A group of regional building material supplier associations joined with the Intertek product testing and certification company Thursday to launch the Claim Check Verification Program, an independent program designed to ensure that manufacturers can back up their product claims.
Claim Check’s most important founders, who used the International Builders’ Show in Orlando, Fla., as the launching pad for the third-party program, said their venture owes its birth to concerns over greenwashing and the potential legal liabilities caused by Chinese drywall, as well as to builders’ ages-old reluctance to try new products.
Claim check “gives the whole [supply] chain an added level of confidence,” Mark Menzer, Intertek’s vice president of association affairs and programs development, said.
“This gives the builder a chance to check all the claims about a product,” added Bill Tucker, president of the Florida Building Material Association and organizer of the Building Products Retailers Alliance (BPRA), the driving force behind Claim Check. BPRA’s seven member associations represent building material dealers in 22 states. Intertek has facilities worldwide, “so if there’s a claim coming from anywhere, our partners can check it at the source,” he added.
Manufacturers must pay a $500 application fee and then a minimum $2,000 evaluation fee per product. There is an annual $500 listing fee per manufacturer and a $1,000 follow-up charge imposed every two years to cover the costs of determining whether the product has changed since it first was verified. There is no cost to builders, dealers, or consumers.
Initially, Claim Check will verify doors, windows, “critical structure products,” siding, decking, chemical wood preservatives, and roofing products, its sponsors said.
Tucker said Thursday that building material dealers worked to create Claim Check because so many companies were making suspect claims about the green qualities of their products that builders, homeowners, and dealers all were finding it difficult to verify what the manufacturers were advertising.
Craig L. Webb is Editor of ProSales.