The topic of Uni-Blinds, the Pellini Italian blinds within double glazed units, came up between one of our installers and a FENSA inspector. According to the inspector, to which I don’t have his name yet, said that windows with Uni-Blinds in them aren’t classed as energy efficient and would condemn the whole installation.
When questioned if when the unit had low ‘e’ glass, low iron, argon gas and super spacers, the window would still be condemned.
The reason? The aluminium strip which houses the mechanism causes a cold current which acts against the heat insulating properties of the unit – making it inefficient. This, even though Uni-Blinds are classified under the same ruling as Georgian bar in the EN 1279 tests. Leaded units are also classed as efficient – despite lead on the units.
Up to press, I am lead to believe that FENSA are unable to prove how units with Uni-Blinds are inefficient, yet units with lead and Georgian bar, classed under the same testing, are efficient.
Doors or conservatories with integral blinds are exempt from this ruling.
My main gripe with all this is the damage it could do to the product. We, like many others, have used the product for years and personally I think it’s fantastic. So many selling points, it looks great, it’s modern but fits in totally with the look of any window or door. Window and door companies need every excuse to be able to sell their products, and I can say from experience that by having these Uni-Blinds at our disposal, we’ve managed to secure sales because of this great and unique product.
I invite all to input their thoughts on this, and any ideas on how installers can get round this issue in a way that will satisfy FENSA and allow units with blinds in them to be sold legally abiding by the energy efficiency guide lines. I also invite FENSA to officially confirm what their position on this is.
My personal opinion is that this is all a complete load of BS, and has no solid ground until some concrete proof can be given to prove that this is truly inefficient. But until then, we should all carry on selling them!
>Op out from fensa they cannot gov.
>How much do you give to FEN each year for what.
>It just goes to show how inept FENSA are – they actually failed some installations with aluminium bar at the outset of minimum C rated windows – without asking whether the units where in fact C rated
>Dont get me started on encapsulated units where on some units its impossible to fill with argon.
>Strictly speaking the FENSA inspector is correct. The simple question is when you had your WER certification done were the blinds on the specification, probably not. Therefore if you install them you can't use your WER certification (Strictly Speaking). WER's are calculated using information based on the products used in the frame. I.e. what glass is used, what frame is used, what reinforcing is used etc, all these affect the WER and the U Value. Some of these things are [conveniently] overlooked by FENSA and the BFRC such as Georgian bar, lead and of course the one thing that will… Read more »
>FENSA are, in essence, interpreting building regs so that we don't have to apply for regs approval on every job. Therefore the root of the issue should be what the regs cover. If a FENSA inspector then interpret those regs wrongly (not saying that they do, but just in case), it should be possible to go back to the regs and correct FENSA. Regarding the blinds, I'd imagine their affect on thermal efficiency impacts three things: (1) thermal bridging by the ali blind mechanism at the top of the unit, (2) reduction of thermal gain caused by reduced vision area… Read more »