Technical update: substitute materials
This technical document provides additional guidance relating to how the functional requirements in the Technical Manual may be satisfied where substitute materials are used
Materials are often substituted during a construction project and this can be due to a variety of reasons, from shortage of materials to value engineering. However, when materials are substituted it is important they still meet the requirements of our Technical Manual.
Managing risk with substitute materials
Substitute materials can be an issue as they often
- Are of an inferior quality
- Do not have the appropriate third party product conformity approval certificate
- Include individual components from an accredited system that have been replaced. Please note: the system outlined in any third party product conformity approval certificate must be exactly the same as what is being constructed on site. Any deviation would invalidate the third party product conformity approval certificate.
Materials that are substituted must meet the functional requirements of our Technical Manual, in particular, the General Functional Requirements and the ‘Additional Functional Requirements’ in Appendix C, ‘Suitability of Products and Systems’. Appendix C requires that all products must:
- Meet the requirements of British Standards, Codes of Practice or equivalent European Standards current at the time of application, AND/OR
- Hold full third party product conformity approval e.g. a BBA or KIWA BDA or similar, from an independent approval body which is accepted by the warranty provider. This would either be a UKAS or European equivalent product conformity accredited organisation, which looks at the product/system as whole and reports on its suitability and scope of accepted use.
- Where a corresponding Euro Standard exists, bear CE marking in accordance with the Construction Products Directive. This shall be supported by evidence of testing carried out on the product - CE marking is acceptable until 1st January 2022.
- From 1st January 2022 UKCA marking in accordance with UK Construction Product Regulation and design standards will be required.
When a product is to be substituted, the developer must advise the warranty surveyor as early as possible and be provided with a full third party product conformity approval certificate of the new product to be used so it can be reviewed.
In summary, where materials are substituted it is important they are carefully chosen to ensure they meet the General Functional Requirements and the ‘Additional Functional Requirements’ in Appendix C, ‘Suitability of Products and Systems’ of our Technical Manual. The developer should make the warranty surveyor aware of any material substitutions as early as possible.
Every care was taken to ensure information in this article was correct at the time of writing (September 2021). Guidance provided does not replace the reader’s professional judgement and any construction project should comply with the relevant building regulations or applicable technical standards. For the most up to date LABC Warranty technical guidance please refer to your risk management surveyor and the latest version of the LABC Warranty Technical Manual.