28th May 2021
There are a few routes that can be taken to assist our fabricator network through PAS24 accreditations.
PAS24 can be a bit of a minefield as there is often a misinterpretation of what exactly is being asked for with regards documentation.
It applies to all manufactured windows and door sets. A typical example of where confusion occurs is Approved Document Q and Secured by Design, which both link into PAS24.
To confuse matters even more, there are two versions of the Document Q standard. In England, all test evidence must conform to PAS24: 2012 rules, whereas in Wales the test evidence must conform to PAS24:2016.
PAS24:2016 is the current standard in the industry, which is currently under review.
The majority of enquires we receive are for retrospective approval, for example “I have just supplied a house full of windows and the Local Building Control Officer is asking for documentation, can you send it to me please”.
Unfortunately, it is not that simple as each test report will have a different profile and hardware fitted to the product most generally supplied.
Quite often, the locking mechanism on the window is not even capable of achieving a PAS24 security certificate.
Sometimes the enquiry can be sorted quickly with a conversation and e-mail.
We can assist, through Carl Storer (Senior Testing and Research Support Technician) and our Field Engineers, not only in giving advice from the beginning, but also liaising with the hardware companies and in building samples in the factory, before samples are submitted for testing.
We can also witness all testing at the UKAS test centres, in the hope of a smooth passage through the testing criteria.
This also ensures that the our Field Engineers are happy with the set up of the product, and possibly rectify any issues that could arise on the day of testing.
However, nothing is a guaranteed to pass at these test labs, as a multitude of issues could occur, with failures incurred on profile, hardware and manufacture and manual manipulation methods, This is why we can carry out an indicative test at the Learning and Development Centre for the fabricator and hardware company, to improve the chances of passing.
So how can we help fabricators demonstrate PAS24?
The Smaller Fabricator
As a rule, smaller fabricators supply domestic and trade customers, so will probably only come across windows and doors that need to comply with Approved Document Q. This standard relates to security only and is for new build properties (although extensions are currently excluded) or change of use, such as a pub being converted into a house or flats.
To comply with the standard, a test report must be issued to prove that the windows and doors meet the requirement of the PAS24 standard, both in security, by means of a test, and where applicable glass and additional door hardware fitted.
Importantly, the Document Q standard does not ask for the fabricator to have test evidence in their own name, so it can be cascaded through the system supplier or another fabricator’s test evidence, provided they have given permission. So, if you use the same profiles and hardware as the test report, the LBCO must accept the report.
We can also conduct testing to comply with Doc Q for windows for the fabricator, as the standard does not state it must be a UKAS laboratory. Therefore we can conduct a window test exactly to the methods used in the PAS24 standard but can only issue an indicative report.
To date all Local Building Control Officers have accepted the reports submitted.
On each occasion, the fabricator must manufacture the product with the assistance of Eurocell and if it passes then manufacture all required PAS24 windows exactly as per the test report.
Below shows a typical window subjected to a PAS24 mechanical loading test at our Learning and Development Centre. The black pen marks highlight where all the loadings will be applied. A 3kn load will be applied to all locking and hinge points.