Key Considerations for Building Managers in Window Replacement Projects

Whether you are responsible for social housing, student accommodation, or a commercial property.  As a building manager, replacing windows is a complex task.  Multistorey and High-rise properties are even more of a challenge for you.  This article will guide you through critical considerations, ensuring compliance, safety, and efficiency.

Comply With Regulations

UK building regulations set the standard for construction and renovation projects. For window replacements, particularly in high-rise buildings, these regulations ensure safety, energy efficiency, and environmental protection. Familiarize yourself with regulations such as the Building Regulations 2010, specifically Part L (Conservation of Fuel and Power) and Part F (Ventilation). These parts dictate standards for thermal performance and air quality, essential in high-rise residential buildings.

Since 2022, if you re installing replacement windows or doors you must obtain Building Regulations consent.  This requirement ensures that the installation complies with relevant regulations, particularly concerning safety, thermal efficiency, and overall building integrity. The process typically involves an inspection by a certified inspector or a local authority to confirm that the installation meets the set standards.

In addition, you must also ensure that replacement windows and doors are no less suitable than the existing windows and doors in relation to the following regulations:

  • A1: Structure.
  • B1: Means of escape in fire.
  • F1: Means of ventilation.
  • J2: Combustion appliances and fuel storage systems.
  • K2: Protection from falling.
  • M2: Access and facilities for disabled people.

If you use a FENSA or CERTASS registered company for your window or door replacement, you typically do not need to separately obtain Building Regulations consent. Similar to FENSA, CERTASS (Certification and Self-Assessment) is a UK government-approved Competent Person Scheme. CERTASS registered installers are authorized to self-certify their work as compliant with Building Regulations.

Mila Maintenance is a FENSA registered installer, we take on the responsibility of ensuring compliance. We will provide you with a certificate upon completion of the work, confirming that the installation adheres to the relevant regulations. This certificate is an important document, particularly for any future property sales.  It proves the work was done in compliance with Building Regulations.

Disposal of Waste Materials Safely

Glass and double-glazing materials can have a detrimental effect on the environment if disposed of incorrectly. UK law requires proper disposal of waste materials. Ensure that your contractors have a plan for sustainable disposal, recycling materials where possible. This not only helps the environment but also complies with waste management regulations.

At Mila Maintenance, we recognise the importance of sustainable practices and a commitment to protecting the environment from damage. We will always ensure that all recyclable waste is processed correctly, reducing the reliance on landfill.

Mila Maintenance is certified as an upper tier waste carrier and dealer authorised to remove waste from site and dispose of it.

Resident Safety During Replacement

The safety of residents is paramount. During replacement, ensure that emergency routes remain clear. Communicate with residents about the schedule and potential hazards. Consider temporary measures to maintain security and privacy.

Ensure Structural Stability

Replacing windows in high-rise buildings can affect structural stability. Before beginning, conduct a thorough assessment of the building’s structure. Ensure that the new windows can be supported without compromising the building’s integrity. This may involve consulting structural engineers and adhering to specific installation techniques.

When a load-bearing wall has a window, it is vital that there is sufficient support above the window to take the weight of the wall. This is usually provided by a concrete or steel lintel, the size of which is professionally calculated to ensure it has the appropriate load-bearing capacity. When replacing windows, or creating new windows in existing walls, the structural stability of the wall should be assessed, as failure to provide proper support could lead to cracks in the brickwork or even collapse of the wall.

Ensure The Safe Position Of The Window

The design of new windows should prioritize safety, energy efficiency, and aesthetics. Choose designs that comply with safety standards, like toughened or laminated glass, and that offer thermal insulation to reduce energy costs. The design should also align with the building’s overall aesthetic.

An open window represents a potential hazard for occupants, both children and adults. Falls from windows are inevitably serious, and often fatal, so measures should be taken to minimise the risk of an accident occurring. Window openings should be large enough to facilitate an emergency evacuation but not so wide as to allow someone to fall through easily, while window restrictors are recommended for certain settings on upper floor windows. At Mila Maintenance, we can provide expert advice about all aspects of window safety to help you to safeguard the occupants of your buildings.

Is Replacement your Only Option?

Before starting a complicated and expensive window replacement project.  Have you evaluated all Window Repair, Enhancement or Maintenance options.  Did you know Repair work, such as replacement glazing units or repair of rotten or damaged frame members is not subject to Building Regulation approval.

Mila’s SAFEKEEP Model can be used to evaluate Window Repair, Enhancement or Maintenance options starting with a detailed survey of all your windows.

Survey (S): Detailed Checks with Tailored Reporting

Our engineers conduct meticulous checks on your windows and doors.  Firstly for correct operation. Then for compliance with health and safety regulations.  Thirdly, signs of water and air ingress. We also consider any additional factors requested by our clients to furnish landlords with a detailed report. Not only does this report spotlight areas that need fixing. It also serves as a tangible audit trail, showcasing safety precautions undertaken. Finally, the report proposes potential enhancements for the windows.

We have over three decades of experience of window and door maintenance and replacement in many types of buildings. To find out more, or request a free, no-obligation quotation for your project, call us on 0808 100 8881 or contact us using the form below.

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