What You Need to Know: The importance of Product Testing

Ensuring building components and systems perform as intended when installed is crucial, not only for customer satisfaction but also with regard to safety and compliance. The most robust approach is to select products that have been independently tested and their performance certified.

Confirming the quality of the components used throughout the build is vital. This is especially true for structural elements of the building, such as lintels, where a poor-quality product can have long term and potentially serious consequences. Therefore, only steel lintels that have been tested and CE marked in accordance with BS EN 845-2:2013 should be used.

However, it is also important to check what has been CE marked when making the selection. Where lintels are manufactured from separate pieces, such as those designed to create a thermal break, the manufacturers may have CE marking of the lintel’s individual components but not for the complete product.  Every lintel in the Catnic range is fully CE marked and this includes all profiles within the Catnic Thermally Broken Lintel (TBL) range which have been independently tested and CE Marked as a complete unit.

Furthermore, numerous studies into the real world thermal efficiency of buildings have revealed that there is often a performance gap between the design and what is built. Part of this is due to the quality of the build, but this gap can also be caused by the products not meeting their stated performance in practice.

To meet the increasingly stringent standards of thermal efficiency each element of the structure has to be considered in terms of its contribution to heat loss. As such, third party testing and certification of the thermal performance is essential. For example, the Catnic TBL range has been tested and certified by the Building Research Establishment (BRE), which confirmed the stated thermal transmittance Psi values of 0.02 to 0.05 W/mK – surpassing the requirement stated in SAP 2012 Appendix Q and Approved Document L.

Additionally, the independent testing provided by organisations such as the British Board of Agrément (BBA) will certify the product’s performance in relation to the standards set by the Building Regulations. This includes the reaction to fire, structural performance and weather resistance. Catnic’s full range of lintels has BBA approval, something that it has continued since 1974 when its products were first tested by the Agrément Board, later known as the BBA.  For ease, all of our BBA certificates can be found in our downloads section.