Significant investment in BSI’s Hemel Hempstead fenestration test laboratory for 2020 with the installation of one of the largest window and door weather performance test rigs in the UK
The new KS Schulten test wall can accommodate a single test sample 6.5m wide and 4m in height including anything in between.
Our new weather performance rig becomes operational at a time when the fenestration market is seeing continued growth in lifestyle products and in particular sliding doors. Bi-folds, slide & swing, patios and lift & slide are all popular consumer choices enabling access to outdoor living spaces blurring the lines between the inside and out coupled with the trend for open plan living, increasing the amount of natural light and space in the home.
Testing to the latest weathertightness standard BS 6375-1:2015+A1:2016 will allow manufacturers to prove performance to their maximum sizes. As sales of aluminium frames continue to rise with its added material benefits of strength and minimal sightlines, architects and consumers alike are specifying ever larger expanses of glass due in part to the vision created by programmes such as Grand Designs. However, not be left out, we’ve also had testing enquiries for PVC-U and timber alternative designs coming from continental Europe using lift & slide hardware that can be manufactured in-excess of 6m in width with just 2 panes of glass.
This follows on from investments in 2017 to expand our enhanced security test rig to enable products to achieve PAS 24:2016 up to 6m in width and 3m in height and robots which carry out operation, strength and durability testing to BS 6375-2:2009
With the new weather performance test rig, Kitemark clients can continue to differentiate themselves from the competition and show what they are made of – literally! by demonstrating that their products have been robustly tested to their maximum size.
Because Kitemarked products can be tested to their worst case, it allows prospective customers or specifiers to make informed rather than compromised decisions about whether the installed product will perform as designed and specified. Large expanse doors and value-added products such as bi-folds are forecasted to see on-going growth through to 2023(1) and now that BSI are equipped to certify all aspects of Kitemark to much larger sizes we too are expecting to see increasing demand for sliding door products in our Hemel Hempstead laboratory during this year and beyond.
We would encourage any manufacturer launching a new product of this kind or looking to extend their certification scope to incorporate larger sizes to get in-touch. In addition to testing and certification to the latest standards we can also offer development days with our lab team where clients can pre-test a number of options to assist with product development.
Learn more about our windows and doors offering here.
Mark Barsby, Built Environment Technical Development Manager, BSI UK
(1)Bi-fold doors market report UK 2020 to 2023 – AMA Research