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ALUMINIUM THE CHANGING FACE OF


It would be fair to say that no company in our sector, in the current environment, does not want to win both more and profitable work. The latest economic forecasts of the Construction Products Association however, highlight the difficulties in doing so with a contraction in the construction sector of at least 5%.While some in the sector are faring better than others with London and the South East still providing by far the best private commercial and refurbishment work, there is more focus than ever on specification and selection of materials.


As we approach the UK’s largest Building


show – Ecobuild 2012 – where CAB will again have a strong presence on Stand N238, this topic is particularly pertinent. It is estimated that the current success rate for specifications reaching site is less than 20% (even when you have worked hard with Architects in putting them together!). Simon Lerwill, Davis Landon recently suggested two solutions to this problem which were to:


Educate the design team so that they knew the strengths and weaknesses of their products and rival products enabling an Architect to defend his product choice against a value engineering attack.


Have your top quality points included,


which can stop a cheaper rival ‘blagging’ his product through.


Another change in the supply chain in recent years is the emerging role of the ‘Specification Consultant’. Increasingly these individuals do the detailed work on specification on behalf of architects or manufacturers.


Underlying all of this is the hot topic of Building Information Modelling (BIM). BIM uses a single 3D computer model for the design, construction, operation and eventual demolition of a building. It can create cost certainty and effective collaboration right through the supply chain including product suppliers. For Systems suppliers it represents a different approach to engaging with designers and contractors. For fabricators, not only does it offer external benefits but can be used to drive internal efficiencies and for installers BIM compliance may well be a new key to securing work. Paul Morrell, the Government construction adviser has said that BIM will become mandatory for public building over £5M in capital value – in a recent seminar I attended in London he


For Systems suppliers it represents a different approach to engaging with designers and contractors


70 « Clearview NMS « March 2012 « www.clearview-uk.com


was a little more emphatic suggesting that businesses could ‘use BIM or die..’


I believe that there are a number of other subtle changes occurring, but the basic of having and providing robust technical information and help combined with education is still essential. It is no surprise to me that CAB’s CPD seminars are as popular as ever with architects. With Ecobuild just around the corner, it is also worth mentioning that I believe Clients and Contractors are becoming far more interested in the progress that individual materials are making towards greater levels of sustainability, by considering the targets that are being set on various environmental criteria and how well, individually, each is achieving these targets and in turn setting new objectives. The 2012 Annual Report of the Windows Sustainability Action Plan to be launched at the show will highlight the latest progress across the main materials including aluminium.


Visit CAB on Stand N238 at Ecobuild to learn more about our current and future aluminium and sustainability projects. For further information on CAB contact the office on 01453 828851.


by Justin Ratcliffe - CAB Chief Executive


To read more news, log onto www.clearview-uk.com and join in our Forum discussions.


SPECIFICATION


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