The challenges

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As the industry moves forward to take up the challenges laid down by Government, it is important that we not only understand the issues but are also able to demonstrate that we have the expertise to deal with them.

We have identified several current key concerns along with how we are able to address them.

Green procurement

Delivering the built environment has a major impact on our environment as it is the main user of primary resources such as steel and timber. A major user of energy and producer of CO2, and it produces large amounts of waste materials.

Wood is an infinitely renewable resource if managed correctly and therefore as a responsible supplier we ensure that our doorsets come from a sustainable source. We achieve this by ensuring what we only use timber sourced from FSC or PEFC schemes, as well as chain of custody certificates.

Carbon savings and reduced energy consumption are key targets set by the Government. We are able to help by ensuring that our doorsets are thermally efficient and that they are draft free. We are also able to help via the use of door operators to external doors. These can help control the movement of conditioned air, either hot or cold when compared to the ambient external conditions, and thereby the running costs of the building.

Carbon footprint

We must help to stimulate the development of low-carbon technology, and work with our suppliers and others to deliver significant CO2 reductions throughout our supply chain end to end.

To reduce the carbon footprint of our distribution system it is important to remember that we cannot avoid the fact that transporting a product results in carbon emissions. To this end we will look to consolidate deliveries, and ensure that we maximise the transportation systems that are available. Current examples of clients driving this is the use of rail and canal for the London 2012 Olympic site, which we hope to emulate.

Legislation

Even with Ironmongery and doorsets there is a tranche of legislation which has to be complied with, whether it be Construction Product Directives, Building Regulations, Health and Safety, Environmental, DDA or Electrical Emissions. We actively take this on board and ensure that this is correctly managed within our designated area of expertise. We will advise clients of the pitfalls and where current legislation maybe moving towards, so where a building has a long gestation period we can reduce the likelihood of specified product not meeting the new criteria.

Sustainability

The challenge here is to be able to achieve the construction targets within the Governments key areas without compromising our ability to do it again.

For our part we are looking at how we can use innovation and design to help us become more energy efficient, reduce emissions and use natural resources more efficiently by cutting waste. As an example last year we changed some of the chemicals used in our production processes to ones that were substantially less environmentally harmful.

To us, driving towards a sustainable approach means that we have to tackle and address:

  • energy usage – in manufacture, transportation and fixing;
  • waste – how we can follow the waste hierarchy of;
  • waste prevention, reuse, recycle, energy recovery and final disposal;
  • supply chain – how we can work with them to help them drive out waste from their systems and processes;
  • resources – reduction of water, fuel and other primary materials; and
  • external threats – are we facing unequal comparisons and taxes with respect to other materials and imports.

Whole life approach / value for money

Whole life costing is typically adopted by clients who have a long term interest in the property. Such clients are often from the public sector and own a large property portfolio. It is a Treasury requirement that major capital projects should be let taking account of whole life costs – through Design & Build, PFI or Prime Contracting.

Whole life costs matter as they are substantially greater than capital or initial costs, with it being typically at a ratio of between 1:5 and 1:10. However even these are small when compared with the ratio of capital expenditure to the operating costs of businesses occupying a building which lies around a ratio of 1:100 and 1:200.

By focusing on whole life costs we are able to provide the following benefits:

  • optimising the total cost of ownership / occupation by balancing initial capital and running costs;
  • ensuring risk and cost analysis of loss of functional performance due to failure or inadequate maintenance are understood and addressed; and
  • help promote realistic budgeting for operation, maintenance and repair.

Risk management

Every time there is an interface between two or more trades there is an opportunity for things to be either duplicated or omitted to the detriment of the project. We will work with Clients, designers and contractors to identify the best mix of works to be brought together as a package that suits their project. Once identified, we will align ourselves to ensure that we can deliver what has been requested.

We are able to pull together a range of products and services from both within Assa Abloy and from other close external partners.
This will provide a single point of contact that will manage the contract, design, invoicing etc while ensuring that any problems are managed through to resolution.

Innovation

Improvements in site efficiency – this is already being achieved through the use of doorsets which help ensure that doors and frames fit together first time, the frames can be brought in ahead of the doors and ironmongery thereby reducing the congestion on site, the likelihood of damage or loss and improving the quality of the completed unit as items are factory fitted where possible.
We are currently trying to develop reusable protection and packaging for doorsets to reduce waste. This is made from 100% recyclable material.

Design quality

Whether this is tackling aesthetic appeal, ergonomic capability or material quality, they all have an impact on the overall quality of the solution – none of them should be taken in isolation. We give clients hands-on advice on ways to get better value through better design.

We work with a variety of Designers, Engineers and end users to ensure that what we deliver meets both form and function criteria, as a result we believe that the quality of what we deliver is second to none.