Building Regulations and Planning Permissions

What is FENSA Certification and Do I Need It?

What is FENSA Certification and Do I Need It? Image - Lakes by Yoo

What is FENSA?

FENSA stands for Fenestration Self-Assessment Scheme. It is a competent person’s scheme and industry-standard founded by the GGF.

When a homeowner commissions new windows, doors or roof lights to replace existing glazing they are required to ensure that replacements comply with current thermal performance standards and Building Regulations. To do this they need to get a certificate stating that the glazing is compliant.

The FENSA Scheme offers homeowners a certificate which proves that the replacement glazing they have complies with Building Regulations. FENSA scheme members (the double glazing installers) are checked to ensure their installations comply with Building Regulations and their products are checked to ensure they also comply.  

To get this certificate they can either:

  • Apply to their Local Authority Building Control with all the information about the replacement window.
  • Get a FENSA Approved Company to replace their windows/doors who will issue the certificate

However, FENSA certificates can only be obtained for straight replacement glazing works and do not cover;  

  • Conservatories 
  • Glass Porches 
  • New build houses  
  • Glazed Extensions 
  • Commercial Projects 
  • Glass Side Infill Extensions 
  • Glazed Garden Rooms  

Essentially, the FENSA scheme does not cover most specialist architectural glazing works. All architectural glazing works will require Building Regulations certificate from the local building authority.  

A FENSA Registered company has had their windows/doors pretested to show they adhere to current Building Regulations standards for thermal insulation. They will also have had their installation techniques inspected.

A FENSA company can then issue a certificate of compliance for the homeowners' records without them having to contact the Local Building Authority.

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FENSA only applies to replacement windows/doors.

Is IQ FENSA Registered?

No. The IQ Glass Group companies are not a member of the FENSA Scheme. This is because most of the works carried out by IQ are specialist glazing works to larger construction projects like new build houses, extensions or commercial buildings. These glazing works are not covered by the FENSA scheme.  

All our architectural glazing systems are independently tested to ensure that they adhere and surpass the requirements of building regulations. Our bespoke structural glass installations are all designed in house to comply with building regulations as a minimum and in conjunction with the additional performance requirements of the project as given to us by the project team.  

Our installation teams are all fully trained in house in installing our specialist glazing and conduct extensive certification from external bodies.  

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Compliance with Building Regulations

It is the responsibility of the land or property owner to ensure that all building works comply with the relevant planning rules and are done in adherence to Building Regulations. The building professionals on the project (including the architect, project manager and specialist glazier) will all be able to offer advice and guidance to you.  

Your architectural glazier will be able to provide technical advice regarding their systems and their adherence to Building Regulations. The architect on the project will have a good understanding of the building regulation requirements of building and will also be able to provide guidance.  

Building Regulations cover all aspects of an architectural glazing project, including the thermal performance of the glazing, the safety of the glazing and the impact resistance of the glazing. You can read more about the building regulation requirements for glazing here in our technical articles (or contact the team at IQ for more assistance!).  

All the systems and products that IQ work with are independently tested to ensure their compliance with Building Regulations. In most cases our architectural glazing offers a higher specification than required by building regulations.  

Once your building project has been completed you will get a certificate from the local building authority proving that your building works (including the glazing) complies with Building Regulations. This should be kept for your future reference.  

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Getting a Building Regs Certificate for Architectural Glazing Works  

All building works (including extensions, remodels, replacement glazing and commercial building works) need to prove that their building complies with building regulations. They do this through their local Building Control Body (BCB). There are some types of work which will be exempt from the Building Regulations and an application will not be necessary. 

Most BCB applications are done online, either through your local building control body or through the LABC or Planning Portal websites. It is important to understand that this application is different to Planning Permission applications; not all building projects require Planning Permission, but they do require Building Control applications.  

You can either;  

  • send your local Building Control Department your full project plans and construction details for review. This is the most thorough option. You can expect a decision within 5 weeks, or 2 months with your consent. You can expect to get a completion certificate within 8 weeks of completion of the building work as long as it complies. Or;  
  • apply for Building Notice (best for smaller projects). You can start work 2 days after your notice has been submitted to your BCB. You do not get formal approval like you do with full plans. With this method you have to be sure the proposed works will adhere to Building Regulations.  

The local building authority will make onsite inspections throughout the building process. On satisfactory completion of works a local authority will automatically issue a completion certificate.  

Further Reading

Building Regulations Part L1A for Glazing

Building Regulations Part L1B for Glazing

Regulations and Building Practice for Glass Balustrades

SAP Calculations and Glazing

What is a U Value or Rating?

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What Next?

If you have any questions about the performance of the glazing provided by IQ please get in touch with the team. We are available and able to answer your technical performance questions.

Visit the contact us page for all the ways in which you can get in touch with the team for specification support or request a quotation.