Why Certification Matters?
If you’re in the business of manufacturing building products used in construction, then you are probably aware that testing those products is an important step getting your product to market. What’s not often discussed is product certification. You may be asking a few questions: What is product certification? Is certification required? Who develops the standards? Are there levels of certification? Do consumers care if my products are certified?
What Is Product Certification?
For consumers, product certification provides the assurance that products meet the codes and standards that deem those products appropriate for use. For resellers, product certification assures that products they receive will consistently adhere to the same level of performance. And for building officials and other authorities having jurisdiction (AHJ’s) who approve these products during the construction process, it provides peace of mind that these products meet code requirements.
Why Do I Need Product Certification?
At first glance, it may appear that consumers are the sole beneficiary of certification. In fact, building product manufacturers benefit by knowing that the standards help to level the playing field for fair competition. Product certification ensures that all products in the same category receive comparable scrutiny in the marketplace. It enables consumers and code officials alike to compare and choose products that they can trust to be reliable and safe and it ensures that your competition must adhere to the same rules and standards.
5 Reasons for Certification
- Protect Consumers– Certification allows consumers to confidently purchase products certified to address their specific needs. Typical examples are; fire ratings for mattresses, wind testing for windows, or thermal conductivity ratings for insulation.
- Meet Regulatory Requirements– Although SDO’s set global standards for building products, some states or local cities have specific regulations to products sold in their jurisdiction.
- Ensure Consistency– Certification bodies conduct consistent inspections to verify that manufacturing practices remain consistent over time.
- Gain Marketing Advantage– A certified product may display the trademark indicating that the product has undergone evaluation to verify that the product will perform as indicated, thus making it easier to access markets.
- Earn More Business – Some retailers, dealers, or code officials prefer or require the parts/systems that they sell and utilize to be certified.
Types Of Certification
Self-declared certification (Also called “Supplier’s Declaration of Conformity”) is done when the consequences of non-compliance are considered minor or when compliance can be readily checked by buyers – often referred to as “Truth in Advertising” laws. In this case, product manufacturers may claim performance on labels but need some data to mitigate risk. Many companies believe they can assure consumers and regulators through detailed documentation of their procedures that their products are safe to use. They cite the threat of product liability will keep them honest. Cost savings is the most popular reason for self-declared certification.
Sometimes a trade association can administer product certification and testing for its members. When an association performs validation and auditing, it requires an autonomous independent administrator in order to prevent bias toward individual members. Associations will utilize outside labs and make the testing available to its members, making it unnecessary for each manufacturer to invest in expensive equipment or independent testing.
When human safety or property protection is at stake, most building product manufacturers will need to use a third-party testing and certification company. Third-party testing and evaluation companies are independent agencies that perform testing, evaluations, and auditing of a multitude of products based on the regulations and codes set forth for a particular product. It is required that the testing company have no connection to the product manufacturer, supplier, vendor, buyer or designer, and must be open to audit by accreditors . Third Party agencies usually conduct tests, evaluations, and provide certification and follow-up production surveillance. As part of its process, the third-party agency will provide the documentation and a certification mark signifying the product is certified.
Direct Government Regulation
Typical with consumer products that are involved with high risk to injury or death. These requirements and regulations are directly mandated by government and allows imposition of civil penalties and criminal prosecution for violations to the regulations.
Certification Equals Peace of Mind
Whether a product’s certification is for the structural integrity of an infant car seat, or the fire resistance rating of wall assemblies, the focus is public safety. Certification is the key to gaining the public’s confidence that the buildings in which they work, the cars they drive, and the beds in which they sleep are held to a specific standard in order to keep them safe. When it comes to safety in the built environment, product certification of building products provides the confidence they are performing as intended. Article Source NTA: written by Mike Luna
How Is An RV Or Park Model A Tiny Home?
Most tiny home builders are building RVs built to the NFPA 1192 Standard or the Park Model Standard, ANSI 119.5 for the ability to have them certified and registered, to get a Vin number and title. The builders most always exceed the minimum requirements of these standards and build to 2 X 4 and 2 X 6 construction, increase insulation values, have 25 year roof warranties and use superior materials.
The recent LA Ordinance that passed into law, allowing movable tiny homes as ADUs, requires that tiny homes are certified and built to the above mentioned standards.
