The certification of a product is expressed by the CE mark, which is affixed to the product and constitutes the manufacturer’s declaration that the product complies with the essential requirements of the relevant European legislation concerning the protection of health, safety and the protection of the environment during its use. CE is an abbreviation of the French phrase Conformite Europeene which stands for European Conformity. The CE conformity marking is not a quality mark. It denotes safety, hygiene, environmental protection. Indirectly it denotes a standardized production process. It is mandatory for all construction products traded in the associated countries and in free trade countries with the EU, and is now required by other countries. CE marking is easier to install in companies that have ISO. In practice it acts as a sales support tool, as long as the application of certain Standards is not mandatory, or where there is no strict control of its application.
European Standard EN14351-1 refers to windows and front doors, while another Standard for internal doors is expected to be issued. This standard refers to the application of 76 standards in total and covers the following characteristics:
– Required handling force
– Mechanical strength
– Bullet resistance
– Explosion resistance
– Resistance to repeated openings – closures
– Resistance to burglary
– Behaviour in climate differences (inside-outside)
– Special requirements
Both sliding doors and fixed elements fall under EN14351-1 and must be CE marked accordingly. For some of the properties listed above the specifications used are as follows:
– Wind pressure resistance (ELOT EN 12211)
– Waterproofing (ELOT EN 1027)
– Air permeability (ELOT EN 1026)
– Sound insulation capacity (ELOT EN 14351)
– Thermal capacity (ELOT EN 12412.02,ELOT EN ISO 10077.02)
– Optical and thermal properties of glass panes
– Bearing capacity of safety devices (EN14609/EN 948 or by calculation methods).
The new legislation
Until 2011 a declaration of conformity was required for fenestration, but as of 9 March 2011 Council Directive 89/106/EEC is repealed and REGULATION (EU) No. 305/2011 OF THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT AND OF THE COUNCIL laying down harmonised conditions for the marketing of construction products. Perhaps the most important change is the introduction of the Performance Declaration, which replaces the Declaration of Conformity. So whereas the declaration of conformity was a single form for a set of constructions, the declaration of performance is different for each product in the construction sector, with the sole exception of multiple copies of a particular product. This in the field of fenestration translates into the fact that only several pieces of exactly the same construction can have the same performance declaration. Under the new Fenestration Regulation, a manufacturer of a product in the construction sector, including external fenestration, will have to draw up a declaration of performance. That is, it should accompany each of its products with the values it achieves in each test.