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The AkzoNobel Leading in Specification panel discusses the topic of Sustainability VS Cost in the Construction Industry.

Video Transcript

As part of its Leading in Specification series, Dulux Trade brought together panelists across the construction supply chain to tackle a series of key hot topics. The first of these was the balance between sustainability and cost.

Nigel McKay, Project Manager at Lend Lease: “There’s been a huge amount of influence around cost v.s price in Downtown and, therefore, there’s been a lot of pressure on purchasers and contractors to actually come out and win tenders at the lowest price. Therefore that influences a lot with regards to how you go to market because, actually, you’re not interested in the nice-to-haves; you’re only interested in the I-must-haves, because you only want to price the must haves.”

Nick Schumann, Director at Schumann Consult Ltd.: “As an industry, I would still say the whole sustainability issue is driven by an individual client’s requirements and to balance a BREEAM rating against the cost, so as to maximise his profit. From a designer’s perspective, of course, there is always this great desire to promote a quality design.”

Nigel McKay: “So what do people want to use the buildings for? And what actually motivates them to be tenants or leasers? The move now – the big, new move – is how can this building help the wellbeing and health of the people that are going to be living in there? So now we’re starting to write construction specifications around “How does the buildings and the materials that we’re using, or the products that we’re using, actually aid the health and wellbeing of the people? If you look at the moment as to how buildings are benchmarked pretty much from cost planning and is it’s from cost. In the future benchmarking isn’t actually going to be driven by cost planning and cost; it’s actually going to be driven by different social standards and different social aspects.”

Stewart Scarff, National Business Manager at AkzoNobel: “The thing that I’ve noticed is a fundamental change in the culture. You could say ten years ago that sustainability was very high on the agenda but, when you were talking to people in construction, you could feel that it was a lip service that was being paid. The change or the move in that journey… when I listen to Steve and when Nigel presented to us a couple of weeks ago on what they’re doing at Elephant and Castle, there is a genuine change in the people. You can feel that there’s a belief now. That, if we don’t get to these sustainability targets, if we don’t embrace, not just the environmental bit, but also the community element and the financial, that the whole thing’s just not going to work. It’s that new belief, I think, that is really making a massive change and that’s going to be the driver. I just wonder how far it might go from here.”

Other issues discussed in the Construction Leading in Specification discussion included BIM and the specification chain.

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