Performance Testing Windows and Doors – everything you need to know

If you’re planning to invest in new doors and windows, it’s natural for you to want to know you’re getting the best possible product. A number of different tests are carried out in order to ensure product quality and performance. Within this article we’re going to go through the main ones here. If you see these certifications whilst browsing, you’ll know that you’re looking at quality.

Water Tightness (Test BS EN 12208)

As the name indicates, this test is designed to examine a door or window’s resistance to water pressure. To carry out the test, a uniform water spray is applied to the surface area and air pressure increased. This continues until either the necessary standard has been met or until the water has penetrated the surface.

Performance on this test is measured in classes, with Class 1 indicating 15 minutes of pressure with no leaks. Once Class 1 has been met, pressure is increased in increments of 50Pa every five minutes until the test has reached Class 7.

Above Class 7, the pressure is increased in larger increments of 150Pa every five minutes: again, this continues until either the necessary standard is achieved or until the pressure becomes too much.
If a door reaches Class 9, the final levels of performance are graded by an E followed by the maximum pressure endured. So, if a door had endured 900Pa, it would be given the class E900.

Air Permeability (BS EN 12207:2000)

A simpler test, this involves measuring the volume of air that passes through a window or door at different pressures.

The grading is less complex for this test, with performance levels grouped into four classes: like the water tightness test, Class 1 is the lowest.

Resistance to Wind Load (BS EN 12210; BS EN 12211)

This is a test of a door or window’s overall strength – an important attribute during those chillier, windier months! The test is conducted in a similar manner to the water pressure test, where the levels of air pressure are increased slowly to measure the extent to which the windows and doors bend and at which point draughts begin to get through.

Performance tests for deflection are grouped into classes of A, B and C, with A the lowest standard. Pressure, meanwhile, is grouped into 5 classes: again, Class 1 is the lowest level of performance. A Class 5 door or window is capable of withstanding 2000Pa of pressure, which is the equivalent to 127mph winds. Anything above 74mph is classed as hurricane force, so will comfortably deal with almost any situation in the UK.

Security (EN1627-1630; PAS 24:2012; SBD)

There are a number of different security accreditations for windows and doors:

PAS 24:2012 is a British Standard publication with a single performance level. The UK approach contains a number of methodologies combining human intervention with various degrees of body impact testing. The human testing is carried out using an agreed set of tools designed to represent those of an opportunistic burglar.

The mechanical element of the test, meanwhile, sees as much as 4.5kN (450 kilos) of force applied to the doors and windows for up to 10 seconds at different points across the surface.

Secured by Design’s testing is set out to help ensure homes and other commercial premises are safer. The organisation is actually owned by the Association of Chief Police Officers, and has its own accreditation scheme for products that enhance door and window security. In order to be awarded this accreditation, the windows and doors must comply with PAS 24:2012 and must be cycle-tested, having been opened and closed thousands of times.

European Standard EN1627-1630 subjects windows and doors to a number of static and dynamic loads, designed to test both the materials and the locks. The test also includes attempts to break in using specified tools. For this standard, windows and doors may be categorised into six classes, RC1 to RC6. For domestic use, though, the standards are only RC1 to RC3.

Get in touch

We recognise, of course, that this is a lot to remember! If you’re unsure about how any of this relates to you getting the perfect, safe home, give Livingwood Windows & Doors a call today on 01284 764045.