HWL has warned that the extension of current newbuild requirements for laminate glass in accessible windows and doors to home improvement, would massively increase cost and complexity for installers.

The specialist manufacturer of Residence Collection says, any decision to extend current provisions under PAS24 to replacement markets as part of the revision of Part Q, would increase weight and associated handling costs. Affecting anyone fitting R9 as a glass-bonded system.

With the consultation on Part Q already overdue and expected to start early in 2023. It warns the new requirement could impact the industry, as early as summer next year.

Graham Howatson, director, HWL, said: “It can be painful enough in a new build environment where in most cases access is more straightforward. The idea of handling large R9 frames and glass-bonded units in a period installation is the thing of nightmares for fitters!

“Nothing is definite, but the signs point to an extension of current Part Q new build requirements, under PAS24:2016 to the replacement market.”

“That would mean, amongst other things, laminate glass on accessible doors and windows bringing far more weight into already heavy to handle product.”

He points out that a standard IGU in a 4/20/4mm configuration will weigh in at around 20kg/m2. This compares to a standard laminate unit in a 6/16/8.8mm configuration. comes in at around 35kg/m2 – a 75% increase in weight.

“It’s not only the inconvenience and the cost,” Graham continued, “there’s also a health and safety issue, the kind of weights we’re talking about present very real risk of injury.

“Handling frames and glass separately doesn’t eliminate that risk entirely, but it does reduce it.”

Residence 9 windows

HWL pioneered the development of a non-glass-bonded 90° jointed R9 window in 2017. This replicates a traditional 90° mechanical joint on both sides of a welded sash.

This effectively eliminates the pre-existing requirement to glass-bond the sash, reducing weight and simplifying handling and installation. This is done, by allowing installers to glaze windows in the same way as any other PVC-U system.

Cost modelling by the trade fabricator, suggests that this delivers savings of up to £500. On average it takes three-day’s to install, by making handling easier. There is then no requirement to bring in more labour into fitting teams.

Graham argues, it also allows installers to lower glass costs by sourcing IGUs locally. Delivering on average a further 10% saving. This extends to the supply of astragal bars, which HWL offers in kit form. This allows the installers to source heritage designs locally.

“We need to see where Part Q goes, but the fact is at present there are lots of pointers, which suggest the requirement for laminate glass that we have in new build will be extended to home improvement.”

“If that happens, it’s going to add big costs for everyone, but for installers fitting R9 as a glass bonded system a host of additional complexities and overhead.”

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