The need for building services products to carry a CE Mark is having a profound impact on the ventilation and smoke extraction market, according to leading supplier Adexsi UK.
Since July 1 this year it has been mandatory for many products to carry a CE mark in line with new UK legislation introduced as part of the new European Construction Products Regulation (CPR). Building control officers are now checking to ensure contractors are only installing suitably tested and accredited products. Where they find lack of compliance they are referring it to trading standards officers for potential prosecutions of suppliers.
A wide range of building services products are subject to the CE marking legislation including: flues; roof and wall louvres; chimneys and fittings; heat and smoke extraction systems; fire and smoke dampers; fire rated ductwork; radiators and heat emitters.
Adexsi UK, as part of a French manufacturing group, was already well prepared for this development because France has been subject to CE marking law since the early 1990s. Its smoke ventilators are all CE approved and even carry the ‘CE’ label in their title.
CErtilam roof and wall louvres; CErtilux roof louvres; CErtilux wall louvres; CErtilight flap ventilators; and CErticiel window ventilators are specifically tailored for the UK market.
“The mandatory use of CE marks is a big step forward for the smoke ventilation sector,” said Adexsi director Kerry Jones. “We are seeing a dramatic increase in enquiries about this with awareness high among specifiers and their suppliers.
“End clients are not as aware of their responsibilities as they might be, but they are the ultimate beneficiaries of legislation that is designed to improve the quality of products used across the construction and refurbishment sector.”
Responsible manufacturers are calling for robust policing of the new law to guard against non-compliant and counterfeit products.
“The bona fide industry is keen to work with building control and trading standards to ensure a level playing field for all quality suppliers,” added Kerry.
Compliance is challenging as third party testing and reports, certification, factory testing and audit trails are all needed. Time has already run out for many suppliers because developing new products and completing the testing and documentation to meet CE mark standards takes many months.
There is also some confusion in the marketplace about how the rules are being applied. For example, what are the implications for projects where the design process was already well advanced with product orders placed before the July 1 deadline?
“The easy answer is to make sure you only specify products that are already CE marked from suppliers who can supply proof of testing and compliance from now on,” said Kerry. “Also, this is not just about staying within the law. A non-compliant product could undermine a client’s whole building operating strategy driving up their running costs and increasing the possibility of expensive and disruptive equipment failures.”