Archive | September, 2013

Who we work with

24 Sep

As with every great organisation FENSA’s success is a result of good teamwork, not only within FENSA itself but also in conjunction with our sister companies and other organisations. In this blog we will give you a brief insight in to some of these companies and their function. Please click the links if you would like to find out more.

 

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British Fenestration Rating Council

You are probably more familiar with its acronym, the BFRC, but what exactly is it? The BFRC is a subsidiary of the GGF. It exists as a voluntary scheme using energy labels specifically produced for windows to show their energy efficiency and compliance with the Building Regulations. The window rating label, which is similar to the ones you see on fridges and washing machines, helps the consumer make an informed decision about the windows they choose and how well they will perform. Consumers are increasingly requesting rated windows and due to this increase the number of rated windows on the BRFC scheme is doubling each year. This is good news for the installer as the BFRC is boosting support for registered companies to help maximise sales and continue raising awareness. Look out for the BFRC’s new homeowner window energy rating certificate which features the ‘rainbow’ colour label which can be issued if the BFRC’s energy ratings are used as a route to Building Regulations compliance.

 

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The Glass and Glazing Federation

The GGF was founded in 1977 to cover all aspects of the glass and windows industry and now also solar applications.  The GGF is recognised by government and plays a large part in the setting of new standards and regulations, such as The Building Regulations and more recently the Green Deal. The GGF worked to make sure the Government included windows in the Green Deal and to ensure that its members stood to benefit from the initiative. When companies join the GGF they receive many benefits such as support, advice and information. In the same way a FENSA registered company can use the FENSA logo, the company is able to use the GGF logo to demonstrate their commitment to working to the highest possible standards.  FENSA is a subsidiary of the GGF working hard to ensure that energy efficient windows and doors are installed to the appropriate Building Regulations in order to comply with current planning rules and by doing so enable our registered companies to self-certify compliance under these Building Regulations without the need for a separate assessment from Building Control.

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GGFI

FENSA installers are required to have in place for their customers deposit protection (if deposits are taken), and must offer an extension of their own guarantee/warranty using an independent insurance policy provider such as GGFI. This is called an Insurance-Backed Guarantee (IBG) which is a very important form of insurance for your customers as it protects the homeowner should the installation company cease to trade. This can be crucial in the event something goes wrong with the installation after the company no longer exists and their guarantee cannot be fulfilled.

Do let us know if you have any specific questions about any of the organisations we have talked about.

Building Blocks Series 11: The Burj Khalifa

17 Sep

The next iconic building in our Building Blocks series is sure to take your breath away. It is currently the tallest building in the world, namely the Burj Khalifa in Dubai. The building was created by Skidmore, Owings and Merril LLP and took 6 years to build, opening in 2010.

The architect, Adrian Smith, who designed the tower, incorporated patterns from traditional Islamic architecture and interestingly, the Hymenocallis, a regional desert flower. The tower has the appearance of petals on a stem as the wings of the building extend out from the middle of the structure.

So what makes up this magnificent building? As you would expect from being the world’s tallest building, it holds a number of records.  It stands at over 828 metres and has 160 stories. Not for the faint-hearted, the observation deck is the highest in the world at 124 stories up. When you arrive at the deck from a high speed lift, you step out to floor to ceiling glass walls which allow an all-round view of the surrounding area, including the city, desert and ocean.

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Now what about the windows! Well the outside is clad in 26,000 individually hand-cut glass panels that have been specially designed to withstand the extreme summer heat and reflect the light. If they were laid out, they would cover 17 football fields! That could be considered another window cleaning headache until you know there are 18 building maintenance units installed, which can reach the whole building. When all the units are operating together, it can take three to four months to clean all the glass.

If you should ever have the opportunity to visit this incredible building, you will be pleased to know you can undertake the ‘At the Top’ observation deck experience.

The Jargon!

9 Sep

What is a MTC card? What does FENSA stand for? These and many more are the sort of questions we are asked all the time. So we thought it would be a good idea to write a blog explaining some of the jargon!

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OK, let’s start with:

FENSA is an acronym for the Fenestration Self-Assessment Scheme. It was set up following government encouragement, by the Glass and Glazing Federation (GGF) and other industry bodies as a result of the change in building regulations in April 2002. FENSA allows registered installers to self-certify their work conforms to the building regulations.

Revised glazing CPS requirements have been set out by the government. Transition to certified installer is the process whereby a registered installer makes the transition to certified installer and by doing so fulfils these new requirements. Transition needs to be completed by June 2014 or the installer will no longer be able to self-certify. These measures will increase standards within our industry. For FENSA installers, there is a full guide to the transition together with a document check list available at www.fensaonline.com.

 

MTC stands for Minimum Technical Competencies. These are a set of criteria introduced by the government that installers and surveyors must meet when replacing windows and doors in domestic properties. Every installer and surveyor must be able to satisfy MTCs by June 2014 to continue working through any glazing Competent Persons Schemes.  MTC compliance work hand-in-hand with the declarations of installer and surveyor experience or qualifications made by installation companies as they transition to Certified Installer status.  The FENSA MTC card is the easiest way to demonstrate compliance cost effectively and applications are open to everyone who is a member of ‘any’ replacement window/door glazing Competent Person Scheme. Register for your FENSA MTC Card at http://www.fensa.org.uk/mtc.aspx

The DCLG is the Department for Communities and Local Government which is a ministerial department. One of its responsibilities is making the planning system work more efficiently and effectively.

 

UKAS is the abbreviation for the United Kingdom Accreditation Service. The government recognises this body to assess internationally agreed standards are met. FENSA is UKAS accredited.

 

The Green Deal is a government environmental initiative to enable homeowners to make energy saving improvements to their home without paying the costs up front. Double glazing is included in the Green Deal. FENSA is a UKAS Green Deal Certification Body which means we can provide assessments for our companies to become certified as Green Deal Installers.  FENSA installers who wish to become a Green Deal certified installer with FENSA can email enquiries@fensa.org.uk or phone 020 7645 3700.

 

TrustMark is a government endorsed scheme to help homeowners find trustworthy and reputable trades’ people. FENSA has been an approved TrustMark Scheme Operator since 2007 which means, if you want to register for TrustMark, as a FENSA registered business, because you have already been vetted, you automatically qualify (Providing you have traded for 12 months).

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Well how did you do? Did you find some useful information in our definitions?