Technical Editor Bruce Meechan reports on how a leading manufacturer of locks and door opening solutions is embracing design and BIM; taking specification to a new and more sustainable level.
Anyone who visited Ecobuild last month cannot have failed to form the impression that Building Information Management is set to impinge on virtually every aspect of the construction industry. Some may view it as mainly another level of compliance being imposed by Government, but it is better to view the big picture and realize the many positive implications that the technology offers us on virtually any type of project.
This certainly came across in my discussions with David Wigglesworth, Managing Director of UK Specification; a new business division of ASSA ABLOY dedicated to creating design led solutions for clients seeking the optimum in architectural ironmongery and door-sets.
With BIM very much being part of its DNA, it is understandable that UK Specification has initially been homing its skills on public sector projects including an education contract and the delivery of a major new hospital facility.
In our discussions, David Wigglesworth, described how his consultancy is trying to look afresh at the total functionality and life cycle of ironmongery in order to achieve the best outcomes. I would therefore infer that social housing providers could benefit greatly from such a service; especially when considering the communal or other high usage areas to their properties.
Referring to the upturn in the economy and the strong growth across most areas of construction, David Wigglesworth commented: “With this in mind, the UK Specification business launch is carefully timed to support new project opportunities. Born out of an intensive journey of learning and adopting groundbreaking influencing factors such as Building Information Modelling, which will undoubtedly revolutionize the specification process as it further matures and evolves, linked to this UK Specification is dedicated to delivering on service.
“Our aim is to become the total provider of the highest quality architectural ironmongery and innovative door-sets. We will bring our extensive expertise from being part of ASSA ABLOY, as the global leader in door opening solutions, to provide added value, knowledge together with the flexibility to engage with architects, design led contractors, property development companies and end users.”
David explained to me how in one instance, UK Specification’s specialists had reviewed the requirements for the doors in a new school; defining the differences between the doors fitted in corridors and those for the washrooms and other locations. They also evaluated the financial factors such as overall budget, whole-life cost and product selection, then turned their attention to the implications for facilities management. By doing so, for instance, specification could be optimized to avoid such long term problems as ‘door drop’ and all the negative effects that has for maintenance, degradation of floor surfaces and potential hazards to building users.
He said: “We want to move back from the construction to the early design phase. We will work to advise impartially on the whole portfolio to ensure the customer gets best value.”
Citing the support available to his consultancy from the worldwide activities of ASSA ABLOY which amount to a turnover in excess of £4 Billion, David felt his new operation was in a very strong position to establish brand awareness, and convince contractors as well as consultants of the top quality service on offer.
David concluded: “We are confident we can provide professional, design led solutions, teamed with our top quality service credentials to deliver an innovative yet chic solution to meet even the most demanding specification requirements; combined with our financial security for peace of mind.”