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Waste not Want not!

28 Mar

When you decide to have new replacement energy efficient double glazing in your home, you may quite understandably be worried as to what happens to your old windows. Many questions spring to mind such as can the materials used in the manufacture of the old windows be recycled, does your local council allow building waste at their recycling site, will it cost for the disposal? Lots of things to consider.

However there is good news as many double glazing companies now collect the frames and glass from your old windows to be sent to specialist recycling companies. These recycling companies work with window companies and installers, to ensure that the old window frames do not end up in landfill. If you chose a company that offers this service, you don’t have to worry about this happening as the materials from your windows will be recycled and be made in to new PVC products or even to produce new windows.  If you are replacing wooden doors and frames, you may be able to pass them on to a company that can restore them and sell them on, once again preventing them being wasted.


International Recycling Symbol

International Recycling Symbol


It is good to know that the recycling of your old windows prevents the valuable materials being lost to landfill sites and also reduces the amount of raw materials being used up. So, not only are you being green by having energy efficient windows fitted, you are being green by protecting the environment.

An organisation called Recovinyl was set up in 2003 as part of the original Vinyl 2010 Voluntary Commitment to advance the sustainable development of the PVC industry by improving production processes, minimise emissions, develop recycling technology and boost the collection and recycling of waste.  You can read more about its objectives by clicking the link.




If you are feeling particularly adventurous you can recycle your old windows and frames within your own home, turning them in to interesting decorative objects or even making new useful products. You might also find in your local area an organisation that can make use of your old windows.

We would love to hear about your ideas on recycling double glazing, please share them in the comments below.


BFRC Launches Homeowner Energy Rating Certificates

21 Mar

BFRC has responded to requests from its registered businesses to launch a homeowner’s window and door energy rating certificate.  The certificate will be specific to the property and the products installed and will feature the installers name and date of installation as well as the well-known ‘rainbow’ colour label.  It is the only such certificate available in the UK glazing sector.


If an installer uses BFRC energy ratings as the route to compliance for ADL (rather than U-values) then this Homeowner Certificate can be issued for the client.  At the point of notification on the FENSA website installers will now be asked if they would like this BFRC Homeowner Certificate issued and dispatched with the FENSA certificate.

This new certificate will give homeowners proof of the level of energy efficiency their new windows and doors have achieved as verified by the premier, independent authority on window and door energy ratings.  It can be kept by the homeowner and presented to an Energy Performance Certificate surveyor and any prospective purchasers when it comes to selling the property.

This certificate is a valuable new marketing tool for installers.  Issuing of the certificate can be promoted by the installer to the homeowner as a value added benefit of using that company.  It will also link the new windows and doors supplied with the installation company and could facilitate ‘word of mouth’ recommendation.  It is issued at the same time as the FENSA certificate and can be supplied with no extra administration for the installer.

This new BFRC Homeowner Energy Rating Certificate will cost the installer just £1.50 (ex VAT).  As it is not mandatory homeowners will also be able to purchase this certificate direct in the event that the installer does not provide it.  In that case the cost will be £10 (ex VAT) and will be charged to the homeowner.  Replacement certificates can be purchased in the event of loss.

“BFRC recently surveyed its registered businesses about a number of issues ranging from technical support to marketing,” commented BFRC Operations Director Chris Mayne,  “80% requested a BFRC Homeowner Certificate that clearly sets out the energy rating of the products installed.  We have quickly responded to that demand and launched this new certificate.”

The certificate will feature the energy efficiency label that recent research found was recognised by 82% of homeowners.

The BFRC Homeowner Certificate is just the first of several marketing support initiatives that will be launched by BFRC


For further information, please contact: Lis Clarke, BFRC, tel:  0207 939 9120, email:

Building Blocks Series 16: The Canton Tower

14 Mar

The next stunning building in our Building Blocks series is the Canton Tower in China. It is currently the highest tower in China and the third tallest in the world. The tower is unusual in that it was built as a sightseeing building and new landmark for the city of Guangzhou.

It has a unique shape with the building twisting up towards the sky. The tower narrows in the middle making it appear to have a waist. The shape is formed by two ellipses rotated relative to each other. One ellipse is at foundation level and one at 450m.

