GSH General Meeting 2020 as online presentation

Instead of a meeting in person we will organize our general assembly 2020 as an online presentation.

For being able to inform our members and partners about the results of the last year and actual developments, we organized a web presentation on May 15th, 2020.

The German presentation will be at 9 am, the English presentation will be at 11 am.

You will receive an invitation and a link to the virtual meeting room via e-mail.


GSH General Assembly 2020 canceled

Due to the current spread of the coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 / COVID-19 in Germany and Europe, the board and the certification body of the GSH have decided to cancel this year's general assembly on 14/15. May 2020 in Utrecht.

The health of our members is very important to us. It is therefore out of the question to hold the event under the current health risks. With a heavy heart, we decided not to hold the event as a face-to-face event this year. We really regret that we also have to do without interpersonal relationships and personal conversations.

We will of course send you all necessary information about the activities of GSH. The relevant documents will be sent to our members - as planned - at the beginning of May or provided in the internal area of ​​the website.

It is planned to offer a web conference at the original time of the general meeting in order to be able to convey the results of the past year and the budget for the current year to you. We will send a separate invitation for this.

We wish all members, partners and friends of GSH that they and their families will get through the corona crisis safely and we are already looking forward to a healthy assembly in 2021.


May 2019

Hans-Dieter Middendorf new board member of GSH

During the Annual Conference 2019, Mr. Hans-Dieter Middendorf was elected as an editional member of the GSH board. He represents the product group EPS and is the successor of Mr. Michael Nielsen who had left the board in spring 2017.

We are looking forward to the cooperation!


May 2019

58th GSH General Meeting in Celle

on 16th and 17th May the 58th GSH General Meeting took place in our hometown Celle (for the first time in the history of  our association).

The individual group meetings of the bodies were successful, then followed by a guided tour through Celle and after the tour we all celebrated in the Celler castle.

On Friday morning the General Meeting took place in the old theatre of the castle, besides information about GSH there was also a guided tour through the theatre behind the scenes during the break.

Pictures can be found in the intern part of the webpage.


07.09.2018 - Press release VIP

RAL Quality Mark VIP – revised quality condition

Vacuum Insulation Panels (VIP) are high-performance thermal insulation panels which ensure an extreme high insulation quality with a minimum of panel thickness.

The field of application is versatile, façade and floor insulation in the construction industry, insulation of refrigerators, cooling units, freezers and insulation of temperature-controlled packaging and containers.

Since 2009, RAL quality mark VIP of Güteschutzgemeinschaft Hartschaum e.V. (GSH) ensures and stands for continuous high product quality of  Vacuum Insulation Panels.

Comprehensive and regular tests ensure a consistent quality standard which clearly exceeds the legal requirements.                                  

In close collaboration with VIPA (Vacuum Insulation Panel Association) the quality regulations, in which the requirements for the marking are defined, were thoroughly edited and expanded.

Especially the technical parameters were compared with the new knowledge of practical values and thereupon significantly intensified in order to fulfill the increased requirements in the various application fields.

Therefore, it is ensured for the future, that RAL quality mark VIP stands for reliable quality and not only complies with the current requirements of the market but also goes well beyond.




New RAL-quality mark for Bound EPS!

The registration of  RAL-quality mark "Bound-EPS" was successfully carried out in December 2017.

Due to the dedicated and effective cooperation of the participants of the quality initiative for Bound-EPS the recognition process was completed sucessfully within a short period of time.

GSH now has the fourth RAL-quality mark.

We are looking forward to fill the RAL-quality mark with life and to establish it on the market.



Fourth meeting: Quality initiative for Bound EPS

Yesterday the fourth meeting of the quality initiative for Bound EPS took place in Vienna.

Within the recognition process for the planned quality mark BEPS, the draft  for the quality and testing regulations had been forwarded through RAL to the specialist groups and related fields in order to gather possible objections and being able to respond beforehand.

The topic yesterday was the processing of these objections.

The number of the objections were minimal  and there were no major changes for the documents. The 11 participants of the meeting worked on the final version of the quality and testing regulations. These will now be sent back to RAL.

We are optimistic that the registration of the quality mark BEPS will occur this year.



News concerning HBCD - permanent solution possible

Finally there is some news concerning HBCD.  Yesterday, the Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation, Building and Nuclear Safety (BMUB) issued a press release about the topic. There is a new draft for “regulation for change of Waste Catalogue Regulation and the handling with POP”  which says that in future, waste which contains HBCD, should be collected separately. The incineration may occur with other waste, if the disposal route can be determined.

In future, a classification as “hazardous waste” will only occur when legal limits are exceeded.

The current interim solution would then become a permanent condition which would keep the exposal prices stable in the long run.


You can find the complete draft of “regulation for change of Waste Catalogue Regulation and the handling with POP” here (only in German available) :


The regulation has to be adopted through the Federal Council. It is subject to approval.

As soon as there is any updated news about this topic we will let you know.




