The use of cables in construction works is practically as old as the transmission of electrical power itself. However, the classification of cables as a construction product only gained momentum when (CPR) Regulation (EU) no. 305/2011 came into effect in July 2013, and when the European standard EN 50575 was published in September 2014.
There is often insufficient knowledge regarding the rules for classifying the performance of the respective construction product cables, the product marking and the related documentation. With these FAQs, Lapp Kabel would like to assist manufacturers, distributors and users alike.
These FAQs refer to cables within the scope of application of a harmonised standard, namely EN 50575:2014+ A1:2016
U.I. Lapp GmbH, Product Management, March 2017
In German K&L stands for 'Kabel und Leitungen', which translates into English as simply 'cables'.
In this FAQ document, the term 'cables' is used for summary purposes for cables for electricity supply and for control and communication purposes in the building industry as defined within the scope of application of EN 50575.
It is important to have a good knowledge of the following documents as a minimum requirement:
1.305/2011/EU – this applies to all construction products; abbreviated: 305/2011
Construction Product Regulation (CPR) – harmonised conditions for the marketing of construction products
In German: "Bauprodukten-Verordnung (BauPVO) – harmonisierter Bedingungen für die Vermarktung von Bauprodukten"
2.EN 50575:2014 + A1:2016 – this applies to cables; abbreviated: EN 50575
Harmonised standard: Power, control and communication cables – cables for general applications in construction works subject to reaction to fire requirements.
In German: "Harmonisierte Norm: Starkstromkabel und -leitungen, Steuer- und Kommunikationskabel – Kabel und Leitungen für allgemeine Anwendungen in Bauwerken in Bezug auf die Anforderungen an das Brandverhalten."
As a DIN standard: DIN EN 50575 (VDE 0482-575):2017-02
From 1 July 2017, EN 50575 must be applied whenever "economic operators" place cables on the market as a construction product. See also: What does "placing on the market" mean?
Article 2, 17 of 305/2011 defines "placing on the market" as the first making available of a construction product on the Union market; this is relevant to stocks purchased/stored before 1 July 2017 and sold/outsourced afterwards. See also: What does "retrospective labelling" mean?
305/2011 defines the various "economic operators"; these are each subject to different obligations.
"Manufacturer" means any natural or legal person who manufactures a construction product or who has such a product designed or manufactured, and markets that product under his name or trademark.
"Importer" means any natural or legal person established within the Union, who places a construction product from a third country on the Union market.
"Distributor" means any natural or legal person in the supply chain, other than the manufacturer or importer, who makes a construction product available on the market.
Lapp Kabel is a manufacturer of products from the brands ÖLFLEX®, UNITRONIC®, ETHERLINE®, HITRONIC® and markets other products under the name 'Lapp'.
CP = Construction Products; R = Regulation
CPR is an abbreviation for a Regulation for the Member States. In Germany this is known as the BauPVO. The English wording:
REGULATION (EU) No. 305/2011 OF THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT AND OF THE COUNCIL of 9 March 2011
laying down harmonised conditions for the marketing of construction products and repealing Council Directive 89/106/EEC
Harmonised conditions also include the elimination of technical barriers in the construction sector through harmonised technical specifications, which are used to assess the performance of construction products.
Construction products are divided into product areas; the Regulation lists power, control and communication cables in Annex IV. The corresponding harmonised technical specification has been created in accordance with an EU mandate and is available as EN 50575.
305/2011, 2.1. (abbreviated): ...any product which is produced and placed on the market for incorporation in a permanent manner in construction works (above and below ground) or parts thereof, and the performance of which has an effect on the performance of the construction works with respect to the basic requirements for construction works...
Basic requirements are listed in Annex I. This includes fire protection.
Familiar construction products include concrete and steel, insulating materials, doors and flooring. Now power, control and communication cables are also included. The reaction-to-fire demonstrated in the test is decisive for the classification.
The term ‘low fire-hazard cable' is not defined in the Construction Product Regulation or the associated harmonised technical standard. It is generally understood as an industry term for cables that produce less smoke and fewer toxic gases in the event of a fire. However, a clear and comprehensible declaration of performance regarding the essential characteristics is crucial, and this can and must also be done for cables which produce more smoke/gases and which are marketed as construction products. See also: Which cables are affected?
Lapp products that can be used as construction products are within the scope of application of EN 50575. These are power cables, control cables, communication cables, fibre optic cables and hybrid cables that are a combination of two or more of these cable types. Insulated conductors (single cores) are also affected. EN 50575 applies when cables are marketed as a construction product to be permanently installed in construction works. Cables that are placed on the market with connectors attached on one or two sides are not permanently installed. EN 50575 also explicitly excludes so-called safety cables, i.e. cables for continuity of the power and/or signal supply in the event of a fire. (Reference to standards: functional integrity in accordance with DIN 4102-12)
There are some particularly clear examples in the Lapp Kabel range – including installation cables. The prime example is the PVC installation cable NYM in accordance with DIN VDE 0250-204. In general, Table 4 "Cables for fixed installation" in DIN VDE 0298-3 (VDE 0298-3):2006-06 provides a good and broad overview of the affected (N) types.
