Timber roof batten report highlights “massive failings”27 June 2012
A mystery shop investigation into roofing battens has indicated “massive failings” in the quality of products supplied to UK construction sites, as well as fraudulent BS marking.
The report, by The Wood Shop consultancy for UK batten manufacturer John Brash, found that some imported batten batches tested contained up to a 64% reject rate because of excessive knots, with many also undersized on depth and width.
The batches were all purchased from merchants. John Brash, the UK’s largest graded batten manufacturer, said it released the results of the study following calls from the industry to tackle the issue of fraudulently marked battens and poor product quality.
Images showing additional BS 5534-marked roofing battens, but which do not adhere to the BS standard, were taken by a health and safety inspector on construction sites and released as part of the publication of the report.
John Brash’s report also effectively highlights the competition going on between UK batten manufacturers and imported products, as the five brands tested in the report are all imported products.
The competition has intensified since the NHBC decided last year to only accept factory graded battens on its sites.
“Clearly, for contractors and housebuilders, there is an assumption that when you purchase battens marked with BS 5534, that there is an immediate expectation those battens will meet that standard,” said John Brash.
The company said the report also highlights the key questions of how the British Standard is policed and whether visual grading is too unreliable for a British Standard grading.
John Brash’s battens were also tested and found to have a reject rate of between 0%-6%, the best results in the tests.
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