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Regulations are the same for both new and used building products

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In April we interviewed Matias Apelseth from Kluge Law Firm on legal issues related to re-use of building materials. In a question about possibilities of streamlining the re-use process, it was mentioned that the Norwegian Building Autority happened to be in dialogue with the EU about changes in the regulations. We have therefore interviewed Ingunn Marton from the Norwegian Building Authority, on questions regarding the status of regulations and possible changes.

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How does the EU Construction Products Regulation (Regulation (EU) No 305/2011) affect the trade of used building products in Norway (and Europe)?

Since the CPR is a EU regulation, our own regulations must comply with this. That means that we cannot make our own adjustments. The Construction Products Regulation is currently reviewed for possible revising.

Until the Construction Products Regulation will be revised and will describe specific requirements for documentation of used building products, the current regulations are the same for both new and used building products. This means that used and new building products must be documented as described in the Construction Products Regulation before they are traded. There is no difference between the requirements.

What is the status on your ongoing dialogue with the EU regarding the regulations in the EU Construction Products Regulation?

For a long time, the Commission has been working on assessing whether the Construction Products Regulations should be revised. A number of studies and analysis have been conducted, which have identified some challenges that needs to be solved. It is not yet formally decided by the Commission whether the regulation will be revised, but there are quite clear signs that it will happen. The Commission points out that the Construction Products Regulations are mentioned as one of the tools in some of the Commission's important political projects: the European Green Deal and the Circular Economy Action Plan. The Commission will spend this year working further on the challenges.

Are there any requirements for documentation when selling/donating used building materials that do not directly affect a building's quality or safety? For example, windows with uknown U-value used indoors as room dividers, or wooden beams used as stairs.

Some materials used in buildings are not defined as construction products and are therefore not covered by the construction Products Regulation. An example of this is moldings. Other examples are products without CE-marking.

These products do not have to comply with the Building Products Regulation - neither new nor used.

If windows are traded and re-used as partitions, the windows must satisfy documentation requirements for internal partitions. That means that they do not need to satisfy any U-value (which is irrelevant to interior walls) or other specific documentation requirements for windows.

A building product only needs to document one property in order to be traded. But it will then have fewer options for application.

Please note that the requirements in TEK (Norwegian building code) stating that the building materials meeting the requirements must be documented - even for non-construction products.

There is no requirement for documentation if a construction product is going to be re-used in the same building, or another building with the same developer, as long as it meets the TEK-requirements. Does this also apply to internal re-use in a company or a larger organization such as municipalities?

If the building product isn't traded (sold or given away), it does not have to satisfy the requirements of the Construction Products Regulation. Whether it is reused in a larger company / organization, like a municipality, depends on whether it is marketed. I can't say if it does, but it probably depends on how the company / municipality is organized. They must consider that for themselves.

There are documentation requirements in TEK. In general, the documentation requirements for building materials in TEK tend to be met using the documentation created in accordance with the Building Regulations / Construction Products Regulations. If you don't have that documentation and practice "internal" re-use, you can document the properties in a different way. But documentation that the building products meet the requirements of TEK applies anyway.

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