12 Jul

Why we independently test our windows and doors

Faced with ever changing planning conditions and building regulations for new builds, many architects, developers, and self-build homeowners are specifically opting for windows and doors with higher performance ratings. Make a better choice for your property by upping its performance with windows and doors proven to go beyond the recommended standards. We take testing very seriously to ensure that our windows and doors will perform in the best possible way…

Most new doors or windows often perform well enough, but due to changes in building regulations back in 2015, homeowners, developers, and architects were presented with a new challenge in finding quality products that officially complied with the new standards. 

At the time, a new security building regulation called PARTQ was introduced, which strictly applies to all new build properties and ensures that all new houses are meeting higher security specifications across the board. Many joinery companies on the market simply altered their products to adhere to the new criteria on the regulations, communicating to their customers that their designs comply with the rules. 

Our approach to testing

At Westbury, testing is something we do every time we develop our designs or when the regulations are changed, so after 2015 we spent three years getting every one of our products independently tested. We offer four different types of sash windows, two types of casements, and numerous door designs, and each one is tested to ensure that our whole product range is up to the task. It’s an expensive and lengthy process, but we know that our doors and windows are the best performing products on the market and we have the results to prove it. 

“Because we test our products, we know that we can back up what we say when we tell our customers that they are getting the best products on the market,” explains Rob Owens, Westbury Windows and Joinery Sales Manager. “It’s always better to be safe than sorry and the results prove what we know our products are capable of.” 

The tests are carried out at a UKAS accredited test centre (United Kingdom Accreditation Service) by two separate independent testers, which are set in a controlled environment.

Safe and secure for your peace of mind

The security test is the PAS24 process, where we send our products to be both mechanically tested and manually tested. The process involves various experiments within a controlled environment to try to break through, including a test with pistons and a 40kg medicine ball dropped at great height, so we know for sure that the products are secure. 

Finally, a professional tester with a bag of tools attempts to break through the door or window in any way he can. Thankfully, these results prove that our products make it practically impossible for anyone to break into a property, ensuring that our customers feel safe and secure in their homes. 

Thermal performance you can trust

Before 2015, windows had to have 1.6UV Values, but this is now 1.4UV, and is what our customers expect as standard. We don’t just measure the UV Values of the centre pane in our windows – we test the thermal performance of the whole product and our results surpassed the average figures across all of our ranges. For new builds in particular, windows with even lower ratings could be specified, depending on the thermal performance of the entire house. This could be dependent on the amount of insulation in the walls or the amount of glazing used throughout the property. Ultimately, more heat stays in your home and less energy is required to keep it feeling warm and comfortable, meaning a more sustainable house with lower heating bills. Triple glazing and laminated glass can give more scope for even better thermal performances, and we could certainly see this as a trend that could potentially rise in the future. 

Weatherproof and soundproof windows

Weatherproof testing includes air permeability (some of our windows withstood 600pc of pressure before the air started to break through), water tightness (our windows withstood water sprayed at 450 pc of pressure for 20 minutes), and wind resistance. You can find the results of these tests here

The acoustic performance of a window or door is measured by the Weighted Sound Reduction Index (Rw) – the higher the number, the better a product is at insulating sound. The testers will monitor the inside of the window to measure the amount of decibels transferred from the outside and will play different kinds of noises through speakers. You can find out more about the results of our individual products here. Sound performance can make a huge difference to your home, especially if you are living in a city in a high traffic area or under a flight path. 

Feature window

Although the process of having all of our products independently tested is a lengthy one, we’ll continue to dedicate ourselves to giving our customers up to date results that prove the performance of our products. By choosing Westbury doors and windows, you can have peace of mind that they adhere to all building regulations – leaving you to enjoy your newly built or renovated home.