Construction industry takes first steps at improving product information

By Matt McKeown at Monday, November 4, 2019

A survey report launched last week is expected to lay the foundations for reform to the way construction product information is provided by manufacturers and communicated to those that use it. Insights from the survey will help form recommendations for manufacturers to improve the consistency and clarity of product marketing information - a key issue highlighted in the Hackitt Review following the Grenfell Tower Fire.

The need for a comprehensive regime that ensures all construction products are properly labelled and marketed was one of many recommendations in the Hackitt Review, which made suggestions to improve building regulations and fire safety in the built environment. The survey responds directly to these recommendations.

The Construction Product Information Survey, carried out for the Construction Products Association by NBS explores how product information is presented and made available to the entire construction supply chain. It represents the views of 524 construction industry professionals who use product and performance data as part of their jobs, including manufacturers, merchants, architects, engineers, surveyors, contractors, local authorities and FM providers.  

The survey reveals the current difficulties of accessing the relevant information required to assess the performance of a product and make informed decisions. Amongst its findings include a preference for the digital provision of product information as well as a desire for standardised and more complete information, including highlighting applications where the product may or may not be suitable for use.

It also makes clear that there is strong industry support for the introduction of competence levels for those specifying, installing or maintaining products and the systems they make up, as well as an industry code of conduct for manufacturers to ensure that product information has been properly verified before publication.

Commenting on the report, CPA’s interim Chief Executive, Peter Caplehorn, said: “The importance of this survey will not be lost to those working in construction post-Grenfell. It was spearheaded by the CPA’s Marketing Integrity Group – a group of marketing professionals within the manufacturing industry – and represents a proactive and collaborative industry drive to improve the performance of construction products. I have no doubt it will prove a useful contribution as the industry embraces new regulatory reforms in the coming years.”

Marketing Integrity Group chair, Adam Turk, from Baxi, commented: “I am especially grateful to all those who responded to our survey and to NBS who compiled the report. I believe the result of this survey will be significant in moving our industry towards agreeing new standards which improve the availability of product information whilst also allowing firms to maintain their competitive position. It is vital that everyone in the supply chain can be confident that the information they are using to select construction products is clear, unambiguous, accurate and up to date.”

Read the full Construction Product Information Survey.

ENDS

NOTE TO EDITORS:

About the Construction Products Association

The Construction Products Association (CPA) represents the UK’s manufacturers and distributors of construction products and materials. The sector directly provides jobs for 337,000 people across 23,818 companies and has an annual turnover of more than £60.2 billion. The Association is the leading voice to promote and campaign for this vital UK industry.

Much of the CPA's work is focused on serving as the first point of contact for politicians and policy makers requiring advice and information about matters that affect construction products or the wider construction industry. This includes understanding the need for investment into manufacturing or the built environment, new housing and energy-saving retrofitting of the existing housing stock; helping to develop effective, UK and EU legislation, regulations and product standards; and promoting the role of manufacturers in delivering a resource efficient built environment.

About NBS

NBS is a global leading technology platform that combines the best content and connectivity for anyone involved in the design, supply and construction of the built environment. For architects, engineers, designers and contractors we provide a cloud-based specification system that enables them to work smarter and reduce their risk. For building product manufacturers, we help grow their business by exposing their products across the construction project timeline. Headquartered in the heart of Newcastle upon Tyne, UK, NBS has a global reach via our permanent bases in both Australia and Canada. Our roots lie in the UK’s National Building Specification, which for nearly 50 years has been helping the construction industry build better and with lower risk. Our future lies in cloud-based technologies and connected data, as we fast become the information marketplace for the global construction industry.

FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT:

Matt McKeown, CPA Communications Executive
Tel:       020 7323 3770
E-mail:   matt.mckeown@constructionproducts.org.uk

By Matt McKeown at 4 Nov 2019, 09:33 AM