Re: Re: Irish say no to PVC windows

Home Forums Ireland Irish say no to PVC windows Re: Re: Irish say no to PVC windows

Monty Gerhardy

@Graham Hickey wrote:

Monty, surely all replacement windows do not have to conform to such regulations, especially considering such a huge, allbeit minority amount, of existing windows do not conform simply by virtue of the size of the wall openings, or the position of the window.
Surely in such cases, i.e. with the majority of older buildings protected or not, these regs do not apply, as some if not all window openings would have to be changed in every single case.
Likewise how the current requirement of double-glazing in new-builds as far as I know does not apply in the restoration or re-insertion of sash windows….?

Monty what building on O’Connell St do you refer to with PVC. There is a myriad of buildings with shiny PVC that are not but a few years old, much of which is borderline in terms of ACA and protected building legislation introduction, a lot of which more than likely tips well over into the post-intro period but it’s difficult to prove just by looking…

I would contend that all replacement windows in dwellings have to be cognisant of the requirements of TGD B. Even if the building was constructed prior to the enactment of the Building Regulations the windows originally would have served an escape function even though this had not been codified. Now that the escape function has been codified there is an explicit recognition that escape routes are required for all buildings.

A defensible case could be made for replacing like with like, in terms of a vertical slider for vertical slider – the escape function has not been diminished. What can not be defended is diminishing the escape function to the point where escape is impractical. This I would contend is the case with most of the windows in the photos. Either the unobstructed opening is too small or the opening section is too high above the floor level. I would also note that there is wide spread misunderstanding about the dimensions necessary for safe-escape. TGD B 1.5.6 currently provides ‘guidance’ of 500 x 850mm. England & Wales and Scotland allow for a minimum area of 0.33m2 with a minimum of 450mm in both height and width. The draft – now 2 years old – revisions to TGD B propose a similar area approach (0.35m2) but ludicrously only for vertical sliders and only then when they are in the vicinity of existing ‘period’ buildings!

The overriding requirement from a safety perspective is that any works do not make the situation worse then already exists. If the building is a protected structure or in a conservation area, I would still maintain the safety requirement takes primacy. Apart from fire safety the other issue here is generally one of guarding – many vertical sliders may have the bottom of the opening section below 800mm above floor level. This can be dealt with by thoughtfully designed barriers inside the window.

Low E glass is required in all new windows. If you repair or re-glaze a window it is not required. If the window – sash and frame – is replaced then Low E glass is required – even for a vertical slider. If the building is important enough to have been a listed building then an exemption to TGD L is understandable. I don’t support a blanket exemption for ACA’s either. I’ve come across situations in Dublin where DCC has been using this specious argument to obstruct double-glazing in areas of Ranelagh that are merely zoned Z2. There are modern double-glazed windows on the market that are suitable for both ACA’s and D6. Energy conservation is to important to give an exemption to vast swathes of red-brick Dublin.

I said the building was in the ACA and I didn’t say it was PVC. Wynns Hotel. I’ll try and attach a photo. The windows are timber and to my eye look pretty good. Meeting rail is slightly heavy and those of them with horns have the wrong profile. Minor details when one considers the history of the façade. Unless this building was protected specifically for the windows, which I doubt, I don’t have a problem with this kind of sympathetic substitution – assuming it was approved. I would actually hold the installation up as an example of how modern windows can work in such a situation. The benefits of energy savings, greater comfort & increased property value will be more persuasive then a legislative stick.

Is mise le meas,


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