Construction Industry - The Cables of the Future

Construction Industry - The Cables of the Future

16th December 2015

As the construction industry modernises for the 21st Century, regulations are constantly updated to ensure safety and quality in the building trade. We’ve seen plenty of changes in the past few years and there are sure to be more to come as we update the industry to face a safer and brighter future. One of the changes that’s currently underway concerns the Construction Products Regulation (CPR) for cables. New testing and certification requirements are being introduced to cover power cables, control cables and communication cables.

The British Approvals Service for Cables (BASEC) has been hosting training courses in the wake of the launch of the CPR for cables in accordance with EN 50575:2014. As well as the new testing and certification requirements, there are also new CE marking requirements that apply to cables. The CE marking will be mandatory from December 1st 2015 and it’s an important new regulation so all manufacturers and distributors are being advised that they need to start preparing right now. With an increased requirement for cable testing, there’s only a short time period available to ensure CE marking compliance.

However, although the launch date for the COR was originally scheduled to commence on the same date as the CE marking, this has now been delayed until 1st July, 2016, so that organisation have a further six months to plan and prepare for the new requirements. This means that until 1st July 2016, CE marking cable to the CPR will not be permitted and there will be a co-existence period for a year before it’s obligatory to meet CPR requirements.

From 1st July, 2016, all power, control and communication cables put onto the EU market for construction projects will require that the manufacturers prepare (and have available ) a declaration of performance (DOP). The DOP is required to demonstrate the cable’s Euroclass performance for reaction to fire and that must be approved by a third party approved organisation. Once the DOP for each product has been attained, the manufacturer will be able to add the CE marking to the product’s packaging. This CE marking will contain more information than is currently available under the existing LV Directive.

The regulations will also apply to products manufactured outside the European Union and the responsibilities of the manufacturer will pass to the importer placing the product on the market. Everybody in the supply chain will be responsible for ensuring that cables are CPR compliant. Manufacturers need to be aware that CPR is a regulatory system that should be implemented separately from any voluntary cable product approvals or testing already being used. This will result in additional regulatory work and BASEC is hosting a series of CPR technical training courses designed to help guide manufacturers and distributors through the new testing regulations, documentation and declaration requirements.

Manufacturers and suppliers need to act now so that they are fully aware of the requirements and have formulated business plans to accommodate the new regulations.