|[ Top ]||Contents Page|
The Idiots' Guide to
HIGHWAYS AUTHORITY PRODUCT APPROVAL SCHEME, (HAPAS)
HiTAC - Highhways Technical Advisory Committee
Published Items Giving Further Information on the Progress of "HAPAS"
More Information from the "Web"
These notes are a GUIDE in helping you be aware of the the introduction of HAPAS and its subsequent implications.
I have provided links to other websites for you to gain information from other sources, I hope you will have the interest and time to make your own judgment on how to employ its introduction.
This is a rapidly changing area of highways maintenance and you do need to be aware of what is current information, I will try and keep this page as up to date as possible, but it is your responsibility to check the information that you are going to use in order to arrive at your decisions on what materials to purchase.
From May 2001, Volume 1, of the Specification for Highway Works, there are have been included many, many references to HAPAS approved products.
HAPAS is a scheme introduced about 10/15 years ago (depending upon product) to "approve / certificate" new products for use in highway maintenance and construction, so that individual authorities do not need to undertake their own trials.
It has been set up by the Highways Agency, CSS and the British Board of Agrement (BBA), but other bodies will be represented on the Specialist Groups, most often the various Trade Associations.
Information is being increasingly accumulated on the success, or not, of the introduction of bituminous mixtures supplied under the broad description "Thin Surfacing Systems"
It is still my opinion to be cautious in the use of these bituminous mixtures and wait until more information is published.
In my opinion it would be sensible to wait for detailed information from trials and testing, and as yet unpublished reports that will better indicate the engineering properties of the various "Thin Surfacing System" products, before regarding HAPAS certification as a sufficient replacement for the specifying and monitoring by individual authorities of the products they purchase.
Only if the original "certificating" inspection regime is sufficiently thorough in determining how fit for purpose the various products (belonging to one "system") are will HAPAS certification have credibility.
The development of HAPAS is administered by the British Board of Agrement (BBA), closely advised by the Highways Technical Advisory Committee (HiTAC), certificates are issued by the BBA acting on recommendations from HiTAC.
Specialist groups are created for each product type put forward for consideration, and the group will report back its findings to HiTAC.
HiTAC - HIGHWAYS TECHNICAL ADVISORY COMMITTEE
Highway Authorities have representatives on this committee but it is mainly made up of individuals from the spectrum of the commercial side of the industry.
HiTAC has split the various products into Specialist Groups, with some groups having sub-groups.
Many products have now been approved for the various performance categories.
( You will need to obtain a "Guidelines" document to understand the different categories of product. )
SG2:- Overband Sealing and Crack Repair
Assessment criteria has been approved but no existing products conform with the assessment standards, as far as I am aware.
The standard has been agreed and many "systems" that have been tested and gained certification are now entering the market place quite quickly, most of these "systems" are from the "big" players.
I keep mentioning "systems" because this is what has happened, we are not getting individual certified "products" which is what I thought HAPAS was all about.
With a "system" many items can change, fundamental items like the aggregate and the binder, in producing a particular bituminous mixture and it will have approval under the "system" approval umbrella.
Further information can be found on Thin Surfacing Systems by pressing here -----------------------------------------------> HERE
SG4:- Modified Binders
A more difficult Specialist Group which itself has been split into two Working Groups, a lot still to be sorted as I understand the situation.
SG5:- Cementatious Repair Systems
Standards expected agreed fairly soon.
SG6:- Parapet Anchorages
BBA has taken over existing Highways Agency scheme.
SG7:- Bridge Deck Waterproofing
BBA has taken over an existing scheme
Note - Other materials/processes have been added, and will be added, but the above are the main items relating to highways maintenance at this time.
PUBLISHED ITEMS GIVING FURTHER INFORMATION ON THE PROGRESS OF "HAPAS"
NOTE - Much of the information below is "history" and can no longer be accessed on the "web", I leave reference to it on this page because it will provide good background knowledge to the development of the BBA / HAPAS "approval" of "products" and "systems" becoming predominant in highways maintenance.
Being very careful of the laws of copyright, and not wanting to steal the writing of other people just as I hope people will not steal my work, I will direct you to the following published articles so that you may build up a fuller picture on this subject.
HAPAS - HiTAC - Specialist Group 4 - Modified Binders
Very good article in "Network" ( published by Nynas ), issue no.7, Autumn 1998, dealing with this subject.
"Setting the Standard"
A good article on the whole subject of HAPAS by Jon Masters in "NCE" magazine, 27/1/2000.
This article, and any other article that has been published in NCE, can be read and downloaded from the archive section of the NCE website, by pressing, www. nceplus.co.uk
British Board of Agrement ( BBA ), Privatisation
Tony Jackson, chairman of the Construction Industry Board, has been reappointed chairman of the British Board of Agrement by construction minister Nick Raynsford.
Tony Jackson will lead BBA's release from Government as a commercial business.
Source" New Civil Engineer" 28/1/99.
CSS Soil and Materials Design Specification Newsletter : Issue No.11 - March 1999
This newsletter gives comprehensive information on HAPAS and Sector Scheme Documents, and is well worth seeking out and reading.
It can be found on the CSS website under "Committees", then "Soils and Materials".
