Kiwa has launched new approval schemes for injected systems and their installers and has recently awarded BDA Agrément® to Warmfill Moulded Foams, Energystore and Thermabead. These documents are easily accessible via the website, and readers can see that all relevant performance factors have been assessed. The approvals cover the use of the system in the UK and the Irish Republic, where applicable, all subject to consideration of the location of the installation and degree of exposure.

The installer must be approved by the System Designer in the first instance, and there is an on-going rigorous and thorough independent check in the form of the Kiwa Installer Assessment and Surveillance Scheme to address installer competence via training and qualifications, as well as site practice – all verified by site and office inspection.

Properties under consideration for CWI must be surveyed thoroughly before any material is installed. A detailed check-list form must be completed, looking at the exposure of the location, the layout of the property, details of its construction, chimneys and heat-producing appliances and type and position of the damp proof course. The age of the property should be established and the topography – the position of the property in relation to the area around it – must be described.

Considerable attention must be paid to defects in the property – is there external or internal damp penetration, evidence of bulge or heave in any elevation? The condition of windows, doors and rainwater systems must be reported and any damage to render or defects in masonry, such as spalling, loose mortar joints or damage due to failed or failing services must be noted.

An assessment of the wind-driven rain conditions typically experienced by the property, using the guidance given in BS 8104 and relevant national Building Regulations, must be made. BRE Report 262; thermal insulation avoiding risks in walls up to 12m high should also be consulted. Gradings run from Sheltered – less than 33 litres per rain spell to Very Severe – 100 or more litres per rain spell.

At survey stage a borescope investigation must also be carried out, looking at the condition of the cavity. Is it clear and are the wall ties clean or covered with mortar snots, contributing to both thermal bridging and damp transfer from outer to inner leaf? Is there any existing insulation already, a batt or slab, and if so, what is its condition?

Any remedial measures required should be set out and must be completed before any CWI measures are undertaken.

If the property is considered suitable for CWI the surveyor will detail the drilling pattern from the System Designers’ Installation Guide and determine the volume of material required.
Once the installation has commenced, the leader of the team must document details of the fill material and equipment used, as well as on-site test data: for example, the box test to check material density. The installer must sign off the job once completed, declaring the work has been undertaken correctly and all required checks have been carried out.
All documentation should be retained and is subject to audit by Kiwa inspectors.

The Kiwa scheme is rigorous and thorough and it provides the customer, whether developer, housing association or householder with the assurance they should be entitled to. And if more installers are doing what good installers are doing anyway, who can argue with that!?

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Specifiers, distributors and contractors know that it makes sense to avoid problems with acceptance of products or systems on site by building control, NHBC or simply astute customers. If the products they are considering specifying, supplying or installing are traditional or well-established they could select those which comply with British, or increasingly these days, European Standards and that are CE Marked (if appropriate). Additionally, building envelope products should carry approval by an independent body accredited for the task, showing that the product is fit for purpose.

Independent third party approval removes barriers to acceptance of all relevant building products by bringing together all the critical material properties and installation requirements in one common format reference document.

Kiwa is an international independent certification body with a pedigree of many years, and unrivalled experience in developing certification guidelines for a huge range of innovative building products, and has state of the art laboratories across Europe to test them. It is now extending its Kiwa BDA Agrément® scheme within the UK, developed on the basis of over 30 years’ experience on the study of the building envelope. With UK offices including Cheltenham, Harrogate and Derby, Kiwa is UKAS accredited and a Notified Body under the CE Marking arrangements applying across Europe. BDA Agrément® is fully recognised by the NHBC as meeting their technical requirements and by LABC for Building Regulations purposes.

BDA Agrément® is aimed at confirming the fitness for purpose of products covered or not covered by British or European standards and involves a thorough and rigorous assessment of the product concerned involving evaluation of its’ use on or within a building and testing of its’ key performance factors. The assessment also includes factory inspection and audit, to ensure that processes are in place to ensure that the specification of the product will be maintained as long as the BDA Agrément® is valid. Site inspections are also carried out to check installation information and practices and once the BDA Agrément® has been awarded the manufacturer will be subject to annual audit to check that all is as it should be.

Kiwa’s BDA Agrément® has already been awarded to many UK manufacturers, most recently to Kingspan Insulation for its Optim-R Vacuum Insulation Panel.

BDA Agrément® awarded to other UK firms so far include those covering external wall insulation, roof, wall and floor insulating reflective membranes, roof waterproofing and waterproofing to the underside of the raft and the outside of the walls to reinforced concrete earth retained structures.

Most recently the Kiwa BDA Agrément® is now recognised by DECLG – the Irish Government Department responsible for building standards.

For further information, contact Chris Forshaw on 07718 570564 (

By Alan Thomas, Kiwa BDA Associate