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Wrong glass type - who is responsible?


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We just had BC inspection and they have picked up on an issue regarding the large window we have at the half landing of the stairs - apparently this needs to be toughened glass incase someone falls down the top half of the stairs, hits the full height window, breaking it and then falls out/over the cut class.

 

I am principle designer / main contractor. The BC plans were put together by our architect., BC approved the plans which includes the window schedule/location/stairs, and our window supplier/installer (premium partner of Origin Global manufacturer) took those plans and supplied/installed those windows.

 

I've got a horrible (expensive) feeling it is going to come down to me even though I paid professionals to do their job and provide appropriate advice.

 

We haven't spoken to architect, BC or the window installer yet.

 

cheers,

- Dean

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21 minutes ago, DeanAlan said:

I've got a horrible (expensive) feeling it is going to come down to me even though I paid professionals to do their job and provide appropriate advice.

If the installer is FENSA registered then they should be checking that the install meets the regs as they have their registration to consider, might be worth a lookup.

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What about the order / schedule that was agreed with the window company? We had a similar issue but had ours replaced for free as the order form had toughened specified. Fyi the window company of anybody should know that floor level glazing has to be toughened.

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Thanks @MikeSharp01 and @Conor

 

I see they are members of Assure, and others. - I don't see FENSA and they don't seem to be on FENSA web site either. As a Platinum Partner of Global Origin I had made some assumptions.

 

The order form doesn't have 'toughened' specified - that would be easy. We already have them replacing that very same window with clear glass rather than frosted as it turned up frosted against our spec of clear. Unfortunately the replacement glass has been prepared (angled, not standard) and is due to be replaced but BC just picked up this other point.

 image.png.f27265cd4036a8f2a039a533ad81b5e7.png

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Actually, the schedule for all of these windows (from the supplier/installer) - including the offending one - is "A"rates toughened 4-20-4 Argon-filled double glazed units.

That certainly reads good and maybe I just need to tell BC "Yes".

 

That would be one weight off my mind - assuming there aren't different grades of toughened?

 

cheers,

_DEan

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28 minutes ago, DeanAlan said:

Actually, the schedule for all of these windows (from the supplier/installer) - including the offending one - is "A"rates toughened 4-20-4 Argon-filled double glazed units.

That certainly reads good and maybe I just need to tell BC "Yes".

I believe for a "low level window" it has to be toughened outer pane and laminated inner pane.  That is what all ours are, and the BC inspector made a point of checking the markings on every one.

 

I think the laminated inner is if someone falls against it, it does not shatter into pieces that could then injure them.

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2 hours ago, MikeSharp01 said:

If the installer is FENSA registered then they should be checking that the install meets the regs as they have their registration to consider, might be worth a lookup.

Interesting, I have potentially a similar problem in respect of a couple of Windows and I’ve just checked and the company that supplied and fitted the windows have this on their website: “We are also members of FENSA which is a self-certification body that ensures that our windows meet the requirements of the relevant building regulations.” 

Good to know.

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1 hour ago, ProDave said:

I think the laminated inner is if someone falls against it, it does not shatter into pieces that could then injure them.

 

Laminated would be my preference for anywhere near stairs.  Both toughened and laminated are considered 'safety' glass; the difference is that if the laminated breaks, it stays in place.  If the toughened breaks, it breaks into tiny pieces and allows you to continue your onward journey...

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1 minute ago, Roundtuit said:

If the toughened breaks, it breaks into tiny pieces and allows you to continue your onward journey...

Possibly then breaking the plain glass middle pane which might not end well.

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BC are keen to pick up on this one.  I don't think there is a significant risk that someone will fall down the stairs and through a window.  It is not something you ever hear of.  I have had one of these in the past and we fixed a timber across the window which I assume the homeowner later removed.

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If it is only the landing window, you could probably get it passed by putting a ballustrade in front of it and then (cough) remove it later.

 

We did this to get our completion certificate without having the balcony build

 

 

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10 hours ago, DeanAlan said:

We just had BC inspection and they have picked up on an issue regarding the large window we have at the half landing of the stairs - apparently this needs to be toughened glass incase someone falls down the top half of the stairs, hits the full height window, breaking it and then falls out/over the cut class.

 

I am principle designer / main contractor. The BC plans were put together by our architect., BC approved the plans which includes the window schedule/location/stairs, and our window supplier/installer (premium partner of Origin Global manufacturer) took those plans and supplied/installed those windows.

 

I've got a horrible (expensive) feeling it is going to come down to me even though I paid professionals to do their job and provide appropriate advice.

 

We haven't spoken to architect, BC or the window installer yet.

 

cheers,

- Dean

Get the supplier to clarify where the stamp is located. It might be hidden under the glazing strip. Otherwise get your supplier to confirm in writing to BC that the glass is toughened. If it’s not put a toughened glass balustrade across the lower half of the window (up to 800mm above FFL). This is common practice in historic buildings where there are sliding sash windows with the lower part of the opening sash less than 800mm above FFL.

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