Customer Notice Reference EU Construction Products Regulation (CPR).
The following paragraphs briefly explain the Construction Products Regulation legislation and recent changes to British Standard BS 6701:2016+A1:2017 that affects the types of cable that can be installed into buildings in the UK.
The EU Construction Products Regulation 305/2011 (‘the CPR’, BS-EN13501-6) seeks to remove technical barriers to the trade of construction products in the European single market. It places obligations on manufacturers, distributors and importers of construction products when these products are placed on the market.
The CPR aims to ensure the reliability of information on the performance of construction products, information which is of interest to designers, constructors, public authorities and consumers. This is achieved through harmonised European product standards and European Technical Assessments using a common technical language and uniform assessment methods.
CPR introduces new fire safety classifications and requires that all cables marketed in the European Economic Area (EEA) must carry a CE mark and have a declaration of performance (DOP). The CE mark indicates the specific fire performance level that the cable has been verified to provide.
The CPR provides classifications of cables, “EuroClasses”, that specify the performance characteristics to which cables must comply in the event of a fire. The EuroClass classifications comprise Aca, Bca, Cca, Dca, Eca and Fca.
BS 6701:2016+Ammendment 1:2017 was released on 30th November 2017, replacing all previous versions of the standard. The standard requires that as a minimum a EuroClass “Cca” cable, will be used in all new installations.
Currently if a tender specifies BS6701 Amendment 1 it should incorporate a solution with Cca or B2ca cable. At present this is not a legal requirement and the client could opt for an installation that does not conform to BS6701 Amendment 1, using Dca or Eca rated cable, with the associated cost savings.
This decision is very much the clients but the advice proffered is ‘it comes with risks, and although not legal, if there was a problem, the courts would not look favorably on parties who had not followed guidelines, standards and recommendations.
Why should you be concerned?
The current version of the standard, updated on 30th November 2016, is
BS 6701:2016+A1:2017, all previous versions of the standard are now superseded and have been withdrawn. These changes are incorporated into BS7671 18th Edition of the wiring regulations which will be introduced shortly.
The standard states:
Fire performance of telecommunications cables
For new installations and the refurbishment or extension of existing installations, cables installed in the spaces bounded by the external fire barriers of buildings and other structures shall meet the following requirements:
a) Within UK installations the minimum acceptable cables (as defined in Clause 3) shall be Cca-s1b, d2, a2, in accordance with BS EN 13501-6; and EuroClass Dca, Eca. Fca shall not be installed into UK permanent installations.
b) all other telecommunications cables shall, as a minimum, either:
1) meet the requirements of EuroClass Eca, in accordance with BS EN 13501-6; or
2) meet the recommended requirements of BS EN 60332-1-2.
NOTE BS EN 13501-6 uses the term “class” in place of the term “EuroClass” which is widely used in industry. The installation of cables penetrating the external fire barrier of buildings shall conform to the EN 50174 series of standards.
What are the EuroClasses of cable and how are they different?
The table below illustrates the EuroClasses cable classifications. The table looks rather confusing but is typical of that published by the cabling manufacturers.
Highlighted in yellow is the cable specification that is compliant with the current standard,