An open letter from Nigel Headford, Director of Deceuninck Aluminium UK.
The window and door industry doesn’t care about regulation. At least most of it doesn’t. Regulation is seen as a ‘burden’ not an opportunity.
Regulatory change is, however, coming and those companies that are simply waiting on either their systems company or their fabricator to deliver a solution, could find that they’re facing a new supply crisis from next year.
There are some big changes ahead in the coming year to Part L, Part F, Part Q and others, which will place new regulatory requirements on the construction sector and those who supply it.
Are installers and fabricators taking any notice? Some – but the industry is not as forward looking as it needs to be.
We and a handful of others have flagged the implications of changes to Part L to the sector. The ramifications of what at time of writing remain draft guidance but what should this month [December], become a new requirement under Building Regulations, are enormous.
If as is expected we see an uplift in performance in new build to a uniform 1.2W/m2K for windows and doors and 1.4W/m2K (or WER B rating) for home improvement, then fabricators of some of the systems of the biggest names in aluminium are going to discover that part of their offer at least, will fall short. That’s new build but also replacement markets.
Fabricators and installers need to be planning for change. Are they? Again, the progressive ones will be – they can smell an opportunity. But many more still have their head in the sand, waiting to be presented with a solution that on this occasion isn’t coming.
A lot of systems companies have been asleep at the wheel. They’ve been caught out by supply chain disruption but also regulatory change.
The product developmental cycle is long. You can’t just tweak an older aluminium door system and suddenly expect it to be more energy efficient or go from being limited to a 28mm unit to accommodate a triple-glazed one – and let’s face it no installer wants to fit triple-glazed IGU’s and handle increased weights anyway.
If they don’t have a solution now, your aluminium systems provider or your fabricator is unlikely to have a solution in time for summer 2022.
The flipside of this coin, is for fabricators and installers making and fitting next generation products, including Decalu and a handful of others, the opportunities going into 2022 are enormous.
Our product ranges can go as low as 0.6W/m2K. Our bi-folds, inline-sliding-doors, windows, will comfortably meet the current round of changes to Part L with only double-glazed units. With that level of thermal performance, they will also meet the minimum 0.8W/m2K u-value requirement being suggested under the Future Homes Standard, in 2025.
It’s not too late for anyone (although a number of systems companies may have a rough ride over the coming months). That assumes they adopt a proactive approach now and get to grips with the biggest regulatory change in a decade.
It’s about being ready for and seeing regulatory change, as an opportunity not ‘a burden’. To build in increased margin and evidence the value proposition in our product and service offer.
Deceuninck Aluminium and fabricators of Decalu are ready. Is your systems company?
Director – Deceuninck Aluminium