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This article was originally published in Roofing Today. 
Because the secret weapons of successful construction projects lie in the marks of excellence. 
In the construction industry, every decision carries weight. This means that each material and component, from the earliest stages to the final details, plays an important role in ensuring the building's integrity, performance and durability. Let's take roofs as an example. The selection of roofing materials can have a major impact on the building's energy efficiency and its ability to withstand harsh weather conditions. But when it comes to air and vapour permeable underlays, the truth is that not all membranes are created equal. Choosing the right one can make a world of difference. Here's where the true strength of accredited construction membranes becomes clear. 

Why partner with an accredited membrane manufacturer? 

Builders, contractors and architects can unlock a multitude of benefits when working with an accredited membrane manufacturer. First and foremost, they get consistent quality and supply, both of which are deemed crucial to the successful, timely completion of any construction project. What’s more, accreditation serves as a testament to the manufacturers’ commitment to upholding industry standards and regulations, guaranteeing that their construction membranes are reliable and trustworthy. All players in the supply chain can rest easy knowing that an accredited manufacturer and their products have undergone independent checks, audits and approvals. 
Typically, as with Don & Low, this trustworthiness also translates into exceptional technical support. It's no surprise that certain projects, such as government-related initiatives or social housing, necessitate accreditations. As an added bonus, environmental accreditation shows a commitment to assisting carbon footprint reduction efforts, whilst displaying a strong sense of corporate responsibility. 

Decoding membrane accreditation: what to look for? 

Accreditation goes beyond being a mere stamp of approval. It involves a thorough evaluation carried out by independent third-party agencies. Thus, when it comes to construction membranes, professionals should keep an eye out for the following: 
ISO9001. The globally recognised quality system indicates that all of a manufacturer’s operations have been independently evaluated and audited. Don & Low maintains consistency in all they do, from materials inbound to production, delivery, billing and record keeping. 
BBA (British Board of Agrément) Certification. An industry recognised standard that details construction membrane specification and use. Don & Low holds this for Roofshield and all of their applicable construction membranes. 
SCSS (Supply Chain Sustainability School). Works within the construction industry to enhance the sector’s environmental performance and ultimately reduce the carbon footprint. Don & Low leads the charge in sustainable practices, holding the highest (Gold) membership with the School. 
STA (Structural Timber Association). An organisation formed to influence legislation and regulation within the Structural Timber Sector. Don & Low’s membership reflects the company’s commitment to support this essential industry, which will help the UK fulfill its new build housing target through offsite manufacturing. 
EPD (Environmental Product Declaration). Demonstrating the amount of CO2 generated in membranes production. As the UK’s only vertically integrated manufacturer of roofing membranes, Don & Low is able to track the products’ manufacturing process from polymer pellets to finished membranes and calculate the CO2 produced. Notably, Don & Low also uses a minimum 20% recycled content in their membranes. 
NFRC (National Federation of Roofing Contractors). The largest and most influential roofing trade association in the UK, promoting quality contractors and products. 
CORC (Confederation of Roofing Contractors). A leading organisation which supports both the roofing trade and the end-consumer. Don & Low’s membership underlines that the company is a trusted supplier to the roofing trade. 
UKCA (UK Conformity Assessed). Indicates conformity with the applicable requirements for products sold within the UK. 
CE Marking (European Conformity Marking). It shows that the manufacturer has checked that their products meet EU health, safety and environmental requirements and is an indicator of a product’s compliance with EU legislation. 
NSAI (National Standards Authority of Northern Ireland). Similar to the BBA, but for use in Northern Ireland. Don & Low products sold in this area carry this certification. 

Choosing wisely 

On top of accreditations, the track record and experience of the manufacturer are critical factors that construction industry professionals should likewise consider. But ultimately, they shouldn't be shy about asking for proof of study and details about the products' individual testing and quality control approaches. As the only manufacturer of its kind in the UK, Don & Low has consistently delivered effective construction membrane solutions, including Roofshield which has been tried and trusted by roofers since 1996. Thanks to cutting-edge technology, a sustained commitment to R&D, and a 240-year legacy built on quality, Don & Low is the reliable partner for those who build for the future. 
Don & Low Roofshield is available now from your local Roofbase. 
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