Part F Considerations for Window Manufacturers - July 2011

This article appeared in Glass News, July 2011

Almost a year on from changes to Part F of the building regulations, Tyson Anderson, Titon’s Sales and Marketing Director, takes a look at the considerations for window manufacturers and fabricators.

Nothing much has changed…yet

Despite the revisions to Part F coming in almost a year ago, at Titon we are only really now starting to see the changes taking effect in the window ventilation market place. So what do glass manufacturers and fabricators need to consider when it comes to meeting the requirements of Part F and what else is in the frame?

Let’s start by reintroducing you to some old friends…

Part F changes in 2010 introduced different requirements for background ventilation provision in new build (Systems 1-4), depending on how airtight the dwelling is. The more airtight the property, the more background ventilation is required. But contrary to popular belief, fulfilling the requirements of Part F isn’t all about mechanical systems. In the large majority of existing dwellings the traditional and most popular solution of using trickle vents and intermittent extract ventilation (System 1 in the document) still provides a very reliable option.

System 2 and System 3 also require background ventilation to function, which is usually provided by trickle vents, such as Titon’s Trimvent Select Xtra. These are fitted in conjunction with either passive stack ventilation ducts (System 2) or centrally located continuously running mechanical extract fan with ducts (System 3). It’s only the, less commonly used, whole house ventilation systems (System 4) that do not require background ventilation to function, so trickle vents are still a major player in the new build market.

There are also opportunities to consider following the introduction of Part F in the replacement windows market. The first regulations requiring background ventilation appeared 20 years ago - so many windows which are being replaced now, to meet the requirements of the regulations, will also have ventilators fitted to them.  For peace of mind, a refresher training course may be a good idea or at least a chat with Titon’s ventilation technical team (01206 713800) who can provide all the help you need.

And there’s more…

Some argue the real challenge for window fitters is meeting the detailed requirements of the Domestic Ventilation Compliance Guide (DVCG). “The what”? I hear some fabricators say…well there might be more interest in finding out when I explain the impact on the day job. This guide, for those who haven’t come across it yet, provides additional information about meeting the requirements for installation in Part F and Part L. Included is a requirement for ‘Leaving instructions with householders on how ventilators work’ and it is the responsibility of the developer to arrange. The developer may well ‘pass the buck’ and ask the window fitter to do it. So planning ahead in terms of providing the right information is a must.

Marking the vents with their Equivalent Area (EA), the industry accepted method of determining the performance of a ventilator, is also coming into its own via the DVCG. This should help fabricators choose and install the correct sized trickle vents more easily. I would also suggest recent revisions to the Scottish Regulations, (‘Technical Standards’) are worth a look. While, an increase in the requirement for window thermal efficiency to help meet Part L is also noticeable.

It’s good to talk

The implications of the Building Regulation changes mean that better communication is needed throughout the supply chain from manufacturer to fabricator, to fitter and ventilation component supplier. This will help ensure the correct products are specified right from the start of the job. We’re very fortunate that Titon has such a breadth of product – as well as expertise. We’re able to work with manufacturers on all types of windows from domestic through to commercial – and any material from timber to PVCU or aluminium. You can always give us a call and see how we can help.

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