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Deceuninck customer day identifies a toughening market, but still solid demand, despite inflationary headwinds and new regulatory challenges.

Held at Birmingham’s NEC at the end of March, Kevin Jones, Senior Technical Officer, GGF started proceedings by reviewing the practical implications of significant regulatory changes.

This included existing changes under Parts L, F, O , big potential changes to Part Q, and gazing into a crystal ball to suggest where Future Homes may lead the industry from 2025.

Part F

He suggested that demand for trickle vents was likely to fall off in new build as builders changed designs of homes and moved towards mechanical ventilation, moving on to give an overview of existing requirements in both new build and replacement markets.

He suggested that there was still significant confusion in the replacement sector, with reports of installers specifying 8,000mm2 equivalent area (EA) in multiple windows in single rooms, rather than 8,000mm2 EA for the room as a whole.

This aside, there was generally a feeling in the room that Document F was now regulation and as asserted by Pioneer Trading’s Dany Williams, ‘the industry just had to get on with it.”

Part L, Part O, and the future of WERs?

The GGF Technical Officer also highlighted new requirements under Part O, overheating, which places new requirements in newbuild in developed urban centres, which will be applied more stringently in London and Manchester.

This triggered a discussion about the continuing relevancy of Window Energy Ratings in this context. Danny [ Williams] suggested that Part O was further evidence that the WER scheme, with its focus on solar gain, “was flawed”, with many in the room advocating a shift back to u-values as a single measure of thermal performance.

Kevin’s also moved into a discussion about where the industry was going to have to move to next under possible changes to Part L (energy efficiency) under the Future Homes Standard.

New build consultation Approved Document L is expected imminently (Spring). He emphasised that this would not impact replacement window and door sales.

He said there was “No silver bullet from the glass manufacturers” and systems companies would need to deliver a solution.

Kevin explained that the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities (DLUHC) suggested that 0.8W/m2K would be the end target for new build domestic buildings if the UK is to achieve its 30% reduction in the carbon footprint of new buildings.

He said two years would not be long enough for systems companies to set down new tooling and develop new systems, and that the GGF was pushing for a more achievable 0.9W/m2k, was more likely. He said that this was unlikely to be extended to home improvement in the short term.

Part Q and PAS24 in home improvements?

Kevin also provided an update on Part Q and the extension of Part Q into replacements. He warned that this would have big ramifications for replacement windows and doors, potentially introducing a P1A requirement for laminate glass across all accessible windows and doors under PAS24:22.

New product development and the place of colour

Chris Jones, Sales Director Deceuninck was next up unveiling the new Slider 24 triple track solution, which will include a dedicated triple track option, not an add-on, due for launch early next year.

He also profiled the Deceuninck head vent option, which delivers subtle overhead ventilation without the requirement to go through the frame.

Chris also gave an overview of colour trends, stating that anthracite grey was still dominant, within the 196 colour pathways it supplied last year. Deceuninck currently offers 30 plus colour and finish options from stock.

He also said that Deceuninck was expanding its stock range with the addition of Grey Aluminium, plus its’ Express Range, with the launch of the new Yakisugi Black, available on a 15-working day lead time.

Adrian Barraclough, Chairman Quickslide, added fabricators needed to develop a clear strategy for colour.

He said: “What does the market want? It’s what we supply to it. So, the more we put into people’s showrooms, the more we support them, the more we drive colour sales but also bring control to our colour offer.

“We need to work with them [installers] to develop the right choice, without tying ourselves to very large and unmanageable stock holding.”

Technical manager presenting

Are we ready for triple glazing and tilt-and-turns?

Later in an open discussion on how the industry met new energy requirements under Part L, Adrian argued that the industry should resist triple glazing “until the last”, because of the increased complexity in the manufacture and safe handling on site.

This was followed by a presentation on Elegant, the next-generation window from Deceuninck, which forms a key element of the systems company’s wider award-winning sustainability strategy.

The next-generation fibreglass composite window system delivers a step change in performance achieving U-values as low as 0.8W/m2K.

Sustainability and easy carbon footprint calculation

Darren Woodcock, Operations Director, Deceuninck, gave an overview of Deceuninck’s recycling capability, which provides one of the foundations for the systems leaders’ ambitious target to lower its carbon footprint under the Science Based Targets Scheme.

This includes cutting CO2 emissions from its own operations by 60% by 2030 from a 2021 baseline and cutting emissions from within its supply chain by 48% per tonne by 2030, as part of its wider journey to net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050.

This as a theme picked up Céline De Waele Group Sustainability Manager, Deceuninck, who also unveiled Deceuninck’s new Customer Carbon Footprint Calculator. It will support Deceuninck customers in working out and lowering their carbon footprint in minutes.

Concluding thoughts

Concluding the event, Rob McGlennon, Managing Director, Deceuninck said: “Taking time out from the day-to-day is hard when you’re busy (and our customers are very busy!), but it’s good to get together occasionally and chew over the fat of what’s happening.

“We’ve done that today, looking at the impact of regulation, current and future, and in identifying new product platforms, as well as the opportunities that the growing importance of sustainability delivers.

“We’ve got a series of customer events planned throughout the year and look forward to welcoming a new delegation of customers to our next event in Bristol on 26th April. To attend please email gaby.handy@deceuninck.com.”

For more information about Deceuninck, call 01249 816 969, email deceuninck.ltd@deceuninck.com or visit www.deceuninck.co.uk

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