The inaugural meeting of the United Kingdom Cast Stone Association (UKCSA) was held on 20th February 1991, following discussions during late 1990 between the leading manufacturers of cast stone at the time. UKCSA was formed as an independent trade association to increase specifiers’ and contractors’ awareness and confidence in cast stone and to establish and maintain the highest standards of product quality and usage.
In February 2016 the Cast Stone Association celebrated its 25th anniversary as the guardian of quality for cast stone, and has grown to become the first point of reference for all matters regarding cast stone. UKCSA is an ethically, socially and environmentally responsible trade association.
UKCSA’s Standards and technical literature were launched in 1993 and are now in general use amongst architects and contractors when specifying and using cast stone. In the summer of 2000 the full UKCSA package of technical information, standards and specifications were updated into the UKCSA‘Technical Manual for cast stone’. The latest upgraded and extended version of the UKCSA ‘Technical Manual for cast stone’ has been available since March 2011.
UKCSA has also produced, and recently updated, a CPD presentation video for all construction professionals, and anyone else who would like to know more about cast stone entitled ‘Back to The Future In Cast Stone’.
The UK Cast Stone Association was represented on the British Standards Institution committee that updated the British Standard for Cast Stone, BS 1217, in both 1997 and the current version BS 1217:2008. UKCSA were also involved in the five year review of the standard which will lead to BS 1217 being reconfirmed as the current standard in 2015.
UKCSA have also been involved in a review and update of British Standards BS 5642 :Part 1, Sills, and :Part 2 Copings. At a meeting in January 2014, the BSI decided that the two parts of BS 5642 will state that Cast Stone sills, copings and cappings “shall be made in accordance with BS 1217”, and the Standards were confirmed and re-issued in February 2014. The Association also assisted National Building Specification in producing technical clauses F22 and H52 which are now also in general use throughout the industry.
Research & Development
The UKCSA is committed to investing in independent research to constantly improve knowledge of cast stone and its performance and works with suppliers to ensure that a consistently high quality of material can be provided to the market. This commitment lead to the Cast Stone Association commissioning a two year research project, to be carried out in conjunction with the Concrete Technology Unit of the University of Dundee, to investigate the performance of cast stone. Many of the findings have been included in the UKCSA Standard, and the University confirmed that cast stone weathered in a similar way to natural stone when both were exposed to identical atmospheric conditions.
The UKCSA maintains this web site which allows instant access to technical information by all sectors of the market. It is regularly updated and features recent projects showing the versatility and durability of cast stone. In addition the cast stone industry has Blogger and Twitter pages, and UKCSA has its own Facebook page, which we encourage you to follow to be immediately informed of any developments in the industry.
The UKCSA Standard
The UKCSA Standard is a high performance cast stone standard supported by rigorous testing and quality control. It’s the benchmark for cast stone quality and ensures the strongest cast stone available. All manufacturing members must demonstrate their continuing adherence to the UKCSA Standard as a condition of membership. This requirement includes the regular submission of cast stone test results to the Association and an annual declaration of conformance.
To reinforce the requirements of the UKCSA Standard, the Association introduced the UKCSA Quality Mark Scheme and Quality Mark label. The UKCSA Quality Mark label will only be available on cast stone which has been purchased from an UKCSA Member. The inclusion of a Quality Mark label on cast stone is the UKCSA manufacturing member’s confirmation that the cast stone supplied complies with all of the UKCSA Standard and Quality Mark Scheme requirements.
Choosing the Right Supplier
Most cast stone manufacturers operate without adequate quality assurance or testing regimes and may not be working to the proper standards. For your peace of mind, specify cast stone from an UKCSA Member to guarantee you’re getting the best.
2016 “Excellence in the Use of Cast Stone” Awards
As part of the UKCSA 25th Anniversary celebrations, the Association held the UKCSA 2016 “Excellence in the Use of Cast Stone” awards competition which was open to entries from cast stone manufacturing Full Members of the UKCSA, for projects that have used the Members’ own cast stone. Further details on the project entries, and further images, may be seen on the Projects pages of the UKCSA web site.