Archive | December, 2013

Building Blocks Series 14: City Hall

17 Dec

This month’s iconic building is City Hall, home to the Mayor of London and the London assembly.

It was designed by Foster & Partners to be a new landmark for the capital. In this blog we will see if they have succeeded in their challenge.

Source Wikimedia

Source Wikimedia


The first thing we noticed was its striking, round shape covered in glass. It is actually a geometrically modified sphere, scientifically designed to reduce heat loss from its surface and to be as Green as possible. To that end it has solar panels on the roof and also leans back by 31 degrees to allow for natural shading from sunlight. The heat produced by lights and computers is even recycled back throughout the building. Cold water from the water table under London is used instead of refrigeration to air condition the building and then used for flushing the toilets.


Source Wikimedia

Source Wikimedia


One of the major features which we know you will be interested in is the 7,300 sq metres of triple glazed low, emissivity coated, clear glass windows cladding the building.  These can be opened in office areas to allow for natural ventilation. The windows also incorporate self-shading devices. The unique shape of City Hall minimises its surface area by 25% of an equivalent rectangular building and combined with the high performance windows results in its excellent energy efficiency. City Hall currently uses a quarter of the energy of a similar building.


If you would like to visit this amazing building it is situated on the south bank of the Thames just along from the HMS Belfast.  You won’t be able to miss it! You can even book the top floor for an event from a corporate event to a civil wedding!


MTC and Transitions

12 Dec

Following on from our Q&A sessions on Twitter we have noticed some of our installers are confused between Minimum Technical Competencies (MTC) and Transition to Certified Installer status. This is understandable as both have been recently introduced by the government to improve standards in the Fenestration industry and both require compliance by June 6th 2014.


One of the main differences to notice is MTC relates to the individual and Transition to the registered company. An overlap occurs as one of the requirements of Transition is all installers and surveyors self-certifying within a glazing Competent Person Scheme (CPS) must be MTC compliant.

If you take a look at the list of documents required for Transition to Certified Installer Status below, you can see a requirement for a Staff Competency Form at point 8. This is where the installers and surveyors will be listed with their MTC Cards. To avoid a failed Transition inspection, it is essential to have all these documents organised and at the inspection site.

1. FENSA Approved Insurance Backed Guarantee – Evidence of Provider & Membership No

2. Customer Contract with terms and conditions

3. Customer Specification Survey Sheet

4. Contract for Subcontractors

5. Health & Safety Document (if you have five or more employees)

6. Public Liability Insurance Certificate – min. £2m

7. Employment Liability Insurance Certificate – min. £10m

8. Complaints Procedure

9. Staff Competency Form

From June 2014 FENSA (via its inspection body, the BBA) will be asking for the names of the surveyor/fitter who have worked on the installation to check them for MTC compliance. An employer can register its installers and surveyors for the FENSA MTC Card on their behalf but as the card is issued to the individual, it is their responsibility to complete the tests, assessments or qualifications and keep it up to date. The bonus of having a FENSA MTC Card to the installer or surveyor is that it is transferable across employers and other glazing CPS schemes. Also even if you are registered with another glazing CPS you can still have a FENSA MTC card as it is individual to you.




To make Transition as easy as possible we have published our ‘Guide for Transition to Certified Installer’ which you can find in your installers’ area at and in the New Year we will issue details of the dates and times of our free webinars on Transition.

Transition to Certified Installer

3 Dec

As you are probably aware there are major changes and improvements taking place in the Fenestration industry, with the introduction of Minimum Technical Competencies (MTCs) and Transition to Certified Installer status (TCI). It is important to be well informed and keep updated. To that end we hope our Q&A sessions on Twitter and more recently, our online Seminars are proving to be very useful to our installers.

In the New Year we will be holding two webinars looking at Transition to the revised Competent Person Scheme requirements as set out by the Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG). This is where all window, door and roof light replacement glazing CPSs have to transfer their existing registered companies from self-certifying under the old CPS, to self-certifying under the revised CPS requirements.



We will issue details of the dates and times of these webinars shortly and how you can register for your FREE place. Each Webinar is an hour long session packed with information and there will be questions answered at the end of the presentation. Once you have registered all you will need is a computer with a speaker and of course an internet connection.

All installers must have transitioned by 6th June 2014 and the inspections have already started.

We are trying to make this transition as easy as possible and have also published our ‘Guide for Transition to Certified Installer’ which you can find in your installers’ area at

In the guide you will find a document check list that you can work through to make sure you have everything you need. It is important to have the correct documentation available to the inspectors to avoid an inspection failure.

Don’t forget, we are also hosting a series of FREE one-hour online twitter Q&A sessions to answer your questions on transitions:

Q&A Twitter Sessions – Transition to Certified Installer Status Schedule

Wed 4 Dec 2013 (2pm – 3pm)

Tue 14 Jan 2014 (1pm – 2pm)

Tue 4 Feb 2014 (7pm – 8pm)

Wed 26 Feb 2014 (2pm – 3pm)

Wed 26 Mar 2014 (7pm – 8pm)



Our next Q&A session on Twitter 4th December 2-3pm will provide an opportunity for you to ask your questions about Transition to Certified Installer and we hope you can join us. If you do not have a Twitter account, it is free and is easy to set up at To participate, simply log into your twitter* account and tweet us your question: @FENSA_Windows


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