First meeting of BEPS Quality Initiative for Bound EPS in Vienna

On January 24./25th 2017, GSH organized a first meeting for BEPS Quality Initiative for Bound EPS in Vienna.The product standard for Bound EPS which was released in 2013, is still not published in the Official Journal of the European Union. That is the reason why CE-certification on basis of that standard is not possible at the moment. The consequence of that is, that currently there is no sufficient quality control.

The aim is to define and document verifiable quality criteria and to develope a RAL-quality mark for Bound EPS.

21 participants from Germany, Austria, Italy and Greece attended the first meeting and the first steps for cooperation were made.  We are confident that the quality mark for Bound EPS can be awarded this year.

The sesond meeting will take place in Salzburg on 15.03.2017.



EPS can temporary be discarded again as in the past under "normal conditions"

The Federal German cabinet  decided on 16.12.2016, that waste, which includes HBCB can be brought to all waste incineration plants. Old EPS and XPS insulation material will not be declared anymore as "hazardous waste".

The correct waste code for EPS is ASN 17 06 04.

This regulation is limited to 12 months. During that time period they are working at a lasting solution.

More information concerning that topic here :




Quality initiative for bound EPS fillings

A large number of manufacturers  of bound EPS fillings are meeting in Vienna on 24th and 25th of January 2017. Among them are companies from Austria, Italy, Greece, Italy and Germany. Our aim is to establish a voluntary quality standard throughout Europe which will lead to RAL quality conditions.

Please contact us for further information if interested in participating.



Letter informing about the future of German approvals

The following letter was sent via e-mail to GSH members who are affected by theses changes.

Ü-sign and approval


Dear GSH-member,

as you already know, the result of the court judgement of European Courtyard has led to a stop of the presently valid system of building approvals. The German approvals have been classified as not Europe-conform because they restrain free trade of building products in the European economic area.

Germany obliged to implement the judgment within two years. The deadline ends on 15.10.2016. We informed you beginning of this year and during our annual assembly that the use of the Ü-sign will no longer be permitted from this date. However, in the meantime the situation has changes.

The approvals are based upon Landesbauordnungen (regional building regulations) of the individual federal states. That means that it is necessary for amendment of regional building regulations in order to implement the judgment. In the meantime new sample building regulations have been drafted. Implementations in the individual federal states have not yet taken place.

Until now there are no amendment regional building regulations fulfilled.

Unfortunately, it seems difficult to receive information from DIBt about the current state concerning the transitional arrangements. Currently there is no official statement.

Following is defined :

  • The implementation of the judgment has not yet taken place. The deadline was not met.
  • At the moment there are no legal changes.
  • The approvals are still valid and required by the building authorities as long as the regional building regulations have not been revised.
  •  The Ü-sign has to be applied however this will not be controlled any more. After the new regional building regulations come into effect the Ü-sign may not be used anymore.
  • As soon as the new regulations come into force the Ü-sign will loose its validity. However, it does not have to be removed from the completed products a re-labeling is not necessary.

How the follow-up regulations for the approvals will look like is still not clear.

Crucial is that for building products with EC-labelling (products for which there are harmonized European standards) no national readjustment is permitted. But because there are different national requirements for the use of building products in future building structure requirements will be set which will define the usage of the products.

The DIBt is planning to issue Bauartgenehmigungen in which criteria for the use of the particular product is set and requirements and inspection plans are established.

This Bauartgenehmigung should be issued as soon as the amended version of the regional building regulations comes into force in two federal states.

An exact date has not yet been defined, probably this will happen during the first half year of 2017.

To prevent monitoring gaps the DIBt strongly suggests continuing the monitoring on basis of the approvals.  

We agree to this suggestion.

We want to apologize that we are informing you so late about this procedure but we only received the information concerning this writing a few days ago.

We will inform you immediately as soon as we receive new information.

Please do not hesitate to contact us if you should have further questions.


With best regards

Your GSH




50 years RAL Quality Assurance

GSH exists now meanwhile since 55 years. In July 2016 we are celebrating the 50th year of existance of the quality assurance "plastic-rigid foam - polystyrene rigid foam boards and sheets" for insulating products.

For this reason RAL, the Deutsches Institut für Gütesicherung und Kennzeichnung e.V (German Institute for Quality Assurance and Rating), awarded us with the illustrated certificate.



Hans-Frieder Eberhardt is the new GSH chairman of the board

During this years annual conference -which took place in Hamburg- elections of the GSH board were held. The board was elected unanimously.

Within the subsequent board meeting the board elected Mr. Hans-Frieder Eberhardt as the new chairman of the board. He took over Mr. Georg Eleftheriadis function whom we want to thank for his engagement in the last two years.

Hans-Frieder Eberhardt will carry out the position of the chairman until  the next annual conference in 2018 and will then be replaced rotationally through new election.



55th GSH-annual conference successful

The annual conference took place in the Radisson Blu Hotel in Hamburg on 12/13th May. The individual product group meetings took place on the previous day of the annual meeting and the election of the individual chairmen took place there.

In the evening we enjoyed a boat tour on the Alster followed by dinner buffet located directly at the Alster river.

