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What is BBA all about

I see that many building products are BBA approved. What's that all about and what if a product in not approved, does it matter? I'm thinking something important like EPS300 in a foundation!

Comments

  • edited February 2015
    The British Board of Agrement is one of several 3rd party testing houses. BCOs use certification as proof that whatever product in whatever situation actually does what it says on the tin. BBA and others will arrange testing, do spot checks of manufacturing facilities to ensure standards are being maintained, etc.
  • edited February 2015
    So, for example, if a rather royal insulation manufacturer's EPS300 is not BBA accredited for use in foundations, I needn't worry?
  • Err, yes, you should worry. Did I give the opposite impression? The BCO will not, or does not have to, accept it as fitting the bill, because you have no 3rd party certification to prove it does. On the other hand it may be that the BCO does not look any further than the fact that you have used EPS, and asks no questions.
  • I would go further than Nick and say that a Building Inspector must not accept uncertified product application. The need for Compliance with the Approved Documents being set out in the 1984 Building Act of Parliament.

    Of course the reason Building Inspectors can (ahem) apply the requirements as they see fit is that they cannot be personally held responsible for a bad outcome as each Inspector is 'acting on behalf of the Secretary of State'

    It's generally the specifieror builder who gets litigated against after things go pear shaped
  • Posted By: Mike GeorgeThe need for Compliance with the Approved Documents being set out in the 1984 Building Act of Parliament.
    This paragraph from the start of AD A seems to indicate otherwise:
    Approved Documents are intended to provide guidance for some of the more common building situations. However, there may well be alternative ways of achieving compliance with the requirements. Thus there is no obligation to adopt any particular solution contained in an Approved Document if you prefer to meet the relevant requirement in some other way.
  • edited February 2015
    Indeed, though I don't really see how that contradicts the need for 'compliance' it just opens the door to alternative methods - this caveat there I believe to allow for technological advances - the Approved Documents don't say that alternative methods do not need to comply - and in practice they do need Certification - As an example I have a Patent pending for a carrier panel for EWI - whether it will work in practice matters not - without third party certification it cannot be used. It is the 1984 Building Act which sets this out in law - not the Approved Documents

    Incidentally one product which seems to be teflon where this is concerned is a particular brand of multifoil - which has dubious claims of thermal performance still accepted in some Local Authorities - though as the contention is nothing to do with causing damage or injury I guess common sense prevails where there is not a viable (compliant) alternative
  • edited February 2015
    So if the EPS300 from a well known supplier is not BBA approved for use in foundations, keeping in mind this is the load bearing element, are any of the passive foundation systems BBA Approved?
  • edited February 2015
    I don't know - checking is easy though

    Manufacturers usually have any Certification they carry in big lights with a link to the Certificate itself - If they don't then its a fair bet that they don't have one.

    You can run a search for BBA's here though http://www.bbacerts.co.uk/#search

    Though there are other Testing houses - UKAS list them by area here http://www.ukas.com/about-accreditation/accredited-bodies/

    The one which seems most applicable to building products here http://www.ukas.com/about-accreditation/accredited-bodies/certification-body-schedules-PROD.asp

    Then there are the European equivalents..
  • Posted By: TriassicSo if the EPS300 from a well known supplier is not BBA approved for use in foundations, keeping in mind this is the load bearing element, are any of the passive foundation systems BBA Approved?

    I used Isoquick because it has LABC Certification and it was accepted by the BCO.

    http://www.isoquick.co.uk/
  • Yep, the LABC Certificate presumably in place as the product has European 3rd Party Certification - So equivalent to UK BBA (All the Certificates and Approvals on their website though unfortunately all in German).
  • Yes CE marking should be an acceptable alternative to BBA these days.
  • Posted By: CWattersYes CE marking should be an acceptable alternative to BBA these days.
    I'd wrongly assumed that if it went into the construction of a building it would have to be BBA approved. Thanks for the clarification.
  • edited February 2015
    There is an "Approved Document Regulation 7 - Materials and Workmanship"..

    http://www.planningportal.gov.uk/uploads/br/BR_PDF_AD_R7_2013.pdf

    That mentions CE marking but see also par 1.5 and 1.6. These refers to a "declaration of performance". For example blocks can be CE marked but they are available in different strengths and not all will be suitable for all applications. Likewise not all insulation will be suitable for below ground use just because it's CE marked. The info relevant to suitability will be in the declaration of performance.

    BBA doesn't seem to appear anywhere in the document.
  • I'm not sure CE marking exclusively means 3rd Party Certification.

    BBA Certainly is and it's this which enables compliance with the Approved Documents and hence the 1984 Building Act.

    The list I linked to above is of equivalent bodies and the European ones are likewise acceptable under the Approved Documents.

    One thing 3rd party certification does is link a product to a particular application - and therefore does away with the potential confusion of which insulation (for example) works in which scenario.

    I'm not sure if the CE mark means the same thing or whether it is more akin to a British Standard (kite mark). If so it's Certification on a more basic (generic) level
  • ''I'm not sure CE marking exclusively means 3rd Party Certification.''

    That's what I thought, Mike, at a time when a certain sheep's wool brand did not have BBA or similar cert'n (though it had *some* BBA tests done - that's not full 3rd pty cert). I told the client he probably could not use it, but then he found the CE mark and the BCO was quite happy! Sigh!
  • edited February 2015
    Yep, CE doesn't necessarily mean something has been third party tested (though it can do)

    It means that the product complies with a specific EU Directive and it is for the manufacturer to apply for the CE marking showing that it does.

    Some EU directives require Third Party testing - some do not.

    So *it depends* which directive the manufacturer wants to conform to.

    Full details here https://www.gov.uk/ce-marking

    The pertinent point is no3
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