Dave Hall, Technical Academy Manager at British Gypsum, explains how a combination of independent product certifications and high quality training can help specifiers achieve their individual project requirements.
When selecting materials for construction projects, specifiers have a wide range of solutions to choose from, with many providing particular technical characteristics, to meet regulatory requirements, for example around thermal insulation performance.
This offers a great deal of choice, but can make it difficult to make an informed, confident decision. So how can specifiers be sure that the products they select offer the performance they need, and the contractors they work with are competently trained to fit them?
A mark of quality
To help make it easier for specifiers to identify the best performing solutions, manufacturers have long sought out certification from organisations like the British Board of Agrément (BBA). Recognised across the industry for its approval and inspection services, the BBA independently verifies that construction materials and systems are fit for purpose. Furthermore, systems for use in Green Deal and Energy Company Obligation (ECO) projects must be certified by the BBA.
Manufacturers with certified solutions are subject to regular review to ensure they continue to meet the BBA’s stringent standards. As a result, selecting BBA-certified products can help specifiers make confident choices, streamline the selection process and minimise the risk of performance issues in key materials during the construction stage and in use.
British Gypsum has a range of BBA-certified solutions available for specifiers. The Gyproc ThermaLine PIR plasterboard range is the latest of the manufacturer’s products to be added to its systems certification by the organisation, demonstrating that it offers high thermal insulation ideal for upgrades to solid wall buildings and room-in-the-roof projects. British Gypsum systems certified by the BBA include its DriLyner RF and DriLyner TL systems, as well as its GypLyner UNIVERSAL and GypLyner IWL solutions.
However, certification is just one factor in ensuring that materials are fit for purpose. The performance of even the highest quality certified materials can be impaired by incorrect installation, and lack of detailing during construction. Given this it is important that there is support and guidance available from manufacturers to support installers in fitting systems and products correctly. To help, the BBA not only accredits installers through its Approved Installer scheme, but also certifies training schemes by manufacturers. These can provide installers with the skills they need to ensure that fitted construction materials meet specifiers’ performance requirements specifically around minimising thermal bridging and reduced air leakage in the finished building fabric.
British Gypsum provides in-depth training in the installation of its BBA-certified wall insulation systems to help ensure solutions are fitted correctly through the Saint-Gobain Technical Academy network around the UK, with centres in Kirkby Thore, Flitwick, East Leake, Erith and Clevedon. The manufacturer has also had all of its internal wall insulation training approved in content by the CITB in meeting the national occupational standard for building insulation treatments – internal wall insulation, which focuses on equipping installers with the knowledge to fit materials in compliance with the Green Deal’s strict requirements.
New construction solutions are coming onto the market all the time, so it is important for specifiers to be able to identify the most appropriate products for their project. By using BBA-certified systems and installers trained in BBA-approved schemes and endorsed by the CITB, they can be confident that their finished development will offer a high-quality comfortable indoor space for building users that meets project specifications. In addition, British Gypsum offers SpecSure® lifetime system warranty on all its systems, meaning they have been tested in UKAS-accredited fire, acoustic, and structural test laboratories.
Technical Academy Manager