Monday, August 6, 2012

All aircrete manufactured by Aircrete Product Association members is now certified to BES6001

With its more stringent criteria than other schemes, BES 6001 is increasingly becoming the UK standard for responsible sourcing. In less than a year since the first certificate was awarded, over twenty are now held covering aggregates, cement, bricks, reinforcing bar, mortars and ready-mix as well as aircrete. Many developers and builders including, Barratt Developments, Bovis LendLease and Miller Homes have incorporated the requirement for BES 6001 into their procurement procedures.

Manufactured from recycled waste PFA and other locally sourced materials to create a foamed mixture which is cured by autoclaving, aircrete is both an extremely lightweight form of concrete and has high thermal and sound insulation properties. Aircrete products meet the requirements of Building Regulations and achieve the highest rating in the Green Guide to Housing. Aircrete provides flexible solutions for hospitals, schools, offices, industrial warehouses as well as private and social housing. Aircrete is used in partition, separating and external walls (both solid and cavity), as well as firewalls and as an infill to framed construction. As well as being an inert material that will far outlast the usual 60-year design life expectancy of a building, aircrete is easily recyclable, and can be crushed down with other masonry materials and used in future applications.

All aircrete manufactured in Great Britain by Aircrete Product Association (APA) members is now certified to BES6001:2008 Standard for the Responsible Sourcing of Construction Products. This means, unlike many other building materials where the standards depend on the individual company that is supplying the products, specifiers and builders using aircrete can be re-assured that it will be responsibly sourced, irrespective of which supplier’s aircrete is used.

The Aircrete Products Association (APA) is a manufacturer organisation whose members include the major producers of Aircrete products in the UK - H+H UK Ltd, Quinn-Lite, Thermalite and Tarmac Topblock.

All of the products certified achieved the three star “very good” level which translates into the maximum 3 credits available (the highest tier) in the Code for Sustainable Homes (CSfH). This is the same level of credits as timber with an FSC certification scheme but, unlike FSC which focuses on the just the source of origin of the materials used, BES 6001 surpasses FSC by covering the entire chain of custody from origin to site, including transportation and processing, and encompasses social, economic and environmental dimensions.

The strict requirements of BES 6001 require companies to demonstrate, from origin to use:
* Effective Quality, environmental and health and safety management systems
* Efficient use of energy and reduction of greenhouse gas emissions
* Sustainable and efficient use of material resources and water
* Ethical business practices and compliance with applicable laws and regulations
* Responsible site stewardship in relation to avoiding pollution and protecting the environment
* Minimising the impact of transport associated with the delivery of the constituent materials used in manufacture, waste disposal and the delivery of products to our customers
* Liaising with the local community of matters of mutual interest

The BES 6001 Framework Standard for the Responsible Sourcing of Construction products is an independent third-party certification scheme, which aims to assess responsible sourcing policies and practices throughout the supply chain of any construction product. Requirements for demonstrating compliance with the Framework Standard fall within three categories:
· Organisational management
· Supply chain management
· Environmental and social issues

Certain requirements are compulsory, with additional points available from a range of issues to achieve higher performance levels. Products are rated as Pass, Good, Very Good or Excellent depending on the number of optional points achieved.

Certification options include:
· Head organisation with multiple sites and products
· Multiple products within a single organisation
· Single product within a single organisation

Sector-specific standards are also being developed.

Mark Oliver, Chairman of the APA says: “We were very keen to be the first industry to achieve this standard on a national basis. It is positive for the aircrete industry as a whole that our members are leading the building products industry and place the environment at the forefront of their values and objectives.”

By offering BES 6001 across an entire product range, and not just by supplier or by site, customers get the consistency and assurance of knowing the precise input aircrete can make to their overall rating on schemes like BREEAM and CfSH, irrespective of where they buy it or which brand they buy.


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