Over-regulated or helpful?
How many actions, regulatory instruments and documents are needed for a quality product?
Finding a way through the jungle
On virtually a daily basis, engineers are faced with long, confusing invitations to tender, constantly increasing requirements, and new rules, technical terms, and jobs to do. U-values, g-values, light transmittance, the CPR, the Low Voltage Directive, safety in use, accessibility, REACH declarations, carbon footprint, universal design, prEN 14351-1, temperature factors, Ψ-values, the passive house standard, sustainability, environmental product declarations – the list goes on and on. How is anyone realistically meant to meet all these requirements?
The “good old days” – and now
After the War, all it took to meet the regulatory and normative requirements for windows was some easy-to-understand design standards, single-pane glass, one-page standards involving stipulations about glazing, just 20 quality assurance criteria, and barcodes for checking product quality and mass production. But the resulting product quality reflected this small number of requirements. Also, things got complicated if the customer wanted something specific. If a product deviated from the normative design requirements, manufacturers found it hard to provide evidence of that product’s compliance.