CE Marking of Cast Stone
The UK is currently in a transition period from the Construction Products Directive (CPD) into the full introduction of the Construction Products Regulation (CPR) which becomes fully effective from 1st July 2013. At that time CE marking becomes mandatory for certain construction products which are covered by harmonised European standards.
A CE mark is a logo and Declaration of Conformity which is affixed by the manufacturer to a product to indicate that the product conforms to certain safety requirements in the Building Regulations in the country where the products are intended to be used.
The Association is currently seeking clarification from the BSI regarding the scope of BS 1217 and potential conflicts with BS EN 771-5. At present it would appear that cast stone products less than 650 mm in all dimensions, unless they contain reinforcement or fixings, would fall under the requirements of BS EN 771-5 and will legally require CE marking from 1st July 2013.
However, units greater than 650 mm in any dimension, or containing reinforcement or fixings, will remain under BS 1217, and as this is not a harmonised Standard there will be no requirement for these products to be CE marked and it would be illegal to do so under the current regulations.
Other harmonised product specific Standards may exist, and products supplied to these Standards would require CE Marking e.g. BS EN 845-2 Lintels.
It should be recognised that many of the alternative Standards have performance criteria that fall well below that set by UKCSA and its members.
Cast stone products manufactured by an UKCSA Full Member to the Association’s stringent requirements and specification are already supplied to a standard in excess of the BS 1217 requirements.
The BSI themselves state "CE marking itself is not about quality, nor is it intended to convey any meaning to specifiers, purchasers or end users who are, after all, reasonably entitled to assume that what they buy from a reputable source is legal". They go on to state "the CE marking indicates that the manufacturer has met the minimum legal requirements for their products in regard to health and safety under European Directives. CE marking is not, therefore, intended to be a quality mark".
However, the UK Cast Stone Association has decided to introduce its own Quality Mark Scheme for cast stone, which all UKCSA manufacturing members will be required to comply with. The Association's work on the UKCSA Quality Mark is now complete and gives further reassurance to users and specifiers of cast stone, that the cast stone they are using which has been purchased from an UKCSA Member is durable, and produced to the highest standards.
Aspects of cast stone which are covered by the UKCSA Quality Mark include:
- Material type: dry-cast cast stone, wet-cast cast stone or fibre reinforced cast stone,
- Compressive strength,
- Dimensional tolerance,
- Flatness of plane,
- Durability and weathering grade,
- Freeze thaw resistance,
- Bond Strength,
- Thermal conductivity,
- Resistance to fire.
- Acceptability of surface finish,