Testing and Certification in the Built Environment – See Where It Happens
Before erecting a new building or refurbishing an existing property, it’s important to know you are using materials that are fit for purpose. Our philosophy at VINCI Technology Centre UK Limited is that we can build and test anything!
Product testing and certification is critical for everyone’s safety. Testing can also lead to cost savings and allows for innovation with the latest materials.
VINCI have been involved with construction and testing in several industry sectors, including the nuclear industry, ensuring materials and buildings are safe for both workers and the surrounding environment.
In the built environment, we test many different materials and products including concrete, coatings, double glazing units, and flooring. It’s not just strength testing, for example, we also perform acoustic, seismic and weathertightness testing on façade systems. Typically, this would be for new builds but many systems are also used on refurbishment projects. We can even create large scale mock ups of facilities including underwater areas to test long term corrosion resistance of materials.
A standard test sequence would include water and air permeability plus a dynamic test using an aircraft engine (from a Shackleton bomber!) These tests simulate driving wind, for an exceptional fifty-year event, and rain, for more frequent every-day conditions.
There is tremendous value in carrying a full weathertightness test in the laboratory as it means, if there is going to be a failure, it happens “on the ground” rather than potentially several hundred metres up in the air. Failures on site are very expensive to remedy so thorough testing will help reduce costs.
The lab testing confirms that the design conforms to required performance standards. However, we mustn’t forget about construction quality. For this reason, further on-site testing is carried out on a specified percentage of the system to ensure full compliance.
Weathertight buildings are air tight buildings with air tightness being a key element in ensuring building sustainability.
It is essential that building owners and operators ensure the products are correctly specified, tested and certified. This is also very relevant to windows and doors where security is another issue. In this situation, there are rigorous test standards in place to simulate attempted burglary.
The next FMCentral event on Wednesday 5th July will be held at the VINCI Technology Centre. Attendees will be able to see where these tests are carried out as the event includes a tour of the facilities. There will also be presentations on cathodic protection, unmanned aerial vehicles surveys, and building pathology.
If you’re involved with building maintenance, this event will be an inspiring and fascinating insight into how we keep our buildings safe.
Book your place now and find out more details about the presenters on our events page.