BWF Stairs Scheme Seminar at The Building Centre

2 March 2011

In the next stage of its campaign to set the standard for safety in the manufacture and installation of timber stairs, the BWF Stair Scheme will brief the wider construction industry on the issues in the latest of The Building Centre's Wood Talks seminar series. 

The seminar will take place on the morning of Thursday 31 March 2011 at the Building Centre in London. Ian Purkis, BWF President and Technical Director of leading stair manufacturer JELD-WEN UK Ltd, and BWF Technical Manager Kevin Underwood will explain the importance of stairs as part of a building's structure and how the Scheme will work.  Speakers from NHBC and the housebuilding industry will offer their perspective on how the Scheme will help marginalise bad practice, raise standards and improve safety. Stair safety depends on the quality of design, specification and installation.

There is a growing concern, highlighted by recent media reports, that the technical requirements for timber stair design and manufacture are not well understood, leading to sub-standard and potentially dangerous stairs being installed in buildings. Most manufacturers rely on their experience and past performance to prove that they meet the requirements.  But experience cannot cover changes in materials or specifications; yet when these changes are made, manufacturers rarely offer - or are asked for - test evidence to verify them. The situation is compounded by the fact that there is no straightforward method for Building Control or NHBC to verify that a stair has been manufactured correctly and complies with the relevant standards and building regulations.

The British Woodworking Federation launched its Stair Scheme last year to tackle these problems head on by setting an industry standard for stair manufacture, verifying that the products are being produced to that standard and enabling the regulatory authorities to differentiate accredited products from those which are not.  The Scheme has attracted wide interest and already has 10 manufacturer and two supplier members.

To book places at the seminar, go to The Building Centre website.  Entry is free, but space is limited.

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