The annual conference took place as usual on Friday morning.

You can find pictures of the event in the internal area of our homepage.

We want to thank you for the active participation and are looking forward to welcome you to our next annual conference next year in 2017.

MV 2017:   11. - 12. May 2017

Hilton Hotel Gdansk




Michael Nielsen new GSH board member

Mr. Michael Nielsen, managing directior of EPS- and XPS-manufacturer Sundolitt in Goslar is a new board member of GSH. In accordance with the statutes he was appointed by the legal committee as new board member.

He replaces Mr. Luc Geerts as a representative of the product groups EPS/XPS  who ended his occupational activity in one of our member´s company and therefore also his activity for the GSH.

We deeply regret the leave of Mr. Geerts and thank him for his long-term constructive contribution within the board. We are looking forward to welcome him as a guest member to our annual conference this year in Hamburg.

We welcome Mr. Nielsen to our board and are looking forward to a pleasant and successful cooperation.




ECJ-judgment – call for prolongation for the current approvals

The GSH calls all owners of valid approvals Z-23.15-….to apply for prolongation of validity to DIBt.

After the ECJ has classified the German system of approvals as not Europe-conform in its judgment on 16.10.2014, no new approvals for regulating the products for which a harmonised european standard already exists can be applied for after the deadline of 31.01.2016. 

After 15th of October 2016 no more new approvals will be issued. From that moment on the legal basis for approvals is omitted and approvals are no longer required. The Ü-sign may not be used any longer after 15th of October 2016 !

Current approvals however will keep their validity. Furthermore the certificates of compliance keep their validity. From October 2016 on approvals can only be used as voluntary certification. 

We call all owners of approvals Z-23.15-…. to apply for prolongation of the validity so that they will not have competitive disadvantage. The maximum duration of validity for the prolongation is 27th March 2020, the date of the current longest valid approval.

On request we can make the application for you at DIBt.



Notification/Accreditation confirmed after witness-audit of DAkkS

On 30.07.2015 an auditor of the German accreditation body GmbH (DAkkS) accomponied an audit in one of the member companies of GSH. It was a standard inspection of the in-house production control. The audit was without any complaint.

The accreditation is confirmed and sustained.


GSH Notification - Expansion

The notification of GSH (0919) according to (EU) Nr. 305/2011 (EU-Bauproduktenverordnung) was extended by following construction products (decision of 09.02.2015):

  1. Thermal insulation products for buildings - factory made products out of polyethylene foam  (PEF) -  specification (EN 16069, harmonized standard/EAD/ETAG according to article. 66 (3)
  2. Precast concrete parts  - Beam-and-block floor systems  - Intermediate parts made out of polystyrene hard foam (EN 15037 - Part 4)


Personnel changes within GSH

Mr. Corth Siegfried  has taken over the position of the manager of the notified certification body on 1st January 2015. Mr. Georg Eleftheriadis is new chairman of GSH board.

After 13 years in office Mr. Klaus Zipp hands over the management as leader of the certification body to his successor Mr. Corth Siegfried. Mr. Zipp will continue to work for GSH. He will carry out inspections as an auditor in some member companies and stay active in the German and international standardization work.

In May 2014 Mr.Georg Eleftheriadis, Manager Technical Marketing Europe at Armacell was elected as chairman of GSH board and replaces Mr. Jürgen Wende from Kaefer.

GSH gets notified by DIBt  (according to BauPVO-2013)

After the accreditation through DAkkS, GSH received on 17.9.2013 the notice about the notification as product certification body on 17.09.2013 (according to Annex V Nr. 2.1. regulation (EU) Nr. 305/2011) .

With this notification we have strenghtened our position in Europe and are looking forward to a successful future. As soon as  EN 16025 (BEPS) will be published in the Official Journal of the European Community we will apply for the expansion of the notification for EN 16025 and EN 16069.

GSH accredited by DAkkS

With notice of  2.7.2013 GSH e.V. received the accreditation certificate from DAkkS (Deutsche Akkreditierungsstelle GmbH).

It is confirmed that the certification body of GSH e.V. has the competence to perform certification according to  DIN EN 45011:1998 for following areas :

Certification of thermal insulating products  (systems of assessment and verification of constancy of

performance 1)within the regulations Nr. 305/2011 laying down harmonised conditions for the marketing of the construction (Bauproduktenverordnung)."

According to the rules of Bauproduktenverordnung (coming into force on 1.7.2013) the accreditation is a mandatory requirement for the notification and therefore for the continuation of the activity as inspection and certification body and for the issuing of CE-certificates.

List of  PUR-insulating companies

Here you will find a list of PUR-insulating companies who are entitled to carry out PUR spray-insulation work : hier.

Quality and Inspection Regulations for thermal insulation products made of flexible elastomeric foam (FEF) and Polyethylen foam (PEF)

The quality and inspection regulations for FEF and PEF have been published in Januar 2011 and can be ordered at GSH at the price of 4,00 € per pce.

50 years GSH

In May 2011 GSH is celebrating its 50th year company anniversary. You will find detailed informaton here.