The whistle has been blown by British Precast, the trade association for manufacturers. They warn that if products are not properly certified, there can be no certainty about their quality and performance.
British Precast has discovered that a range of imported precast concrete drainage products such as manhole rings, manhole covers, seating rings, corbels and gully raisers are being placed in the UK market without visible proof of third-party verification or assessment of conformity to relevant European and British standards.
A number of UK industry specifications, such as ‘Sewers for Adoption’, ‘Civil Engineering Specification for the Water Industry’ (CESWI) and different highways’ standards and manuals, require specific precast drainage products to conform to relevant provisions of British Standards such as BS 5911-3. This can only be assured through third-party certification such as BSI’s Kitemark scheme. The industry has a responsibility to demonstrate their products to be safe for their intended use, British Precast says.
British Precast technical manager Colin Nessfield said: “Customers, and others in the product supply chain, have a responsibility to ensure that the precast drainage products they purchase have the necessary third party assessments and certification, which is the minimum required by the construction products regulation. Ignoring these requirements plays into the narrative that elements of the construction industry are still unconcerned about product safety, quality and client satisfaction.”
Precast concrete elements and products manufactured to harmonised European Standards, with an assessment and verification of constancy of performance (AVCP) level 2+ legally require declarations of performance (DoP) with details of the assessment body and assessment certificates available. This third-party certification is what underpins the credibility of manufacturers’ performance claims.