History of GSH

Foam plastics were used the first time in the 1950´s for building insulation. This included polystyrene rigid foam, polyurethane and phenolic resin rigid foam. In order to award those building materials with the necessary acceptance there was the demand for quality initiative. For this reason polystyrene manufacturers got together in 1961 with the purpose to offer high quality obligation. The core idea was at that time and today to monitor the quality of the product through an independent institute.

But that was not all. Help for planers and users was created and only two years after the founding of the association the first German standard for insulating material made from foam plastics (DIN 18164) was manifested with massive help and involvement of the GSH experts.

GSH joined the umbrella organization RAL 1966 and the first quality specifications were created in which the quality requirements exceed the legal requirements above and beyond. Today they are so strong established within Europe that one can barely find insulating material without voluntary external monitoring on the market.

In 1965 the GSH group expanded through new groups of manufacturers in the insulating fields of polyurethane rigid foam, polyurethane in-situ foam and phenolic resin rigid foam. Thereby the standardization work has always taken over the major framework carried out by the voluntary experts of GSH. DIN 18159 for on-site insulating material was improved and in 1989 GSH started working on the development of the European standard EN 13163. Since 1993 until today GSH-experts lead the European standard group for EPS and are represented in many other Cen-committees.  With their participation further European standards such as EN 14309 for technical use of polystyrene, EN 13499 for the use of EPS in thermal insulation systems and EN 14933 for the use of EPS in road construction was created.

Due to the expertise and experience of GSH the association was recognized in the1970´s as monitoring and certification body. In 2001 GSH consequently was recognized as European notified certification body.

Latest with the European standard GSH attained Europe wide significance. Through the years GSH has benefited from the desire of many manufacturers for effective quality assurance. This has lead to many new GSH members from Sweden, Finland, Denmark, Switzerland, Austria, Hungary, Czech Rep., Slovakia, Poland, Lithuania, Serbia, Greece and countries outside of Europe.

The successful concept of quality assurance for insulating products was attractive for further groups and so additional groups of manufacturers joined such as bound EPS (BEPS)  in 2002, Vacuum insulation panels (VIP)  in 2008, and in 2010 the group Flexible Elastomeric Foam and Polyethylene Foam (PEF/FEF) was founded and joined the GSH group.