The architect is probably the most important member of the design team, distilling the requirements and advice of the other members. Recently Competitive Advantage completed research into how Architects design non-residential sustainable buildings and the information they need from manufacturers.

One of the questions we asked architects was which manufacturers they considered provided good information about sustainable products. We then spoke to some of these manufacturers to get their take on sustainability.

So what can we learn from those in the industry that are doing it right?

  • Sustainability should be part and parcel of the product description

“Sustainability started out as a bolt on, now it is part of our products DNA, it has moved on from being the ‘hot topic’ to an everyday essential. As well as detailing durability and the technical credentials specifiers expect that the environmental credentials of the product will be listed.”
Chris Lister, Technical and Commercial Manager, Alumasc

  • Demonstrate how your products meet sustainability regulations and standards

“Our core product lines have achieved BES 6001 Responsible Sourcing of Materials (RSM) certification and we have recently introduced an integrated management system embracing health and safety, quality and environment.”
Martin Crow, Head of Sustainability, Hanson UK

“Improvement projects in all areas continuously reduce the embodied environmental impacts of Redland products so that they meet the needs of our customers and requirements of new building codes such as the Code for Sustainable Homes.”
Sarah Orio, Marketing Manager, Monier Redland Ltd

At Alumasc we started at our core by reviewing our manufacturing sites, and with the achievement of the ISO 14001 accreditation this gave us a sustainability framework we could build on. We then reviewed the products we already provided, assessing whether they were viable both in terms of technical performance and equally in terms of the environment.
Chris Lister, Technical and Commercial Manager, Alumasc

  • Review, review and review again

“We measure our performance against demanding targets and report annually. Our 2012 report shows how targets in key areas such as health and safety, waste minimisation, water reduction and biodiversity have all been exceeded. We also continue to develop products that support sustainability throughout their lifecycle.’’
Martin Crow, Head of Sustainability, Hanson UK

  • Sustainability should be an everyday practice

“Sustainability is no longer a ‘nice to have’ accessory for Hanson – it’s an essential. The benefits of operating sustainably are clear; if we can save on energy and natural resources, reduce waste and eliminate accidents our business will ultimately be more successful, allowing us to provide quality products and service, and at the same time invest for the future.”
Martin Crow, Head of Sustainability, Hanson UK

“Sustainablity is now part of our everyday practices at Alumasc and it influences our judgement on all aspects of the products life-cycle, from material sourcing, to in use, to ‘is there a healthy recycle market?’ Achieving sustainable credentials is a constant work in progress. We are continually looking to improve.”
Chris Lister, Technical and Commercial Manager, Alumasc

  • Be in it for the long-haul and you will reap the rewards

“Monier Redland Limited has been at the forefront of raising environmental awareness in the construction sector for many years. Redland won a Queen’s Award for its pioneering Cambrian Slate during the 1980s for its high recycled waste content, while in 1997 Redland became the first UK roof tile manufacturer to launch a roof-integrated photovoltaic solar panel for generating zero-carbon renewable electricity. In addition to working with the Environment Agency to help protect and improve our environment, Redland operates an environmental policy and management system across all its manufacturing sites covering energy efficiency, waste minimisation, water efficiency and pollution reduction.”
Sarah Orio, Marketing Manager, Monier Redland Ltd

More about the Product Manufacturers

Thank you to Chris Lister of Alumasc, Martin Crow of Hanson UK and Sarah Orio of Monier Redland for providing their thoughts on sustainability. To find out more please feel free to visit their websites:

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