In order to determine the function and performance of a building system, including its connections, it is necessary to make an overall test and assessment of it. A building system may consist of roofing, outer walls or flooring/foundation or single layers.
Walls, floors and roof are comprised of a variety of materials and products, which, in the best of circumstances have CE-marking for certain essential properties. Frequently, however, information about important properties concerning the product’s intended use is missing. The risk is therefore large that upon completion, it does not deliver the desired function. When products are assembled, it should be possible to join the splices and connectors to bushings and components without any problems. But that frequently lies outside the product’s or component’s declared area. Frequently, documentation is lacking on how products or components may be used in structures in such a way that ensures that the structure functions as expected. In the construction industry, it is relatively common that products are exchanged for similar ones or that products are joined/attached to each other without giving consideration to their make or compatibility, and despite that, still presuming that it will work just as well. There will always be uncertainty as to whether products can be used to create a system function or overall function if the function has not been documented. That involves great risk for the parties concerned.
RISE has extensive experience in testing and investigating structures/constructions in the lab and field, both in direct assignments and in research projects. We have seen many examples where deficiencies are found, when performing tests or examining damages, due to incorrectly designed structures, product deficiencies, incomplete assembly or defective assembly instructions. Incorrect assembly, in particular, can be difficult or impossible to determine, especially when there are no clear assembly instructions in existence, or they have not been verified. RISE has extensive experience in examining the assembly of certified products, solutions and structures. In doing so, we have noticed that deficiencies are common, particularly in the beginning when companies first start up quality assurance of assembly or when there are changes in staff. One problem that we have also seen is that people working in the field frequently take it upon themselves to come up with own solutions, even though a solution already exists that has been verified and which is supposed to be used. This makes it unnecessarily risky for all parties involved.
RISE has certification rules and requirements specifications that are aligned with Swedish building regulations. We use specified methods to assess whether a building system meets the requirements. When testing properties and function, standardized methods are used and in cases where standardized methods do not exist, RISE uses its own self-developed methods or it develops new ones. RISE is accredited for many test methods and as a notified body.
Basic information about the characteristics and functions of a building system must exist and be specified at the time when a structure or building is being designed and planned. This is actually a requirement stated in the building regulations issued by the Swedish National Board of Housing, Building and Planning. In addition, assembly instructions must also comply with the tested building system. These are important prerequisites to know prior to delivery and assembly of a building systems and before starting to construction of a building.
Using verified solutions and designs facilitates many stages in the construction process from design, building permit, inspection plan for construction with accepted inspection plan and approved final decision. It also provides assurance that, before the construction process gets underway, the right prerequisites exist for it being done correctly. The prevailing trend is that it is becoming increasing common for there to be requirements on the use of quality-assured constructions/prefabrications/building systems. It is a trend and direction that is necessary based on environmental and sustainability goals. It also helps minimize unexpected costs for all of the parties involved.