A lifetime of payments – But will the building last long? Is it a safe build?

A review on construction material (concrete) testing answers the question many Maltese residents ask.

At present, in Malta, we are surrounded by a construction boom, however, such progress in the building industry does not come by without consequences. Multiple questions are being raised especially among home-owners. Residents require buildings that are in line with the latest international standards and accreditation is the main tool present at the moment that benefits consumer’s rights. It gives peace of mind and assurance that a particular material is up to standard.


The questions asked:

  • Are the buildings we live or work in safe?
  • Are there measures in place to ensure that construction sites are safe places to work?
  • What reassurance is there that raw materials and construction products meet specifications and are of suitable quality?
  • How do we know that buildings are capable of withstanding fire, storm, water, collapse, subsidence, vibration?
  • How can we trust claims made about the environmental impact and sustainability of construction projects?

As with any material, rocks, soils, and concrete can be tested for multiple physical parameters, for example; strength, density, corrosion etc. These quality indicators will give a clear indication of the overall quality of that material and give an indication of the durability of the build. Such quality indicators can be measured via accredited tests performed by various Laboratories.

With regards to the construction industry the below testing, calibration, inspections can be carried out under accreditation depending on the material and requirements.

Laboratories Material
Concrete, aggregates, cement, soils, bituminous materials, roofing materials, rock and natural stone, masonry, steel, manufactured construction products such as Road Signs & Lighting Columns, Floors, Non-Electrical Cutlery and Domestic Kitchen Tools, Windows, Glazing and Doors, Pipes, Ducts and Fittings, Plumbing Components, Valves, Fittings and Water Meters, Vehicle Light Fittings, Bulbs and reflectors, paints and coatings, Road Signs & Lighting Columns, ceramics, tools, and artificial sports and playground surfaces, geotextiles, NDT, engineering materials, machinery and structures, acoustics, and air leakage testing. Asbestos samples, legionella bacteria, noise acoustics, sound-proofing, and ambient air quality.
Acoustics, dimensional, mass, density, volume, force, torque, hardness, electrical, pressure, fluids, temperature, and humidity testing.
Concrete, Excavation / Back Filling, Shuttering, Formworks, Steel reinforcement, Block works, Asphalt laying, fire safety inspections, asbestos surveys, legionella risk assessments, and pressure vessel lift inspections.

Such testing gives assurance to the project manager, contractor, homeowner, and architect on the durability of their build.

Accreditation is a whole process that looks at particular tests from a techno-managerial point of view. The laboratory is assessed mainly for its technical competence in performing the test correctly, with adequately calibrated equipment as well as ensuring the laboratory is run smoothly from a managerial point of view. That is, the personnel are competent, the workload is adequate, a management system is in place and functioning and the overall laboratory culture is positive.



  • Seek reputable architects who are aware of accredited testing
  • Be proactive and reach testing laboratories to carry out testing independently
  • Device a sampling plan
  • Refurbishing an old house? keep in mind to test for asbestos
  • Air-cooling system already in place? A stagnant water-body? Check for Legionella bacteria
  • Lift Inspections, Ask for certificate

Further Reading:

Accreditation: Delivering confidence in construction and the built environment IAF/ILAC B8:01/2018