BSI Whitepaper identifies need for product traceability to improve building standards
BSI Identify has published a digital whitepaper highlighting the need for improved building product traceability to improve standards in construction safety and sustainability.
The BSI whitepaper: ‘Building Confidence – Information flow, traceability and the safe use of construction products’ – makes a compelling case for improved traceability whilst outlining the outcomes of failing to publish clear, accurate and easily accessed product information.
Following Dame Judith Hackitt’s call for a ‘golden thread’ of asset information to be available to building stakeholders in her post-Grenfell ‘Independent Review of Building Regulations and Fire Safety’, the issue of product traceability has gained greater focus. The report’s recommendations were implemented in the Building Safety Bill, yet the building industry appears in no hurry to respond to the pressing need for data identification technology’s widescale adoption.
Ross Matthews, Head of Sales at BSI Identify said: “BSI exists to create standards and improve the industries we work with. This whitepaper is an example of that commitment. The Hackitt report highlighted a need for the building industry to change in terms of how it stores and shares product data. Organisations such as BSI have created solutions that address the traceability issue. Therefore, it’s up to the industry to implement these initiatives and ensure buildings are fundamentally safe.”
Aimed at building supply chain stakeholders, BSI Identify’s ‘Building Confidence’ whitepaper includes a range of expert analyses on the benefits of good product information. By allowing easy access to a range of relevant data including accreditations and user guides, innovations in digital identifier technology provide supply chain users with the confidence to make informed decisions about a product’s suitability based on the most up-to-date information. This helps safeguard specification by mitigating the risk of products being swapped out for cheaper alternatives, resulting in better-built properties that are constructed as-designed.
The cost of bad data is also detailed within the whitepaper. Research carried out by consultancy specialists Autodesk and FMI research revealed that decisions based on incorrect or insufficient information in the construction industry led to a global expenditure of £1.3 trillion. Furthermore, refurbishment as a consequence of poor data strategy accounted for 14% of all rework, the research found. This amounted to a construction industry cost of £63 million.
In response to the building industry’s need for a formal traceability scheme, BSI has created ‘Identify’, a service that uses digital identifier technology to allow specifiers and installers immediate universal access to proven, accurate and resilient product data. In development since 2015, BSI Identify provides manufacturers with a Universal Persistent Identification Number (UPIN). This is designed to contain a range of basic and relevant information which once allocated to a product, allows installers, specifiers and the like immediate access to details such as accreditations, data sheets or user guides via a mobile phone or laptop.
Therefore, whether you’re an engineer involved in a high-rise building inspection or a sub-contractor tasked with installing a façade system, if the structure’s components contain a UPIN, their make, model and installation details are easy-to-hand to confirm that what is specified is being installed.
Manufacturers with product identification capability can consider themselves ahead of the curve because this transformation in asset traceability is coming. It’s an offering that larger housebuilders are already beginning to demand, as they are aware of the beneficial implications it has for their business, their supply chain partners and property occupiers. The Building Confidence whitepaper covers the finer details of this ingenious digital platform that makes good the golden thread idyl.
Ross Matthews, Head of Sales at BSI Identify, said: “Manufacturers understand that we only create products when we feel they will make a positive difference and that there is a need for them within a particular sector. BSI Identify addresses the decrease in building delivery standards resulting from the huge amount of incorrect data that exists through the design, specification and installation project phases. The platform is an enabler to improved construction efficiencies and safety. It’s now up to manufacturers and the sector as a whole to commit to initiatives such as BSI Identify, as they will help shape our future built environment.”
To download the BSI ‘Building Confidence’ whitepaper, click here.