Wikimedia Commons

Wikimedia Commons

Overall the tower is 600m tall with two observation decks: the Cloud Observation Deck on the 107th floor and the Star Observation Deck on the 108th floor. On a clear day the view is magnificent through the staggering 8,922 windows. The Pearl River and city lie beneath your feet if you are brave enough to stand on the Glass Walk.

If you have a head for heights take a look at how the tower’s windows are kept clean!

Wikimedia Commons

Wikimedia Commons

The Canton Tower also boasts the longest spiral staircase in the world called the Spider Walk. You need to be pretty fit to undertake the climb as it starts on the 32nd floor and finishes on the 64th floor! You will have actually climbed 1000m skywards all the while treading on transparent steps. Quite an experience. If you are feeling particularly courageous you can take a ride in the Bubble Tram which runs around the top of the tower at 455m from the ground, to enjoy a panoramic view of the surrounding area.

In November 2010 Guangzhou hosted the 16th Asian Games with the Canton Tower used for an amazing fireworks display at the Opening and Closing Ceremony of the Games.

Wikimedia Commons

Wikimedia Commons

The Canton Tower may hold many records such as having the highest ferris wheel and 4D cinema in the world but it can be best appreciated for its unique, elegant appearance and charm.





You may not be able to sell your property without it!

10 Mar

It is often said one of the most stressful events in life is moving home. You put your property on the market, negotiate a sale and then find out what the solicitors need. Suddenly everything seems confusing and you have to find all sorts of documents requested by the buyer’s solicitors. Lots of the documents involved are certificates proving compliance: certificates for electrical work, gas certificates, building regulations and a very important one, your FENSA certificate!



Over the years you might find some of these certificates have been mislaid or even lost.  However, one thing you don’t have to worry about is your FENSA certificate. If you have had replacement windows or doors installed in your property by a FENSA registered company since April 2002, you will certainly have received your FENSA certificate

FENSAlogoFENSA keep a record of all registered installations so if you can’t put your hand on your certificate, you don’t need to panic. Just by entering your postcode on the FENSA website, you will be able to order a replacement. Your FENSA certificate acts as documentary evidence that your installation has been self-certified as complying with the Building regulations. At least one part of the stressful procedure can be eliminated.



So, when you use a FENSA registered fitter, you can be sure your windows or doors are being supplied and fitted to the Building Regulations standards and not only that, if and when you sell your property you will have a FENSA certificate ready for the solicitors!

cert-pic fensa

How our webinars work

28 Feb

Are you interested in attending FENSA’s free one hour online seminars, (webinars)? This blog will show you how easy it is to register, attend, ask questions, provide feedback and receive a recording of the webinar.


So, let’s start at the beginning. You will find details of the webinars such as dates, times, subjects and registration links throughout all FENSA’s social media, the website and the installers’ area. You will need to have access to a computer, internet browser, internet connection and a sound system.

Once you have decided on the webinar you wish to attend, you will need to register your free place. The registration link will take you straight to the registration form which only takes a couple of minutes to fill in. On completion of the form you will receive a registration confirmation email. This email will contain the details of the webinar and your personal registration link to use to attend the webinar when it takes place. In the run up to the webinar you will also receive a timely reminder email on the day before and an hour before the webinar starts.

It is a good idea to allow yourself ten minutes or so before the start of the webinar to click your registration link and follow the simple instructions to get set up.

Now sit back and listen to the webinar speaker. There may be an onscreen presentation as well. Depending on the format of the webinar, there is usually an opportunity to ask questions. This is done by just typing out your question and sending it. You do not have to speak.

Question _130787843

After the conclusion of the webinar, you will be sent a thank you email with the opportunity to provide us with your feedback by completing a short survey. We then collate all this information to help us plan future events. Once the surveys are received we are then able to email you a link to a recording of the webinar for your records. The recording can then be referred back to at a later date.

FENSA’s programme of free one hour webinars provide a great deal of useful information and answers to your questions and are an opportunity not to be missed.

The details of our next three webinars on Transition to Certified Installer Status and the MTCs are below.

Hope you can join us.

