Association of Certified Concrete Repairers (VBR): strict demands for concrete repair

March 26, 2024

All members are KOMO process certified

When defects occur in concrete they are repairable. A wide range of techniques are applicable to protect the concrete structure and retain its load-bearing capacity. The companies affiliated with the Association of Certified Concrete Repair Companies (hereinafter VBR) are all KOMO certified under Assessment Guideline 3201-01 and 02  (for the Application of Specialist Preservation Techniques to Concrete Structures). We spoke to Chris Uittenbogaard VBR board member and member of the Joint Board of Experts for Concrete Repair and owner of the company SealteQ West.

Chris Uittenbogaard, VBR board member and member of the Joint Board of Experts for Concrete Repair and owner of the company SealteQ West

Chris Uittenbogaard knows better than anyone else what the specialised field of concrete repair entails. “We should actually be talking about repairing, strengthening and protecting concrete structures. We have many specialist techniques at our disposal for this purpose.

Ranging from traditional concrete repair techniques such as manual repair, injection and spray concrete to structural strengthening and electrochemical protection of concrete structures. Besides these, we have at our disposal a very wide range of surface protection in the form of (plastic) coating systems and other types of protective layers. The all-round concrete repair specialist’s field of expertise also involves waterproofing and combatting leaks.”

VBR companies impose strict quality requirements on themselves. This distinguishes them within the market. One of those requirements is the KOMO process certificate based on Assessment Guideline 3201-01 and 02. We enquired about its significance for the members. “The process certificate characterises the quality of the total process within the certified companies. With this certificate VBR members can give their clients justified confidence that the process is under control. We protect and maintain the load-bearing structures of our residential and office buildings and our vital infrastructure. You don’t take that kind of responsibility lightly. All VBR members are certified for both Part 1 of the Assessment Guideline, which describes aesthetic and technical repair, and Part 2, which describes structural repair. As a responsible client, you wouldn’t leave that type of specialised, knowledge-intensive and critical work to an inexpert, uncertified company would you?”

Developing the process certificate is not something that happens overnight. How does such a process take place? “The VBR is celebrating its 40th anniversary this year. At the time, it was also the VBR that took the initiative to set up Assessment Guideline 3201,” says Chris Uittenbogaard. “The latest Assessment Guideline 3201 is based on the CUR Recommendations 118 and119 applicable in the Netherlands, which in turn are aligned with the European standard series NEN-EN 1504. The CUR Recommendations provide the guidelines and starting points for high-quality concrete repairs. In addition, the Assessment Guideline describes the framework and requirements to be met by the certified process within the implementing companies. The certifying bodies Kiwa, SGS Intron and SKG-IKOB audit the executing companies, both in the office and at the project sites, and report to the Joint Board of Experts for Concrete Repair. This board monitors the correct enforcement and interpretation of the Assessment Guideline, coordinates with the certification bodies and, if necessary, initiates adjustments to the Assessment Guideline. Besides representatives of the implementing companies (VBR), the concrete repair advisors, (VABOR), suppliers (VLB), the OtBS and the Concrete Association (training), and clients such as RWS also have a seat on the Joint Board of Experts for Concrete Repair.”

In response to our question about how sustainable concrete repair is, Chris Uittenbogaard said: “What could be more sustainable than extending the life of our precious infrastructure and built environment? Because that is exactly what we do as VBR companies. In addition to this, we have the techniques and knowledge with which to adapt the objects to current (safety) requirements or changed use. It fits perfectly into the wishes and requirements of current society.”

This article was publised in BouwTotaal. 

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