Inspection And Certification Agencies
Pacific West Associates: Meet ASTM 541 And E699-16 Requirements
Pacific West Associates, Inc. which is an accredited third party agency that has been recognized in the industry for over 30 years. PWA is composed of licensed electrical, mechanical, structural and forensic engineers. The evaluation and certification staff meet the requirements of the ASTM (American Society for Testing and Materials) E699-16, which is for agencies involved in testing, quality assurance, and evaluating of manufactured building components.
Services include DIY Built, Manufactured Built and Consultations. Chuck Ballard is the Director Of Standards for THIA and is a principle member of the following: Principle Member of the NFPA 1192 Standard On Recreational Vehicles Principle Member of the NFPA 1194 Standard On Recreational Parks And Campgrounds Principle Member ANSI A119.5 Park Model Recreational Vehicle Standard Principle Member ANSI UPA (Uniform Plan Approval) Principle Member ANSI/RVIA Low Voltage Standard More Details
NTA: Accrredited By A2LA
NTA is a third party agency that provides product testing, inspections and certifications, engineering, and plan review, as well as independent quality and standards compliance verification for many building products. Our professional services have value to residential and commercial builders, code officials, and manufacturers and suppliers throughout the building industry. NTA serves our clients with a nationally recognized and accredited, third-party testing laboratory to assist in the development of new and innovative products.
We’re proud that our laboratory and product certification services are accredited by A2LA. NTA, Inc. certifies compliance of each unit to ANSI A119.5 standard. Since we are accredited by the Standards Council of Canada (SCC) to certify products to CAN/CSA Z241, your next park trailer project can meet or exceed all appropriate standards and certifications, whether it is intended for use in the United States or Canada.
NTA is fully accredited to the same ISO 17065 standards as other, similar third-party agencies, ensuring that both consumers and regulatory agencies are confident in our product certifications.
The International Code Council announced that it has acquired NTA, a leading provider of testing services, product certification, inspection, engineering, off-site construction on July 12th, 2019. More Details
RADCO INC: Third Party Plan Review
RADCO, founded in 1967 is recognized as an independent third-party testing laboratory (TL-209), listing agency, and a Quality Assurance Inspection Agency (AA-650) by IAS (International Accreditation Service, Inc.). RADCO is also nationally recognized as a Design Approval Inspection Agency (DAPIA) and Inspection Primary Inspection Agency (IPIA) for the Manufactured Housing program (HUD) and can provide DAPIA and IPIA certification for any state modular program that allows a third-party to do so.
In addition to the above services, RADCO has extensive experience in approval for gas systems and special flame effects used in the entertainment industry, as well as Plan Review and Inspection services for Special Purpose Commercial Modular’s (SPCM), Park Models, MRI units, and much, much more. Founded in 1967 as a service-oriented engineering company, RADCO has since grown in its services as well as geographically. Headquartered in Long Beach, CA, RADCO has branch offices across the US and several geographically located Inspectors to better serve our clients.
What sets RADCO apart from our competition is their employees and their knowledge and experience. RADCO also offers one of the best pricing options for Testing, Listing, and Inspection service line. With state-of-the-art technology, their experienced team, and extensive knowledge of the American Standards and code compliance.
RADCO is recognized as a Testing Laboratory (TL-209) and as a Quality Assurance Inspection Agency (AA-650) by the IAS (International Accreditation Service, Inc.). These approvals supersede RADCO’s previous approvals from the NES and the ICBO-ES. Both of RADCO’s IAS approvals are recognized internationally, giving RADCO’s test reports and QA inspections full acceptance in many countries around the world, including Canada, Mexico, the Pacific Rim countries such as Australia, Japan, South Korea, as well as Europe. RADCO provides a product listing service with follow-up inspections.
RADCO’s testing and listing capabilities are recognized by many cities, counties, and states, including California, Arizona, Washington, and the city of Denver. RADCO is an administrator for the Society of the Plastics Industry (SPI) ‘Accu-R’ program for Expanded Polystyrene Insulation, and HUD Use of Materials Programs, UM 71A and UM 101.
RADCO is fully approved by HUD, as a DAPIA (Design Approval Primary Inspection Agency), and IPIA (Inspection Primary Inspection Agency), in the federal Manufactured Housing program. RADCO also serves on the HUD Manufactured Housing Consensus Committee (MHCC).
