Wednesday, 21 December 2011

A First for BM TRADA Certification under the BFRC DER Scheme

BM TRADA Certification is the first Independent Agency (IA) to register products under the British Fenestration Ratings Council (BFRC) Door Energy Rating (DER) scheme for its Q-Mark certified doorset fabricator, Door-Stop International.

The scheme was formally launched in October and covers various types of domestic doors, including single & double external pedestrian doors, French doors, sliding patio doors and folding & sliding doors. DERs can be applied to 'System' type doors (manufactured from jointed stiles and rails) and 'non-System' type doors (solid core or composite) in unglazed, half glazed or fully glazed versions. Construction can be timber, PVC-U, aluminium, steel or composite materials.

BFRC Certified Simulator Mike Chorlton said, 'Achieving a DER can be very straightforward for doorset fabricators who have obtained BFRC DER reports and who also have a management or factory production control (FPC) system in place. Fabricators who have neither DER reports nor a management system in place need not panic. Most companies require only a small amount of additional controls in place to achieve DER.'

BM TRADA will carry out a FPC assessment to ensure that components and configurations match those specified in the registered DER report. They also verify that DER performance is communicated throughout the supply process. Once assessment and certification are complete, BM TRADA will make a submission on behalf of the manufacturer to the BFRC, who will in turn issue labels and website entries for the registered energy ratings A - F.

While windows and doors can be proven to comply with building regulations with a minimum U-Value of 1.6 (Windows) or 1.8 (Doors, 1.6 in Scotland), windows can also comply by achieving a WER of 'C' or higher. There is no current alternative compliance method for doors but a compliant door at 1.8 W/m2.K equates broadly to a DER band 'E'. However as Approved Document L is developed, it seems likely a minimum DER will be included in future. Mr Chorlton said, 'As we saw with window fabricators, many door manufacturers are unlikely to settle for a minimum rating, and it is expected that development will be swift to achieve higher ratings.'

Door-Stop International had been developing, testing and certifying its products to achieve high performance levels for many years. Mr Chorlton stressed, 'Door Energy Ratings were the obvious next step and the client rapidly commissioned additional simulations and certification with us, to include door energy ratings.' Its FPC systems were already in place and frequently audited under existing Q-Mark certification, making it a simple process for BM TRADA to include the additional requirements of the DER scheme. 

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