Clear advice on regulations

Steve Tonkiss, head of sales south at Rehau UK advises that product transparency throughout the supply chain can ensure all windows meet stringent energy regulations and help lower bills.

As we head into the final month of the year, the cost-of-living crisis continues to impact property owners and householders alike.

Energy efficiency and heat retention have become key considerations for homeowners looking to reduce energy bills.

In the past few months, Citizens Advice has warned that families could see up to 30% of the heat they pay for escape through walls, windows and rooves. As those living in homes with energy performance (EPC) ratings of F will face average yearly bills exceeding £3,000, they could expect to lose £950 worth of heat.

With this in mind, installers and fabricators should ensure that they are equipped with a product portfolio that can deliver the best energy efficient products. Not just to address these immediate concerns but to ensure long-term compliance with key legislation such as the Future Homes Standard.

A regulated approach

It is against this climate that building regulation compliance and familiarity with frame performance is vitally important. Specifically, the need for the public sector to transition to greener practice was underlined when the Crown Commercial Service (CCS) set a target of a 76% reduction in emissions by 2035 when compared to 1990 levels.

In turn, this led to changes to Part L of Building Regulations under the Future Homes Standard, and the introduction of stricter U values.

Awareness is integral

In a sector where regulation changes can be frequent, it is important to consider that fenestration professionals included in the commercial construction process remain updated on such adaptations and how they impact product choice.

The considerable time gap between regulation updates and their implementation further increases the risk of unclear or incorrect information being shared among architects, surveyors and specifiers. This may result in non-compliant products being used, which could lead to considerable energy loss and increased costs for homeowners.

Fabricators and installers should therefore prioritise familiarising themselves with relevant changes and evaluating existing portfolios against current requirements to ensure they meet tighter U-value standards.

When navigating the updates, it is important for fenestration experts to address any queries with their suppliers to ensure products are meeting regulation requirements. Similarly, familiarisation with the standards ensures fenestration professionals can position themselves as experts to other stakeholders within the supply chain, generating new business.

Assisting queries

Following the implementation of the Future Homes Standards updates, Rehau has received an increased number of technical enquires. Addressing the lack of clarity around the subject, we have launched a series of four fact sheets to assist installers and fabricators.

Two documents cover Part L requirements for newbuilds and retrofits respectively, with the remaining two looking into uplifts to Part F of the Building Regulations, concerning ventilation.

As energy costs continue to skyrocket, a lack of expert engagement could have drastic long-term effects for homeowners and commercial construction stakeholders. Ensuring regulation familiarity and understanding is crucial to upping energy efficiency in households through window portfolios, saving customers money on bills in a time that they need it the most.