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More than just hitting a standard

June 9th 2023

Whenever a piece of legislation changes, there can be confusion and concern in the market about whether products are compliant.

The ending of the transitionary period for the changes to Part L of the Building Regulations in England is one such example.

Focused on thermal performance and energy efficiency, the amendments to Part L were introduced on 15 June 2022.

Timber door manufacturers were given a year of grace to develop their products to ensure that they met the new standards, reflecting the key influence that they have on the thermal performance of a home.

With this transitionary period ending next month (June 2023), it is worth reflecting on what it means and where we are as a manufacturer.

 

What do U need to know?

One of the pieces of terminology used when describing thermal performance is U-values. U-values are a measure of how effective the elements of a building’s fabric are at insulating the property.

As of 15 June 2023, doors fitted into existing dwellings must achieve 1.4 W/(m2.K) (more here).

As you would expect, here at Solidor, our range is fully in line with these standards. To us, this change represents nothing more than the normal cycle of improvement that any industry that wants to offer the best solutions to its customers should be doing.

 

A changing landscape

Of course, when looking at any product, there’s more to it than adhering to one piece of legislation or guidance. In this world of complex legislative change, with many standards being updated on a regular basis, installers must tread carefully to avoid risk.

Unfortunately, it’s not something that the wider composite door industry has always done successfully, as highlighted in Paul Morrell’s recently published Independent Review of the Construction Product Testing Regime. When it comes to accurately describing performance and achieving compliance, there have been issues. It’s why we have seen changes such as the Building Safety Act and the Code for Construction Product Information introduced, in an effort to improve oversight and clarify key points of legislation

And it is why installers need to be careful what they buy and where they buy from. Trust is essential.

 

Opportunity knocks

Dealing with regulatory change is business as usual for us. With this change, we could have used it to develop a completely new range or moved away from our timber core. Instead, we have taken an approach that is sensitive to the performance, aesthetics and environmental impact of the product.

Maintaining the timber core offers a range of benefits. As a natural material, it is more sustainable because it captures carbon and can be recycled. It also results in a thermally efficient, durable, and more secure door. Using our design and engineering skills, built over decades working in the sector, we’ve ensured that we’ve kept the best of the product while adding design features that drive an overall improvement. All this development is underpinned by extensive research and testing, to provide the level of assurance that our customers need and expect.

As leaders in this industry, we believe that we are responsible for setting an example. It’s quite simple – do things properly and thoroughly and we will mitigate risk. No compromises in quality or performance, and a recognition of our part in creating positive outcomes for end users and a long-term sustainable future for the industry and the planet.

That is why we never stand still. We continually invest sizeable sums and resources towards developing and improving our product portfolio.

 

Your role as an installer

If you are recommending products to your clients, you are responsible for ensuring that they are fit for purpose and the intended use. And, while many end users are more informed about performance and compliance requirements, the onus is on industry to take the lead.

So, you need to be working with a manufacturer you can trust. That’s what we are, with independently verified test data and certification to cover our products. This third-party testing looks at everything from a safety, security and performance perspective, so you can be completely clear on how the door will perform.

With a long track record of investing in skills, product development and facilities, we’re always here to support our customers through these changes.


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  • Kitemark License - Doors
  • Kitemark License - Insulating Glass Units
  • BSI - ISO 9001
  • UK CA
  • Secured by Design
  • G16 Finalist

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