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The ift Rosenheim quality sign: absolutely the right choice for windows and doors

Windows and doors are long-lasting products which have a significant influence on energy efficiency and quality of living standards. In order for them to fulfil what is required of them fully, the individual components must function as a system and be suitable for the planned usage. Any small defects can quickly lead to structural damage, for example if the fittings are incorrectly screwed in, if the joints in the inner seals are faulty or if the fixings are of the wrong dimensions. These are all good reasons for building contractors to ensure high quality standards when purchasing windows and installing them correctly.

This is not always an easy task. The product standard for windows and external doors EN 14351-1 defines certain performance characteristics for building components, forming the basis for the European CE label. This, however, only obliges manufacturers to demonstrate certain qualities - and only on a prototype. It is the responsibility of the manufacturer to ensure that the standards for windows are met during production. No regard is given to which characteristic is relevant to quality for which area of application.

All in all, this is unsatisfactory for quality-conscious window buyers. However, buyers would be glad to benefit from expert window installation in accordance with RAL. Not only this, there would be no informative manufacturer certificate. ift Rosenheim is filling this gap: with the ift quality sign.

The Institut für Fenstertechnik (Institute for window technology): Many years of experience, great levels of expertise

The name says it all. Since it was founded in 1966, the “Institute for Research, Testing and Certification of windows, façades, doors, gates, glass and construction materials” has been taking a holistic approach to all of these building components. ift Rosenheim is a technical and scientific service provider, a specialist in assessing construction products and a testing institute in one. In addition to fitness for purpose, the engineers at the institute take the product qualities into consideration: they look at fire and flame protection and at structural physics and acoustics. Producing expert assessments is also part of the service. Another focus: further education and training sessions. As the product certification body approved by the EU, the ift is not only responsible for CE labelling. It also certifies documented product quality for manufacturers with its own quality seal: the ift quality sign.

The ift quality sign: monitoring fitness for purpose

There is no “universal window” suitable for every purpose. The quality and performance requirements are largely dependent on how and where a window will be installed. By themselves, normative standards are not sufficient: a one-off type check on a prototype such as that carried out for the CE label will provide little information about the reliability of production windows. In addition, the quality requirements of the market are varied – and customers are more and more critical. This is precisely where the ift quality sign comes in.

Clearly defined criteria, regular monitoring and transparent communication channels – that's how the ift quality sign ensures that building contractors, architects and the authorities have a clear overview. It also provides businesses and manufacturers with a high level of security when it comes to the conformity procedures of the German Construction Products Regulation (Bauproduktenverordnung - BauPVO). This is particularly important when it comes to manufacturing or installing products such as fire and smoke protection components or emergency exit doors. Another plus: the legal requirements of construction are also fulfilled through voluntary monitoring.

Phased model for businesses and manufacturers: highly informative certification

So that small and medium-sized businesses can also take advantage of these benefits, the institute has developed a phased model. In this way, manufacturers are guided through the ift product certification and the RAL quality monitoring processes.

The “ift-Standard” is particularly focused on meeting the legal requirements of the window standard EN 14351-1. This takes place through the...

  • production of the necessary classification reports 
  • performance declarations 
  • CE labelling
  • Production controls required for building legislation (WPK)

An ift auditor will support the business with the formalities. Templates guarantee that BauPVO is implemented in a legally valid manner.

The “ift quality” sign is designed for businesses for whom the minimum requirements are not sufficient. Product suitability and quality have primary importance. Characteristics which are tested... 

  • longevity of functionality with 10,000 opening and closing cycles 
  • mechanical resistance 
  • air permeability 
  • wind-driven rain resistance 
  • primary products such as glass and fittings

The characteristics which are tested are listed in a clear and comprehensive way in the ift Product Passport. The “ift quality” sign replaces the previous “ift certified” label.

“ift-Premium” represents a complete quality chain: from production to installation to approval.

Take note: two RAL quality marks have been revised

The function of quality marks is above all to promise consumers one thing: high quality, reliable safety and the feeling of doing everything by the book by using certified products and service providers. Any institution which issues and drives forward such quality marks therefore has a particular responsibility: in these times of dynamic technical development, it must ensure that new opportunities and quality requirements are constantly taken into account. Find all the latest information here.

More stringent safety, durability and sustainability requirements are fulfilled and regularly checked. In addition to the technical criteria there is also a hinge barrier and window reveal test as well as an installation check.

In order to avoid overlaps with RAL certification, the RAL quality mark replaces the ift Premium sign for windows and front doors. Those purchasing windows will be provided with certified quality RAL installation in addition to the verified service. In order to use the RAL quality mark, businesses must hold membership of the RAL quality association for windows and doors. Depending on the target market, customer structure and requirements, manufacturers can choose between the three phases. The following applies in every case: monitoring is more than just a “box-ticking exercise”.

ift auditors come into businesses regularly, evaluate products and production and offer advice in matters concerning technology, standards and quality management. Certified manufacturers and their products are listed on the institute's webpage on the internet.

On the safe side when it comes to quality and building legislation

The performance required from a window with regard to fitness for purpose, functionality, durability, safety and comfort depends largely on its usage. With its four levels, ift Rosenheim's quality sign offers building contractors and architects important assistance with orientation and also offers businesses an important sales promotion tool with which they are on the safe side: from both a quality and business legislation perspective.