Implementation of the Construction Products Regulation (EU) N0 305/2011 replaced the Construction Products Directive (Council Directive 89/106/EEC).
CE Marking was introduced to “ensure free movement of all construction products within the European Union by harmonising National laws with respect to essential requirements applicable to these products in terms of health and safety”. An additional objective of the Directive was to “standardise” the manufacturing of construction products and guarantee the unlimited use of these products within the EU.
CE marking was imposed in the UK and all other EU & EEA members on the 1st July 2013. In the UK CE marking was imposed as part of the Building Regulations- Support Regulation 7 Materials and Workmanship.
CE Marking applies to all construction products covered by a European harmonised standard or for which a European Technical Assessment has been issued. All construction products placed on the market in the EU shall be CE marked, irrespective of their Country of origin. The CE can only be issued by a manufacturer based in the EU or by the agent or distributor based in the EU.
The Construction Products Directive identified 35 product groups and requirements for CE marking. The standards for natural stone are set out in four mandates:
M116 Masonry and related products
M 119 Floorings
M 121 Internal & External Wall and ceiling finishes
M 123 Road Construction Products
The work in preparing the harmonised standards for the various products was controlled by the COMITÉ EUROPÉEN DE NORMALISATION (CEN) European Committee for Standardisation. CEN set up a number of Technical Committees (TC) that were responsible for the production of the harmonised standards.
The work on natural stone is undertaken by the following committees:
TC 125 Masonry: Part 6 Natural stone masonry units
TC 128/SC 8: Roofing products/Slate
TC 178/WG 2: Paving products/Natural stone
TC 246 Natural stone for tiling, slabs for floors and stairs, cladding and lining
There are four Working Groups within TC 246:
WG 1 Terminology, classification and characteristics
WG 2 Test methods
WG 3 Product standards
WG 4 Agglomerated stones
There are 28 members of the EU; Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Republic of Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden and the UK and 3 EEA Countries; Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway, who have formal voting rights under the CENELEC common rules for standardisation work. Switzerland is neither an EU nor EEA member, but is part of the single market (see appendix A).
Macedonia and Turkey are also members of CEN.
Representatives from approximately 10 National Standards bodies attend the CEN TC 246 meetings but all EU and EEA work is approved by majority vote.
Work on the standards commenced in 1990 under the convenorship of DIN. The Mandate for the standard was prepared by the convenor of TC 246 (from DIN) to include “national laws” with respect to the essential requirements of EU & EEA Members vote on the standards.
When work commenced on these standards the UK had very few test methods in place for natural stone. Other EU members, and in particular Germany, were very regulated in respect of testing for natural stone, and the requirements for Declaration of Performance and CE marking reflect this.
Once the draft of an EN is prepared, it is released for public comment, a process known in CEN as the ‘CEN Enquiry’. During this public commenting stage, everyone who has an interest (e.g. manufacturers, public authorities, consumers, etc.) may comment on the draft. These views are collated by the CEN national members and analysed by the CEN Technical Body.
The work undertaken by the Technical Committees and the draft standards produced are sent out for comment to all EU and EEA members, plus Turkey and Macedonia. In the UK this work is carried out by the BSI mirror committee B/545 which comprises representatives from:
|B R E – Building Research Establishment|
|Institute of Clerks of Works of Great Britain Incorporated|
|Institution of Civil Engineers|
|Interpave – The Concrete Block Paving Association|
|National Association of Memorial Masons|
|The Tile Association|
|Building Standards Division of the Scottish Government|
|A C E – Association for Consultancy and Engineering|
|Architectural Cladding Association|
|Institute of Cemetery and Crematorium Management|
|B R A M M – British Register Accredited Memorial Masons|
Copies of all of the draft standards including some elements that have recently drawn some controversial comments, have been available for public comment through the members of B/545 since the mid- 1990’s. Reference to the records shows that few, if any, comments were ever received.
CEN then takes into account the comments resulting from the CEN Enquiry and a final version is drafted, which is then submitted to the CEN national members for a weighted formal vote.
After its publication, a European Standard must be given the status of national standard in all CEN member countries, which also have the obligation to withdraw any national standards that would conflict with it. This guarantees that a manufacturer has easier access to the market of all these European countries when applying European Standards and applies whether the manufacturer is based in the CEN territory or not.
A list of the Harmonised Product Standards (hEN’s) are shown in appendix B.
Weighed Voting allocated to CEN/CENELEC national members
|Member Country||Weighting||EEA Country|
Harmonised Product Standards for Natural Stone
|Mandate||Title||Product standards for natural stone|
|M/116||Masonry and related Products||BS EN 771-6 Natural stone masonry units|
|M/119||Flooring||BS EN 12507 Modular tiles|
|BS EN 12058 Slabs for floors and stairs|
|BS EN 1341 Paving units|
|BS EN 1342 Setts|
|BS EN 1342 Kerbs|
|M/121||Internal and external wall and ceiling finishes||BS EN Slabs for cladding|
|M/122||Roof coverings, rooflights, roof windows and ancillary products||BS EN 12362 Slate and stone for discontinuous roofing and cladding|
Author: Peter Harrison, 20 January 2016