Product testing mess to intensify site materials shortages

Grant Prior 1 year ago
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Construction work on more than 150,000 homes could be delayed unless the government wakes-up to a looming crisis in construction product testing.

The industry is due to switch to the UK Conformity Assessed (CA Mark) on January 1 2023 when the old European CE Mark for product compliance is phased out.

Construction products will have to be tested in UK centres – but a lack of facilities is sparking a capacity crisis.

The Construction Leadership Council (CLC) said the lack of testing capability is a particular problem in some specialist areas including radiators, glass, passive fire protection, glues and sealants.

In a letter to ministers it warned: “If the current situation prevails, these products will not be available on the UK market after  the January 2023 deadline.

“The inability to certify radiators in the UK, for instance, could delay the construction of over 150,000 homes in a single year and will also delay the switch to low carbon heating.

“The consequences are clearly damaging not only to the UK construction sector but also to  the Government’s ambitions around housebuilding, infrastructure, building safety and net zero in the built environment.”

The government has already pushed the testing transition back to 2023 but construction leaders want to see more help for the industry.

The CLC is calling for urgent investment in UK testing capability, some test to be allowed abroad and flexibility around the planned regulations.

It said: “Continuing risks associated with the implementation of the UKCA Mark on the UK supply chain already disrupted by the pandemic, product and raw material shortages, increased energy costs and skills shortages are of great concern to the Construction Leadership Council and our numerous industry partners.

“There are steps that can be taken to mitigate these risks, but action is needed now. The extension of the deadline to January 2023 is not sufficient to prevent significant disruption.”

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