From 1st April 2002, all replacement glazing came within the control of the Building Regulations.
From this date, anyone who installs replacement window frames or glazed doors must comply with the strict thermal and safety performance standards as set by the Building Regulations.
One of the main reasons for this change was the need to reduce energy loss to help us meet national and global energy saving targets.
In the future if you want to to sell or remortgage your property, you will need to provide evidence that replacement glazing installed after April 2002 complies with the new Building Regulations.
Here will be two ways to prove compliance:
- A certificate showing that the work has been done by an installer who is registered under the FENSA Scheme;
- A certificate from the local authority saying that the installation complied with the Building Regulations.
The FENSA Scheme
This national scheme (which stands for Fenestration Self-Assessment) allows installation companies that meet certain criteria to self-certify that their work complies with the Building Regulations.
- FENSA maintain a national database of all registered installers;
- FENSA inspect a regular sample of the work of every registered installer to ensure standards are maintained;
- FENSA inform local authorities of all completed installations and issue certificates to householders confirming compliance.
Local Authority Approval
Any installation done by a firm which is not FENSA registered, or done as a DIY project by a householder, needs full local authority approval under the Building Regulations.
You should note that it is you, as the house owner, who are ultimately responsible for ensuring the work complies with the Building Regulations.
Before you sign a contract to buy replacement glazing, be sure to ask whether the installer is able to self-certify. If not, either they, or you, will need to make an application to your local authority for approval under the Building Regulations and pay the relevant application & inspection charges.
Replacement Window Guidance
Replacement widows need to be designed and installed so as to provide each room with:
- adequate rapid ventilation opening lights/sashes (1/20th of room floor area);
- controllable background or trickle ventilation (controllable slot 800 x 10 = 8000mm2 );
- safety glazing where human collision is likely;
- adequate means of escape from habitable rooms;
- adequate thermal performance ['K' Glass] (Max "U" value 2.2 W/m2C).
The Building Regulations (Part B) require all new dwellings habitable room's windows on the first floor (that is all rooms except, hallways, shower rooms, bathrooms, and kitchens) to have opening lights (sashes) large enough to allow you to escape through them, if you were trapped in the room by fire (between you and that room's door or by fire/smoke blocking the your escape down the staircase).
The Building Regulations (Part B) require all new dwellings habitable rooms windows on the ground floor (that is all rooms including utility rooms except, hallways, shower rooms, bathrooms, and kitchens) to have opening lights (sashes) large enough to allow you to escape through them, if that room does not have a door opening directly into the lower hallway/passage and thus to the final exit door.
The Building Regulations prohibit any building work that makes the existing escape in case of fire provision worse than it currently is in the existing building.
Therefore where the existing buildings windows are large enough (wider than 450mm clear opening and of minimum area of 0.33m2) to escape through, then the replacement window frame may not remove that facility.