The construction industry is fiercely competitive. Unsurprisingly and more often than not savings are sought to reduce costs. In many cases this will involve changing the architects trusted specification, often to products of a lesser quality. Of course this offers a short term monetary benefit but in the longer term the cost to rectify the ensuing problems can be far greater.
Architectural ironmongery for example, independent research shows that while this represents as little as 1% of a buildings cost, it can account for 80% of the total maintenance bill in use. By not having the correct specification or by using inferior low-cost products these maintenance costs can increase further as issues can remain on going for weeks, months and even years. It is important to take the advice of a Registered Architectural Ironmonger as their status is the benchmark standard for architectural ironmongery – the highest possible standards of education and professionalism in the Ironmongery industry. This status requires that an architectural ironmonger is a qualified GAI Diploma holder and has been able to prove they are fully up-to-date with industry standards, regulations and legislation.
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A common example of a cost saving measure is to change the specified door closer to a cheaper alternative. Many door closer manufacturers have similar cover & arm designs and to the untrained eye an alternative can appear to be the real deal but the higher cost of a quality door closer lies within the inner workings and its advanced technology, not just its pretty cover. If underspecified, at best the substituted product may not give the correct opening and closing forces as laid out in BS8300 and at worst it may not have the correct Certifire certificate for the site application and therefore endanger lives.
If savings need to be made, an experienced AI should be able to value engineer his specification without affecting performance. Using the correct products upon the advice of a qualified person is vital to the smooth working and safety of a building and can actually significantly reduce the long term costs.