How we test our conservatories

Conservatories have to be extremely sturdy and safe, and to withstand the worst environmental conditions that the British weather can throw at them. That’s especially true of the roof, which gives the whole of the overall structure its stability.

At Ultraframe, we know it’s not enough to test a conservatory ourselves, even though our own testing processes in our labs are rigorous and through. We are, of course, already confident that our roofing systems have been designed to the most stringent engineering principles. However, third-party accreditation and testing from independent agencies is also important for reassurance and extra peace of mind.

That’s why all Ultraframe roofing systems have 25 year British Board of Agrément (BBA) certificates of life expectancy. Not only that, but we were the first in the sector to be awarded this accreditation. The BBA is one of the leading notified bodies in the UK which approves, tests and certifies organisations in the construction industry which manufacture and install products and systems. To gain certification, organisers need to show they are competent and professional, and able to realise their full potential. BBA approval is widely recognised and acknowledged throughout the construction industry, by everyone from insurers to government to architects and local authorities.

We also challenged another industry leading body, Wintech, to see how the Ultraframe conservatory roof performed when subjected to heavy wind loads, and to see how the competition compared. Again, we were groundbreakers, since Wintech had never tested a complete structure in this way before. We asked them to look at wind uplift and study key roof joints. Wintech appointed fitters, who were independent, and worked to each manufacturer’s guidelines in building a conservatory roof on top of identical, regulation issue sideframes.

Testing was done with an aero engine which blasts wind to the conservatory from the side of it, which can travel over the roof, and there was also an uplift force equivalent to up to 130mph on the glazing of the roof, which was literally trying to raise the rafters! The test ‘maxed out’, meaning the equipment could not exert any more pressure, and Ultraframe conservatories passed it with flying colours.