Building works and construction projects in the UK currently require compliance with the relevant building control legislation. Rooflights are no exception and their performance needs to be understood and documented. The Construction Products legislation aims for products such as rooflights to be placed on the market with the right performance characteristics, which will enable builders to select the most appropriate product for their building works.
Since 1 July 2013, the Construction Products Regulation (CPR) made it mandatory for construction products in the UK to be CE marked, presumably including Roof lights. To be CE marked the product must be assessed against a harmonised standard, or have a European Technical Assessment (ETA) issued before a declaration of conformity can be written and the CE mark issued. However, when there is no applicable harmonised standard and the manufacturer has not requested an ETA, then the product cannot be CE marked under the CPR. This is the case with glass rooflights.
Our approach to legislation
The Sunsquare policy has always been one of providing quality products- not cutting corners to reduce price - and sees the legislation working in favour of all companies providing quality products. Sunsquare has tried in the past to encourage standards that are fair to all and offer a level playing field that is clear for clients to understand.
Sunsquare is a member of the National Association of Rooflight Manufacturers (NARM) who also have the stated aim of supporting standards and creating a level playing field across the rooflight industry. Currently, NARM are providing support and monitoring the standards which are most likely to enable CE marking for glass rooflights in the future.
Standards applicable to rooflights
EN1873: This standard talks about prefabricated accessories for roofing, individual rooflights of plastics and the product specification and testing methods for them. It specifies requirements for rooflights made of plastic materials and rooflights with upstands made of e.g. PVC, steel, aluminium or wood for installation in roofs. These rooflights serve the purpose of introducing daylight into a building. This standard applies to rooflights with a rectangular or circular ground plan with an opening span or diameter not larger than 2.5m and an opening length not larger than 3.0m in roof pitches up to 25°. The standard applies to rooflights and rooflights with upstands, where a single manufacturer provides all components of the rooflight with an upstand, which are bought in a single purchase. The rooflights may be opened by means of one or more actuators for ventilation.
EN 14963: This standard describes roof coverings and continuous plastic rooflights with or without upstands and the appropriate classification and test methods. These rooflights serve to provide lighting by daylight and possibly ventilation with opening sections. This European Standard applies to continuous rooflights without an upstand and to continuous rooflights where a single manufacturer provides all components of the rooflight with an upstand, which are bought in a single purchase. Products covered by this European Standard may be supplied as continuous rooflights with and without an upstand and rooflights intended to be used with an upstand, for which the upstand is specified, but not supplied. It also applies to continuous rooflights when mounted with a pitch in the longitudinal direction not more than 10° to the horizontal and not more than 10° in the transversal direction. This European Standard applies to continuous rooflights, including barrel vault rooflights, with a rectangular ground plan.
The future for glass rooflight standards
It is possible that in the future these two standards will be revised to include glass as well as plastic in the manufacture of the rooflights described EN1873 for individual rooflights and EN14963 for continuous roof lights. This will then give rise to the possibility of CE marking in line with the CPR.
Eurocodes also provide a framework for creating harmonized technical specifications for building products and are intended to become the de facto standard for the private sector. The Eurocodes therefore replace the existing national building codes, however at present take up of Eurocodes is slow on private sector projects and existing national codes are still widely used by engineers. Eurocodes are published as separate European standards, each having a number of parts.
Sunsquare and the BSI Kitemark
In this situation, whilst we await the changes necessary to the standards, Sunsquare has looked to provide customers with a symbol of assurance and quality. In order to do so, Sunsquare has worked with the British Standards Institute (BSI) to create a BSI Kitemark for rooflight products. This has been successful and a range of Sunsquare products can now be marked in this way with the Kitemark symbol. The Kitemark is a publicly well recognised symbol used widely on many products to give assurance of meeting standards.
Sunsquare is confident in its products and is open to the rooflight industry, along with BSI we would welcome other players joining the Kitemark scheme. We hope to build the scope of the scheme and create a level playing field in the UK rooflight industry that our customers can understand and benefit from.