60th BetonTage: Structural precast ­elements and CE marking

Next year, the BetonTage in the German city of Ulm will take place already for the sixtieth time. The reputation and status enjoyed by this leading German and European event is in good part due to the fact that it deals with the important themes and topics which the industry is currently facing. This will again be the case from 23 to 25 February 2016.

One burning issue of concern for many participants of the BetonTage program: Judgment C-100/13 of the European Court of Justice (ECJ) dated 16 October 2014. According to this judgment, no additional national requirements may be imposed on products that are in conformity with the harmonized European product standards. This regulation is intended to ensure that products in commerce beyond the national borders of EU member states can be freely traded. At present, the German practice of applying lists of construction rules and the Ü marking are still at odds with this judgment. Amendment to official German building regulations will therefore be necessary – which, according to the Association of German Precast Construction (FDB), will also affect structural precast elements.

This judgment and the possible consequences are currently being intensively discussed by the professional public and by the relevant committees in Germany. The proposals range from replacement of the Ü marking by civil-law agreements between builders-owners and manufacturers to altogether doing away with CE marking for structural precast elements. At the BetonTage this year, Dr. Gerhard Scheuermann – the head of the Construction Engineering the German approval body for construction products and types of construction (DIBt) – will open the second day of the congress with a presentation on this topic and will present a solution proposal from the German associations.

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