Know-how

22. February 2017

The European Construction Products Regulation and its implementation

According to the Federal Statistical Office in Germany alone, 347 people were killed by smoke, fire and flames in 2014, 209 of them in buildings or building structures. The most common cause of death is the exposure to toxic gases and smoke. Therefore, it is a logical step to develop cables which, in the event of a fire, generate less smoke and toxic gases. With the Construction Products Regulation the EU has adopted a uniform classification.

The Construction Product Regulation (EU) No. 305/2011 of the European Union has been mandatory since 2013, July 1st. It has replaced the EU Construction Products Directive 89/106/EEC and has a much higher priority, makes more demands on manufacturers and now also includes requirements for all permanently installed cables in a building. Only the late adoption of the test standard EN 50575 and its correction ensured that the ordinance for cables entered into force only as of 2016, June 10th. Since manufacturers are given a transitional period of one year for the implementation of the requirements, all new cables introduced into the market must meet the requirements of the regulation by no later than 1st of July 2017.

Classes of reaction to fire performance and additional classification criteria

The European standard fire classes A to F are defined for the cables with their respective requirements. Fire class A products are not combustible. (Fig.1)

Classes-fire-performance.jpg
Fig.1: Classes of reaction to fire performance (Ref: Official Journal of the European Union, 15.03.2016)

 

In addition to the current requirements for fire, there are additional test criteria for classes B, C and D  for smoke production, acidity and flaming droplets. (Fig.2) So the cable lantern classifications are supplemented with "s", "d" and "a", so that for example a complete description could be: B2ca –s2, d1, a1.

Kabelgueten_en.jpg










Fig.2: Additonal classification criteria

Hazard levels not yet uniform

Depending on their use and size, buildings are integrated into different hazard levels. The German Association of Electronic Industries (ZVEI) provides an overview in their White Paper to this topic. At the present time, however, there is no Europe-wide uniform assignment of fire classes to building hazard levels in a matrix, as exists for example in the preface of DN EN 50174-2: 2015, but even this is not binding.

CE marking and declaration of performance.

According to the requirements all cables must be CE marked. However, it is not necessary to print the fire class directly on the cable and the marking is thus handled differently by the manufacturers.

Furthermore, all manufacturers must have their cables checked by a notified body. Notified means that it is a test institute designated by a Member State of the EU, which is manufacturer-independent and neutral. In Germany, a VDE test laboratory would meet the requirements. The notified test institutes are encoded in a four-digit numeric key.

Etikett_Brandklasse.jpg

Manufacturers now have to make their own declarations of their own responsibility (Declaration of performance, briefly: DoP) for their cables and to make them available in the communication languages of the EU countries, where the cables are brought into the market.

Fire classifications, DoP number and notified body must be designated on the labels.

 


Fig.3: Brand classification (yellow),notified body (blue)
and DoP no. on the Telegärtner product label


Implementation at Telegärtner

Our customers can be assured that the offered fibre and copper cables meet the requirements of the Construction Products Regulation in a timely manner. The implementation is in full swing. It is therefore always worthwhile to check at our homepage for the latest information. We have set up the point "Declaration of performance” in the download area.

In addition, the DoP is also stored in the online catalogue for the respective product. It goes without saying that tendering texts, data sheets, labelling and other supplies comply with the EU regulation. Due to the variety of cables offered, the implementation and provision of the information, as is the case with other manufacturers, will take place smoothly by 30th of June 2017.

Furthermore we are working on the expansion of the cable portfolio in order to provide a comprehensive cabling system for all objects and associated fire class requirements.