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GGP JAN 2013

INTHEHOTSEAT What’s in it for all of this industry? Chris Mayne heads both FENSA and the British Fenestration Ratings Council (BFRC) at a time of enormous change. He talks to Michael Gannon about what both organisations have achieved and what lies ahead for the sector this year. Editor: You joined this industry in 1986 when codes of practice and standards. As the a real advance on what was there before? there was no FENSA or BFRC; indeed, very installation standards, contract types and Mayne: Yes, in many ways. For local government, little effective regulation. What were your views of guarantees and warrantees varied, consumers did the extension of the Building Regulations to its state? not know what to expect. It was all down to the cover replacement windows and doors, meant a Mayne: The glazing industry suffered from a discretion of individual installation companies burden of inspections was put on them that they poor reputation during the 1980s. Installation as to what consumers were being offered. That would have been very hard pressed to satisfy. standards were voluntary with industry reliant on position had to change. FENSA was an answer that was cost and time self regulation through a plethora of different Editor: Did you think that launching FENSA was efficient but that also provided a significant rise in the standard of work being undertaken. This is illustrated by the decrease in inspection failures over the 10 years of FENSA’s operation. Back in 2002 it was around 30%, today it’s 10%. For home owners, FENSA provided greater peace of mind as all installation companies had to work to Building Regulations, provide proper written contracts with a seven day cooling off period and offer consumers insurance backed guarantees (IBGs) and deposit indemnity where relevant. For installers, the introduction of FENSA provided a more a level playing field for large and small companies alike with smaller companies having a platform to demonstrate credibility. Editor: Could you understand the hostility that was shown to it from certain quarters? Mayne: Absolutely. As the first glazing Competent Persons’ Scheme, FENSA got a lot of stick for introducing bureaucracy that was not there before and implementing a programme of inspections that was not always popular. The facts that got forgotten were that this extra red tape was a result of the extension of the Building Regulations that, I believe, were much needed. Self certifying through FENSA was and is a much less time consuming, administrative and costly The last decade has route to compliance than going through local seen enormous authority Building Control. Even today, FENSA regulatory changes affecting the gets blamed for added regulations that come fenestration sector and from the Department for Communities and the pace of change is Local Government (DCLG), rather than being likely to increase. recognised for the processes we put in place to help installers to comply. I suspect that the introduction of minimum technical competence (MTCs) that will be introduced in 2013, will see similar levels of antipathy, but over time, industry will adapt and embrace the changes positively. Editor: Has FENSA delivered to the installer and ultimately, the end user? Continued on page 42 Glass & Glazing Products


GGP JAN 2013
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