Revision of the Construction Products Directive and of European fire tests

The revision of the Construction Products Directive (CPD) has been completed and will be submitted to the European Parliament end of 2008. There are no significant changes regarding fire safety. To the six existing Essential Requirements - now "Basic Works Requirements" - which include "Safety in Case of Fire", a new requirement "Sustainable Use of Natural Resources" has been added. The CPD will become the Construction Products Regulation that must be implemented as national law in the EU Member States 20 days after its publication in the Official Journal of the European Union. Thus, the former time-consuming national implementation of the CPD into the respective national regulations will be stopped.

The new regulation addresses the need for a harmonised legislative framework, the need for clarification and simplification, and the credibility of the whole system, notably by strengthening the criteria for designation and notification of bodies and by a better coordination of market surveillance.

The declarations made in a CE-Mark are foreseen to be monitored by the single Member States. However, the controls for Small and Medium Enterprises (SME) will be lowered. New voluntary quality marks for construction products like sandwich elements will be introduced. Established national quality marks, for example the German IVH Mark for expanded polystyrene, or the German IVPU Mark for polyurethane foams, which are certified by the German Institute for Building Technology DIBt, may no more be relevant in the future.

Parallel to the revision of the CPD, CEN/TC 127 "Fire Safety in Buildings" is working on the revision of the reaction to fire tests:

- Non-combustibility test (EN ISO 1182)

- Calorific potential test (EN ISO 1716)

- Single Burning item (SBI) test (EN 13823)

- Small flame test (EN ISO 11952-2), and

- Floor covering test (EN ISO 9239-1).

The revision of the ISO-based tests is done in conjunction with ISO/TC 92 "Fire Safety".

As the European Commission does not allow changes which may alter the classification of already tested construction products, editorial changes and corrigenda rather than technical amendments will take place.