Are you a Responsible Manufacturer?
Why do we care about BREEAM?
If you have ever had the opportunity to witness a Cobuilder presentation, you would have seen mentions of the BREEAM assessment scheme appearing more than once. In the context of Cobuilder and our mission to digitise the construction industry through product data based on legal, standard, market and user requirements, BREEAM is seen as the go-to-example of a market need in the sector.
Sustainable (market) growth
The well-known truth, supported by numerous sustainability studies and market research, is that the BREEAM certification has a huge impact on the market value of a building. BREEAM certified buildings have lower operation and maintenance costs due to the sustainable building practices, they have happier and healthier end users (tenants) who have lasting and reliable relationships with the building owners and even if the building ends up sold off as a whole, its price is greatly increased. So, if you are an investor, a blunt BREEAM consultant would have you instantly sold by no more than just those three considerations. This having said, it is obvious how the requirements for BREEAM compliance are later translated to the clients OIRs and EIRs and AIRs and become an ample example of how market requirement are set in place. How does that influence the supply chain?
The Tennis Game
BREEAM certification schemas recognize that the way products and materials are sourced and used in the built environment significantly lowers environmental impact and costs associated with the product’s journey from use to re-use. That is why BREEAM Assessors closely monitor criteria such as the life cycle impact of construction products as well as their responsible sourcing. How do they do it? They work closely with both design and construction teams who are increasingly aware of the sustainability requirements that have to be met. Today this is not a straight-forward process, it is more like a tennis game, where feedback is constantly passed to and fro and numerous hours are lost in finding the right product that is a fit for everyone, for the information manager, the assessor, the specifier and the contractor.
If you think that the manufacturer is close to being left out of this equation, you are right. And the role of the manufacturer here is the only role that can optimise the process of responsible construction product selection. It is exactly this hidden great influence on the supply chain that we feel is very important to address.
The responsible Manufacturer
A responsible manufacturer’s role goes far beyond their use of biological nutrients and sustainable or renewable materials for their products. It goes further than demonstrating some form of responsible sourcing certification. A responsible manufacturer is one that is aware of the changing face of the construction industry, that is to say that a responsible manufacturer today would also be a ‘digital’ manufacturer.
What is the benefit of producing the best and ‘greenest’ structural timber when all the data for energy efficiency, sourcing of the timber and carbon footprint are locked in brochures, EPD and test reports in PDFs and unmaintained websites? How can this data be easily found and input into digital calculators without human labour?
The answer is simple! This is what a responsible manufacturer needs to understand: Construction product data has to be freed from unstructured formats in order to shine. Product Data Templates are the methodology making this possible and goBIM is the tool to do it. Here is why:
With great knowledge comes great responsibility
goBIM is the tool that links the manufacturer to the rest of the supply chain. By its unique export functionalities, the now interoperable manufacturer’s data can be used anywhere and by anyone. Moreover, through goBIM’s link to Cobuilder’s tool for contractors – Cobuilder Collaborate (previously ProductXchange), contractors can easily check whether the products installed on-site meet the BREEAM criteria or whether they are supplemented by the required documents that act as a proof.
Digital information t managed in that way is central to the future of sustainable construction. Knowledge is the power of change in the sector and knowledge is the basis of collaboration and responsibility. Only through making knowledge (data) about construction products available to the supply chain will we see the rise of the truly responsible BIM manufacturer.