Construction Products Regulation (CPR)
The cable as a supporting pillar in fire protection
The latest fire protection findings are put into practice in modern new buildings. Fire protection legislation has also evolved over the past few years. In the event of a fire, visitors to the building often have very little time to escape the fire. Often, the greatest danger is not the flames themselves, but the formation of smoke and toxic gases that are produced when plastics are burned. These can cause irreversible damage to the lungs in no time at all.
In order to curb this risk, construction materials are tested and classified for their fire behaviour. The following information will show you the purpose of the European Construction Products Regulation, the requirements and fire classes for cables and wires, and how to find the best cable for your application.
What is the European Construction Products Regulation?
BauPVo EU 305/2011, aka the Construction Products Regulation (CPR), is a legal regulation valid in the EU that establishes uniform product and testing standards for construction products. According to the regulation, construction products are all goods that are permanently installed in buildings.
The regulation defines basic safety requirements for buildings, one of which is fire protection.
It is binding in all member states of the European Union (EU) and has been in force since 01 July 2017, including cables and wires that are permanently installed in buildings.
Cables and wires are classified according to a uniform classification system and must meet certain requirements.
Since the withdrawal of the United Kingdom from the EU, also known as Brexit, there has also been a parallel counterpart to the European Construction Products Regulation, which is only valid in the United Kingdom. This counterpart follows the classes and rules of the CPR. For each European standard, there is therefore an identical standard for the United Kingdom in terms of content.
What is the purpose of the CPR (BauPVo in Germany)?
The aim of the CPR is to improve the safety of buildings and the people in them. The goal is to minimise the risk of fire by installing cables and wires with improved fire properties.
It also harmonises national regulations regarding requirements for construction products and materials. The placing on the market of products for construction material manufacturers will be made easier within the European internal market.
The Construction Products Regulation also serves as the legal basis for the CE marking of the products and the manufacturer's declaration of performance.
Where will the CPR apply?
The CPR applies to all buildings in which cables and wires are installed on a fixed and permanent basis.
These include, but are not limited to:
- Residential, industrial, commercial and office buildings
- Hospitals, schools and leisure centres
- Airports, railway stations and underground car parks
- Public buildings such as schools or museums
The higher the risk of fire and the safety requirements of the building, the higher the fire class of the cables and wires must be.
LAPP offers you a variety of CPR-classified cables for various applications.
How are the fire properties assessed according to EN 50575?
The CPR’s harmonised standard EN 50575 defines the fire properties of cables based on 5 criteria:
- Propagation of flames
- Heat development
- Smoke development
- Acid formation
- Formation of burning drops
These criteria play a key role in the assignment to one of the different fire classes. When a cable or wire is tested for its fire properties, strict legal limit values in several criteria must not be exceeded.
What fire classes are there for cables and wires?
The Construction Products Regulation includes seven fire classes, which range from "Non-flammable (Aca)" to "Flame-retardant (Fca)\. The subscript abbreviation "ca" in the corresponding class stands for cable.
There are also three other classes: the development of smoke, the formation of acid and the formation of burning drops:
Smoke development (s) with the grades:
- s1= low smoke formation, according to EN 61034-2 with additional requirements s1a and s1b for the smoke density
- s2= medium smoke formation
- s3= not defined, potential for strong smoke formation
Acid formation (a) with the grades:
- a1= slightly corrosive smoke gases
- a2= moderately corrosive smoke gases
- a3 = highly corrosive smoke gases
Formation of burning drops (d) with the grades:
- d0= no burning drops
- d1= brief formation of burning drops
- d2= no performance specified
The lower the index, the better the performance.
|Fire class||Safety requirements||Building inspection designation||Additional requirements|
|Smoke development||Acid formation||Formation of burning drops|
The requirements for classes Aca and B1ca are very high. Most PVC cables achieve lower classes such as Eca or Dca, while high-quality Halogen-free cables demonstrate considerably better performance and can achieve classes Cca and B2ca. As the requirements of fire class Aca are too high to offer an economical product with conventional thermoplastic materials, it is not possible in practice to achieve fire class Aca for cables.
