BFRC accreditation & energy ratings

Changes to Building Regulations: In June 2009 a draft revision to current Building Regulations was published as a consultation document, to allow the industry to make comments prior to final publication. These comments were submitted and the publication of the regulations took place in April 2010 and became mandatory in October 2010. It is known that it will have major implications for Window Frame and IGU manufacturers with U values of these products being reduced to help the government meet its obligations on greenhouse emissions.

The minimum rating of a fully glazed window is a “C” under the BFRC Window Energy Rating scheme. An overall window U Value is included under EN 14351 of 1.6Wm2K and the centre pane U Values may remain at 1.2 Wm2K but only in “exceptional circumstance”. It is essential that all those manufacturers in the Fenestration Industry seek advice from their suppliers and CENSolutions Ltd are extremely well placed to advise you.

CENSolutions have an Approved Simulator listed on the BFRC web site Brendan Ruddy covers the UK, Northern Ireland and Eire. Our aim is to be able to provide a full system to achieve Window Energy Ratings and smooth the way for clients to attain BFRC Registration by using the services of BFRC Independent Agencies, such as ER Certification Ltd., to conduct assessments and audits at the manufacturers’ premises.

In effect, CENSolutions Ltd and the Independent Agency can manage all the procedures involved for you to satisfy the conditions for obtaining official BFRC Window Energy Rating labels.

CENSolutions through ER Certification Ltd can also offer ISO 9001.2008 Certification in the UK in conjunction with TÜV/TNO Quality Services BV, CENSolutions Notified Body testing partner in the Netherlands. The Managing Director of ERC Bill Keating takes a lead role in this venture.

The route to attaining BFRC Energy Rating approval.

Firstly, the window manufacturer will have to get the performance of the window range in question assessed by means of a thermal simulation carried out by a BFRC Approved Simulator. The computer based simulation is based upon particular standardised windows, e.g. for a casement, the standard window configuration is 1230mm wide X 1480mm high, with one opening light plus one fixed light with a central divider. The manufacturer will also need to have a documented factory production control / quality system in operation. This will also detail the scope of the window configurations that are to be registered under the BFRC Window Energy Rating scheme and labelled accordingly.

Once the BFRC thermal simulation report has been issued the Independent Agent (IA) can start the process of assessment. This involves review of the thermal simulation reports then assessment at the manufacturer’s premises to ensure the manufactured product conforms with the relevant simulation and that the manufacturer is operating an effective Factory Production Control / Quality Management system.

Upon a satisfactory assessment, the IA will complete a registration form in respect of each required window label, then forward these and other information to the BFRC for processing. Once approved, details are place on the BFRC website and the manufacturer provided with the required information to enable labelling of the approved rated windows. At this point the window manufacturer can start to label products for sale into the market place.

Note: Additionally if the BFRC approved assessment confirms the energy rating at B or above, then the manufacturer can apply for acceptance into the scheme operated by the Energy Savings Trust (EST) and so enable use the Energy Saving Recommended label.