New construction products left untested can result in serious problems. The British Board of Agrément explains why they should be inspected and monitored for quality and safety
Some of today’s advanced technologies would raise eyebrows among even the most forward thinking people. That’s why the British Board of Agrément continues to monitor new products for safety and reliability.
The BBA’s first incarnation was as the Agrément Board, originally developed in 1966 in response to a high level of innovation in the construction sector. New products and processes coming to market needed to be safe, reliable and fit for purpose, and our independent certification provided all the reassurances that the market needed.
Today we’re recognised as the UK’s leading construction certification body, offering approval, certification, inspection and test services to manufacturers of products and systems. Developed over six decades, our expertise is aimed at helping companies realise their potential in today’s competitive environment.
Of course, all those years ago no-one could have anticipated the kind of developments the world has seen in recent times, inside or outside our industry. In 1966 some of today’s everyday technologies could only have been imagined. The concept of seeing the person you’re talking to while on the phone remained firmly in the fantasy worlds of TV shows like Star Trek. Today our faces are beamed all over the place, from one side of the planet to the other as we talk on our mobile phones.
Adapting to technology advances
Meteoric advancements in technology inevitably affect the building and construction industry. One such instance is BIM modelling, a virtual world where manufacturers can place their products for selection by architects and specifiers; a new assurance service that the BBA is looking into as a possible service for our Agrément clients.
So although many traditional methods are still in place within our industry, we have had to adapt and develop our expertise to meet new certification requirements for products and systems that embrace all the advantages of the modern world. Because our operation here is increasingly more diverse, our ability to adopt a more modular approach is also key.
We can be establishing the durability of a new paint coating using a traditional adhesion test, while at the same time assessing a new wall and bridge abutment reinforcement system for performance in extreme middle eastern climates, using simulated desert conditions in temperatures of up to 40 degrees C.
As you would expect from a leading provider of certification services, the BBA’s testing facilities are second-to-none. As part of our ongoing remit to encourage innovation in the built environment, we also offer test services which are completely independent of the certification process. This means manufacturers of new products can test them at any stage of the process.
Testing, monitoring and regulating innovation
We test in over 40 product areas, from windows and doors to insulation, roofing materials to coatings, and this number continues to grow as innovations are brought to us for assessment. Testing at the earliest stage of any development project is key to its successful launch onto the market.
Of course, it’s not just rapidly advancing technologies that influence what we do at the BBA. Modern-day environmental concerns require an even more precise focus on efficiency and the demand for quality makes our services more relevant than ever. Because we are independent, we are trusted implicitly by the market, and our technical expertise and certification/inspection services are recognised by government departments, insurers and construction trade associations. Our relationships with these bodies and other stakeholders are long-standing, often spanning decades.
As well as our product and systems certification, the BBA provides independent property investigation services and support for new owners of old problems concerning retrofit housing insulation, with professional training programmes for installers and Local Authority staff. In addition, we offer support to whistleblowers who wish to raise issues of concern with regard to malpractice – another part of the BBA’s drive to raise standards in the industry as a whole.
After over fifty years, the BBA is still working with clients and partners to encourage the development and adoption of safe, innovative solutions to the built environment, ensuring sound, safe progress prevails in the world around us.
British Board of Agrément
Please note: this is a commercial profile