LAN cables for structured building cabling are also particularly significant.
Also included are cables that are not exclusively intended for installation in construction works, but that are considered ‘low fire-hazard' cables with low flame propagation and reduced smoke/gas production. Examples from Lapp Kabel are ÖLFLEX® CLASSIC 100 H, ÖLFLEX® CLASSIC 110 H or ÖLFLEX® HEAT 125 MC.
Yes, this list is temporarily available at www.lappkabel.de/cpr. The articles are linked to the 'CPR package'. CPR articles will be easy to find in catalogues in the foreseeable future.
The CPR package is a .zip download which can be accessed via the product name or the Lapp article number at www.lappkabel.de/cpr. The download specifically includes the declaration of performance (DoP) and the assignment for product type and labels.
Lapp Kabel classifies existing products. This involves technical tests and administrative procedures. The products themselves are not changed as a result of this. The article numbers remain unchanged.
New products and new article numbers will come to the fore when the use of cables as construction products is further substantiated and adopted by the building authorities in their (local) regulations.
Lapp Kabel concentrates on classes B2ca, Cca, Dca, Eca within the scope of application of EN 50575.
The use of construction products (cables) with these classes in construction works has not yet been definitively regulated in the member countries. Different specifications are also expected.
Lapp Kabel is preparing to place cables on the market that will be eligible construction products with the associated CE marking at the end of the 'coexistence period' on 1 July 2017. These are cables such as ÖLFLEX® CLASSIC 110 H or ÖLFLEX® HEAT 125 MC, as examples of classes B2ca and Cca. It is expected that these cables will be a preferred option for escape routes (see also recommendations in the preliminary standard DIN VDE V 0250-10). Classes Dca and Eca will be used in other applications. Typical examples of Eca are ÖLFLEX®CLASSIC 110 and UNITRONIC®LiYY.
Example: Does a cable with a proven reaction-to-fire class of B2ca also have the (lower) Cca or Dca classes?
Can the manufacturer automatically issue a corresponding declaration of performance?
No, it is essential that the specified reaction-to-fire class in each case is derived from the corresponding (test) documents.
'Backwards compatibility' is not an option!
Cables that are placed on the market by Lapp Kabel as construction products are listed with their article-/ordernumbers on http://www.lappkabel.com/cpr.html – each with a link to the manufacturer's declaration of performance (DoP). A CE-marking is featured on the product itself in the form of a label with additional information.
The respective items/articles in the order papers refer to www.lappkabel.de/cpr and the distributor's obligation for CE- continuity. See also: What does "retrospective labelling for CE-continuity" mean for Lapp customers?
The Declaration of Performance is drawn up by the manufacturer of a product. Each DoP has a unique document number. This number is also cited on the CE-label on the construction product.
The required content is stipulated in EN 50575. This includes in particular:
The unique identification code of the product type; see also: What is a "product type"?
Identification of the manufacturer with name and address – e.g. U.I.Lapp GmbH, 70565 Stuttgart etc.
Declared performance – e.g. reaction-to-fire class: Cca-s2-d2-a1
See also: How can I tell that a Lapp Kabel product is a construction product?
The Declaration of Performance is a requirement for CE-marking.
Essential characteristics are specified in EN 50575, Annex ZZ. They are required to fulfil 305/2011, Annex I – Basic requirements for construction works. Performance with regard to the essential characteristics is confirmed/declared in the DoP. In particular they include:
1.Reaction-to-fire in accordance with EN 13501-6, classification using data from reaction-to-fire tests on electrical cables
2.Release of dangerous substances
2a.) Construction products come under the REACH Regulation 1907/2006, which applies to chemical substances in the EU.
This refers to REACH, Annex XVII (dangerous substances), REACH, Annex XIV (substances subject to authorisation) and REACH, SVHC (candidates to be included in Annex XIV) in particular, which may also be named in the DoP if applicable.
2b.) EN 50575, 4.2 mentions the importance of additional national regulations in the EU regarding cables as construction products and the current lack of harmonised European testing procedures. In Lapp Kabel's DoPs, this is therefore also usually indicated under 2. 'NPD' (no performance determined).
The abbreviation is defined in 305/2011: "NPD" (No Performance Determined) for the listed essential characteristics for which no performance is declared.
See also: "What are essential characteristics?"
The Declarations of Performance are available to download at https://www.lappkabel.de/cpr. See also: "What is the CPR package?"
