Construction products

CPA to launch consultation on post-Grenfell code for construction products | New

The Construction Products Association (CPA) is launching a consultation on a new code that aims to set the benchmark for how construction products are marketed.

The CPA is seeking industry-wide comment on its Construction Product Information Code (CICC), which was drafted following testimony during the ongoing public inquiry into Grenfell Tower fire in 2017.

It was developed by CPA’s Marketing Integrity Group (MIG), which was tasked with addressing issues raised in Dame Judith Hackitt’s 2018 Building Safety Report.

The report looked at how to prevent fires like the one at Grenfell Tower (pictured) – which killed 72 people in June 2017 – and concluded that the way construction products were tested, presented and marketed needed an overhaul radical.

The development of the code also follows a 2019 survey by MIG, which gathered more than 500 responses from across the industry on how the presentation of product information needs to change.

The new code consists of 11 clauses that manufacturers of products that register agree to abide by.

> CPA point of view: a big step forward in the search for safer products

These include a commitment not to use misleading or ambiguous wording, wording or images when presenting product information, and the establishment of a training program to ensure that any person conveying product information has the level of knowledge required for their role.

The two-month consultation, which opens on February 1, aims to give manufacturers, specifiers and users of information the opportunity to comment on the code, the implementation of its 11 clauses and its ongoing management and monitoring. The consultation is conducted independently by MRA Research.

CPA Managing Director Peter Caplehorn said: “The importance of this new code and consultation process will be evident to anyone working in the built environment after Grenfell.

“It is our responsibility as an industry to regain the public’s trust and credibility in what we do and to demonstrate that technical competence is trustworthy. “

He added that he believed the code represented a determined attempt by manufacturers to “correct spurious marketing practices” as well as a collaborative effort to address the issues highlighted in Hackitt’s report.

“I hope businesses and individuals seize the opportunity to get involved and recognize the urgent need for the change our industry needs to ensure safe buildings. “

The second module of Phase Two of the Grenfell Tower Fire Investigation learned how insulation manufacturers Kingspan and Celotex rigged fire tests in order to market hazardous combustible insulation products as safe to use in high rise residential buildings.

The investigation learned that a product used in the renovation of the West Tower of London, Celotex’s RS5000 insulation, was a reputable version of another product that was not safe for use in high-rise buildings. great height.

Another, Kingspan’s K15 insulation, had been marketed as safe for use on tall buildings for over 14 years based on a test report of a chemically different product.

Although K15 was never specified for use as part of the Grenfell Tower refurbishment, after the fire it was found to have been installed behind the new aluminum composite material cladding on parts of it. of the block.

The investigation is expected to resume with virtual hearings on February 8 after being delayed for four weeks due to the introduction of the third national covid-19 lockdown.

Earlier this month, Housing Secretary Robert Jenrick announced the creation of a new construction products regulator that will have the power to take any product that poses a significant safety risk off the market and prosecute any business. that violates product safety rules.

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