If you’re working on commercial projects, you’ve certainly noticed that recent global events have brought a change in the way we view suitable cladding materials. Terrorist attacks, weather anomalies and general public safety demand a shift in the way architects and designers consider the most appropriate material for any given situation – be it a train station, school or a shopping mall.
But how do you make sure the materials you choose are safe? The European Union has undertaken an initiative to unify some of the requirements, but we are still far away from having a single standard for each type of product. Taking into consideration the surroundings and the use of the building you’re designing, different tests might be needed to verify that a material is suitable for the project.
What tests do you need to consider?
In today’s overview we will focus on a few tests and testing providers which you should consider when choosing a cladding material. Dynamic Cladding systems have been subjected to a number of these tests, please refer to the System & Testing section for more information about the results.
European Technical Approval Guidelines (ETAGs) were established by the European Organisation of Technical Approvals under the Construction Products Directive. This is part of the unification process previously mentioned, and for a product to be used in the EU, ETAGs should be followed. You can find documentation on all guidelines here.
Exova Warringtonfire is an independent and impartial provider of fire safety testing, including certification and inspection. They offer a wide range of tests, including hardware tests for mechanical strength, security and weather resistance. You can find a list of their services here.
Spadeadam Research and Testing provides comprehensive blast and fire testing opportunities which can be customized according to the needs of the customer. They offer “real-life” environment via a wide array of testing facilities, thus ensuring rarely available trials can be carried out. Find their range of services here.
Vinci Technology Centre
Vinci Technology Centre offers a wide variety of procedures for product testing. Their tests are aimed at compliance, sustainability and inspection of a wide range of building materials. You can find their brochure here.
What do tests look like?
To gain a better understanding of the testing procedures, you can watch the videos below. These are examples of the procedures mentioned and undertaken by Dynamic Cladding, but are not footage from tests we have performed.