Is your supplier up to speed on PAS24 and SBD?
SBD specifications changed in the autumn as it dropped PAS24:2012. We ask, are fabricators keeping up?
PAS24:2016 was launched in March 2016 signalling the withdrawal of PAS24:2012. And now, a little over two years-on, Secured by Design, which having up until October last year accepted both, as an approved standard of manufacture, has finally drawn a line under the latter.
The two-year window of grace was designed to give UKAS accreditors, fabricators and installers time to get up to speed on the changes. With this now complete the direct ramification for fabricators and installers is that the SBD products they supply must now be tested to PAS24:2016 in order to comply.
“It’s an indication of where things are going”, says Kush Patel, Operations Director, Emplas. “Part Q in England still makes reference to PAS24:2012 but is expected to be revised soon, while it’s already been changed to PAS24:2016 in Wales. SBD is simply at the head of that curve.
“The problem is that despite a two-year transitional period, there’s still a degree of confusion within the supply chain about what is actually required and that could ultimately cost installers, either through accidental passing-off of SBD product or conversely, over-specification.”
Emplas has been manufacturing to PAS24:2016 for the past two-years. This means that all windows and doors it supplies meet new build and Part Q approvals in England and Wales and where specified, the new criteria specified by Secured by Design.
The specialist trade fabricator has also undertaken a significant programme of works to simplify the specification of SBD products.
“There’s been a lot of confusion about what you need to do to meet glass requirements for SBD and PAS24, including a misconception that you have to specify laminate glass throughout the ground floor”, continues Kush.
“In defaulting to this ‘catch-all’ position, you’re artificially inflating prices and that means that you can’t hope to be competitive against competitors who are specifying SBD compliant products effectively.”
In actuality, to achieve PAS24 and Secured by Design you must specify laminate glass on all ground floor or easily accessible doors or accessible windows within 400mm of a door.
“This is designed to stop an intruder smashing a window and simply leaning in to release the door from the inside or to any accessible windows that are designated as fire escape”, adds Leary. “It’s also a requirement in Part Q in new build.
“What it doesn’t do, is create a general requirement for laminated glass in ground floor SBD specifications – only those that are within 400mm of a door, or designated fire escapes.
According to cost modelling by Emplas, specifying a 6.8mm laminate compared to the specification of standard toughened glass means that installers could be adding as much as a 50% up-lift to their IGU costs.
“If you’re going head-to-head with a competitor who is switched onto the fact that it only needs to be specified if a window is within 400mm of a door, or an accessible fire escape window, then your quote is going to be way out”, argues Kush.
Emplas has introduced a wholesale simplification of SBD creating dedicated tick box specifications as part of its online ordering process. This means that rather than having to remember and select requirements under Secured by Design, Emplas customers can simply input window dimensions and then tick an SBD option.
This automatically pulls in all required data for an SBD upgrade of that window or door including everything from maximum heights and widths to locking mechanisms and cylinder combinations to reinforcement – and any requirement for laminated glass.
“It takes the guess work out and rationalises things”, continues Kush. “For our customers specification of SBD accredited product is simply a tick box exercise. They input dimensions as normal and then simply select SBD as an option – the system does the rest – also providing a full audit trail.
Windows from Emplas are manufactured in Profile 22’s new Optima system. As well as offering Typical U-values of 1.4W/m2K, it also features local thickening of walls to deliver increased screw pull-through. This is combined with 8-point locking (9 on larger sizes) with heavy duty SAC bolts providing up to 300 per cent greater contact area against competitor shoot-bolts.
Emplas’ composite door and PVC-U range is also supplied as Secured by Design as standard with two thirds of its composite door range, supplied in 5-days or less.
Emplas growth has been underpinned by a programme of continuous development. This has included a more than £5m spend on new factory extension, machinery and infrastructure since April 2017.
Adding around a third again to its manufacturing facility its factory extension was completed at the end of 2017, housing new lines, loading bays and offices.
This coinciding with £1.4m investment in new machinery including the purchase of a second Schirmer machining and cutting centre, multiple Rotox welders and saws, bringing its weekly capacity up to 3,200 frames across two shifts.
It also acquired Padiham Glass in May. This effectively insulates Emplas – but more significantly – its customers from the rapid change impacting IGU supply, while guaranteeing quality.
“We now have a direct interest in glass”, continues Kush “but that doesn’t mean we want to sell glass for the sake of it. We’d prefer to help our customers win business by specifying the right product and pricing it effectively.
“We manufacture to PAS24:2016 as standard, while by simply ticking a box, our customers can specify an SBD approved specification. That should put everyone’s mind at rest.”