WERS AND PART L 2010 OF THE BUILDING REGULATIONS

Since the British Fenestration Rating Council (BFRC) launched the Window Energy Rating (WER) scheme in 2004, WERs have been recognised as the energy efficient window measure of choice. WERs recognise the benefits of passive solar gain and give the glazing industry and the homeowner clear direction in the energy efficiency of windows.

At Pilkington, we are greatly encouraged with the progress made in the Approved Document of Part L of the Building Regulations England and Wales 2010, which brings in Window Energy Rating band C as the minimum requirement for replacement windows.  However, we hope the somewhat confusing inclusion of window U-values as a means of demonstrating compliance will not result in householders being deterred from installing energy efficient windows when offered such a wide range of options.

WERs help us all to easily identify windows which meet and exceed the latest building regulations. The WER identifies the energy efficiency of the window on an A-E scale, A being the highest rating in energy efficiency and E being the lowest. This is highlighted on a distinctive label on each window. For window companies and specifiers who want to use window U-values alone without the benefit of including the g-value will find it harder to meet Part L 2010 in replacement windows in this way. Compliance needs to be easily and cost-effectively measurable, unambiguous for the supplier, customer and buildings regulator.

At Pilkington, we are ensuring that our customers have all the tools needed to obtain a Window Energy Rating and hence benefit from the consumer recognition offered by the scheme. We provide sales support including technical literature, presentations, an extensive website and DVDs to help communicate the advantages of meeting Part L with using the WER system. 

As well as educating the glazing industry about WERs, we have developed an ‘off the shelf’ range of energy efficient glazing that complies with the new Part L 2010 regulations and therefore makes it even easier for window companies to provide energy efficient glazing to their customers. The Pilkington energiKare™ range allows the highest possible WER performance optimising the balance between U-values and g-values to maximise overall energy efficiency. More than a million windows incorporating Pilkington energiKare™ have been installed since the launch of our Partnership scheme in 2007. The launch highlighted Pilkington energiKare™ glazing as an ideal way to improve the energy-efficiency of a home. We estimate that if every household in the UK replaced their glazing with Pilkington energiKare™, over 20 years the nation would save a massive 234 million tonnes of CO2 and £149 billion off their fuel bills.

The consumer-friendly concept of WERs and review labelling, combined with strong consumer recognition of the Pilkington brand has proved successful in the dramatic growth of Pilkington energiKare™ in the UK and Irish markets. We currently have more than 480 partners supplying and stocking energy efficient glazing to homeowners - this is set to grow when Part L 2010 of the Building Regulations comes into force in October 2010.

The Pilkington energiKare™ range allows highest levels of energy efficiency in all types of dwelling. Expanding the original Pilkington energiKare™ concept into four; Pilkington energiKare™ Classic, Pilkington energiKare™ Plus, Pilkington energiKare™ Triple and Pilkington energiKare™ Legacy, means we are increasing the offering that fabricators and installers provide to a wide range of customers, such as: local authorities, housebuilders and homeowners replacing their glazing in all types of homes.

  • Pilkington energiKare™ Classic – the original highly successful unit, capable of achieving a minimum WER of band C in most framing systems, is twice as energy efficient as standard pre-2002 double  glazing and will meet  building regulations from October 2010
  • Pilkington energiKare™ Plus – an upgrade from the original insulating glass unit which can achieve a WER of A or B depending on the framing system and allows windows to exceed current and future Part L of the Building Regulations (England and Wales) 2010 and 2013
  • Pilkington energiKare™ Triple –  high performance triple-glazed units optimising the balance between U-values and g-values to maximise energy efficiency and  capable of meeting the increasing requirements of the Code for Sustainable Homes (CSH) now and in the future up to Level 6, without the need for soft coat options
  • Pilkington energiKare™ Legacy – using advanced Pilkington Spacia™ technology; this is the world’s first commercially-available vacuum glazing. It allows the installation of extremely thin glazing which can be fitted in older frames, maintaining the original appearance of traditional buildings and has four times better thermal insulation than single glazing and equivalent performance to a modern gas-filled low E unit, at only around 6mm thick.

Window companies that partner with us to supply Pilkington energiKare™ also benefit from an innovative marketing campaign that highlights to homeowners how Pilkington energiKare™ energy efficient glazing can save them energy and money off their fuel bills. Window companies are able to use the respected Pilkington brand within their own promotional activity, whilst also benefiting from supplying a brand that - thanks to television and regional press advertising - is easily recognised by homeowners.

In challenging market conditions it is all about increasing the value of your offering to your customers, and good energy rated products is one way to do this.  We have developed a range of glazing that allows installers to meet Part L of the Building Regulations using WERs to show this compliance to homeowners and it enables customers to use our brand. Pilkington energiKare™ and WERs not only help show homeowners how they can save energy, but more importantly how they can save money on their fuel bills too. With Pilkington energiKare™ you can be assured of meeting Part L of the Building Regulations after October.