2022 in the fenestration industry has, in some respects, been tumultuous. Whether that’s the exit from the pandemic, material availability, rising costs (not least power) or regulatory change. The latter seems to have created the most column inches and online commentary.
However, this has sadly been brought into a clear focus with the result of the events in Rochdale following the death of a two-year-old in 2020; Awaab Ishak. In this instance, a coroner ruled that a direct contributary factor was a lack of ventilation in the one-bedroomed flat in which his family lived and was as a consequence full of mould build up. You will have seen this in the press at the time.
This is I feel where there is a link. The fenestration industry needs to take on board that part of the reasons for some changes in regulation are actually because there is a problem, which in our day-to-day work, we don’t see it. There has been talk of unnecessary regulation, interference, conspiracy and questions of how can get around the provision of background ventilation in windows. But this case demonstrates that there is a need to provide background ventilation in its many forms to prevent this happening again.
There is only one guarantee in life, things always change
The only guarantee following this is that there will, in all likelihood, be greater regulation of landlords to provide safe environments for renters to live in and as a sector we should be encouraging this by offering these products as regulated, you never know they may be right.
The way highly airtight properties are used today leads to moisture build-up and it has to go somewhere, even if it’s purged through an open window. Unfortunately, we don’t all do this – especially in the middle of a cost of living crisis – and as I type this article, looking over a snow-covered vista, I’m probably not going to open my window.
There is a possible learning point here for those in the fenestration industry. There is only one guarantee in life, things always change and those that look at the regulations have a broad perspective and may actually be trying to make things better for your customers. Sometimes we have to do things differently.