Business Pilot has warned Part F prosecutions in window replacements are inevitable, making the ability to evidence compliance more important than ever.
The major update to Part F announced at the end of last year, sets out the requirement for ventilation in buildings, including new and existing homes, focussing on air quality and the replacement of old stale air with fresh air.
It means that from 15th June, replacement windows must provide 8,000mm2 Equivalent Area background ventilation to habitable rooms and 4,000mm2 EA for bathrooms. For utility rooms and WCs, there’s no minimum requirement.
Installers assume legal responsibility for meeting requirements, including where old windows had trickle vents in place, making sure as a minimum, new windows deliver an equal level of background ventilation.
Elton Boocock, Managing Director of the dedicated installer business management tool, Business Pilot, said: “It’s not just that installers have to work out the level of equivalent ventilation that they need to match what was already there where trickle vents were used – they need to be able to evidence it.
FENSA, CERTASS and other competent persons schemes have made it very clear that installers should take pictures during the survey stage, evidencing what was there and then on completion, demonstrating that the job was completed in line with regs.
“If you dump those images on a hard drive or Dropbox account, it’s going to make digging them out again very difficult and you’re going to need to be very disciplined with your file structure, because if you aren’t and you can’t evidence what you’ve done, you run the risk of prosecution.”
He adds that while competent person schemes aren’t responsible for prosecutions for non-compliance, they are obligated to report them to the building inspectorate. “The Government is recruiting another 1,100 building inspectors on top of those already in place to enforce this legislation. You’ve got be ready to evidence compliance when those inevitable inspections come”, Elton continued.
Business Pilot offers an off the shelf solution for Part F compliance. Developed by installers for installers, it delivers complete visibility on each aspect of your business in real time. That’s the status of every lead, every sale, every job, fitting team, completion – and financials, including cashflow and profitability.
This includes surveying, scheduling, pre-planning and sign-off against installation.
Business Pilot is cloud-based so its accessible from anywhere at any time”, Elton explained. “The workflow is also there ready to go. The lead comes in, the sales team go out and collate the basic detail, which can be done via the app or on a tablet, it’s automatically uploaded.
“You pick up the business, the survey team go out, do the survey – and importantly in terms of Part F compliance – take pictures, which are automatically uploaded and linked to the job.
“You fitting team do the install and take pictures of the finished installation – everything is linked, you get that audit trail but also real time visibility on the status of every lead, every new business win, installation and real time financial reporting.”
Business Pilot added a new integration with FENSA to its offer last month [April], which means Business Pilot users can instantly register installations automatically as soon as the job is complete, based on the information they have already inputted into it.
“You’re recording all of the information you need to complete a competent persons’ scheme registration into Business Pilot as you go. That means as soon as the job is complete you can upload it with a single click, including Part F compliance”, Elton added.