Parliament launch for BBA’s Product Excellence Programme
The British Board of Agrément, the UK’s leading construction products certification body, has announced a ground-breaking initiative to provide additional assurance to specifiers and clients that the building solutions they use are technically outstanding and of a consistently high quality.
Its Product Excellence Programme (PEP) was officially launched during a Westminster Sustainable Business Forum (WSBF) event at the Houses of Parliament, during which quality in construction was the focus.
The BBA’s PEP raises the UK certification bar, offering an unparalleled level of product assessment, testing and monitoring which the BBA believes will give designers, specifiers, contractors, building inspectors, insurers and end users increased confidence about building solutions.
Brian Moore, BBA Deputy CEO, said: “PEP is an enhancement to the proven audit and inspection service that the BBA has provided for many years, bringing additional rigour and excellence to the process. Post-Grenfell consumers are looking for a higher degree of reassurance and expect products to be tested regularly by a trustworthy and externally assessed independent body such as the BBA, which is UKAS accredited.”
Speaking on this issue and others relating to the improvement of building standards, Martin Taylor Commercial Director of the Local Authority Building Control, noted: “Significant changes in building regulations often follow disasters, but we should be more proactive and look to solve these problems before they occur.” One such proactive step is the BBA Product Excellence Programme.
Currently BBA Management Systems Auditors visit client manufacturing facilities every six months to ensure that BBA certified products continue to be manufactured in line with the agreed quality plan. PEP introduces a product testing regime to this process:
- Complexity 1 products – those which possess fire or structural type characteristics – will be tested annually.
- Complexity 2 products – those which do not possess fire or structural type characteristics – will be tested every three years.
For both complexities the BBA will randomly select products for testing during audits of manufacturing facilities and send them to the BBA Product Excellence Test Centre in Watford. If a product tested does not meet the agreed specifications it will be subject to immediate further investigation. Companies unable to address the source of failure will have their BBA Certificate withdrawn.
Existing BBA Certificate holders are being automatically enrolled onto PEP and, going forward, certificates will include prominent information about PEP compliance. Certificate holders who opt out of PEP must provide the BBA with product tests from another UKAS-approved laboratory. All new BBA clients will automatically be assessed against the PEP criteria.
“This new initiative reassures purchasers that the products they are using continue to match their published specification,” added Mr Moore. “The BBA is committed to raising its standards of service to its clients and other sectors of the construction industry. BBA PEP adds further reassurance by means of consistent product safety testing. Clients’ inclusion in PEP demonstrates their commitment to this ideal and provides a rolling assurance of certified product performance to specifiers, government, insurers, lenders and customers, demonstrating product integrity on an ongoing basis. The creation of PEP is part of the BBA’s continuous drive for excellence in the construction industry and of our ongoing mission to ensure that the market has access to products and services it can trust.”
* See the BBA at UK Construction Week (Birmingham NEC, October 9-11th), where Quality In Construction will be its theme.
BBA Chief Executive Claire Curtis-Thomas will sit on a panel discussing Quality in Construction Post-Grenfell and BBA Technical Excellence Director Paul Valentine will deliver a CPD presentation on the consequences of poor installation practices with a focus on external wall insulation systems. These two events will form a backdrop to the BBA’s on-going discussion of procurement practices within the industry, issues facing building owners when cladding systems are removed and the need to establish a robust whistleblowing protocol.
- See the BBA at Stand B620.
- The Quality in Construction Post-Grenfell debate featuring Claire Curtis-Thomas will take place on Wednesday, October 10th, 2.30-3.15pm on the main stage of Hall 12.
The British Board of Agrément was formed in 1966 and offers installer approval and certification and test services to manufacturers of construction products and systems. It is also the UK’s leading authority on the assessment of insulation products and installation techniques.