Quality Assurance Association
CO2-neutral Wooden Buildings e.V.
What is RAL?
The RAL, which has been registered since 1980 in the Association Register of the Siegburg District Court as the "RAL German Institute for Quality Assurance and Certification" (RAL Deutsches Institut für Gütesicherung und Kennzeichnung e. V.) was already registered in 1925 as the former collaborative Initiative of Business and Government. It was founded back then in Berlin under the letters “RAL”, an abbreviation for the bulky name “Reichs-Ausschuss für Lieferbedingungen” (Committee for Delivery Conditions and Quality Assurance).
The stated purpose of the “RAL” was the first-ever “definition and stipulation of technical and quality-related technical requirements”, i.e., the ultimate development of uniform “standards” (e.g., RAL colors) valid Germany-wide and recognized across all industries that were deemed to be indispensable for the urgently required rationalization at the time.
This original purpose perfectly fulfills the “Quality Assurance and Test Specifications” and the “Quality Marks” developed under the leadership of RAL even today. The RAL Quality Marks have been a “credential of constantly neutral, monitored quality” ever since.
Adherence to the Quality Assurance and Test Specifications is not only ensured by internal monitoring, but especially also by intensive external monitoring that is, on the other hand, accompanied by external technical assessors, neutral testing agencies or independent institutes. Violations will be penalized. In a worst-case scenario, temporarily awarded Quality Marks will be withdrawn.
The RAL Quality Mark CO2-sinking Wooden Buildings, RAL-GZ 425, which is awarded by the Quality Assurance Association CO2-neutral Wooden Buildings e.V. (in German: Gütegemeinschaft CO2 neutrale Bauwerke in Holz e.V.), serves as evidence that the energy expenditure for the turnkey production of the building, i.e., the Global Warming Potential (abbreviated GWP) is ≤ 0. That means that the structure has given off no CO2 emission into the environment during its production balance - no GWP has been emitted - and must at least to be balanced at zero, or better yet created with a CO2-sinking efficiency balance.
This is of particular importance for structures that, after their completion, requires further energy to be expended, such as residential and commercial buildings that require heating energy and again generate a GWP.
Further information on the RAL Quality Marks can be found at www.ral-guetezeichen.de.