By Andy McDowell, Pilkington National Sales Manager UK & Ireland
With the forthcoming changes to Part L of the Building Regulations 2010, Pilkington has been working hard to ensure that the industry knows how these regulations will affect their business and the sales opportunities that exist through the inclusion of Window Energy Ratings (WERs) as a method of compliance to meet these regulations. We have championed WERs since their introduction and inclusion in Part L of the Building Regulations 2006, working closely with our customers and setting up the Pilkington energiKare™ Partner scheme. The scheme was in fact designed to mirror the requirements of Window Energy Ratings and help customers to achieve compliance through this route.
With just a few weeks left to comply with the 2010 regulations we have launched the Pilkington WER V4 calculator to provide indicative thermal energy ratings, making it even easier for Pilkington customers to obtain a WER for their windows and in doing so offering a more accessible method of obtaining a WER.
The present WERs accreditation scheme requires individual window designs to be simulated by an accredited simulator so, in order to change supplier, it is necessary to pay for a new WER accreditation even though the specification of the window may be the same. The CERTASS Thermal Rating Register (TRR) scheme has approved use of the Pilkington WER V4 calculator to give registered companies the flexibility to change IGU supplier without arranging, and paying for, another full simulation. The scheme also makes it easier for an installer or trade supplier buying frames and glazing separately from different suppliers to achieve a WER rating. Crucially for our customers, the calculator allows Pilkington to advise and help them comply with the forthcoming changes to Part L of the Building Regulations.
Utilising the WER output generated from the Pilkington WER V4 tool, TRR will produce a WER label for the customer and also carry out an audit based on the window specification provided. The new system provides a more efficient service for all Pilkington customers due to the significant improvements to WERs accuracy the Pilkington WER V4 calculator brings. Improvements to Pilkington WER V4 have resulted in an overall increase of 119 per cent in A ratings with Pilkington branded products with even more A ratings possible with a full simulation.
The new Pilkington WER V4 disk lists 19 key profile suppliers with the addition of Profile 22, Swish and LB Plastics. The initial measurements carried out show an 83 per cent increase in B ratings, and a 93 per cent increase in C ratings with Pilkington branded products. Now, virtually all companies or systems using Pilkington energiKare™ achieve the minimum C rating. Evaluations under the new calculator will be available free of charge for Pilkington customers and for a small fee to customers of other glass manufacturers.
To satisfy customer demand for WERs, Pilkington Building Products launched the Pilkington energiKare™ range designed specifically to achieve a Window Energy Rating of C, B or A. Since the launch, over 500 Pilkington energiKare™ Partners and 170 Pilkington energiKare™ Associates have signed up, with 160 companies going through the approval process, helping homeowners save £8.1bn in the first year, with potential annual saving of 126,953 tonnes of CO2. For window companies who want to become a Pilkington energiKare™ Partner, the new calculation tool provides a simplified registration process for obtaining a WER, and will also help those achieving a C rating gain accreditation by October 2010 to comply with the new building regulations. More information on the tool can be found by contacting the CERTASS Thermal Rating Register directly on 0845 838 8580.