Wednesday, 9 August 2017

Adapting to the ever changing and ever demanding construction industry

The spotlight turns to KCC Architectural as they continue to ease the workload for architects and contractors across the country with their latest innovation.

Media surrounding the construction industry is constantly buzzing with information and news on Building Information Modelling or BIM, as most of us know it. We are all familiar with how important it is and understand at this point that it is the future of how buildings are going to be planned, designed, built, and managed.

In 2016 KCC Architectural realised that their traditional hardware catalogue was in need of updating, as there had been so many product additions and enhancements since the last publication. Given the constant changes in the construction industry, KCC understood that the world was a very different place since the last publication.

Steve Young, project development director for KCC said: 
“We knew that producing a new and updated product binder simply wasn’t good enough. Put simply, we could see four major factors had changed the landscape as we knew it, and we had to adapt our business to meet these requirements.”

The changes Steve was referring to are not specific to KCC, but relevant to the entire construction industry. One such requirement was CE Marking. In 2011, CE Marking became mandatory for construction products covered by harmonised European Standards (hENs). It became a necessity for manufacturers like KCC to make a Declaration of Performance (DoP) for the product and where appropriate  affix the CE Mark..

The second factor that had a huge impact on the construction industry, was the introduction of Irish Amended Building Regulations 2014 (BC(A)R). With a stringent inspection and certification process, the possibility of ‘passing the buck’ or slacking on quality adherence or best practice simply wasn’t possible.. This presented the need for comprehensive product performance statements and test evidence to allow buildings to be certified and occupied.

BIM, quite obviously, became another major factor. The UK Government mandate that came into effect in 2016, insists that all public government projects must be BIM Level 2 compliant by the end of 2016. The growing need to have products available as 3D objects, complete with performance data to use in a 3D Model, became a necessity for KCC to respond to their clients needs.

Steve saw KCC survive the recession and says:
“We have emerged from the economic recession and we see the construction industry is very different to what existed in 2008. We all have less time, less resources and less patience. As a company we already offer a ‘one stop shop’ solution to our customers and clients by taking away the need to deal with several suppliers. We wanted to take this one step further and develop a system that would save our clients time, energy and effort – so we developed Datastore.”

KCC built Datastore in response to their clients needs and a notable gap in the marketplace. To put it mildly, Datastore is an architect or building contractors dream! An enormous piece of work, in the guise of a vast database of every single component KCC provide, the information is publishable as concise yet comprehensive individual datasheets at the click of a button.

KCC haven’t stopped there however – The Datastore system also delivers project specific catalogues (aka ‘Technical Submittals’) detailing every item KCC are or providing to a particular project, and include images, performance characteristics, dimensions, options, finishes, test evidence, and warranty information.

Speaking excitedly about his involvement in the development of Datastore, Steve says: 
“These technical submittals link directly to our scheduling systems to allow us create project specific catalogues within minutes and it allows us the flexibility to make revisions  quickly where necessary. We weren’t content to stop there however, and we went on to develop the system further to be able to produce submittals with 100% of our back up evidence - every test certificate, every fire test report. We can provide the  submittal in hard or soft copy or for those that are working within BIM models, we can export the data in a variety of formats”.

It seems that this is just the start of KCC’s plans as they are now building a library of 3D Revit Models. These and other major enhancements will be released later in the year.

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