In an age where green builds and sustainability are increasingly important, there’s a lot of responsibility lying with architects, specifiers and construction professionals. However, it can be argued that sustainability starts much sooner in the supply chain. In this article, we discuss the important role that suppliers play in providing environmentally friendly products.
As the old saying goes, “a workman is only as good as his tools”, a saying that is especially true in modern times as specifiers, architects and construction firms strive to achieve ever increasingly sustainable buildings. Prestigious accreditations, such as BREEAM and LEED are sought after in the latest developments and a lot of the responsibility for achieving them falls to those tasked with designing and constructing the building itself.
However, although it is these groups who are responsible for selecting the most environmentally sound product options we could argue that the battle for sustainability starts much sooner with the companies who are striving to develop products that meet and exceed these standards. A building, like many things, is only as good as the sum of its parts and we felt it was time to shine a light on some of the companies who are making excellent advancements in providing eco-friendly products and encourage others to do the same.
At Marldon UK, for example, we develop environmentally friendly sub-floor solutions and dedicate ourselves to the constant improvement of our products through research and development. We have made solid commitments to reducing our own environmental impact and developing products that are sustainable and contribute to achieving the highest standards for our customers.
In terms of products, our StrataBase solution is a great example. Its primary focus is sound-proofing between floors, achieving 49dB LnT,w impact sound insulation but it serves a double purpose too. Not only does it meet ISO 9001, ISO 14001 and ISO 18001, it also has zero global warming potential (GWP) and zero ozone depletion (ODP) contribution. To top things off, the Strata Acoustic Underlay is 100% recyclable, itself made from up to 94% recycled materials. When combined with our MXA200 Woodfloor Adhesive, which is VOC-Nil rated and certified EC1Stratabase provided an alternative that was, it makes for an incredibly green acoustic sub-floor solution. In addition, MXA200 can contribute towards a BREEAM accreditation and is compliant with their strict standards.
It was Stratabase’s exceptional performance quality and eco-credentials that ensured it was selected for a residential project at One Tower Bridge, the most sought-after luxury development in London with properties that range in value from £1.5m to £15m. Traditional soundproofing options were ruled out as they would greatly hinder the effectiveness of the underfloor heating due to the added 20mm in sub-floor thickness. Stratabase provided a slimline, effective solution that didn’t compromise on quality or effectiveness and instead only added 4.5mm (3mm underlay and 1.5mm adhesive).
We use this example as it clearly demonstrates why sustainability is much more than just a corporate duty to be upheld or a box to tick. It’s also a sound commercial principle that can lead to a company's overall success in winning contracts. There are essentially three key components to specifying products and solutions for a project; price, suitability and environmental impact. If the product on offer matches or exceeds the criteria for all three of these factors it becomes an incredibly attractive option that ultimately contributes to a projects green credentials and can help to achieve standards, such as BREEAM and LEED.
Product innovation in the construction sector is typically responsive to any changes in regulations. However, companies who rest on their laurels and are happy to simply meet current criteria face the risk of future changes derailing them. This can result in a massive up-front research and development costs as they attempt to catch up with companies, such as Marldon UK, whose goal is to exceed current regulations and standards wherever possible. The impact is lessened when it’s anticipated and spread out over a longer period of time. Ultimately, it’s the suppliers who don’t see regulations as the finish line that will prosper in the long term.
As we advance further and further and expectations become higher, those suppliers who fail to meet standards or consistently develop their product offering will likely start to fall behind their more environmentally friendly competitors.