A major new fire resistance testing laboratory at Blockley, Gloucestershire, has opened in response to the urgent demand for more fire testing facilities in the UK. The lab features two of the largest furnaces of their kind.
UL Solutions, a global leader in applied safety science, in partnership with the FPA, opened the new fire resistance testing laboratory for building products and systems, doors and windows, fire stopping, joint systems, and related fire resistance products.
The facility, which was funded by UL Solutions and features fire resistance test furnaces that will benefit manufacturers from the UK, Europe and worldwide who require independent fire testing and certification, is located at the FPA’s testing laboratory in Blockley, Gloucestershire.
The testing capabilities at the laboratory, which will be performed by the FPA, will be beneficial to manufacturers seeking UKCA and CE marking services (UK Conformity Assessment and Conformité Européenne markings).
The two new furnaces complement the FPA’s existing UKAS-accredited BS 8414 test rigs. The large 4-metre-by-3-metre wall furnace can accommodate larger test samples, and more systems can be tested simultaneously, allowing UL Solutions to provide customers with expedited results.
Karine Johnfroe, vice president and general manager of the Built Environment group at UL Solutions, commented on the opening: “This new laboratory offers much-needed extra capacity for fire resistance testing, and we’re delighted to have worked with the FPA on this project.
“The partnership between the FPA and UL Solutions demonstrates our shared mission of working for a safer world. With the Blockley laboratory and by offering services to help meet regulatory and code requirements, we are able to provide trust and confidence to code authorities while supporting contractors and building owners that building products they use to meet regulatory and code requirements.”
Although the fire resistance laboratory has been developed primarily to support UK-based manufacturers, it will also serve as a resource for businesses outside the UK wishing to access the post-Brexit UK market, who can use it to confirm that their products meet UK requirements and standards.
Jonathan O’Neill OBE, the FPA’s managing director, commented: “The FPA is delighted to be part of this dynamic collaboration with UL Solutions that will further enhance capacity and capabilities at our Blockley site.
“A UL Solutions Certification is universally recognised as providing trust and confidence to code authorities that products meet code requirements. Now, as a result of our work together, manufacturers and system providers will not only have access to the tests and certifications required by UK regulations but will also be able to satisfy the requirements of regulators around the world.”
The Blockley facility complements the existing UL Solutions testing and certification services provided in the UK, covering facades, cladding building envelope systems, and door hardware testing, including testing to a wide range of North American and European standards.
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