LABC Warranty Update on: Lightweight brick slip “SIP” composite lintels

LABC Warranty’s Technical Standards team have been made aware of a number of brick slip arch and header products on the market. They consist of “SIP” composite panels which are made up of cement fibre board, or in some instances MgO boards, with brick slips bonded to one external face with adhesive. These products are being used in the external skin of masonry above openings and are marketed as non-load bearing products that are installed above a structural lintel.

The Functional Requirements of our Technical Manual require a component or product that has a structural function should achieve a 60-year life expectancy.

Where not performing a structural function, a lesser 15-year life expectancy is required (For example, this would include non-structural weather claddings).

In the case of these “brick lintel effect” products, LABC Warranty is of the opinion that even if a structural lintel is provided directly under this component, the brick slip “SIP” composite lintel is still undertaking a load bearing function, being compressed by brick masonry above.

It is also exposed to the climatic weathering experienced here in the UK. With these products being built into the external leaf of a cavity wall, they are subject to weathering, not just to the exposed face but the edges and back faces where built into a masonry cladding, and are therefore required to be durable against the effects of moisture.

In these cases, therefore, a 60-year life for both durability of weather resistance and structural performance is required.

We are in continuing discussions with a number of manufacturers of these products. Although structural testing has been undertaken, for warranty purposes we require evidence of a third-party product certification for the product as a whole, which would also demonstrate suitable durability, quality control and installation procedures.

Currently, LABC Warranty is unable to accept these products on sites where we are providing warranty cover, until such time that the products have gained suitable third party product certification, such as a BBA or BDA or similar, which satisfies our warranty requirements to demonstrate the suitability for use and achieve 60-year durability.

  • Should you have any further questions on the use of lightweight brick slip “SIP” composite lintel products or components, please contact the LABC Warranty Technical Team at technical.referrals@labcwarranty.co.uk
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