Press here for the CSS website, www.cssnet.org.uk
(NOTE : You are no longer able to access this newsletter unless you are a CSS Member.)
CSS Report ENG 1/2003 - Advice Note for the Specification of Thin Surfacing
The purpose of this document is to advise specifying engineers in the scheduling of proprietary thin surfacing systems for maintenance and new works.
This Advice Note was published in July of 2003.
This is an excellent Advice Note and its content relates to the specifying of "Thin Surfacing Systems".†
I believe it is necessary reading if you are considering the use of any of the range of the proprietary bituminous mixtures now offered by the industry, these being known as "Thin Surfacing Systems", rather than individual unique products.
Copies are available from :-
CSS Honorary Secretary and Treasurer, Lincolnshire County Council, City Hall, LINCOLN, LN1 1DN
Tel. 01522 553098 Fax. 01522 512335
Cost is £5:00 to members and £10:00 to non-members†
This Advice Note has received some updating, and is now included in the recent publication,
"Best Practice Guidelines for Specification of modern Negative Textured Surfaces (NTS) on Local Authority Highways"
It is available to be download as a .pdf file on the website, www.roadscodes.org
Highways & Transportation, July/August 2001
This journal presents an excellent article on the procurement of Thin Surfacing based on HAPAS certification.
The article can be accessed via the IHT website, --------------> www.iht.org.uk
MORE INFORMATION FROM THE "WEB"
The BBA website can be accessed through the links page of www.standardsforhigways.co.uk
It has recently become possible to download the various "Guidelines Documents" for the assessment and certification of various products and "systems".
E.g. "Guidelines Document for the Assessment and Certification of Thin Surfacing Systems for Highways.
You are able to download a, May 2008, edition of this document.
I would most strongly recommend that Engineers and Engineering Technicians involved in the surfacing of Motorways and Trunk Roads, and even local authority highway networks download a copy of this document and study it thoroughly.
Bear in mind that this document is for the assessment of a "system" not an individual product.
It follows that you will be able to compare the assessed products on the "system" certificate offered by your supplier with the relevant criteria in the Guidelines Document.
It is also possible to download copies of certificates for those products that have gained HAPAS approval from the websites of the various manufacturers, some of which have links on the BBA website.
I would hope there are enough Engineers and Engineering Technicians in the highways maintenance and construction industry who will now take advantage of the availability of these documents to increase their understanding of the BBA/HAPAS certification of "Thin Surfacing", and make appropriate comment.
I hope I have given you enough information to provide you with a start to understanding the HAPAS approval of products and processes for use in highways maintenance and construction, and to prompt you in to further study on this method of approval of highways materials and processes.
I have been fortunate and have had the opportunity to browse some of the early guideline documents that refer to the trials and testing that products must be subject to before gaining approval / certification.
It is my belief that some sections of some guideline documents are not as thorough in ensuring product quality as the various specifications found in the superseded sections of the "The Specification for Highway Works", or the relevant British Standards, that they replace.
I am concerned about the effects HAPAS may have on the industry on several counts,
1) It appears only a few quite large bodies are represented on the panels that define the structure of the guideline documents, and the documents are not thrown out to the industry in general for comment, as for instance a draft British Standard is.
2) Submitting a product or process for approval is an expensive business, this could be an insurmountable object to a small or even medium size company, preventing them attaining the necessary certificate to be able to tender for certain contracts of work.
This will then have the effect of reducing competition amongst bidders for work, and with less competition prices are likely to rise.
The effect on smaller businesses, and competition, could be even more drastic if local authorities follow the lead already instigated by the Highways Agency and insist that only HAPAS approved materials and installers are allowed to tender for contracts.
3) In the case of Thin Surfacings I am unhappy in the change from product approval to "system" approval which I perceive as allowing many bituminous mixtures that are substantially different in nature all receiving approval under one certificate.
If you are a serious purchaser of bituminous materials please undertake some in depth research on the procedures and documentation involved in the approval of Thin Surfacings.
4) Note that BBA includes the following disclaimer in all the "certificates" that I have read, "the BBA does not accept responsibility to any person or body for any loss or damage, including personal injury, arising as a direct or indirect result of the installation and use of this product".
please remember not having a HAPAS certificate for your product or
installation process does not necessarily mean it is any less
satisfactory than a product that has a certificate, it could be better, hot
rolled asphalt (HRA) and precoats for instance.
But currently the Highways Agency does not allow the use of HRA and precoats on motorways and trunk roads in England, however at this time you can still use it on local highway networks.
And, a product that does have certification will not necessarily mean it has the required engineering properties for all site conditions.
I am still a firm believer in an organisation having the knowledge to be able to specify the material it requires for particular site conditions in relation to the budget it has to maintain its highway network.
In my opinion it is also necessary to be able to exercise good supervision (including sampling and testing) of any product or process applied to the highway in order to obtain "Best Value", and indeed support those suppliers and contractors who put the effort into supplying what is stated in the contract document.
It is my opinion that an Engineer or Engineering technician should order/purchase the materials they want to fit the engineering needs of the site in question, not purchase a material that they are "sold".
Unfortunately the industry is becoming populated with "suit" Engineers who do not know what they want, and they think that a "certificate" gives them security, they really should read it thoroughly.
[ Top of Page ]