The Building Performance Network offers so much to so many if you consider the clear need for a leadership role and a collaboration of both Industry and Government, to solve a very complex problem.
One example is energy efficiency and more specifically the gap between ‘design and as built performance’, which takes into account everything from methodologies to manufacturing, on-site construction to in use performance measurement.
However, if this is successfully addressed in terms of its transparency and accountability, to move the industry forward, then the other areas of building physics can equally be challenged and improved, with this collaboration of industry in place.
- Manufacturers - looking to improve their R&D and new product development (NPD) initiatives will benefit from sharing both developments and knowledge with the rest of industry before expensive rollouts and marketing capital is afforded. Methodologies and best practice guidance will ensure membership fees are off set against wasted practices and resource and possibly unnecessary testing where insight and trust is already afforded through other means. The ability for the manufacturing industry to connect with design, construction and regulatory bodies (in a single forum) will almost certainly improve the trust and transparency around products and systems and how they interact with the rest of the building. This will also add to the BIM intelligence for industry and reduce repetitive testing and analysis of data for the sake of it.
However, it will also give insight into the need for more data and testing to protect both the manufacturing industry and the users of products, systems and also end clients using the final product. At the very least you will see where potential R&D and NPD may be needed for innovation strategies going forward.
- Government – will benefit from a large collaborative industry led entity for general discussions and information relevant to policy development and consideration of alternative approaches to regulatory compliance before sending out complex calls for evidence. This will also reduce the amount of unnecessary funding for projects where data already exists or where transparency is being blocked due to a lack of common ground and leadership presence. Future funding can then be more diligently spent where there is a clear need for improvement in data or intelligence.
- Design professionals, construction companies, house builders, RSLs and self-builders - looking for input and early intelligence will benefit from gaining access to what’s new, what’s working, what isn’t, what needs more work and how to ensure collateral is being protected and robustly engineered to the best of the industry’s ability. Development of building science is inevitable and we will always be faced with challenges, but working to a recognised set of collaborative principles is the way to avoid pitfalls and to ensure intelligence is both shared and adopted for maximum effi ciency. This approach requires a symbiotic partnership for an eff ective and successful journey.
- Regulators & certification bodies – will be able to discuss real design insight from all areas of the organisation and see in practice if common mistakes are being made or where data to support products, systems or certain elements of a building are being unfairly treated in terms of costly repetitive testing. On the other side the input from regulators and certification companies will be invaluable if common mistakes are being made that require more input from the wider industry.
- Academia – is an area where most data is kept but not always shared due to commercial protection of clients’ work. This might not change where commercial sensitivity is required but many organisations have already expressed a need or desire to share data with an expert and trusted source whose goal is to ensure development and opportunity driven rollout of data. The intelligence we have amongst our academic institutes in the UK and also further afield is vitally important to a developing industry and we should maximise this potential wherever possible to ensure a common goal. Creating a platform where data can be shared more conveniently and openly with those that wish to divulge, has to be a better way to collaborate.
- Insurance companies, mortgage lenders & warranty providers – have a need and a desire to reduce risk, have access to transparent processes and end products for effective decision-making and scenario planning. Where better to share this insight than with an organisation that collaborates as an entire industry?
- Clients and commissioning groups – ultimately need to understand what the issues are in the procurement and delivery of high performing new and existing buildings, supported by strong and reliable evidence. The aim of this new organisation is to ensure that data and advice together with best practice guidance is provided from as many sources and backgrounds as possible. It should be noted that the BPN will not undertake data collection and analysis, but will help to design how to collect and analyse the data that clients are gathering.
In addition, peer reviewing of data will ultimately allow a more open and insightful reflection of the information you have. If the Building Performance Network is successful in creating a trusted body that diligently and actively engages with all stakeholders for the improvement of our industry, then the funding from the potential members within the above list (again not exhaustive) will generate a far better position for development and engagement than we have today, thus allowing for a much more innovative and trustworthy position around the real performance of buildings.