A new Kitemark for Balustrades has been launched by BSI, the business standards company.The first organisations to achieve the ‘BSI Kitemark for Protective Barrier Systems (Balustrades)’ are Delta Balustrades, Phoenix Balustrading, part of Cooke Brothers and Q-Railing.
Launched in December 2016, the scheme has been developed for manufacturers and importers of temporary and permanent balustrades to demonstrate that their products meet the appropriate British, European or international standard for quality, safety, performance and trust. This is the first scheme in the UK dedicated to ensuring balustrades are manufactured to the highest possible standard.
Protective barrier systems, widely referred to as balustrades, are increasingly being used in and around modern buildings. Whilst they can have a huge visual impact, any new balustrade system must be designed to ensure that it is safe for use and that any potential installation errors are minimised. An unsafe balustrade system can be costly to organisations and potentially life threatening to the public.
The BSI Kitemark for Balustrades provides reassurance that products have been manufactured to a consistently high standard. It also provides an incentive for installers of barriers to purchase complete systems from Kitemark suppliers, rather than a ‘mix and match’ assembly of unproven components.
Andy Butterfield, Product Certification Director of Built Environment at BSI said: “With the increasing use of balustrades in the market place, it’s vital that these products are tested to ensure compliance and provide assurance to manufacturers, architects, and specifiers of new builds and refurbishments that products are manufactured to a high standard.
“We’re really delighted to have been able to present Delta Balustrades, Phoenix Balustrading and Q-Railing with the first Kitemarks. This will help them to differentiate themselves from other organizations with non-assured products. The BSI Kitemark is recognised as a symbol of trust and we have a strong track record in promoting excellence when it comes to the safety and performance of products.”
In order to achieve certification, organisations are required to be independently assessed whereby they will have to demonstrate that they adhere to the requirements of ‘BS 6180:2011 Barriers in and about buildings Code of practice’. Products also have to be manufactured within an ‘ISO 9001: 2015 Quality Management Systems’ controlled factory environment. BSI has engaged the services of Lucideon, an international provider of testing to the construction industry to complete part of the international product assessment. The collaborationwill enable both parties to share their extensive expertise in assurance and testing respectively and is part of a broader partnership which will see both parties develop Product Testing and Certification solutions for the construction industry.
Steve Newman, Product Manager, Lucideon, said: “We are very pleased to see the first certifications being awarded to manufacturers who have worked with Lucideon for their testing requirements. Delta Balustrades, Phoenix Balustrading and Q-Railing can now prove that they have developed market leading products, and taken the time and care to have them certified. This will no doubt help them stand out as manufacturers of balustrades with real quality and high levels of safety. Our collaboration with BSI means that between us, we can offer the most efficient route to certification.”
Stephen Boyt, Founder of Delta Balustrades said: “We’re committed to ensuring that our customer’s balustrades are safe and fully compliant with regulations. By achieving the BSI Kitemark for Balustrades, we’re able to give our customers the assurance that our products meet the highest safety and quality standards during the design, manufacture and installation.”
Bruce Bradshaw, General Manager at Q-Railing said: “A balustrade needs to do much more than look good – it also needs to provide the utmost safety. We pride ourselves on the quality and safety of our products and services and achieving the BSI Kitemark demonstrates our commitment to this.”
Chris Pote, Quality Assurance Manager at Phoenix Balustrading said: “Phoenix Balustrading is committed to quality assurance for our customers. Gaining the BSI Kitemark is part of our ongoing and continual commitment to providing our customers with products that satisfy all their requirements.”