Why Quality Matters When it comes to Cement Particle Boards

Cement Particle Board and CE Marking with Logo
There’s a common misconception in the construction industry that cement-bonded particle boards are, by and large, interchangeable and that, given the current economic climate, the only thing up for discussion is price.Nothing could be further from the truth.

“This is not negotiable.”

When an architectural specification calls for a particular cement-bonded particle board such as Versapanel “or equal approved”, it doesn’t mean that the specification can be changed to any cement-bonded particle board. The board must meet the specification of the named product in all respects. This is not negotiable. If the specification says “Versapanel or equal approved” then the architect is specifying Versapanel or a board that is approved to the same standards as Versapanel.

“If you have knowingly specified an inferior product…”

If you use a board that doesn’t comply with the architect’s original specification, in other words is not “equal approved” to Versapanel, you could run into trouble. What if the board you use is not “equal approved” and it fails? What if that failure results in an injury or, worse, a fatality? If you have knowingly specified an inferior product to the one requested by the architect and someone is killed, you could be exposing your business to corporate manslaughter charges. The damage to your company’s finances may well be recoverable, but the damage to its reputation almost certainly wouldn’t.

“…a respected badge of quality…”

There are several very good reasons why an architect might specify Versapanel, but chief amongst them is the fact that it’s manufactured to BS (British Standards) EN 634 1 and 2. British Standards are, according to the British Standards Institute, a “powerful tool” that “allows a company to… develop and maintain best practice” and acts “as a respected badge of quality, safety and performance”. BS EN 634 1 and 2 are the British Standards governing particle boards’ and wood-based panels’ tensile strength, mechanical properties, density, load factors and resistance to humidity, frost and hard body impact.

“…a legal requirement in the UK…”

These standards aren’t simply a ‘nice to have’. According to the BRE Digest on Cement-Bonded Particle Boards:

“… it is now a legal requirement in the UK under the Construction Products Regulations of 1991 and the Construction Products (Amendment) Regulations of 1994 that wood-based panels be manufactured to and specified and used against a European Technical Specification, principally EN 13986, or a European Technical Approval (ETA). EN 13986 in turn will call up EN 634 for cement-bonded particleboard, the UK version of which is BS EN 634.”

The BRE Digest goes on to say, “It is prudent for UK users to specify and request CE marking which will be proof of compliance with the Harmonised Standard thereby complying with the Construction Products Directive.” In fact, from 1st July 2013, according to the guidance note prepared by the Construction Products Association, the British Board of Agrément, British Standards Institution and FBE Management Limited in consultation with the Trading Standards Institute, “it will become mandatory for manufacturers to apply CE marking to any of their products which are covered by a harmonised European standard or European Technical Assessment.”

“…the only cement-bonded particle board…”

As well as meeting the standards outlined above and being future-proof in relation to the CE-marking directive, Versapanel is one of the most comprehensively tested cement-bonded particle boards on the market. In fact, it is the only cement-bonded particle board in the UK with Concentrated/UDL Load Testing to EN 1195. It is the only cement-bonded particle board in the UK with BS EN 594: 2011 Racking Test approval. Plus it’s the only cement-bonded particle board with its own range of approved fixings and it is the only cement-bonded particle board in the UK available in bespoke sizes.

“…a cement-bonded particle board that architects want to specify…”

Over the last 17 years, Euroform have invested their experience, expertise and commitment to excellence in creating a cement-bonded particle board that architects want to specify for its quality, performance and reliability. In short, architects know that Versapanel protects the people who work and live in the buildings of which it is a component, as well as protecting the reputations of the people and companies that construct them.

Please note: all content accurate at the time of publication and sourced from the BRE Digest on Cement-Bonded Particle Boards and the Construction Products Association’s Guidance Note.