Issue 7 - Summer 2012


Clients' view

CE Marking and Road surface treatments

Ian Walsh, Road Consultants Ltd

Surface dressing, when designed and installed by the contractor, and micro-asphalt are both products that fall within the new Construction Products Regulations (CPR) that come into force on 1st July 2013. This means that they must be CE Marked and their performance declared against the characteristics required in the UK, taken from BS EN 12271 (Surface Dressing) and BS EN 12273 (Micro-asphalt). Their performance is measured on a Type Approval Installation Trial (TAIT) that is monitored after 12 months in-service. The number of TAIT required could be very extensive. They have to cover every surface dressing type: single, rack-in, double, aggregate source and binder type combination and different levels of traffic.

In practice, surface dressing contractors have been carrying out dressing for many years under the National Highway Sector Scheme (NHSS) 13 so that they should have records of the various installations, it is therefore only really necessary for them to revisit these and formally record their condition. Micro-asphalt is if anything more difficult as the NHSS has not been so widely implemented.

However, any contractor who has not by now completed the installation of his trial sites is now too late to achieve CE Marking by the due date. He will no longer be able to offer this product as products that claim to comply with BS EN 12271 or BS EN 12273 can only be offered for sale if they have a CE Mark at the time of delivery. How many of the current installers of Surface Dressing and Micro-asphalt will be affected is at present unknown.

Putting products on the market without a CE Mark or making a false claim is a punishable criminal offence.

Public sector clients are amending their contract documentation appropriately. However the CPR applies to all products at the point of delivery and overrides any contract conditions. Companies with a compliant CE Mark will be vigilant that companies without one are excluded. The Audit Commission pays particular attention to a local authority’s procurement practices to ensure they are legal and show no favouritism.

A contractor who is carrying out surface dressing that he has designed for the client, will be able to continue only if he is a subcontractor to a company that has got CE Marking and he will be using the same methods and bitumen/aggregate combinations. Alternatively, he could try to persuade the client to give him the necessary design – the chipping size(s) and rate of spread of the correct binder, etc – for him to install. This is often known as recipe surface dressing and was a method of procurement that was very common in the past but has largely died out. Recipe Dressing is not a Product but Works on the highway and therefore they fall outside the CPR.

Local authorities that carry out surface dressing within their own county and not subject to public tender need not have CE Marking as they are not putting a product on the market; but they cannot operate anywhere else.

ProTECT – The Carbon Calculator for Road Surface Treatments

Steve Betteridge, Principle Materials Engineer Development Services, Lincolnshire County Council, and Secretary, ADEPT Soils and Materials, Design and Specification Group

The use of carbon in contributing to the support of human lifestyles is coming under ever increasing scrutiny. Energy costs, the use of carbon and the generation of emissions associated with this are impinging on all elements of Local Authority activities, including those as Highway Authorities. Many Local Authorities are making significant progress in reducing carbon related emissions and making savings on energy bills through implementation of their Carbon Management Plans. The interest Local Authorities have in their use of energy and contribution to the generation of emissions, through their Highway Authority activities, continues to grow.

The Association of Directors of Environment, Economy, Planning and Transportation (ADEPT) represent many local government Highway Authorities. The Association has for many years, both in its present guise and formerly as the County Surveyors Society (CSS) worked in conjunction with industry partners to address matters of mutual interest.

A recent example of this is ADEPT’s involvement with the development of the Asphalt Pavement Embodied Carbon Tool (asPECT) which calculates carbon consumption for the production, installation and maintenance of bitumen bound materials, such as asphalts in road pavements. This is the carbon calculator endorsed by the Highways Agency and ADEPT for such calculations.

The ability to calculate the carbon consumption of highway activities is of increasing interest to Highway Asset Managers. However the production of carbon consumption figures in isolation is often of only general interest. A prime component in evaluating carbon consumption is the ability to evaluate carbon use over time.

In developing a carbon calculator for a selection of surface treatments the Road Surface Treatment Association (RSTA) recognised the importance of carbon use over time. In November 2010 a joint workshop was held on this topic. Attendance included members of RSTA committees and ADEPT members representing Asset Managers and materials specialists. The workshop resulted in agreed service lives for a selection of surface treatments. These were published in the joint ADEPT/RSTA Service Life of Surface Treatment document of May 2011. The treatments considered were Surface Dressing, Micro Surfacing, Slurry Surfacing and High Friction Surfacing.

The development of the carbon calculator for Road Surface Treatments, the Pavement Road Treatment Embodied Carbon Tool (ProTECT), commenced in the autumn of 2009. ADEPT had representation on the project’s steering committee from the outset.

In addition to the four surface treatments referred to above ProTECT carbon calculators have been developed for Velocity Patching, Thermal Road Repairs and Re-texturing. Work is also underway developing service life information for these treatments. With the release of ProTECT highway Asset Managers can now request carbon consumption information for a range of surface treatments. The choice of available treatments can now be evaluated in terms of carbon and financial expenditures. This is a huge step forward. All parties involved with the production of ProTECT and the complimentary Service Life document can justifiably celebrate the outcome of these collaborative initiatives.

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