Double glazing manufacturers and suppliers such as Essex-based Trade Windows Services have offered a cautious welcome to new EU regulations introduced on the 1st July, 2013.
Construction products including double glazed windows and PVCu doors are now subject to harmonisation of European Norms (hENs) and must display the CE Mark to denote that they comply with certain expectations and common standards. CE Marking is an extension of the Construction Products Directive and is designed to give consumers the ability to compare products on a like for like basis.
The CE Mark requires manufacturers of double glazed windows to accurately define their products – such as casement windows, sash windows, tilt & turn windows. There is a responsibility to quantify the nature of product features such as the thermal efficiency rating of the double glazed unit or the strength of locking or safety features. The onus is on the manufacturer to prove consistency in construction and to have component parts independently assessed as being fit for purpose. Before adding the CE Marking to products and packaging, the manufacturer must make a self-declaration that all stages have been complied with and adequately recorded.
The reason for the cautious welcome by many in the double glazing industry is precisely because of the nature of self-declaration. Respected double glazing companies like Trade Windows Services see the new legislation as being a step in the right direction but warn that a CE Mark in itself is no guarantee of quality, nor does it ensure that the double glazed windows or PVCu doors meet Building Regulations. The lack of a CE mark on double glazing should make the public wary but there is still the need to shop around for reputable manufacturers with a proven track record for quality and excellent customer service.