RADCO is fully recognized as a Third Party plan review and inspection agency for factory built (modular) residential and commercial structures by the IBC (Industrialized Building Commission), and all states with such programs.
RADCO is accredited and recognized by many state and national accreditation bodies. RADCO is also a member of several industry organizations, including ICC, IAS, The Modular Building Institute, NMEDA and the Manufacturing Housing Institute.
California Office (Headquarters)
3220 East 59th Street Long Beach, CA 90805 Office: 562-272-7231 Fax: 562-529-7513
2318 W. Tanner Ranch Road Queen Creek, AZ 85142 Office: 336-879-4788 Fax: 336-879-2760
5801 Benjamin Center Drive, Suite 102 Tampa, FL 33634 Office: 813-243-0370 Fax: 813-243-1314
340 Meadow Springs Road Seagrove, NC 27341 Office: 336-879-4788 Fax: 336-879-2760
Intertek: Global 3rd Party Testing, Inspection And Certification
Intertek is a leading Total Quality Assurance provider to industries worldwide. Intertek is one of the world’s largest Testing, Inspecting and Certification companies. Their services are available in North and South America, Europe, the Middle East, Africa and the Asia Pacific.
For more than 130 years, companies around the world have depended on Intertek to help ensure the quality and safety of their products, processes and systems.
Intertek is an industry leader with more than 46,000 employees in 1,000 locations in over 100 countries. They deliver Total Quality Assurance expertise 24 hours a day, 7 days a week with our industry-winning processes and customer-centric culture. Whether your business is local or global, they can help to ensure that your products meet quality, health, environmental, safety, and social accountability standards for virtually any market around the world. They hold extensive global accreditations, recognitions, and agreements.
Global Network of Laboratories
Intertek is one of the world’s largest Testing, Inspection and Certification companies. We have a network of laboratories across North and South America, Europe and Asia to deliver safety testing and certification for your products. Our teams around the world provide Global Expertise with Local Service. No one partners with manufacturers better than Intertek to deliver the services you need, when you need them, and where you need them.
Below is a List of Standards for the North American Market
- UL / ULC
Intertek is an OSHA (Occupational Safety & Health Administration) recognized NRTL (Nationally Recognized Testing Laboratory) and is accredited as a Testing Organization and Certification Body by the Standards Council of Canada.
American Association of Laboratory Accreditation (A2LA)
- Scope: Accreditation for automotive, EMC, ICT, medical devices, telecommunications and thermal testing, FCC Telecom Certification Body (A2LA testing scopes are site specific; for further details contact A2LA or the Intertek facility.)
- Criteria: ISO/IEC 17025, ISO/IEC 17065
American National Standards Institute (ANSI)
- Scope: Accreditation of the ETL Listed Certification Program
- Criteria: ISO/IEC 17065
International Accreditation Service (IAS)
- Scope: Accreditation for testing, inspection and certification of building materials and gas fueled appliances
- Criteria: Acceptance Criteria 89 supporting ISO/IEC 17025 and Acceptance Criteria 98 supporting ISO/IEC 17020
Accredited By IAS
Designated by HUD as both an IPIA (Inspection Primary Inspection Agency) and a DAPIA (Design Approval Primary Inspection Agency), PFS TECO is your one-stop shop for both plan review and inspection of HUD-code manufactured housing. We have five regional offices throughout the United States, allowing us to have professional inspection staff within a small distance of almost any manufacturing facility in the country.
Our inspection personnel have the knowledge and experience to help you maintain your in-house quality assurance program. With our dedicated team of plan reviewers based in our Cottage Grove, Wisconsin headquarters, PFS TECO is able to provide consistent, efficient plan review with an industry-leading turn-around time through our all-electronic plan review process.
Manufactured Structures Division • Building Products Division • Test Laboratory
PFS TECO • Cottage Grove
1507 Matt Pass
Cottage Grove, WI 53527 USA
Manufactured Structures Regional Offices
Wisconsin • 608.839.1013
Pennsylvania • 570.784.8396
Texas • 214.505.3224
California • 310.559.7287
PFS TECO • Springfield
5250 High Banks Road
Springfield, OR 97478 USA
PFS TECO • Portland
11785 SE Hwy. 212
Clackamas, OR 97015 USA
Contact For Vice President Bob Gorleski firstname.lastname@example.org