With new rules being implemented by the European Commission (EC), construction products – including cabling for fixed installations – can no longer be used in European buildings or civil engineering works if they are not tested and certified according to the new Construction Products Regulation (CPR) rules.
The EC’s CPR rules ensure that distributors, consultants, systems integrators, installers and building owners now have reliable product information from different manufacturers in different countries. CPR provides one common language that manufacturers can use when talking about performance of their product. This same language will also have to be used by architects, engineers, contractors and member states when specifying requirements and selecting products.
Replacing the Construction Products Directive (CPD), which was first published by the EC in 1989, CPR is already applicable for non-cable products since July 2013. The official CPR introduction for cables will take place on Dec. 1, 2015, with the transition period ending on Dec. 1, 2016.
CPR combines the common technical language with an agreed system of Assessment and Verification of Constancy of Performance, a framework of Certified Notified Bodies and Mandatory CE Marking.
CPR provides a framework of potential assessment criteria in the following areas:
- Mechanical resistance and stability
- Safety in the case of fire
- Hygiene, health and the environment
- Safety in use
- Protection against noise
- Energy economy and heat retention
Cable product performance is covered in the 2nd requirement that focuses on fire safety ,which includes “Reaction to Fire” (How much a cable contributes to a fire and its harmful consequences) and “Resistance to Fire” (For how long a cable can continue to function in case of a fire). Initially CPR is only being implemented for cable performance related to “Reaction to fire.”
Cables will be evaluated based on their performance in a simulated installation, with simultaneous measurements of flame spread, heat release, flaming droplets, smoke emission and corrosivity of gases. They are then placed into the correct Euroclass system based on performance in the following areas:
- Flame spread
- Smoke production
- Burning falling particles (droplets)
- Corrosiveness/acidity of combustion gases
For cable manufacturers CPR means that they need to have their cables tested according to the new requirements, provide a Declaration of Performance according to the new Euroclasses, affix a CE Marking to the product and periodically control production.
Although it may seem like CPR only applies to manufacturers, it’s equally as important for everyone in the construction industry to use and understand. Make sure to look out for the following Belden blogs that provide further details about CPR and will explain what CPR means for you.