What is FENSA?
FENSA stands for the Fenestration Self-Assessment Scheme. It has been set up by the Glass and Glazing Federation (GGF) and other industry bodies with Government encouragement in response to the current Building Regulations for England and Wales.
When having windows and doors replaced homeowners must comply with current thermal peformance standards and ensure that they get a certificate of compliance from FENSA or from Local Authority Building Control. FENSA also enables companies that install replacement windows and doors to self certify compliance under these Building Regulations.
FENSA – The industry gold standard for replacement windows and doors – the proven brand trusted and demanded by consumers and local authorities
Over 9000 registered businesses.
Over 6 million homeowner certificates sent.
Over 24% of households in England and Wales have used a FENSA registered installer.
FENSA does not apply to commercial premises or New Build properties. In both of these instances you are required to go through the Local Authority Building Control process. FENSA Registration is also not applicable to the Installation of Conservatories or Porches by a FENSA Registered Business.
Thinking of replacing your windows this year?
All replacement glazing comes within the scope of the Building Regulations. Anyone who installs replacement windows or doors must comply with current thermal performance standards.
The reason for this is to reduce energy loss in line with Government policy. The Building Regulations have controlled glazing in new buildings for many years but this represents only a very small percentage of our total building stock. It is essential to improve the performance of the much larger number of existing buildings if we are to meet increasingly stringent national and global energy saving targets.
When the time comes to sell your property, your purchaser’s solicitors will ask for evidence that any replacement glazing installed since April 2002 complies with the Building Regulations. There are currently two ways to prove compliance:-
a certificate showing that the work has been done by an installer who is registered with FENSA or a similar body
a certificate from the Local Authority Building Control stating that the installation has been approved under the Building Regulations.
The FENSA Scheme
It is estimated that there are a huge number of installations of replacement glazing happening every year. If all of them were to go through the Local Authority Building Control application process, it would place an enormous burden on local authorities. It is essential to have a way to ensure that the work is done properly without an unreasonable increase in the administrative and financial burden on both installers and homeowners.
A percentage of the work of every FENSA registered business will be inspected by a FENSA appointed inspector to ensure standards are met and maintained. FENSA will also inform local authorities of all completed registered installations and will issue a certificate to the homeowner confirming compliance.
Any installation undertaken by a company which is not registered with FENSA or a similar body, or has been done as a DIY project by a homeowner, will need full Local Authority Building Control approval. All Local Authorities will know of the registered businesses in their areas and can identify unauthorised work very easily. It should be noted that the homeowner is ultimately responsible for ensuring the installation complies with these requirements.
Before you sign a contract to buy any replacement glazing, be sure to ask whether the installer is able to self-certify. If not, an application to Local Authority Building Control for approval under the Building Regulations will need to be made by either the installer or the homeowner. It is likely that there will be associated charges with this.