX experiment’ that’s in the spirit of VELUX founder Villum Kann Rasmussen, who once said (and which is now a company motto): “One experiment is worth more than 1,000 expert views”. The main purpose of this experiment is to firstly prove it can be done and secondly to learn more about actual market needs for upcycled building materials.
The fact that we dared to try something new is what is important and what makes it even better is the environmental focus of this project. In the future, we may need to think more about using recycled materials in the manufacturing of our windows and with this experiment we are taking a step in the right direction.
Where the windows are installed
In this experiment, a total of 93 windows were manufactured using reclaimed timber. The first windows have already been installed in the attics of a public housing complex in The Netherlands. The installation of all windows and the entire roof renovation is expected to be finalised by April 2019.
How the windows differ from standard VELUX roof windows
The quality and functionality of the reclaimed timber roof windows is the same as standard VELUX roof windows. The only difference is that the timber has a few imperfections like nail and screw holes or marks and penetrations from other building materials, such as hinges. The window’s surface, which is visible when installed, is painted white, just like standard VELUX roof windows of this type. To distinguish the reclaimed timber windows from standard roof windows, the timber which is hidden after installation is clear-lacquered to reveal its authenticity.
The VELUX Group will now assess this first attempt at working with reclaimed timber materials. Every step involved in production will be scrutinised to establish key learnings and identify ways to optimise processes before any decision is made about the commercial viability of manufacturing this type of window. It is too soon to know if there could be a market for reclaimed timber roof windows and therefore if they could become part of the VELUX product range.
For now, it’s an experiment only but it has been very interesting to be involved. Perhaps in the future this kind of window could help to reduce unnecessary building material waste and positively contribute to the creation of a circular economy.