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26 May, 2022

Aluminium installers worried about the implications of the new Part L can relax thanks to the efforts of the technical team at AluFold Direct.

The Blackburn-based fabricator, headed up by industry expert Russell Yates, has ensured that all its aluminium window and door products meet the thermal performance levels required using either U-Values or the relevant WER/DSERs ratings, without any significant changes to the cost, the specification or the ordering process.

Russell explained: “We’ve taken a pragmatic approach to demonstrating compliance with Part L – going down the WER/DSER route to demonstrate compliance on our windows, sliders and bifolds and only using U-Values for our roof lantern and commercial doors. WERs/DSERs arguably provide a more complete picture of the energy performance of a window and door than a U-Value because they take into account solar gain and air leakage as well as heat loss. They also, of course, rely on the familiar rainbow labelling method meaning they are instantly trusted and understood by homeowners.

“The big advantage for our customers is that we’ve been able to get all our glazed windows, sliding doors and bifolds accredited to the B or C rating required by the new Part L ahead of the June 15 deadline and can continue to supply our products without interruption.

“It’s been a major project for our technical team – training to become registered simulators, carrying out the necessary calculations in-house and becoming accredited BFRC Simplified Energy License holders all in the space of a few months. But we’re pretty confident that we’re now well ahead of the competition in terms of being able to offer a coherent and straightforward solution for installers.”

The AluFold Direct offering applies to double glazed products, which account for around 80% of what the company supplies. If customers are ordering unglazed products or require a higher specification for new build installations, then the technical team can provide individual calculations using cascaded data.

Russell added: “We’ve done the hard work so that our customers don’t have to. We’re getting calls all the time from installers who are worried about the implications of the new Regs and the potential penalties if they don’t comply. We’ve been able to reassure them that we have a solution which will not only satisfy Building Control and FENSA inspections but, thanks to the addition of the rainbow labelling system, might even help them to win new retail business as well.

“We’re under no illusions that the next Part L update due in 2025 to align with the government’s Future Homes targets will be significantly more difficult to comply with. But, we are already looking at new product solutions right across our range which will allow us to offer customers a choice of either U-Value or WER compliance well in advance of that deadline.”

AluFold Direct has produced a downloadable guide to the Building Reg changes – including Part F (ventilation) and Part O (overheating) as well as Part L. It is available via the download centre.