Monday, 15 March 2021

LABC Technical Update.

 

Acceptability of timber frame kits for use on our sites

Important update to LABC Warranty requirements

The use of off-site, prefabricated manufactured timber frame panels is becoming ever more popular. LABC Warranty needs to ensure that timber frame is manufactured to high standards of consistency and uniformity, to maintain high standards across the industry and give peace of mind to homeowners.

From September 1st 2021 LABC Warranty will only accept new projects for warranty application that have timber frame panels by an accredited manufacturer or have been assessed by the Warranty Innovations Team.

From now until September 1st 2021, transitional arrangements will apply and timber frame panels will be accepted subject to certain conditions, described below.

LABCW Timber Frame What We Need (pdf download) 

LABC Warranty’s position on timber frame panel accreditation

LABC technical requirements ask for such timber frame wall panels to be accredited to:

  • STA Silver or Gold standard, or
  • BM TRADA QMark, or
  • CATG – Frame Mark

(Note: a standard membership of one of the above is not identified as being accredited)

The accreditation should include ISO 9001 quality control systems for the materials supply, design and manufacture of the frame. Trained and competent installers are also expected to erect the frames.

We have noted that a number of manufacturers have chosen not to seek accreditation and do not have adequate ISO 9001 systems in place.

It is important from a warranty perspective that as no harmonised standard for timber frame kits exists, the need for a recognised industry standard accreditation for the manufacture of timber frame panels is vital to ensure they are constructed to consistent standards to meet the requirements of the LABC Warranty Technical Manual.

This benefits the industry and the end user, giving peace of mind to the homeowner.

Timber frame panel transitional arrangements

Therefore, where a project is to be submitted for LABC warranty, LABC Warranty is introducing a transition period from now up to September 1st 2021, to allow timber frame manufacturers to either:

  • Attain accreditation to one of the above acceptable levels, or
  • Be in the process of gaining accreditation and provide evidence of such. We will require such application to be completed within an agreed period on a case-by-case basis and no later than 31st December 2021

As part of that accreditation, an ISO 9001 quality management system for the materials supply, design and manufacture will need to be in place by 1st September by all manufacturers.

On September 1st 2021 and thereafter, LABC will only accept new projects for warranty application that have Timber frame panels by an accredited manufacturer or have been assessed by the Warranty Innovations Team as meeting our Technical Manual requirement, which will include having an ISO 9001 quality management system in place (as above).

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