Some facts regarding certified airtight products

I´ve been often asked about the certificates for airtight products. It seems most architects, engineers or builders have heard something about NSAI, BS, CE and other standards but not everybody knows exactly what it means.

CE (coming from the French "Conformité Européenne" - which means European Conformity) is a conformity marking for various products within the most European Countries. Whenever a harmonised European exists for a product category, the manufacturer (or importer) has to state a Declaration of Performance (DoP) for his products which is like a guarantee that this product matches the required standard. Airtight products with valid CE markings are Airtight, Breathable or Vapour Control Membranes, flashings and some sealants.

Airtight tapes and window sealing tapes do not have CE marks for the simple reason that there is no standard existing for these products. But the tapes have to match a certain fire behaviour to get classified as "Class E" product.

Many clients are asking for NSAI certification. NSAI means "National Standard Authority of Ireland". Other countries have similar national authorities, like UK the BS or Germany the DIN. Getting the NSAI certification for airtight products means to invest an amount of €25,000 (and more) and provide all testing results and other certificates for the products. Unfortunately the NSAI is not doing an independent testing for the products, maybe because for the simple reason that there is no institute existing in the Republic of Ireland to do this kind of testing and research.  I´m wondering how an official authority can provide certification just on the base of manufacturers statements.

I remember one Kerry engineer, who stated that NSAI certs for airtight products are mandatory for the use here in Ireland because of the special weather conditions. It´s a fact that two companies have the NSAI certification for their airtight products so far - one Swiss and one German company. But the most remarkable fact is, that both companies do not produce special products for the Irish weather.