As you are probably aware, the discussion on Twitter and my blog today has been about the illegality of windows with uni-blinds/integral blinds as according to a FENSA inspector yesterday, they don’t meet the correct energy requirements.
The subject came up yesterday as the company I work for had one of our scheduled visits from one of your inspectors. He mentioned to one of our installers that windows with blinds within the unit, even if it has argon gas, warm edge spacers, low ‘e’ glass and low iron glass, don’t class as energy efficient due to the small aluminium strip at the top which houses the mechanism. The problem with this, and something which has been brought up on Twitter, is that units with integral blinds come under the same EN1279 tests, just as units with Georgian bar and lead do – are classed as energy efficient. So why not Uni-Blinds?
As you can appreciate, there are many companies, including the one I work for, that will be concerned about this. If I take what your inspector told us seriously, that would mean we would be unable to sell integral blinds in our windows – something which we do sell a lot of, as I’m sure many other companies do. I understand that this issue doesn’t apply to doors and conservatories with integral blinds. But because many sell their windows with the option of integral blinds, this is a problem which requires immediate clarification and clear guidance for installers.
A reply to this question will not only be appreciated by myself, but also by the many other window companies which are just learning of this problem.
>We have now spoken to our Inspection Company the BBA and they have advised.
We will need specifics but we usually pass internal blinds.
What may have happened is that the window could not prove compliance there and then.
We follow this pattern –
1)Default (if it had an ali spacer this would mean this was out),
2) WER marking or certification then finally we ask for
If the window did not fall under the default and neither WER or calculation was provided we would raise a variation and deem it "evidence pending"