The FENSA Scheme
It is estimated that around 2 million installations of replacement glazing are undertaken every year. If all of them went through the normal Building Regulations 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 installers and property owners.
The answer is a scheme that allows installation companies that meet certain criteria to self-certify that their work complies with the Building Regulations. The scheme is known as FENSA. This stands for Fenestration Self-Assessment. It was set up by the Glass & Glazing Federation, in association with all key stakeholders and meets with central Government approval. A sample of the work of every installer will be inspected by FENSA appointed inspectors to ensure standards are maintained. FENSA will also inform local authorities of all completed FENSA installations and issue certificates to householders confirming compliance.
Any installation by a firm that is not registered to self-certify, or carried out as a DIY project by a householder will need full local authority approval under the Building Regulations. Local authorities will know of all the approved installers in their areas and will be able to identify unauthorised work very easily. You should note that you, as the house owner, are ultimately responsible for ensuring the work complies with the Building Regulations.
Before you sign a contract to buy replacement glazing, be sure to ask whether the installer is able to self-certify. If not, either they, or you, will need to make an application to your local authority for approval under the Building Regulations and pay any relevant charges.
Further information is available from your Building Control Office at Church Square House, P.O.Box 42, Scunthorpe, North Lincolnshire. DN15 6XQ or you can ring them on 01724 297411/13/28. Information is also available on the GGF website at www.ggf.org.uk, or you can visit the FENSA website at www.fensa.co.uk.