BSI Moves to Reassure on New European Concrete Standards


14 April 2003

- "new standards are no cause for concern" claims BSI -

BSI Product Services is assuring contractors and specifiers not to worry between now and December when new European standards for ready-mix concrete come into force.

At the end of the year, the current British standard for concrete - BS5328 - will be replaced by the new European standard for concrete - BS EN 206 along with BS 8500, the complimentary UK national standard, published in two parts. Part 1 gives the methods for specifying and provides guidance for the supplier, and Part 2 gives the specification requirements for the constituent materials and the concrete. The two standards operate in tandem with EN 206.

BSI's Kitemark scheme for ready-mixed concrete will be adopting the new requirements before December to ensure compliance to the European standards. The BSI Group also offers assessment to the environmental management system standard ISO 14001, the occupational health and safety assessment standard 18001 and the quality management system standard 9001:2001. Specifiers in the industry require most of these standards.

"There is little cause for concern about the way certified companies actually manufacture ready-mix concrete", explains John Rigg, Product Manager for BSI Product Services. "However there will be changes to the way specifications are given, for example with the introduction of exposure classes. The concrete producers need to understand these requirements.

"The standards have been introduced to bring greater consistency across Europe and to take account of the differences in the climate and practices found right across Europe. Where there is any difference, BS 8500 should take precedence in the UK over the generic European standard, as it brings in the UK provisions and requirements, many of which have been adopted from BS 5328, along with the newer UK requirements, for example where using concrete in aggressive ground conditions.

"We know that there has been concern and confusion in the industry but our message is clear. There is no need for concern about the new standards. By specifying concrete conforming to a third party product conformity certification scheme, for example the one provided by the BSI Kitemark scheme, specifiers, designers and contractors can be assured that concrete producers are operating to the new requirements."

BSI Product Services also offers certification to the relevant standards for cement, asphalt, precast concrete products and others.

Manufacturers and specifiers who need to know more about the impact of the introduction of the new standards or the Kitemark scheme should contact John Rigg at BSI Product Services on 01442 230442.- ends -

For further media information please contact:

Wilma Tulloch on +44 (0)20 8996 6330 OR
Marc Edney on +44 (0)20 8996 6330

Notes to Editors:

BSI Product Services, based in Hemel Hempstead, provides product-testing facilities and awards Kitemark registration. The Kitemark was first registered as the British Standards mark in 1903.

Kitemark - To achieve the Kitemark, companies have their products or services independently evaluated by BSI to ensure they conform to stated standards, and their quality systems assessed to ensure they can consistently produce products or services which comply with the relevant standard. The product or service is then subject to an on-going evaluation programme.

Testing and assessments are carried out to meet recognised British, European or international safety and quality standards. A company can only display the Kitemark on its product when it has shown that it can meet these stringent standards.

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