Pass your Transition to Certified Installer Status

Thursday 6 March 2014 Time: 7-8pm
Book your free seminar place here,286TR,76KK80,82C4U,1

Thursday 20 March 2014 Time: 1-2pm
Book your free seminar place here,286TR,76KK80,82C4U,1

Pass your MTC Assessment

Thursday 27 March 2014 Time: 7-8pm
Book your free seminar place here,286TR,76KK80,82C4U,1

The Consumer and the Changes!

26 Feb

As a regular reader of our blog you may have noticed a lot of talk about Transition to Certified Installer (TCI) and the FENSA MTC card. This may have all seemed like a foreign language to you as at the end of the day, what you are interested in, is a job well done and a FENSA certificate, so you know your installation complies with Building Regulations. This is essential if you are thinking of selling your property in the future.


The key thing here is you want a job well done. The government has introduced revised glazing Competent Person Scheme (CPS) requirements to help to ensure just that, by further improving standards in the domestic replacement window and door industry. In addition to the revised TCI requirements, the government now requires all registered installers to comply with the industry’s Minimum Technical Competencies (MTC), an opportunity for individual installers and surveyors to improve their credentials and registered companies to improve the skills base of their workforce.

shutterstock_116484019 workmen

So how will these improvements to standards affect you, the consumer?

Let’s start with the revised glazing CPS requirements. These were introduced by the Department for Communities and Local Governments (DCLG) in 2012. With over 8,000 registered companies in FENSA alone needing to transition, the deadline for compliance is set as June 2014. Once a company has registered on the revised scheme they are known as ‘Certified Installers’. This will result in a further increase in workmanship standards and customer service. Great news for the consumer!

So what about the FENSA MTC card? All installers who work within a Competent Person Scheme such as FENSA will need to be compliant with the industry’s MTCs such as holding a FENSA MTC Card. This is similar to the sort of card you will have seen held by electricians and plumbers. As the name suggests, the FENSA MTC card will let the consumer know the installer and surveyor is well qualified, with qualifications such as NVQ Level 2 and from online tests. It is great to know your installer has the skills and competencies to carry out your installation to a nationally recognised standard. The FENSA MTC card also shows the identity of your installer so you know exactly who you are dealing with, and will help eliminate rogue traders. The card is very sophisticated as the data held on the installer can be viewed by scanning the card with a smartphone. The installer and surveyor’s experience, training and qualifications will all be shown and the technology ensures the data is always up to date. Standards will be maintained with the MTC cardholder being re-assessed every five years, to ensure they have kept their skills and knowledge current and they are up to date with any further changes that have been introduced.

So there you have it! Just by choosing a FENSA registered installer, the consumer can be assured of the highest possible standards in the Fenestration industry.

shutterstock_99436700 Thumbs up

Things are looking up!

11 Feb

With the doom and gloom of the recent weeks’ rain and storms, you may wonder what we are referring to.

Well, we are very pleased to let you know that 2013 saw the first year on year increase of replacement window and door installation notifications since 2007.

Not only can we bring you that great news but also the figures show that during 2013 there have been 4.5% more installations than 2012. So it certainly seems like things are looking up.

General 129686666

So how do we know this? Here at FENSA, we collate the installation numbers to enable us to compare different years, quarters and even months. For example we know that notifications in December 2013 were up by 25% on December 2012. Of course all this information is very useful statistically but more than that it provides a vital insight in to the health of our industry.

The figures we have just published are very encouraging, with 75% of monthly notifications in 2013 higher than 2012 as can be seen below:

April 2013 +11.3%

May 2013 +2.9%

June 2013 +12%

July 2013 +9.9%

August 2013 +5.5%

September 2013 +13.2%

October 2013 +0.5%

December 2013 +25.2%

The total number of installations for 2013 was 702,495, quite an amazing figure, although still 27% lower than the highest point in 2007. But seven years on it appears our industry is now going in the right direction and hopefully this growth will continue throughout 2014. Look out for our quarterly figures which we will be publishing during the year.

open window

We mentioned at the beginning of this blog the bad weather that has plagued us for the last few weeks and would like to know if you have found it has affected your business. Please let us know about your experiences in the comments below.