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Standards and markings
Glass for Europe's member companies maintain ongoing technical review of the standards and norms environment in which the industry operates. From time to time issues arise in this area that are addressed through the association. Currently, norms relating to fire reaction and behaviour as well as national marking rules are a cause of some concern to the industry.
Harmonised Standards for Glass in Buildings
Standards are technical specifications whose main purpose is to eliminate technical barriers to trade. Technical barriers to trade can result from lack of technical or physical compatibility between parts or systems, or, also, safety or other performance requirements that differ between markets so that a product manufactured in one market may not be in compliance with regulations in another.
In the EU, a system of standards has evolved in which the European Commission legislation sets out certain objectives that must be met in areas of technical, environmental, and safety performance. The Commission issues a mandate to a European standards institute to develop and adopt standards whose application will fulfil these objectives. Standards adopted under this system are known as Harmonised Standards.
Products that meet Harmonised Standards are presumed to be in conformity with the requirements set out by the relevant EU legislation. If a manufacturer decides not to apply the relevant standards, he then has to prove the conformity with the requirements in another way.
The relevant EU legislation for our industry in this regards is the Construction Products Directive. Under this Directive, the Commission has issued mandate M135 - "Glass for Building" given to the European Committee for Standardisation (CEN). This mandate covers flat glass, profiled glass and glass block products. The Technical Committee drafting these standards is TC 129.
Work on harmonised standards relating to "Glass for Building" started in 2005 for basic products, strengthened products and coated glass and in 2006 for heat soaked products, laminated glass, insulating glass units, thermally toughened alkaline earth silicate, and safety glass.
Standards and Explanatory Documents
It is prohibited to publish the standards online. To obtain a copy, please contact your national standardisation body. A list of those contacts is available here.
What we can do, however, is provide supporting documents, particularly concerning evaluation of conformity to the standards. Glass for Europe, under its earlier name "G.E.P.V.P.", has published a range of useful documents concerning the relevant standards. These can be found here.