Here we explain the current state of building control legislation and how it affects Sunsquare products.
Building works and construction projects in the UK must follow the relevant building control legislation. Rooflights are no exception and it's important to understand and document their performance. Construction Products legislation aims for products (rooflights included) on the market to list correct performance characteristics. This enables builders to select the most appropriate product for their work.
Since 1 July 2013, the Construction Products Regulation (CPR) made it mandatory for construction products in the UK to be CE marked. To achieve this, the product pass assessment against a harmonised standard, or have a European Technical Assessment (ETA) issued. Then it receives a declaration of conformity and the issue of a CE mark. When there is no applicable harmonised standard and the manufacturer has not requested an ETA, the product cannot be CE marked under the CPR. This is the case with glass rooflights.
Sunsquare's approach to legislation
Sunsquare's policy is to provide quality products. We don't cut corners to reduce the price. We see legislation working in favour of all companies doing the same. We encourage standards that are fair to all and offer a level playing field that is clear for clients.
Standards applicable to rooflights
There are two European standards, occasionally referred to as Eurocodes, that currently apply to rooflights.
This standard concerns prefabricated accessories for roofing, and individual rooflights of plastics. It considers the product specification and testing methods for them too. These rooflights serve the purpose of introducing daylight into a building.
EN 1873 specifies requirements for:
- Rooflights made of plastic materials
- Rooflights with upstands made of PVC, steel, aluminium or wood for installation in roofs
- 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°
- Rooflights with and without upstands. A single manufacturer must provide all components of the rooflight with an upstand in a single purchase
- Rooflights that open by means of one or more actuators for ventilation
This European standard concerns roof coverings and continuous plastic rooflights, with or without upstands. It includes the appropriate classification and test methods. These rooflights serve to provide lighting by daylight and ventilation with opening sections.
EN 14963 applies to:
- Continuous rooflights without an upstand
- Continuous rooflights with an upstand where a single manufacturer provides all components of the rooflight in a single purchase
- Continuous rooflights mounted with a pitch in the longitudinal direction. The pitch can't be more than 10° to the horizontal or 10° in the transversal direction
- Continuous rooflights, including barrel vault, with a rectangular ground plan
Products covered by this standard may come as continuous rooflights with or without an upstand. They can also be rooflights with an upstand, for which the upstand is specified, but not supplied.
The future for glass rooflight standards
These two standards could see future revisions to include glass, as well as plastic, in the manufacture of the rooflights. This will increase the possibility of CE marking in line with the CPR.
Published as separate European standards, each Eurocode has many parts. They provide a framework for creating harmonised technical specifications for building products. They are to become the de facto standard for the private sector, replacing existing national building codes. Take up is slow on private sector projects for now. Existing national codes are still popular with many engineers.
Sunsquare and the BSI Kitemark
Until changes to the standards, Sunsquare has sought to provide customers with a symbol of assurance and quality. 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 are now marked in this way. The Kitemark is a recognised symbol used on many products to provide assurance of meeting standards.
Sunsquare is confident in its products and open to progress in the rooflight industry. Along with BSI, we welcome other players joining the Kitemark scheme. We want to create a rooflight industry filled with safe and innovative products that our customers can understand and enjoy.
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Written to help architects, surveyors, and home improvers alike understand UK building regulations.