Building Regulations And Triple Glazing - What You Need To Know

Building standards in the UK are constantly changing, and there has been a specific focus lately on energy efficiency. As a result, big investment has been made across the insulation industries on new products that are designed to reduce carbon emissions and save homeowners money on their energy bills. Triple glazing is just one example of the innovations that are currently being offered.

With a huge selection of window types, styles and materials now available to homeowners, it has never been easier to improve energy efficiency around the home - something the Building Regulations pay specific attention to. It’s important that you achieve the best performance from your glazing, and triple glazing offers the best possible energy efficiency that surpasses even the highest performing double glazed units. Here we’ll take a look at the current legal requirements for triple glazing, and how you can ensure your installer offers a compliant solution.

What Are Building Regulations?


Building Regulations were first introduced in the UK in 1965 as a means of enforcing a set of national building standards across the country. The list of requirements (known as Schedule 1) ensure that minimum standards are met in respect of safety, health, welfare, energy efficiency, sustainability and convenience.

In April 2002, it became compulsory for homes to comply with Building Regulations when installing replacement glazing. These regulations cover a number of areas, including thermal performance, safety, ventilation, escape and air supply.

Understanding Triple Glazing Building Regulations

Your triple glazing installer should have all the information you need to know about Building Regulations that concern triple glazing, but this article will also give you the lowdown if you are considering triple glazing and haven’t yet approached an installer. There are many areas in the latest standards that relate to glazing, and all will need to be satisfied for your windows and doors to pass an inspection. If your triple glazing does not comply with the latest Building Regulations you could risk having to remove your windows and doors and replace them with compliant alternatives.

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Thermal Heat Loss

Building Regulations require all dwellings to be energy efficient. One way to achieve this is to replace your existing windows and doors with more energy efficient solutions. By reducing the heat that is lost through your windows and doors you can reduce your carbon footprint and also make savings on your energy bills.

You may have heard about U-Value before, and it is a very important part of the Building Regulations that relate to windows and doors. The U-Value is a rating that relates to the amount of heat that can pass through the framework and glass of a window or door. You can read more about the maximum U-Value currently permitted by Building Regulations here.

Safety Glazing

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Any glass in what is classified as a critical area in the Building Regulations needs to be fitted with safety glazing. The list below gives a general outline of where safety glazing would be required:

  • Any glazed area within a window that is 300mm or less from a door, and up to 1500mm from floor level.
  • Any glazed area within a window below 800mm from floor level.
  • Within any glazed door up to 1500mm from floor level.

Fire Safety

Any glass in what is classified as a critical area in the Building Regulations needs to be fitted with safety glazing. The list below gives a general outline of where safety glazing would be required:

  • The means of escape if fire breaks out.
  • The spread of fire between rooms or properties through areas that are unprotected.

In some areas of your property you may need to consider fire resistance. This may be in the form of self-closing doors or windows that are fixed shut. These precautions will reduce the risk of fire spreading between properties that are adjacent to one another. The area of doors, walls and windows that are permitted to have undetermined or reduced fire resistance will depend on the proximity of those areas to the boundary of the next property.

It is also essential that you consider means of escape in case of fire. When you replace your windows with triple glazing, you need to ensure that the window you are installing offers the same (or better) potential for escape as the one you are replacing. One escape window per room is

Building Access

If you are replacing main entrance doors with triple glazing in a property that was built after 1999, you should make sure that the door threshold remains at the same level. For example, raising the threshold higher would cause access problems for people with disabilities, an area addressed through the Building Regulations.

Ventilation

Ventilation to your rooms is another big consideration, and there are rules within the Building Regulations that relate specifically to how windows and doors must ventilate a room. Some rooms will require more ventilation than others, and through other means. For example, bathrooms and kitchens that are prone to steam and condensation may require additional windows or an extractor fan. Other rooms may require simple window openings and trickle vents.

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Choosing The Right Triple Glazing Installer


When considering triple glazing for your home or business, it is important that you choose a glazing company that understands Building Regulations and the importance of compliance. The Building Regulations also recommend that you use a company that is on the Competent Persons Register. A registered installer will be qualified to carry out works that comply with the latest Building Regulations, and will issue you automatically with a certificate of compliance.

If you choose to go down the DIY route or to use an unregistered installer, you will usually be required to have the work inspected by your local Building Control office. If the work is found to contravene Building Regulations you could be prosecuted or face a fine. There is also the risk that the work carried out could be detrimental to health and pose a safety risk to those residing in the property.

Published on : 6th November 2016

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