BSI launches first Kitemark quality certification for balustrades

by Brianna Crandall — February 17, 2017 — BSI, the U.K.-based business standards company, recently launched its first product and service quality certification mark for protective barrier systems, or balustrades. The first organizations to achieve the BSI Kitemark for Protective Barrier Systems (Balustrades) are Delta Balustrades, Phoenix Balustrading Ltd (part of Cooke Brothers) and Q-Railing.

BSI Kitemark for Balustrades

The BSI Kitemark for Protective Barrier Systems (Balustrades) demonstrates that products meet the appropriate British, European or international standard for quality, safety, performance and trust.

Launched in December 2016, the program was developed for manufacturers and importers of temporary and permanent balustrades to demonstrate that their products meet the appropriate British, European or international standard for quality, safety, performance and trust. This is the first certification in the U.K. dedicated to ensuring balustrades are manufactured to the highest possible standard, notes BSI.

Protective barrier systems, widely referred to as balustrades, are increasingly being used in and around modern buildings. While they can have a huge visual impact, any new balustrade system must be designed to ensure that it is safe for use and that any potential installation errors are minimized. An unsafe balustrade system can be costly to organizations and potentially life threatening to the public.

The BSI Kitemark for Balustrades provides reassurance that products have been designed and manufactured to a consistently high standard. It also provides an incentive for installers of barriers to purchase complete systems from Kitemark suppliers, rather than a “mix-and-match” assembly of unproven components, points out BSI.

Andy Butterfield, product certification director of Built Environment at BSI, stated:

With the increasing use of balustrades in the market place, it’s vital that these products are tested to ensure compliance and provide assurance to manufacturers, architects, and specifiers of new builds and refurbishments that products are manufactured to a high standard.

We’re really delighted to have been able to present Delta Balustrades, Phoenix Balustrading and Q-Railing with the first Kitemarks. This will help them to differentiate themselves from other organizations with non-assured products. The BSI Kitemark is recognized as a symbol of trust, and we have a strong track record in promoting excellence when it comes to the safety and performance of products.

In order to achieve certification, organizations are required to be independently assessed, whereby they will have to demonstrate that they adhere to the requirements of BS 6180:2011 Barriers in and about Buildings Code of Practice. Products also have to be manufactured within a ISO 9001: 2015 Quality Management Systems controlled factory environment.

BSI has engaged the services of Lucideon, an international provider of testing to the construction industry, to complete part of the international product assessment. The collaboration will enable both parties to share their extensive expertise in assurance and testing respectively, and is part of a broader partnership that will see both parties develop product testing and certification solutions for the construction industry.

For more details, visit the BSI Kitemark for Protective Barrier Systems Web page.