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The AkzoNobel Leading in Specification panel discusses the topic of Specification Chain in the Construction Industry.

Video Transcript

The specification chain was the third and final topic tackled as part of the Dulux Trade Leading in Specification construction debate.

Elaine Knutt, Editor at Construction Manager Magazine: ‘Who has the construction managerleadership role or should have the leadership role because, as we’ve said, in terms of the clients’ aspirations there’s a very wide spectrum.”

Nick Schumann, Director at Schumann Consult Ltd.: “The designer gets hit with this information and decides what’s best for his building and therefore specifies. He never sees this person again and then has to go through a whole series of contractual hoops where that specification may come under considerable pressure from a technical, from a time, cost or quality-type of process. To the point where finally a contractor, under extreme commercial pressures wins the job and then goes and does the deal with him. What makes it even worse is that, at this point, another person – a quantity surveyor – is telling him how much this is going to cost. So it’s too complex.”

Nigel McKay, Project Manager at Lend Lease: ” We’ve actually now go to cut through this conversation and supply chain and bring them in on day one. Now our cost base is going down, not because the cost is cheap and not because we’re going through aggressive tendering excersise, but actually for two things. One, because actually their designs are impacting how we do things and how much materials actually go into the building in the first place. We don’t have the building obsolete or contingency as a result because we’re not quite sure the relationship with the manufacturer. We’re not getting contingency in their from the supply chain or tray contractor either and, actually, we’re reducing the cost base of those organisations because they’re not having to go through tendering hoops with us all the time. We’ve got to try to understand how people interface with the public realm and with the private realm that we’re delivering to them in this next ten or fifteen years, because they are going to want so much different that we haven’t even thought about yet.”

Stewart Scarff, National Business Manager at AkzoNobel: “We’re lucky at AkzoNobel because we’ve got a lot of customers who are innovators as well, so we are being driven to innovate as well as trying to lead to innovate as well. The message that I would like to send out to contractors and clients is “Don’t ask us to make paints which are more efficient at decorating a wall; try and share with us at a higher level what the building outcome is that you want to get. What is the building saying?” I think when we start doing that and we start having these discussions with contractors and we start having these discussions with clients then we are better able to direct our R&D and better able to apply the existing products that we have and the existing technology that we have to that better building outcome.

Other issues addressed in the Construction Leading in Specification discussion included sustainability vs. cost and BIM.

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