Extreme conditions and some very heated moments: A look at what goes on behind closed doors at the BBA


Rigorous new facilities at the BBA make sure thermal insulation materials for buildings are properly tested for effectiveness and safety

Whether it’s a private home, corporate office block or municipal building, the thermal performance of a structure can be greatly improved by External Wall Insulation Systems (EWIS), such as External Thermal Insulation Composite Systems (ETICS). When working properly, these systems also support the effectiveness of materials and systems installed by roofing contractors.

As with all building products, they need to have been properly tested for safety and efficiency before being installed.

BBA Test Services has the capabilities to meet the testing requirements of ETAG 004, ETAG 17 and MOAT 22. It can test a range of ETICS, VETURES and render systems for use on masonry, steel and timber framed walls.

Test areas related to ETICS incorporate everything necessary to maximise the thermal performance of a building’s structure:


This monitors performance of materials after hygrothermal cycling to simulate the service life of the system. We can also take colour change measurements after exposure to ultraviolet light.

Energy efficiency and thermal performance

These procedures test for thermal conductivity and resistance with the use of a sophisticated heat flow meter installed in the BBA’s hi-tech test facilities in Watford. This large, state-of-the-art piece of equipment is UKAS accredited and accurate to ±1.5%.

Hygrothermal testing

Utilising its ETAG 004 environmental chamber, BBA test experts apply heat/rain and heat/cold cycling procedures plus heat/spray and freeze/thaw cycling.

Mechanical testing

Tests include resistance to hard and soft body impact, resistance to pull through of fixings, and bond strength tests to ensure the systems are safe and secure.

Water penetration

Water absorption tests help predict and ensure the hygrothermal and freeze/thaw performance of a system, while vapour transmission rates are essential for condensation risk analysis.


This test focuses on a product’s ability to resist wind uplift, essential for high-rise buildings and exposed locations.

And that’s not all…

In addition, the BBA tests a number of other insulation product properties to demonstrate suitability for other roof, wall and floor applications.

All these tests afford manufacturers of ETICS and EWI products much-needed accreditation. Giving access to CE Marking to relevant harmonised standards, BBA Test Services are a notified, UKAS-accredited laboratory, and associated test reports can be used to obtain Agrément Certification, widely considered to be the ultimate stamp of product approval in the UK.

As well as providing additional research and development for the industry, BBA thermal performance testing helps to ensure the warmth and comfort of building occupants all over the UK and beyond.



British Board of Agrément

Tel: +44 (0)1923 665300



Twitter: @BBAguru


Please note: this is a commercial profile.


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