The harmonisation means that the fire classes are the same in every EU Member State. However, the legal requirements vary greatly from country to country as to which fire class the cables in a building must comply with.
How does a CPR-certified cable help with fire protection?
In order to clarify the concept of fire protection, it makes sense to split it into two areas.
The first sub-area is fire prevention. All components should contribute to preventing a fire or preventing its spread. Self-extinguishing and flame-retardant properties are an indispensable aid here.
The second sub-area essentially involves saving people from enclosed rooms in the event of a fire. It is important that a high level of smoke is avoided and that the toxicity of gases does not make it more difficult for people to escape.
The use of a cable with low acid formation and low smoke generation is therefore a suitable fire protection measure. The fire classes make the strengths of the cables transparent on the basis of clear classification criteria and specific testing procedures. This ensures that you can easily find the right "fire protection cables" for your application during construction planning.
How is conformity with the CPR demonstrated?
Conformity with the CPR is demonstrated by the CE conformity and the declaration of performance (DoP). Both are mandatory for the manufacturer if they want to place CPR-classified products on the market.
For CE conformity, cables and wires of classes Eca and higher must be subjected to type testing. From class Cca and higher, these must even undergo regular checks in the form of factory audits and sampling from ongoing production.
The DoP documents the respective classes of the product and provides information about the manufacturer, the testing institute, the area of application and the performance of the cable. Exact calorific values are not specified. It is also the case that only the main class is specified for the classes ECA and FCA.
Correlation between CPR, DoP and CE marking
- Manufacturer has his product tested according to the specifications of the CPR classification
- After passing the test and classifying it into a fire class, the manufacturer compiles the DoP
- The CE marking is affixed to the product as the CPR classification requires a declaration of conformity
The legal obligation to ensure the consistency/continuity of the CE marking on a product is not a new concept for the retail chain, but it is particularly important in relation to CPR. Manufacturers and distributors need to reach agreements on this matter.
How do I identify CPR-classified cables at LAPP?
Our engineers at LAPP have classified many articles for you so that we can offer you a wide range of cables for your construction project.
A look at the technical attributes provides information on whether a product is classified and, if so, how it was classified. You can also identify classified products by the fact that the declaration of performance is always available for download in addition to the data sheet.
A complete List of all CPR-classified articles with the assignment of the DoP document number and the product type identification code is also available.
Conformity with the CPR can be identified by the CE marking on the label on the packaging of cables and wires. As there is little space on cables and wires, only the CE mark is printed on the outer sheath. The complete label can be found on the packaging of the cables and wires and contains additional information such as the name and address of the manufacturer and the fire properties.
Where can I find the Lapp declarations of performance for cables and wires?
In the following tables, you can download the declaration of performance in German and English for all our cables and wires classified according to the Construction Products Regulation:
Wide range of applications- PVC sheath and coloured cores
Wide range of applications- PVC Sheath and numbered cores
Wide range of applications- PVC sheath, certified
Wide range of applications- Halogen-free
Harsh conditions- TPE sheath
Harsh conditions- PUR sheath
Servo and motor applications- PVC sheath
Servo and motor applications- PVC sheath, certified
Servo and motor applications- halogen-free sheath
Servo and motor applications- cable chain application
Servo and motor applications- cable chain application, certified
Power chain application- wide range of applications
Power chain application- wide range of applications, certified
Power chain application- harsh conditions
Power chain application- harsh conditions, certified
Extended ambient temperatures
Low-frequency data cables
Computer Cables (RE)
Optical data cables
Obligations of distributors – (EU) No. 305/2011, Article 14, (1) et. seqq.
"Distributors shall observe the provisions of this regulation with due care when making a construction product available on the market." LAPP complies with this for the following products: