Building control and trading standards officers are starting to tighten the screw on projects using equipment that does not comply with new compulsory CE marking legislation.
On July 1 it became compulsory for many products used in building services systems to carry a CE Mark following the implementation of the European Construction Products Regulation (CPR). As a result, end users could be forced to remove any equipment not properly tested and accredited.
Products subject to CE marking include flues, chimneys and fittings; heat and smoke extraction fans; fire and smoke dampers; fire rated ductwork systems; radiators and heat emitters. Third party testing, certification, factory testing and audit trails are all needed to achieve compliance.
Manufacturers report that contractors are growing increasingly aware of the new requirement and are asking suppliers to provide the necessary evidence of testing and certification. Building control officers are now carrying out on site checks; and trading standards are charged with prosecuting suppliers who fail to comply with the new law.
‘The mandatory use of CE marks should be welcomed by specifiers and their suppliers as it will help to improve the quality of products used across the construction and building services industry,’ said David Fitzpatrick, chairman of the CIBSE CE Marking working party.
‘Robust policing is welcome because it creates a level playing field and makes it hard for suppliers to place non-compliant products on the market,’ added Fitzpatrick, who is also sales director of Ruskin Air Management.
CIBSE formed the working party to show support for a new initiative it believes ‘will raise standards, particularly in life safety applications and installations,’ according to technical director Hywel Davies.
Many UK manufacturers are scrambling to catch up with this requirement because Britain opted out of the original CE marking legislation in the 1990s, which gave continental firms a head start.
‘We are fortunate that our parent company is based in France,’ said Kerry Jones, director of smoke control and ventilation manufacturer Adexsi UK. ‘This means that every product we supply in the UK was already fully tested and CE marked.
‘We are receiving a growing number of enquiries about this issue,’ she added. ‘It is clear that specifiers want to ensure they are protected from non-compliant products that could undermine their whole building operating strategy – not to mention leaving their clients with potential legal problems.’