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Listers dispel regulatory myths at customer day

Listers’ customers have been given a lowdown on regulatory change, product innovation and market forecasts, at a customer partnership day.

Held at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium in North London [12/4/22], the event began with a Q&A panel on the impacts of Part F and Part L, with Paul Kennington, Technical Director, Veka and Chair of the Systems Group of the GGF, Jon Vanstone, Chair of Certass and Listers’ MD Roy Frost.

This included a headline overview of Part F, which will place new requirements to ensure new build and replacement installations deliver minimum levels of ventilation from June 15th this year.

Including a new requirement to make sure that all habitable rooms and kitchens achieve a minimum 8,000mm2 equivalent area (EA), and 4,000mm2 EA in bathrooms, Part F proved a thorny issue. Members of the audience questioning the logic underpinning the legislation but also the practicalities of enforcement, particularly where homeowners were unenthusiastic about their use.

This was something later tackled head on by Certass Chair Jon Vanstone, who while acknowledging potential contradictions in the relationship between Parts L (conservation of energy) and Part F, ventilation, warned against reliance on customer disclaimers or indemnities.

He said: “You’ve got different drivers at play that don’t really match. At the same time the consumer still doesn’t understand the benefits and that makes pitching trickle vents to the end-user far more difficult.

“The fact, however, remains, that poor ventilation has a massive toll on public health and the NHS, with billions spent on chronic health conditions, so things have to change.

“There is a grey area where the homeowner tells the installer that they don’t want the vents in because they want to do something else.

“My advice is that installers should take evidence of whatever they are taking out. Do some basic assessment of the property, look for issues, and look at what the homeowner is doing because there are a lot of retrofit projects going on. Quite often, glazing projects will be part of something bigger

“There may be other ways to do the ventilation, and maybe that’s what we should be promoting?”
 Veka Technical Director, Paul Kennington, argued that like it or not, ventilation was fundamental to the creation and maintenance of healthy living spaces and that the negative impact poor air quality had on health, meant that the Government was unlikely to budge. Instead, he suggested that legislation created an opportunity to upsell the benefits to the end user.

This was also a theme picked up on by the Listers’ MD. He argued that the industry needed to be better at engaging with government and encouraged installers to participate in the consultation process. He also called for greater collaboration between representative bodies.

“We need to speak with one voice”, he said, “We’ve got trickle vent manufacturers, sealed unit manufacturers, glass companies, systems companies – people who are individually keen to sell more of their individual products, and who are pushing their individual agendas.

“In my opinion that needs to change and I’m up for the challenge: I’d like to see individual businesses and organisations within our industry come together and approach things more collaboratively, speak with a single voice and to get our message across to Government”, Roy added.

Darren Pusey, Technical Director, Listers, picked up the regulatory theme in the next session, talking about Part L and Part F compliance, including the introduction of new Glazpart trickle vent finish options, and the launch of its new Sheerline aluminium offer.

Sarah Hitchings, Sales and Marketing Director, Residence Collection, provided an overview of its offer – including compliance with Part L – as well as unveiling its plans for the development of a new dedicated chamfered door frame.

The afternoon session was followed with presentations from Kubu, including the development of a new smart hook-point locking mechanism developed in partnership with and exclusive to Listers.

There were also presentations on Listers’ new customer ordering portal and management tool, Easy Connect; as well as market updates from the Listers’ boss, and Chris Tahmasaby from ICAAL. They collectively highlighted a number of headwinds but emphasised that business was still there to be won.

The afternoon session was closed off by Ryan Schofield, Business Pilot, who delivered an outline overview of its lead-to-project completion and reporting, retail business management tool and CRM; and Alex McCulloch from CCS consumer finance, who explained how selling finance could support retail sales.

The event closed with a tour of the 63,000-seat Spurs stadium, which is the largest in London, and the third-largest in the UK.

“There’s a huge amount happening in the industry at the moment – Part L, Part F – and in addition to regulatory change a host of other challenges, including price increases and a slight toughening of trading conditions”, Roy said.

“Bringing people together, giving them the opportunity to share experience and ask questions, and to get support to maximise the many opportunities that are still out there – it’s what Listers is about”, he concluded.

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