Construction News

Mon October 18 2021

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BBA takes on CARES with rebar certification

30 Sep The British Board of Agrément has launched a certification scheme for reinforcing steel in direct competition with CARES, the UK Certification Authority for Reinforcing Steels.

BBA has worked with the rebar sector, notably Celsa Steel, the dominant manufacturer in the UK market.

BBA said that it was responding to “market wishes for customer interaction and service”.

BBA technical director Bill Hewlett said: “We offer a pragmatic approach to ISO 9001 existing certification recognition (of approved providers), an affordable licencing and maintenance structure and an all-inclusive rate, with no additional expenses.”

He added: “We believe in a competitive market that provides options to those who function within it.”

The certification of rebar, to assure of product quality, has become more of an issue in UK construction since the proliferation of imports, not always of the highest specification.

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The UK market for rebar, used to reinforce concrete, is estimated to be worth £500m a year and rising, thanks to the upcoming HS2 project which will require nearly a million tonnes of it.

Bill Hewlett said: “Our scheme covers production at steel mills, cold rolling and processing and assures the supply chain of a high quality, consistent product verified by a third party auditing process control.

“The BBA has been listening to, talking with and questioning a wide range of stakeholders within the construction industry for many months to better understand their needs and develop solutions that match their requirements. The Reinforcing Steel Scheme is an example of this and will offer our existing clients and new customers a high-quality service that brings choice to the sector and meets the needs of major construction projects.”

Asked what CARES was getting wrong and why an alternative certification scheme was required, he said: “We feel that what the market needs is a fresh and credible pair of eyes that is able to provide a bundling of services and solutions that serve their organisations better. We believe that the provision of market choice is a benefit. Through this scheme, the BBA provides reassurance that clients’ reinforcing steel products meet the requirements of the evolving market they find themselves in, providing confidence throughout the supply chain of product consistency and technical conformity.”

A spokesperson for CARES said: "CARES has got a 40-year track record of working closely with its clients who value the assurance and confidence they are guaranteed with CARE’s proven system. We are confident they will continue to seek the assurance that comes with CARE certification. CARES sets the pace in its globally recognised sustainability schemes and continues to drive forward the digitalisation of product provenance.”

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