Date: 7 June 2013
This will mean that all Construction Products manufactured after this date will need to be CE marked - and must be accompanied by a Declaration of Performance (DoP) when installed.
Cantifix Design Director William Sharman shares his thoughts on the new rules, and how Cantifix plan to approach them.
"Cantifix has always been an enthusiastic backer of tighter regulations in a glazing market that has seen huge bounds in technology - to ensure that the correct specifications are being used, and that products are installed properly with the required level of skill. All too often those who are not completely familiar with the latest techniques have sought to replicate complicated structures - without adhering to the strict care that these involve. However, these impending regulations threaten to impede the free thought and innovative design that has become a Cantifix trademark over the last 27 years. The challenge we face is to continue to offer such structures - whilst remaining firmly within the CPR guidelines, and to back this up with the service and confidence that our clients expect.
These new regulations are clearly designed for the greater percentage of ‘standard’ products available - to an extent where little scope is presently being offered for the more unusual and custom-built projects. Cantifix has complete confidence in all its products – including those that fall outside the more usual forms of testing procedure, and we have put together a rigorous schedule to ensure complete conformity to the CPR prior to the July 1st deadline. Cantifix will continue to offer the design service and product range that has firmly established it as one of the leading experts in all things glass.
In order to maintain conformity under these new regulations, clients will see a few changes to the amount of paperwork issued at the end of each installation, and its content. A document will be issued for each individual element of the design – showing the CE mark, and highlighting the specific European Standard that covers the performance of that particular product.
These will include:
- Reaction to fire.
- Overall thermal properties.
- A list (if any) of all ‘dangerous’ substances contained within the product.
- If panic devices are fitted, confirmation showing their load bearing capacities to operate have been tested.
These CE documents will then refer to a Declaration of Performance (DoP) for each type of product, stating the performance characteristics that have been tested. Examples of these include; water-tightness, air-permeability, resistance to wind, snow or self-imposed loads and acoustic qualities. All stated performance characteristics will have to be verified by a third-party Notified Body by Initial Type Testing (ITT).
For non-standard products, although performance assessments will be made, those that have not been through ITT can only display ’No Performance Declared’ (NPD). Initial Type Testing will prove expensive, and will only be undertaken when a particular product warrants it. This by no means suggests that the assessed performance is not accurate - but simply that third-party testing has not taken place.
Continued revisions to the relevant European Standards will no doubt take place over the next 18 months or so to bring them more in line with clients’ requirements, but until then we will all have to bear with those that we have been provided with. The present standards have been produced to satisfy the regulators, rather than to develop new products - and Cantifix are actively involved with those who can make the necessary recommendations for change.
Bring on July 1st and all that it brings to provide a more regulated glazing market, and renewed confidence in those who know what they are doing."
For further information on how this may affect a current project, please get in touch on 020 8203 6203.