New standards for flood protection

Flood protection products, aquobex

BS 851188, the first national standard for flood protection products, introduces a number of important changes, Aquobex takes a look

The end of 2019 saw the publication of the world’s first national standard BS851188 for flood protection products. It built on the previous Publicly Available Standard (PAS1188) that has been developing since its launch in 2003 and also from commercial standards such as FM2510, which are often used in US and Asia.

The ongoing development of standards is essential as the industry continues to innovate. Back in 2003, no one was considering flood doors; it was all manually attached barriers then. But as the industry evolved to meet the needs of property owners and insurers, the drive for automatic, passive or normally closed solutions became apparent.

While manufacturers have been investing in these new flood protection solutions, the standard has lagged behind the innovation until this new publication, which sees a number of important changes.

There have been several key changes to the standard:

  1. Products are now classified as either Part 1 or Part 2. Part 1: Building products incorporating building aperture products, building skirts and wall sealant systems. Part 2: Perimeter barrier systems incorporating temporary and demountable barrier products.
  2. The maximum height of the designated maximum water depth (DMWD) has been removed to allow products that are capable of meeting greater design depths to be tested where testing facilities exist. This means that for the first time, commercial clients can demand BS certification to meet the specification of their design.
  3. Maximum leakage rates in both parts 1 and 2 remain unchanged. This means that the BS requires superior leakage performance of building aperture products compared with FM2510. However, there are additional test requirements which have been incorporated to ensure that the primary function of products are considered and to simulate exposure to real life condition, and to harmonise with existing standards for these types of product.

These include:

  • Cycle testing and operating forces for flood doors and windows.
  • Dynamic impact testing for doors, windows, building aperture barriers and temporary and demountable barriers.
  • Overflowing testing for temporary and demountable barriers to ensure the safety of these products in these conditions.

Standards in the flood resistance market are important as they drive up the quality of flood protection products offered and Aquobex will be the first company to retest its existing range of certified products such as Floodguard Clip-in Barrier, Floodguard Screw-in Barrier and Floodguard uPVC Door.

Floodguard Slot-in Barrier

More important for Aquobex is the opportunity to fully certify its new range of engineered products including Floodguard Slot-in Barrier. Slot-in aluminium barriers or stop-logs are very popular and great value as they are cut to size from extrusions and limit the range of stock-holding requirements. They are also on the face of it quite easy to install again reducing costs on site.

Historically, the cost and simplicity of these products has attracted inexperienced contractors and manufacturers, as well as the more professional and recognised industry participants. This then left clients and specifiers in a position where they were often unable to discern the quality of the product and the installation

In some cases, this has resulted in unsatisfactory or incomplete installations, missing paperwork and dissatisfied customers. More frequently it means that the solutions fall into disrepair quickly and fail to meet the expected service life. In other cases, they simply do not provide the expected levels of protection when the flooding occurs.

To rectify this, clients should look to professional suppliers who are either manufacturers or officially appointed distributors who can demonstrate investment in skills and products. The most critical part is that the product works and there is no substitution for independent testing to a recognised standard, with the ongoing quality inspections that follow.

An opportunity for clients

Aquobex managing director, John Alexander, said: “By offering to market the world’s first BS 851188 certified aluminium slot-in barrier, Aquobex and its worldwide distribution partners are able to provide confidence that the products and installed solution will work to the highest standard.”

Gavin George, sales director, said: “Usability of doors and their flood performance have been a trade-off and historically this has been abused by some supplying government-funded contracts. BS851188 represents an opportunity for clients to specify flood doors in confidence.”

Aquobex is also encouraging other manufacturers to follow suit with BS testing and has invested further in its test facility at BRE Watford to accommodate wider industry demand. John Alexander makes clear this is open to global manufacturers and not just those in the UK.

The standards are being raised and Aquobex is at the forefront of these major developments.



John Alexander

Managing Director


Tel: 01923 518582


Please note: this is a commercial profile.


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