The fire safety sectors strongly relies on and benefits from standards which need to remain aligned with changing market and regulatory demands. The crucial process of standardisation involves all concerned parties working together in a transparent, cooperative and flexible manner in order to have up-to-date standards which are essential to improve fire resilience while enabling sustainability and supporting innovation in the construction sector in a timely and rapid manner.
Fire Safe Europe follows and actively contributes to EU standardisation activities to optimise the functioning of the internal market of construction products and ensure the sustainability of the built environment, specifically regarding fire safety.
The Revision of the Construction Products Regulation (CPR)
The Construction Products Regulation (CPR) is a key legislation for fire safety in buildings. It has led the EU to look into issues related to fire safety, such as smoke toxicity of construction products in fires, assessment of facades fire performance, etc. Repealing or downgrading its requirements would be very critical to the safety of all EU citizens and for the EU industry.
The Construction Product Regulation was adopted to replace the Construction Products Directive (CPD) in 2011. The implementation, evaluation, and review of the Construction Product Regulation are dealt with by the European Commission DG GROW.
Standardisation is at the centre of this legislation, and Europe has been seen providing positive examples in fire safety standards to the rest of the world.
Boosting the Internal Market for Construction Products will Improve Fire Safety
Fire Safe Europe (FSEU) welcomes the European Commission’s proposal to improve the Construction Product Regulation (CPR) as a crucial step forward to boost the internal market for construction products and implement a regulatory framework fit to deliver on the green objectives.
Fire Safe Europe would like to make concrete suggestions to optimise the Commission’s proposal and ensure the sustainability of the built environment, specifically regarding fire safety:
Delegated acts should be an extraordinary tool to be developed in an efficient, transparent and balanced manner, while their use should be duly justified by the European Commission;
The continuity of the EOTA (European Organisation for Technical Assessment) route shall be guaranteed, and the Member States must continue to accept ETAs (European Technical Assessments) in the future;
While boosting the circular economy, it is crucial to ensure a proper assessment of the actual fire performance of re-processed or re-used construction products according to relevant product standards before their introduction into the market;
Balanced representation and contribution of essential stakeholders in standardisation bodies should be ensured;
Fire safety over the lifetime of construction products should be one of the key performance indicators of sustainability considerations in the CPR, as it is a crucial element of the economic, social, and environmental sustainability of the built environment;
The Commission should develop direct regulations and/or model codes/guidelines to address possible new fire risks associated with the increasing use of renewables as well as solutions/technologies running on electricity;
The European Approach to Assess Facades
Towards a Harmonised Testing Method
The facades of our buildings have significantly evolved due to the many innovations in the building sector and many countries have struggled to keep regulations up to speed with innovation. Moreover, there is no harmonised testing method for facade systems in the EU, and the methods and regulations currently used at national level in the member countries differ greatly. This is why since 2016, the European Commission has been developing a European approach to assess the fire performance of facades. The aim is to finalise and fine-tune the assessment method to be directly used for harmonised products standards (in CEN) and for European Assessment Documents (in EOTA) regarding the relevant construction products (kits) within the framework of the CPR implementation. Fire Safe Europe (FSEU) is dedicated to ensuring that the method developed is robust.