Aug 28, 2021 News
Kaieteur News – The Guyana National Bureau of Standards (GNBS) on Thursday August 26, 2021, conducted a sensitisation session with nine small-scale manufacturers of concrete hollow blocks. The session which emanated from collaboration with the Small Business Bureau (SBB), was held in the Conference Room of the GNBS’ head office at the Sophia Exhibition Complex.
The Bureau conducts testing and certification of concrete hollow blocks based on the requirements of the Guyana Standard Specification for Load Bearing Masonry Concrete Units (GYS 215:2003).
During Thursday’s session, Acting Head of the Certification Services Department, Andrea Mendonca, noted that the aim is to ensure all block makers understand the services of the GNBS and take advantage of these services. She explained that with the certification of their concrete hollow blocks, small and large block making businesses would be able to increase customer confidence thereby increasing sales. “GNBS Product Certification helps you to acquire and use the certification mark which indicates to customers that a product is meeting the requirements of the National Standard,” Mendonca noted.
Block makers desirous of joining the voluntary certification programme can fill out an application form, which is accessible on the GNBS’ website, and submit it to the Certification Services Department. Officers of the Bureau will contact the interested businesses to conduct a preliminary analysis of their products against the requirements of the standard and associated tests. Once all requirements are fulfilled, concrete hollow blocks can be certified by the GNBS.
Also addressing the session was Laboratory Technician, Vishnu Matbadal, from the Industrial Metrology and Testing Department, who explained the process of conducting concrete hollow block testing. Firstly, he advised that blocks should be in good condition when submitted to the GNBS for testing. Secondly, the process of preparation, testing and analysis of the product takes approximately six days to be completed. Mr. Matbadal added that apart from the testing of samples submitted by block makers, his department is carrying out tests on hollow blocks with different combination and ratio of materials.
Block makers who participated in the half-day session, were also educated on all the requirements of the standard, and the scheme of testing and inspection, which was developed for any product certified by the GNBS. Further, a video specifically produced to show the step-by-step process of block making, was shown to encourage hollow block makers to improve their processes.
Finally, at the session, block makers expressed a number of aspects that need to improve for them to consistently produce blocks meeting the standard. These aspects included the quality of cement available on the market and the willingness of some customers to purchase blocks produced at a higher cost.
Concrete hollow blocks have been used as a building material for more than a century, and in Guyana, it is the most common material in the construction of homes and commercial buildings. Using from cement, different aggregates and water, more persons have joined the trade of manufacturing concrete hollow blocks locally. However, in some cases, the units are not as durable as they should be, and the GNBS has commenced the testing and certification to improve the quality of hollow blocks offered on the local market for construction.
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