In recent years the quality and consistency of concrete have become more tightly regulated, mainly by European Standards. In response to client demand, NSAI has put in place a product certification scheme covering ready-mix concrete.
In December 2003, the Irish Standard for Concrete - I.S. 326 - was replaced by a new European Standard, whose full name is I.S. EN 206-1: 2002, Concrete - Part 1: Specification, performance, production and conformity.
This Standard forms part of a group of construction standards. The Irish version – preceded by the initials I.S. – of EN 206-1 consists of the core text of the European Standard, plus a National Annex.
I.S. EN 206-1 places significant responsibility upon manufacturers of ready-mix concrete to demonstrate conformity to a series of specified requirements.
I.S. 326 allowed for site-testing for conformity. Now manufacturers must issue a formal Declaration of Conformity along with the documentation before they can dispatch ready-mix concrete.
What does the Standard do?
I.S. EN 206-1 demands greater clarity on elements essential to quality, durability and consistency such as:
- Consistency of mix
- Grade or compressive strength class as it is defined in the Standard.
- The Standard also explicitly addresses the following design elements:
- Gathering information relating to structural and fire design
- Determining the intended working life
- Identifying relevant exposure classes
- Identifying other requirements for the concrete (e.g. aesthetic considerations; minimizing cracking; coping with temperature extremes, etc).
NSAI’s I.S. EN 206-1 certification scheme involves the following procedures:
This entails an initial inspection of the concrete plant focusing on:
- The production control manual and the degree of conformity to I.S. EN 206–1 and National Annex
- Inspection of relevant documentation
- Facilities and equipment
- Staff training, experience and knowledge.
Issuing a Certificate of Conformity
All the relevant information from the initial inspection and assessment of the system is documented in an NSAI Assessment Report. This report will be issued after the plant has passed the initial inspection, along with a Certificate of Conformity to I.S. EN 206-1:2002 and Irish National Annex.
To maintain certification, qualified NSAI personnel will continue to carry out regular inspections. As a minimum, the following will be examined:
- Sampling and testing procedures
- Recorded data
- Test results obtained for production control during the inspection period
- Frequency of required tests or procedures
- Scheduled production equipment checks and maintenance
- Scheduled test equipment maintenance and calibration
- Actions taken with respect to any non-conformity
- Delivery tickets, and the Declaration of Conformity where relevant.
We are also required to take ongoing spot samples to verify the accuracy of the producer’s routine testing procedures.
Notifying NSAI of changes
The producer will have responsibility for the maintenance of the production control system.
Where significant changes are made to facilities at the production place, system or manual, the producer must notify these changes to NSAI. Following review, NSAI may determine that an on-site re-inspection is appropriate.
The principal benefits compared to the previous system include:
- Consistency of approach
- Improved quality
- Clarity of requirements from specification to delivery
- Synchronization with ISO 9000 Quality Management Systems.
Find out more
For further information on Ready Mix Concrete certification with NSAI please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
You may also wish to contact your trade association for advice on implementation of the Standard.
How to purchase the Standard
Orders by post should be made payable to SAI Global (NSAI sales partner) and sent to:
NSAI Standards Postal Sales,
42/44 Northumberland Road,
Dublin 4, Ireland