24 October 2002
BSI has launched a new Kitemark scheme to ensure the quality of PVCu window installations.
A double-glazed window is only as good as the installation. Double-glazed windows on their own can achieve the Kitemark but if a window is not properly installed it may not last.
Since the new Kitemark highlights the importance of the installation, BSI audits the survey and installation against the Local Authorities PVCu Frame Advisory Group's (LAPFAG)
Rotherham Metropolitan Borough Council (RMBC) is the first organization to achieve this new Kitemark. The council received it in conjunction with complying with the LAPFAG specification.
Alan Hope, general manager of BSI Product Services made the formal presentation to the Mayor of Rotherham, Councillor Aubrey Senior. Michael Pearson, RMBC's quality assurance officer, said: "We are delighted to have become the first licensee of this new Kitemark. We recognise its value to the public sector and believe we will benefit enormously from all the hard work we have put in to achieve this success."
RMBC has been manufacturing and installing its own double-glazing units for 15 years in line with its policy of providing the best possible service to its tenants. The council looks after 27,000 council houses of which around 70% now have PVC windows installed. RMBC's window fabrication unit operates largely for the council itself but has a growing number of contracts with other external agencies in the public sector.
BSI has worked in an advisory capacity with LAPFAG which wrote the specification in conjunction with 34 key players from the window industry, including many manufacturers.
The Specification includes three key British Standards governing performance and security of PVCu windows - BS 7413, BS 7412 and BS 7950. It also cross-references many other standards and takes survey and installation into consideration. Most importantly, it requires independent third party certification - hence the Kitemark.
As a result, risk is eliminated for the public sector procurement of PVCu windows and their installation. Specifiers in the social housing sector will have peace of mind in the selection of PVCu window suppliers since they have the assurance that successful licensees will have been audited and tested right from the initial tender process through to the fully installed product.
The current spend within the UK public sector is £400 million (US$620 million) a year on PVCu windows, through 460 local authorities and 1,300 housing associations.