The UK is the sixth largest green construction sector in the world! Whether it’s called sustainability or energy efficiency, the drive to improve the design of our new buildings and upgrade the UK’s existing stock is very much centre stage. Here are just three examples announced in the first week of July:
- Lord Deighton, Commercial Secretary to the Treasury said he is ‘extremely attracted’ to the idea of reframing home energy efficiency, as one of the UK’s top 40 infrastructure priorities.
- The European Commission has adopted new proposals to raise the sustainability of new and renovated buildings by increasing resource efficiency and improving information on the environmental performance of buildings.
- BRE are consulting on a new residential version of BREEAM following the government’s decision to drop the Code for Sustainable Homes.
Sustainability is an opportunity for manufacturers to provide higher performance products and justify premium prices. But to succeed you need the right products, tight specifications and specifier awareness.
Already widely used, the BREEAM and Ska rating systems can be expected to become standard tools for building design. From a manufacturer’s perspective this currently can provide an important point of differentiation.
If designers know your products are sustainable they will select them over lesser alternatives. If you build these sustainability clauses into your specifications then it will also make them more resilient to subsequent substitution, as a result of the “Equivalent” or “Equal” clause.
Here are three steps to ensuring your products are used for sustainable construction:
- Use new product development and review your manufacturing process to ensure your products meet the needs of sustainability via low carbon manufacture, energy or water efficiency.
- Look closely at the specification clauses relating to your products and ensure they define that sustainable performance criteria. In this way you can lock out competitors. Simple things might be a UK manufacturing location if your competitor is based overseas. Individual clauses can be developed to counter each competitor, it does not need to be a single catch-all clause.
- Ensure specifiers know how sustainable your product offering is. Very often they will start the product selection process at the website of a company that they believe meets their needs. Is that you?
Competitive Advantage can help you with all of these areas by:
- Researching your market to establish what is important to the decision makers. Or present product concepts to gauge what the market likes. This can help inform your product development process.
- Facilitating workshops with your technical and sales teams to identify the clauses you can introduce into your specifications. This can help reduce substitution.
- Conducting a Sustainability Benchmark Audit to measure awareness and perception of your brands sustainability credentials amongst your target decision makers.
Contact us to learn more about our Sustainability Benchmark Audit
Tel: 01276 503539