Building regulations are changing and installers need to make sure their windows and doors comply. Now is the time to ask: what exactly is changing and is your supplier ready, with the right paperwork in order?
It feels like 2022 has barely started and already we are a quarter of the way through and looking towards June, when the much-discussed changes to building regs come into force. These will have a huge impact on windows and doors supply for both new and existing homes, particularly Document F: Ventilation and Document L: Conservation of Fuel and Power.
As always, installers will be required to provide proof of compliance with the updated regulations, so it is crucial to choose a reputable fabricator who understands the standards and can provide the right paperwork. All with the least amount of disruption to the installation process and crucially, without cutting into too much profit margin in the process.
“Quickslide takes on the responsibility of providing our Trade Partners with products that comply,” says Managing Director Ben Weber. “We’re ready and compliant but importantly, we also recognise that education is key. That’s why we’ve invested in a new digital tool to help our Trade Partners stipulate the specification required to comply.”
Tricky trickle vents
Quickslide’s new digital tool will cover requirements for fire escapes, trickle vents, enhanced security (Document Q) and energy ratings and U-values. The revised Approved Document F on ventilation, with a requirement for trickle vents, is the most contentious change.
Hugely important in improving airflow, reducing condensation, and preventing mould without compromising on security (unlike leaving windows open a crack), trickle vents nonetheless have suffered from a bad reputation.
“As recently announced, we’ve teamed up with glazing accessories and injection mould specialists Glazpart to provide our Trade Partners not only with a vent solution but also with consumer messages that will help homeowners understand the changes and overcome previous bad perception of vents, which also now includes concerns about potential increased energy costs to heat the cooler air,” said Ben.
“Installers must ensure their supplier has a compliant trickle vent solution lined up, as this change to the building regs is the toughest to address and to some suppliers the extent of the building regs updates may have come as a surprise. On casement windows, with the introduction of the Link Vent Mk2 we’re able to offer a compact vent with a canopy that only extends a mere 25mm. The vent is available in a comprehensive range of colours to blend in with our most popular window finishes.
“And we continue to lead the way for vertical sliders by introducing a keenly anticipated bespoke vent solution for sash windows that is unique to Quickslide, which we’ll be revealing in the coming months in line with the implementation of the changes to the building regs in June.”
At the same time as homeowners might be concerned about trickle vents increasing heating costs, the changes to Document L are all about conserving fuel and power through achieving lower U-values, increasing the thermal efficiency of homes as part of the Government’s strategy to reduce carbon emissions.
For existing dwellings, replacement doors and windows will need to be at least 1.4 U-value (a change from 1.6 U-value for windows and 1.8 U-value for doors). It’s a substantial increase in performance that could be particularly challenging for products in aluminium, including bi-folding doors, without having to opt for triple glazing. But, says Ben, the message from Quickslide is clear:
“Don’t let the new low U-value of 1.4 alarm you! On existing dwellings, we have the option of showing compliance through either a U-value or an energy rating, which gives us options. Installers should be asking their fabricator how their products comply – it is likely that some products will comply only through U-value and others through the energy rating.”
Regardless of all these upcoming changes to building regs however, one thing does remain the same for installers: Make sure you choose a reputable supplier such as Quickslide who’s got the paperwork in order, so you can trust the products you are installing are fit for purpose and you can show evidence of compliance. Remember, inspectors will need proof.
ISSUE: APRIL 2022