PVC Windows: Market Share of 57.7% in Germany

According to the estimates of the four industry associations VFF, pro-K, FV S+B and BF, positive overall economic conditions and rising residential construction lead to positive impulses on the German window market. The slight upward trend that has been continuing since 2007 is thus continuing. Based on the 13.8 million window units (WU) in 2016, sales of windows in Germany are expected to increase by 2.9 % to 14.2 million WU in 2017, according to a Heinze study. In 2018, an even stronger increase of 3.3% to 14.8 million WU is considered possible.

With regard to frame materials, the four industry associations expect only minor shifts in the current year. Experts expect that PVC windows will reach a market share of 57.7 %. The industry associations are also expecting increasing growth rates in the field of exterior doors. PVC doors will account for 32.8% of unit sales in 2018. For comparison: aluminium doors 32.5%, timber doors 25.3%, other materials 9.4%.

Window Imports Are Strongly Increasing

According to data recorded by the German Association of Windows and Facades (Verband Fenster + Fassade – VFF), the number of windows produced in Germany in 2016 reached a total of 11,944 million window units. A good half of this overall production quantity, namely 6.454 million window units, were PVC windows, which can be compared with figures of 6.492 million window units in 2015 and 6.707 million window units in 2014.

While window exports slightly decreased in 2016 (from 9.3% in 2014 to 9.0% in 2016), window imports increased, with a total of 2.94 million window units imported to Germany last year. This total can be compared with figures of 2.618 million window units in 2015 and 2.379 million window units in 2014. Around 1.76 million window units, which equates to 60% of all imported windows in 2016, came from Poland. 75.2% of these window units were for plastic windows.
At the beginning of May, the VFF presented its current window sales figures for the previous year, which revealed that a total of eight million window units were sold in Germany in 2016.

PVC Window Sales in Germany increase

In 2016, window sales in Germany increased by 3.3 percent to a total of around 13.8 million window units. This is the result of a continuously updated study conducted by the market research institute Heinze, which was produced in cooperation with the four German industry associations VFF, Pro-K, FV S+B and BF and was recently presented. According to the study, growth was recorded in the case of all frame materials last year.

Sales of plastic windows reached a total of 8.0 million window units, which represents a market share of 57.7 percent. Wooden windows achieved a market share of 15.1 percent thanks to total sales of 2.1 million window units, while wood and metal constructions achieved 1.2 million window units and therefore 9.0 percent of the overall market. Sales of metal windows increased to 2.5 million window units, which represents a market share of 18.2 percent. Around 65.8 percent of the window units sold were used in residential buildings, while 34.2 percent were installed in non-residential buildings. In the current year 2017, the industry associations expect to see yet another increase in sales volume of 3.9 percent, resulting in a total of 14.4 million window units.

The city of Düsseldorf permits funding of PVC windows

The city of Düsseldorf has recently agreed on a set of reworked guidelines on the funding of measures for the renovation and modernisation of buildings within the capital city of the federal state, as part of the funding program “Eco-friendly living and working in Düsseldorf.” Under point 5 “construction materials”, specifications for materials are laid down by the Environmental Office of the city. According to these specifications, PVC windows will now also be included in funding programs, as long as the manufacturer can provide evidence that at least 60 percent recycled PVC has been used in the manufacturing process.

The acceptance of PVC into the funding guidelines represents a great success for the industry, even if the hurdle has been set very high with the requirement of 60 percent recycled material. The fact that PVC windows are now for the first time being funded in Düsseldorf is renewed proof that the intensive lobbying of the AGPU and its partners has paid off. This successful step has now been achieved thanks to numerous rounds of discussion with local decision makers. In making this change, the city of Düsseldorf is following a trend started by a number of other cities and local authorities, to amend their guidelines and once again permit the inclusion of PVC.  However, we are not amused about these funding guidelines, as PE, PP and PUR windows are also being funded although they have no market relevance and they contain no recycled materials at all!