BFRC And FENSA To Meet Government To Discuss Building Regs Concerns

Survey highlights installer disquiet over trickle vents and U value drops

As window installers express their broad disapproval at the Government’s proposals to amend performance requirements for windows and doors in the Building Regulations, FENSA, together with the British Fenestration Ratings Council (BFRC) has been invited to attend Government meetings to discuss the issues.

BFRC, the organisation behind the Window Energy Ratings ‘rainbow’ energy performance scheme, has said that it is not surprised at the intensity of feelings amongst installers, which were highlighted in a recent survey by FENSA amongst its Approved Installers. In the survey, which has included the views of almost 700 respondents, installers are almost unanimously (94.8%) against the inclusion of trickle vents in all replacement windows, whilst more than 60% of respondents said they did not support ‘the lowering of U values and increase in DSER bandings for doors’. The changes, say BFRC, will mean that 46% of existing BFRC door licences and 26% of window licences would not meet building regulation requirements for energy ratings.

Both organisations have been invited, together with the GGF, by the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG), the Government department responsible for the Regulations, to attend a meeting as part of the consultation process undertaken in preparation for the publication of the new Building Regulations, and specifically to discuss the various concerns.

“We are very pleased that we will have the opportunity to convey the disquiet expressed by the majority of Approved Installers through the recent FENSA survey, together with the findings expressed by BFRC that so many products will become non-compliant with energy ratings, to MHCLG,” commented Anda Gregory, Managing Director GGF Commercial Group, which includes BFRC and FENSA.

“The effects that the changes to the Building Regulations will have on our market should not be underestimated: 85% of installers that responded to the FENSA survey believe that they will lose business as a result of an insistence upon trickle vents in all frames, fearing that customers will turn to an alternative installer operating in the ‘grey market’ who is happy to turn a blind eye to regulations to please the homeowner,” continued Anda. “We are in broad support of the proposed improvements in the performance of windows and doors, which have not changed for more than a decade. But we hope to encourage MHCLG to allow time for the industry’s views to be heard, and for the practical and logistical impact of the changes to be adjusted and implemented.”