Testing excellence allows the BBA to lead the way in product certification

How modern buildings rise from a tangle of bricks, cement and steel to become fully functioning, useable buildings is less a mystery and more a precisely planned and controlled process redeveloping or re-purposing unused or redundant land.

But rarely do we consider the work undertaken by a plethora of organisations and companies before a building is conceived and specified, much less constructed, to ensure performance, safety and sustainability.

Did you know that some companies must first verify the quality and performance of each of the products and systems before they can be specified? And that each construction product is tested as an individual item, as part of a system and as part of the building as a whole? Have you also considered how changing one component can affect how the building/structure behaves in differing circumstances and by failing to test against all factors the entire build process, including insurance, specification and sustainability, can be impacted?

All components used within new-build and retrofit projects are subjected to a series of rigorous approval tests that are regulated by international standards. These regulations define the parameters that must be taken into consideration when examining the safety and quality of construction products, determining’ mechanical capacities, structural integrity, durability, weather resistance, safety and capacity to resist manipulations and intrusions through thorough testing. In addition to these regulated standards, products also need to also be tested to check their durability, energy efficiency, aesthetics and environmental factors (noise of construction).

If a product or system fails these tests, or the third party testing organisation does not take into consideration all factors, it can negatively impact the entire build process.

Why should these tests be carried out?

Predicting the behaviour of a system is complicated due to the peculiarity and diversity of a product’s components and the wide range of factors that arise in varying situations to which it may be subjected. Therefore, the rigorous testing procedures used within the BBA are vitally important to determine the fitness-for-purpose of a product and provide certification if that is required.

The tests undertaken as part of ascertaining the above focus on:

Safety: the extensive calculations and tests that the materials are subjected to, plus the controls adhered to in the manufacture and assembly process, to guarantee greater protection during the construction process and for the people who will reside in and use the building once finished.

Standardisation: compliance with internationally recognised regulations is a positive assessment factor for the manufacturer, the installer, the designer and the construction company – especially in their relationships with insurance companies and building control authorities.

Guarantee: the products that strictly comply with the safety precepts and regulations in all EU countries provide reassurances for specifiers, insurance companies and end users. Each of the certificates issued by the BBA is based on specific tests to ensure quality is not compromised. These tests help to obtain the mechanical characteristics, durability & resistance and the thermal efficiency of key components and their joints.

Conclusion

As the UK’s leading Notified Body, UKAS-accredited BBA evaluates hundreds of new products and systems each year through laboratory and on-site tests. Many of these tests will be associated with their corresponding certification processes and the elaboration of their quality plans and audits. We also inspect hundreds of factories, warehouses and manufacturing facilities across the world.

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