The Efficiency of System-Builds
How System-Builds Promote Efficient, Data-Driven Procurement
If the future of construction is data-driven, what will this mean for procurement?
As with the broader construction agenda, ‘data-driven’ should mean greater efficiency and more focus on project outcomes such as building performance and sustainability. It also means less time spent on the mechanics of the process.
The big question is whether you can have one without the other. Will a data-driven procurement model work with traditional construction methods where every project is essentially a one-off? Or does it work better with system-builds?
In process-driven procurement, compliance becomes the dominating force. As sustainability performance and embodied carbon measurement become more prominent, proving compliance becomes a bigger challenge. That is unless you’re working with a system-build product.
For developers and contractors there’s a huge potential advantage in partnering with an organisation like Innovaré that has a mature system-build product range. For a start, all of the necessary certification, accreditation and sign-offs are already in place. Several time-consuming steps of the procurement process can be replaced with a straightforward data download.
Take, for example, a fundamental performance factor such as U values. These are known and documented for panelised systems such as i-SIP and i-FAST. Achieving the desired thermal insulation performance is essentially a question of specifying the appropriate panel thickness and construction. The inherent airtightness of the panelised system takes out any potential variability in the eventual build.
There’s much more certainty in this approach than calculating a theoretical performance from layers of different materials that will be applied onsite, probably by subcontractors yet to be appointed.
Formula-Driven Project Metrics
The system-build approach also takes the uncertainty out of programme timing. As developers become more familiar with the product it’s possible to apply a simple formula based on the square meterage of the completed building to generate an accurate schedule. There’s a wealth of reliable and repeatable project data to take timing risks out of the process.
Extending this logic, armed with a database of cost, carbon footprint and performance reference points, you could use a BIM environment to drop panels into a design and get instant calculations for any key project metric, including time, cost and energy performance.
Partnering with a system-build specialist is an effective way to simplify the process of responding to RFPs. It also eliminates the risks that accumulate in the transition from design specifications to a live project.