There have been significant developments over the past few years in the design of components and materials used in the fabrication of windows and doors. Products are now both considerably more thermally efficient and durable and advances have been made in fixing materials, techniques and adjacent detailing. To enable the windows and doors to perform most efficiently and effectively, the overall installation must be appropriate for the product being installed together with its use in service and the conditions that need to be satisfied.

Background information

BS 8213-4 is the British Standard code of practice which gives guidance on survey and installation procedures. A revised and updated code of practice has now been published, titled: “Code of practice for the survey and installation of windows and external doorsets”, replacing the 2007 version. Industry had, for some time, felt the previous version needed reviewing and updating to reflect the various products’ technical advances installation performance requirements.

A BSI drafting panel was set up to undertake this work and it was important the panel represented all relevant and interested parties necessary to establish meaningful technical input. Invites to participate in the drafting work were sent out and the panel soon took the form of a healthy cross-section of technical experts including members representing organisations such as the GGF, FENSA, BSI Certification, TRADA, NHBC, Institute of Clerk of Works together with all of the window and door materials (i.e. aluminium, PVC-U, steel, timber and composite doors) trade associations. Other relevant materials and construction experts were also included for their specialist knowledge within their particular field.

About the 2016 version

The 2016 version is mindful of third party certification, self assessment and minimum technical competency schemes which may be linked to the code. It has therefore attempted to be more instructional on the design considerations and updated regulatory requirements – such as Building Regulations – that need to be taken into account; including by who within the design process and where the information may be best obtained. All the most commonly specified window and door materials are addressed for both new build and replacement works.

As well as reflecting the changes to Building Regulations, the code includes guidance on the choice of current construction techniques including fixing methods and perimeter detailing taking account of the materials options now available. It also gives guidance on site safety and the presence of hazardous materials.
Sometimes it’s felt that the greatest challenges lie on site rather than the product itself; particularly on refurbishment projects. The drafting panel’s aim was to produce straightforward guidance to help all parties, be it the surveyor, designer, installer or assessor. But, not least to ensure the final installation compliments the high quality of products now being produced.