Jane Embury reflects on a CIOB campaign to embed quality
Quality has once again been in the news this month.
The Chartered Institute of Building (CIOB) has warned companies to go beyond the bare minimum of quality. It wants all companies involved in the built environment to seek out the highest possible standards.
Indeed, the CIOB has made improving quality in construction a priority in recent years.
It recently published the CIOB Guide to Quality Management in Construction: Site Production and Assembly.
It represents a quality approach we endorse because, over the years, we have seen some shoddy practices. Those range from improperly-fitted fire doors to inappropriate glazing systems.
Often, one reason is a contractor trying to save money on a project. A laudable objective, but not at the price of safety.
For example, we have repeatedly drawn attention to contractors reducing the specification on fire glass from 60 minutes to 30 minutes.
Nothing illegal in that, but if the original specification was for a much higher level of fire safety, we don’t believe that compromising on fire safety can ever be sensible.
In contrast, Wrightstyle recently successfully tested our SR60 curtain walling system in a milestone test.
Calling it that is a bold claim, but the test has enormous significance for a diverse range of fire safety applications.
Because, in the test at WarringtonFire, the exterior building surface faced into the furnace.
In other words, Wrightstyle’s SR60 curtain walling system has been successfully accredited to be dual directional.
Most advanced glazing systems are designed to provide fire protection from only one direction. But fire can and does break out on either side of a glazed assembly.
While the SR60 system has a wide variety of applications, it’s perfect for, for example, atria, airports or shopping centres.
It’s also a significant advance in providing fire protection between high risk areas such as car parks and lower risk areas such as offices.
Our business has been built on quality, from the highest standards of design through to fabrication.
It’s our way of being able to guarantee quality at every stage.
It adds up to a business philosophy in which second-best is never acceptable. That’s particularly important when it comes to fire safety and safeguarding peoples’ lives.
We wish the CIOB every success in taking its message to as many companies as possible throughout the building supply chain.
Working to the highest level of quality should never be an option.
Photo: installation training