5 Tips for Effective Product Selection and better building project outcomesJuly 2012
Whether you fit into the category of system designer, end user or somewhere in between, the selection of products is crucial to successful building outcomes. This is an obvious statement, but the practical reality of improving product selection is not so straightforward.
The key benefit to selecting the right products first time is a potential saving in time and money. This can be in the form of energy savings and lower replacement costs as well as reduced commissioning and maintenance time. These savings can be considerable where many units of a particular product are required.
Further benefits include increased satisfaction among clients, building owners and facilities managers, increasing the chance of repeat business. Also product technology is able to improve more rapidly as customers gain confidence and experience using new products that give better performance.
There are a number of factors that go towards successful product selection.
- Know the requirement
- Understand the requirement in terms of form, function and performance in the context of the other products that make up the building or system.
- Understand what your client wants and how product selection may impact on end users
- Express the requirement clearly
- Use specification clauses and other independent guidance to help specify your requirement without missing anything out
- Be explicit in your specification
- If the specification for a particular product is important to the building's performance make it mandatory and be as specific as possible about the requirement. Vague or optional specifications can be misinterpreted or altered further down the supply chain in order to cut costs.
- Know what options are available
- Understand the features and benefits of different product types and specific products offered by manufacturers. Performance is a critical element to this but can be overlooked in favour of cost or appearance.
- Seek assurance that the product will perform as advertised
- Question the origin of any performance data provided and seek evidence of consistent production. This can be made easier by seeking products tested or certified by a reputable third party.
BSRIA is developing new initiatives to help the industry overcome product selection issues. In addition to its long-standing laboratory testing service, BSRIA now offers full product certification through BSRIA Cert. Further assistance is also planned in the form of guidance for specifiers, specification clauses and other resources to aid product selection.
For further information, or to seek assistance with product performance or selection issues, contact Chris Marney:
T: 01344 465630