In general: From REGULATION (EC) No. 765/2008, Article 30:
The CE-marking shall be the only marking which attests the conformity of the product with the applicable requirements
of the relevant Community harmonisation legislation providing for its affixing.
Common example: DIRECTIVE 2014/35/EU (Low Voltage Directive) often applies to cables. As a manufacturer, Lapp Kabel draws up an EU Declaration of Conformity. The CE-mark is usually placed on the product ID label, which is affixed to the product surface or the packaging. The CE-mark does not contain any additional information.
See for comparison: 'CE-marking of construction products...'
CE-marking of construction products goes beyond the basic principles of Regulation (EC) No. 765/2008.
If cables are (additionally) marketed as construction products in accordance with 305/2011, additional information also needs to be affixed. Additional information includes e.g. performance class, reference number of the Declaration of Performance etc.
305/2011, Article 8, 2. – The CE-marking shall be affixed to those construction products for which the manufacturer has drawn up a Declaration of Performance.
305/2011, Article 9, 1. – The CE-marking shall be affixed visibly, legibly and indelibly to the construction product or to a label attached to it. Where this is not possible or not warranted on account of the nature of the product, it shall be affixed to the packaging or to the accompanying documents.
Lapp Kabel affixes additional information to the construction product/packaging with an additional label.
305/2011, Article 9, 3. – The CE-marking shall be affixed before the construction product is placed on the market.
305/2011, Article 11, 1. – It is the obligation of the manufacturer to affix the CE-marking or have it affixed.
305/2011, Article 14, 2 – Before making a construction product available on the market distributors shall ensure that the product, where required, bears the CE-marking.
The CE marking is compulsory for products that meet the requirements. Vice versa, affixing the CE marking is prohibited if requirements are not met.
The 'unique identification code of the product type' is stated in the Declaration of Performance. It also appears with the CE- marking/label. 305/2011, Article 2, 9 provides a definition that is rather difficult to read.
An example explains it better: The Lapp Kabel products 'ÖLFLEX®CLASSIC 100 450/750V' and 'ÖLFLEX®CLASSIC 100 YELLOW' are grouped under one product type with the identification code 'OELFLEX_CLASSIC_100-1'. This identification code is unique and is stated in both the corresponding (unique) Declaration of Performance and on the labels (CE-marking) affixed to the individual packagings. The Declaration of Performance describes the Reaction to fire with 'Eca'. The products 'ÖLFLEX®CLASSIC 100 450/750V' and 'ÖLFLEX®CLASSIC 100 YELLOW' have been defined by Lapp Kabel as a family because not only are the essential characteristics and the performance the same, but also the design of the cables and conductors. Nominal voltage and essential materials are also the same.
On www.lappkabel.de/cpr, the article-/ordernumbers of 'ÖLFLEX®CLASSIC 100 450/750V' and 'ÖLFLEX®CLASSIC 100 YELLOW' are assigned to the product type identification code.
This refers to the CE-marking in accordance with the CPR, which includes the CE-mark itself and additional information. This CE-marking is generally affixed to a label on the product.
Retrospective labelling of goods in the supply and distribution chain to fulfil the CE-marking obligation:
In the case of cables, the units/(lengths) that are placed on the market by the manufacturer are often fragmented in the supply and distribution chain, i.e. they are resold in smaller units (lengths). In accordance with the above obligations, the manufacturer must ensure that the distributor can affix the CE-marking to the fragmented goods.
The distributor is required to implement this. 305/2011, 14, 2
The CPR package at https://www.lappkabel.de/cpr contains Lapp Kabel label templates in 3 different dimensions. See also: "What is the CPR package?"
The QR code encodes the URL www.lappkabel.de/cpr.
The website can be viewed in both German (DE) and English (EN).
If you would like to find out more about this for yourself, we recommend you visit:
Lapp Kabel will be happy to assist you via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org or you can contact your local sales office by phone.
In the revised technical Annex T14 of the Lapp Kabel main catalogue, there is an overview of cables as construction products.
The download includes a contract form concerning the CE-marking obligation. The form aims at distributors of Lapp Kabel construction products in first line. Target is the required continuity of the CE-marking in the supply and distribution chain.
The contract shall regulate the necessary cooperation between manufacturer (Lapp Kabel) and distributor for markings correct in form and content. With it the contractual partners also take precautions against third-party claims.
For the resale of Lapp Kabel construction products a valid contract is assumed. The contract is valid together with the construction product regulation (EU) Nr. 305/ 2011.
This proceeding is recommended by leading associations, such as e.g. VEG, ZVEI.
An important benefit for distributors and customers is given through the registration of name and address data.
With it Lapp Kabel can inform more directly about new construction products or upcoming changes.