It goes without saying that when there are innovative new developments in the construction product market, organisations go to the BBA to get that product certified so that it can more easily gain market acceptance. This was the case for Siegenia-Aubi Ltd when looking to launch their new TITAN AF Tilt and Turn Gear in 2018.
The TITAN AF Tilt and Turn Gear, which allows PVC-U, aluminium, timber-aluminium and timber windows to open in two directions, was manufactured by Siegenia-Germany. As true leaders in their field of ventilation and building technology, Siegenia-Germany’s TITAN AF Tilt and Turn Gear promised to provide the same reliable functionality expected from their BBA Certified product range.
For fabricators intending to use this new technology, it was reassuring, as other than working as a stand-alone product in new windows, the TITAN AF Tilt and Turn Gear, can also be retrofitted onto almost any Tilt and Turn window type. However, in order to retrofit this innovation to an existing BBA approved window, fabricators found themselves facing the need to have the window reassessed.
To combat this challenge, Siegenia-Germany proactively pushed forward with BBA Certification for the TITAN AF Tilt and Turn Gear as a single entity, while creating another certification avenue for the fully integrated system. This ingenuity by Siegenia-Germany was done to help fabricators feel comfortable using the system while not delaying production or incurring additional assessment costs.
By having the BBA Certification, Siegenia-Germany knew it would not only eliminate additional costs for fabricators but would provide the reassurance needed by specifiers, designers and contractors. This certificate would also allow new-build and NHBC sites to use the TITAN AF Tilt and Turn Gear as part of trade organisation’s requirement that window and door installations be BBA Certified.
Speaking on the certification process, Luke Adams – Sector Manager for Fenestration said “in order for us to certify the Titan AF Tilt and Turn Gear, our testing team had to ensure it was fit-for-purpose and the longevity was calculated based on use through numerous tests including its resistance to salt spray corrosion, static torsion and operating forces to confirm this. This process was rigours and efficient as are all the tests for certification undertaken by the BBA.”
Adams added that “although the system had already been certified to UK standards, the BBA tests and certifies against additional characteristics providing additional reassurances about a products fitness-for-purpose. For this reason, our Test team needed to carry out additional checks on the product before being able to provide certification.”
“The BBA are renown for their unrivalled credibility in the construction industry”
Gary Davies, Technical Manager – Siegenia-Aubi Ltd.
In order to certify to the BBA standards, TITAN AF Tilt and Turn Gear went through a rigorous process which looked at the:
- Operating forces – Simulating how easy it is to open and close, focusing on the max forces applied to simulate disabled/infirm people and ensure that they would still be able to operate the window, while making sure that over time the hardware did not become harder to use.
- Static Torsion – Simulating an attempt to release a jammed sash and whether the Tilt and Turn Gear would hold the load without damage.
- Racking – Simulating any accidental vertical load applied to an open window and whether the Tilt and Turn Gear would hold the load without damage.
- Resistance to repeated opening and closing (10,000 cycles) – For a typical domestic window opened twice a day, the 10,000-cycle test is equivalent to approximately 15 years’ use.
- Resistance to salt spray corrosion – Exposing the Tilt and Turn Gear to salt corrosion to simulate what might happen if installed at a coastal location and to determine how well it performed in these conditions, noting when corrosion occurred.
Additional checks were undertaken by the BBA with Siegenia-Germany to ensure that they could provide suitable production controls. This was checked with a visit to Siegenia-Germany’s factory based in Germany.
This visit allowed the BBA to determine the overall suitability of the product and, with the support of the test results, felt confident in the decision to issue the BBA Certificate to Siegenia-Germany for the TITAN AF Tilt and Turn Gear.
Once the BBA’s certification team felt confident in the Tilt and Turn Gear’s fitness-for-purpose, they promptly issued Siegenia-Aubi with their BBA Certification.
Having chosen the BBA to certify their product Gary Davies, Technical Manager UK Siegenia-Germany, commented that the BBA “had been very supportive throughout the whole process and getting started was easy and straightforward”.
Davies added that they chose “the BBA because they are renowned for their unrivalled credibility in the construction industry” and the certification would allow Window Fabricators to utilise the product without accruing additional costs, but more importantly, allowed the product to be specified for new-build and NHBC sites.