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RCI April 2017

NEW METAL GUTTERING STANDARD This year saw the launch of BS 9101, the new metal guttering standard, which is said to use modern technology in a new way to ensure compliance. Here, Brian Bell, technical services manager at Marley Alutec, explains what it means for the industry moving forward Building product standards play an A closer look at BS 9101 important role within the construction industry; not only do they ensure materials are fit for purpose, they also help contractors and installers build their reputation for quality and durable work. While standards may seem a bit dull, their impact on the wider industry cannot be underestimated – without them there can be costly, and in the worst cases, dangerous repercussions. For metal guttering there has been a long period without any standard in place and this has meant an influx of poorly manufactured products to the market, which in turn can tarnish an installer’s reputation when they fail in service. It was in 1997 when the British standards became obsolete as it was decided to harmonise with European metal gutter standards. However, as EU standards did not represent UK metal gutter styles and concepts, the standard was amended to exclude the UK resulting in a completely unregulated British gutter industry. Recognising the potential damage that this could have on the industry, Tony Wereszczynski, technical director at Marley Alutec, along with the Metal Guttering Manufacturers Association (MGMA), British Standards Institute (BSI) and a select drafting committee comprising of experts from all sectors of the industry devised a new British standard for all metal gutters. The new BS 9101 standard, however, is unlike any other that has gone before it and is a world first. It has been specifically written to enable maximum creative and design freedom to manufacturers by using modern technology. Rather than being based on specific materials, a thickness, profiles and means of support etc, the new standard 024 APRIL 2017 RCIMAG.COM promotes the use of “Finite Element” analysis technology to ascertain the functional capability of the products within given guidance parameters. Or in other words, the standard can be applied to all the different metals, profiles and sizes of gutters as it is hinged on an overall system strength test compliance. What’s more, this strength test can be applied virtually to product designs without the need for physical prototypes to be constructed, saving money and material wastage. Stand the test of time The result of the new standard, which is now in effect, is that specifiers and installers finally have a guarantee that the products they are buying and fitting will stand the test of time and deliver the performances they should. In turn, this will give installers and specifiers greater confidence in promoting metal rainwater systems and sends a strong message to their clients that they are up to speed with current standards, promoting best value and industry compliant products. For contractors and installers, building a reputation based on trust is paramount and with the new standard this can be achieved more easily. Metal guttering systems are an ideal rainwater solution as, at their best, they can deliver service lives of 50 years or more, making for impressive whole life cost comparisons with other materials. In addition, particularly with marine grade aluminium systems, the maintenance requirements can be virtually zero. With these and a host of other benefits such as greater sustainability credentials, in my view metal guttering systems should always be considered. Despite its coincidental timing, this new standard has nothing to do with Brexit and in fact, because of its innovative use of modern technology, it’s becoming increasingly likely other European countries may adopt it moving forward. Marley Alutec has long been championing the metal rainwater product industry and is delighted that it now has a robust and flexible standard that will drive development of high quality products long in to the future. www.marleyalutec.co.uk Metal guttering: “The new BS 9101 standard is unlike any other that has gone before it and is a world first”


RCI April 2017
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