Wood-based construction products need to carry reliable information about their suitability for a specified purpose. In Europe, this is assessed in relation to a product’s essential performance characteristics. This builds on the vital information provided by a product standard which sets a benchmark for how a particular panel product has been manufactured.
These performance-based standards are defined under a series of harmonised European Standards (hEN) to provide a technical and legal basis for manufacturers to use when testing the performance of their products. The advantage of a wood structural panel performance standard is that it provides a common baseline of performance for all panel types, regardless of the manufacturing method.
Europe has increased its drive to improve and harmonise standards now that mandatory CE marking of all wood-based products is required, under the new Construction Products Regulation (CPR). Some APA member mills already manufacture panel products which conform to the (now updated) harmonised European standard EN 13986:2004+A1:2015. They can therefore be CE marked in accordance with the CPR.
APA products conform to the official US voluntary product and performance based standards for structural wood products. US Product Standard PS 1-09 covers plywood manufacture and US Product Standard PS 2-10 sets the performance requirements for both OSB and plywood, based on the panels intended end use. APA has its own Performance-Rated Panel Standard – PRP 108 and the association’s approach is similar to that of Europe. (The APA standard is similar to the US Product Standard PS 2-10.)
The association operates one of the most stringent schemes of third-party quality control testing and certification in the global structural panel industry. The quality of its third party certification for its member mills is reflected in the acceptance of APA products, and their applications, by international regulatory bodies, such as the official European Standards Organisations.