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52 EXTERNAL ENVELOPE


It remains to be seen how far the industry can comfortably embrace true supply chain collaboration


potential issues at the design stage rather than incur delays and expense to fix them on site but unfortunately, this isn’t always the case. As a result, projects being delivered late and over-budget is a common occurrence.


Product performance COLLABORATION


Effective collaboration and communication can highlight opportunities for innovation as well as for value engineering


As well as reducing risk, effective collaboration and communication within the supply chain can also highlight opportunities for innovation and value engineering. Indeed, talking to suppliers and specialists at the earliest opportunity can often give greater design flexibility to projects that are subject to strict performance criteria.


This is particularly true with regards to the specification of fenestration systems where there are often a number of different requirements to meet, from aesthetic appeal and durability to acoustics and thermal efficiency. The benefits of early discussions with those members of the supply chain that will be directly involved in the delivery of the building envelope means that if appropriate, the original specification can be changed to a product that can better meet some or all of the performance criteria. For example, by switching specification


WWW.ARCHITECTSDATAFILE.CO.UK


from a standard aluminium window system to one that offers improved thermal efficiency with only a nominal price increase can not only lead to greater reduction in a project’s carbon calculations, but can also give additional cost-savings by eliminating the need for other potentially more expensive energy-saving elements such as photovoltaic roof panels or under floor insulation.


Supplying support


The technical knowledge that a product manufacturer possesses can also add significant weight to a contractor’s tender document, as can the reliability of having recommendations to get an experienced and trusted installation team on board. Once a project is secured, the benefits of such early engagement can continue to be felt throughout the build programme, with suppliers attending design meetings and site visits to help ensure best practice and that all specification and technical matters are being correctly adhered to. With the rise of BIM and its reliance on shared information, it remains to be seen how far the industry can comfortably embrace true supply chain collaboration and if the nature of the more traditional supplier agreements will change. There is strength in numbers though, and by working together to realise a shared goal, every member of the project team can reap the rewards of successfully delivering a contract from conception to completion.


Andrew Cooper is national specification manager at Senior Architectural Systems


ADF MARCH 2018


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