Here is a common barrier to innovation faced by builders and product manufacturers alike. A manufacturer might have a new product, formulation, or use devised to improve construction. Or, a builder may re-engineer a wall system to improve constructability or performance. Both are certain their product or technology is superior. But can they convince relevant decision-makers to change from tried-and-true methodologies and products? The answer is yes – if they have credible and demonstrable proof to back up their claims.
Credibility is especially essential when seeking approval from code officials, evaluation agencies, and home builders, all notoriously resistant to change. Fortunately, Home Innovation Research Labs offers a number of long-established ways to demonstrate your product claims and performance, including test reports, inspection reports, or product certification. Numerous organizations offer these services; only a select group provide the highest level of credibility, competency, and reliability, ensured by third-party accreditation.
Accreditation means an independent auditing organization has evaluated an organization’s quality management practices and competency to do specific testing, inspection, or product certification. The International Accreditation Service (IAS), a subsidiary of the International Code Council, provides Home Innovation’s accreditation. IAS’s strong focus on the construction industry is consistent with the services we offer; and it provides IAS with expertise that makes them well-suited to provide oversight and evaluation of our policies and procedures.
IAS accredits Home Innovation as a testing laboratory, inspection agency, and product certification agency. Each accreditation is independent and specific in the scope of work it covers. The accreditation scope defines the specific test methods, the types of inspections, and the product certifications for which we have demonstrated competency to complete. For example, our ISO 17025 accreditation details the requirements for our testing lab. We use ISO 17025 to develop our management system for quality, administrative, and technical operations.
ISO 17025 requires continual improvement. Our lab is expected to hold regular internal audits to indicate opportunities to improve the performance of the tests we perform. Accreditation requires on-going assessments to verify our continued compliance with the appropriate ISO standard. While many product manufacturers are registered to ISO 9001, a standard that focuses on quality management for production, ISO 17025 goes far beyond that in that the assessment also involves demonstration and auditing of specific technical activities.
ISO 17025 accreditation means our lab must keep abreast of scientific and technological advances in relevant areas, and our staff must perform successively better, be smarter, and execute testing activities impeccably each year going forward. Passing such an exhaustive evaluation and attaining accreditation is no small feat. Small wonder that testing results and certifications from accredited labs are held to such high esteem by decision-makers – whose own credibility is on the line with each and every product they spec and install!
Home Innovation is not only an accredited lab; we also work to improve the accreditation process. One way that IAS drives continuous improvement is to seek input and guidance from Technical Advisory Councils (TACs), comprised of recognized technical experts and members selected from senior management positions within testing laboratories, calibration laboratories, inspection bodies, product certification agencies, governmental or regulatory organizations. I myself have the privilege of serving on both the TAC for Test and Calibration Laboratories and the TAC for Product Certification and Management Systems.
There is no equal in the housing industry for our product testing laboratory and our team of building science experts. We have taken the hard steps to secure the necessary proof that our work is credible, reliable, and validated. Our credibility is your currency and we hope that we can serve your needs in the future. Please check out our scopes of accreditation for testing, for inspections, and for product certification. And please don’t hesitate to contact me if I can be of any assistance with your business.***