New code to prevent misleading construction product information launched

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A new construction industry code to prevent disingenuous marketing practices and misleading product information has been launched in the wake of the Grenfell fire.

The Code for Construction Product Information (CCPI) has been developed in direct response to Dame Judith Hackitt’s report into building regulations and fire safety following the Grenfell tragedy. In her interim report she was critical of the system of product testing, marketing and quality assurance, which she said was not clear.

The new code has been developed by the Construction Products Association. It requires all construction product manufacturers to ensure the information they provide about their products is clear, accurate, up-to-date, accessible and unambiguous. The code covers requirements such as responsibility for product information, transparency of performance and proof of stated claims.

Day-to-day management of the code has been handed to Construction Product Information Ltd, a new not-for-profit organisation. Fees for registering and verifying an organisation are expected to be announced later in the year.

Dame Judith Hackitt welcomed the report: “Clear and unambiguous product information is an essential element in rebuilding confidence and trust which was lost after the tragedy of Grenfell Tower. I am pleased to see industry taking action,” she said.

However, some criticism about the code has been voiced. Darren Lester, chief executive of SpecifiedBy, told Construction Index: “The code will not prevent inaccurate product data. Today, whether intentional or through human error and mistakes, inaccurate or misleading product data can be passed from one company to another or one individual to another, with no way to easily check and validate this data. This will still be true even with this code in place.”

James Burgoyne, Divisional Director – Claims & Technical, Brunel Professions says the code should be welcomed by architects and others who specify construction products. “Having better information about the qualities of a product will help to take away the fear that professionals could face negligence claims if they recommend products based on inaccurate marketing information.”

The CCPI has published the code, along with a press release, guidance and information on preparing for the code on its website. News reports about the announcement have been published by the Construction Leadership Council, Building, Construction Manager and The Construction Index.

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