What is a BDA Agrément?
In February, the OPTIM-R range of systems gained BDA Agrément® BAE 15-035/01/C. But what exactly does this mean for the product and the customers using it? Discover where the BDA agrément comes from, what it tests and why having one is so beneficial.
The BDA Agrément® is issued by BDA Advies, part of the Kiwa Group, an independent institute which provides testing and inspection of materials used in the building envelope. Because some products (like the OPTIM-R range of products) are sold as a system, the BDA can produce an agrément for either the product, or the ‘kit’ (the BDA terminology for a system). The Kingspan OPTIM-R BDA agrément covers the whole OPTIM-R ‘kit’, which means that the BDA will test each aspect of our systems, including all waterproofing, fasteners and vapour barriers. The result is that, as long as the product is installed according to the guidelines, the BDA can be certain that individual products and whole systems will perform as they were designed to.
So what does the BDA actually test?
There are certain conditions that the BDA must consider to determine whether or not a product is fit for purpose. They will test samples for factors such as:
- Thermal performance
- Behaviour in relation to fire
- Condensation and water penetration risk
- Individual characteristics of the product
The institute will also ensure that they take account of other elements and include them in the BDA agrément:
- Conditions of use
- Frame of reference, including standards, relevant codes of practice, test reports and job visits report
- Independently verified product characteristics
- Factory production control
- Points of attention for the specifier and specific details
- Installation procedure
- Compliance with Building Regulations and any other required standards
- Boundaries of use
This means that all aspects from the production through to installation are tested and monitored by the BDA. This is an ongoing procedure; BDA Advies will carry out an annual verification procedure which monitors whether all aspects of the production and resulting product still meet the standard necessary to attain the BDA agrément. If they’re not happy that the product is still right, there are some hefty consequences; the BDA can increase testing, temporarily revoke or entirely withdraw the BDA agrément and could even lead to “publication of the measures… in the media”.
But what that does mean is that products with a BDA agrément can be trusted to meet the standard needed to ensure a product that performs; whether that is an insulation product which will achieve the right U-values to meet the regulations, or a full system which can be trusted to be waterproof and durable.
Thanks to all this rigorous monitoring and checking, the BDA agrément is recognised by professional bodies such as the NHBC and LABC. The resulting benefits of fast tracking through procedures and approvals, among others, are obvious, as are the benefits of knowing the product is safe and effective.
To find out more about Optim-R, or the BDA agrément, click here.
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