A little over a year on, we find out how Part Q has heralded not only a step change in Government policy but is also reshaping the how the industry sells to homeowners.
The introduction of Part Q in October 2015, was a watershed moment in that for the first time, it introduced a security requirement in Building Regulations. It was a vindication of what the proponents of enhanced security specifications had been arguing for a decade or more before – the way we build our homes can have a significant impact for the better, in the case of Part Q, reducing crime.
A year in and the real ramifications of Part Q are now beginning to surface. Yes, it’s delivered a shift in new build door and window specification – PAS24:2012 is now a requirement if you serve the new build market – but that’s just the tip of the iceberg. Part Q has the potential to redefine the way that the industry sells.
“Security has always been there” says Sliders UK’s Ian Longbottom, “Part Q simply enshrines it in legislation but in doing so, it reinforces the importance of ‘security’ in the consumer mindset and generates a raft of sales platforms.”
As an early advocate of Secured by Design (Sliders UK claimed a raft of SBD firsts), security has always featured in door specialist’s market positioning to the trade.
The Ultimate Range features what is approaching the – if not actually the – UK’s widest choice of Part Q approved, composite, inline sliding patio and bi-folding doors. It now supplies more than 300 inline sliding doors, 50 bi-folds and more than 200 composite doors to the trade each week
The Sliders UK Chairman suggests that introduction of Part Q, evidences that the mantra that ‘prevention is better than cure’ is increasingly enshrined in government policy – and is also an indication of things to come.
“I’m confident Part Q will follow into the replacement sector within a few years. It doesn’t matter, however, that Part Q doesn’t apply to replacement windows and doors – that it’s there in new build is enough to generate a high level of consumer awareness”, Ian continues.
“That Part Q is there in new build building regulations, delivers an exceptionally strong message. As housebuilders capitalise on the marketing platforms that enhanced security specifications deliver, the reach of Part Q will extend into home improvements. It’s already happening almost by process of osmosis.”
This, he argues also has potential ramifications for Secured by Design. Having achieved what it set out to do – secure government and consumer recognition of how good building and building product design can deliver a positive impact in society, Ian suggests to a point, it has run its race.
“What we’re starting to see is Part Q edge a little way ahead of SBD. People get Building Regulations, there’s a perception of credibility that goes with association with it.
“We have always advocated SBD but it’s a more complex proposition. You have to educate the consumer first. Part Q/Building Regulations sits perhaps a little more comfortably. People get it.
“The fact that it doesn’t apply to the replacement sector is a plus. If you offer Part Q approved products, you’re offering more – it’s a sales platform.”
If Sliders UK now sees less value in the SBD badge, it remains committed to innovation which supports its message. The door specialist has launched a raft of new product this year, all of which are Part Q compliant.
This includes the Ultimate Evolution. Launched last month [September], unveiled as a second system to its established ALUK aluminium bi-fold offering and Duraflex’s new bi-folding PVC-U system.
Ian continues: “The Ultimate Evolution was designed with a really strong focus on hardware including security so by default its PAS24:2012 accredited but it also features great sightlines and a highly innovative adjustable jamb option.
“Standards in door and window performance are moving forward all of the time, sightlines, colours or security – whatever you’re manufacturing it has to deliver across the board.”
PAS24:2012 and Part Q compliant, the new Duraflex bi-folding door is fully integrated with the systems company’s Diamond suite, featuring beveled and chamfered options.
With suited hardware, 13 opening and closing combinations, three low threshold options and featuring Duraflex’s Q-lon, low line gasket, the system also achieves a DER ‘A’ rating and u-values as low as 1.1Wm2/K.
It’s launch and that of the Ultimate Evolution, follows that of two other Part Q tested doors. This includes the Veka Imagine as a second PVC-U bi-fold system, in addition to its established Eurocell Ultimate Aspect PVC-U door range at the beginning of the year, both feature a high security specification.
And the launch of the PremiLine PRO patio door from Kömmerling. Another Part Q ready door, it sits alongside Sliders UK’s established offer from Duraflex, giving the door specialist one of, if not the, industry’s largest bi-fold and patio door offers.
“The extension of Part Q to residential replacement is the next logical step”, continues Ian. “The industry has already stepped up to the mark and extending best practice into refurbishment simply makes sense.
“This would also simplify the message to the homeowner, that as a PAS24:2012 accredited product their new door, meets and exceeds all relevant building regulations.”
Sliders UK has been running its own security campaign, Home Security Sense, to promote understanding of enhanced security specification to homeowners. The campaign calls on the insurance industry to recognise the contribution high security building products can make in reducing crime by reducing premiums.
“The introduction of Part Q by Government sends a very clear message to insurers, that high performance building products can make a significant contribution to crime reduction.”, says Ian.
He continues: “Ultimately legislation is going to drive change but in offering homeowners reduced premiums for PAS24:2012 accredited doors, would accelerate and support this process.
“But ultimately, the shift is going to happen. The Government has set the ball rolling and we continue to work alongside our customers to communicate the benefits of Part Q to UK homeowners.
“The message is a strong one. Security is as salient a message as energy efficiency and Part Q is a platform made to deliver it.”
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