TGB 106: When an equivalent is not an equivalent

by | Oct 27, 2020

Is an Equivalent really an Equivalent.

The proposal of equal and approved products/materials is an accepted practice in the construction industry. As we all know, new developments are continuously occurring, which can enhance project outcomes while reducing costs. Everybody is open to this approach with no resistance in principle.

But in a rush to primarily reduce costs, it can happen that a fully detailed assessment of a proposed equivalent is not fully completed. From a SonaSpray point of view, the following table provides detail on the documentation which is provided for a project team in order for them to review and assess the suitability of this specialiser’s spray-on system for a particular application. It covers not alone acoustic performance but fire performance, information on any hazardous chemicals which must be disclosed, CE Certification and Warranty details.

Table of Required Documentation to support an Equivalent Proposal.

Doc NumberDescriptionSonasprayEquivalent
1Warrington fire test report, Sonaspray, as per EN 13501-1:2007+A1: 2009 Yes?
2Warrington fire test report, Sonaspray, as per BS 476:Part 6:1989+A1:2009 & BS 476:Part 7: 1997 Yes?
3MDSD Sonaspray GlueYes?
4MDSD Sonaspray Fibres Yes?
5Technical Data Sheet detailing Sound Absorption coefficients test results c/w description of test conditions, i.e. K-13 applied to solid backing, K-13 applied to metal deckYes?
6CE Certification SonaSprayYes?
720 Year Warranty covering Installation and Acoustic Performance, (Subject to building maintenance and condition.) Yes?

Any alternative proposal should only be considered subject to the presentation of the above list of detailed documents. Any claimed performance capabilities should be referenced against appropriate ISO or UK standards only. Simple one-line statements and claims without detailed back-up test reports should not be entertained, irrespective of the cost savings being promoted. Failure to adhere to good practice in the procurement process can lead to long-term issues which may include problems in attaining BCAR certification, PC and insurance cover.

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