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