Design by Certification

Design by Certification

22 Feb 2022

More than ever, modern building projects can benefit from the use of certified products, writes Daniel May, Director of Consort Architectural Hardware.

The needs of modern building environments have evolved. Throughout the construction process, decision makers are more commonly deliberating on themes such as innovation, accessibility and sustainability. And that’s not mentioning the renewed focus on building safety and performance, succeeding the Hackitt Review

As the collective commitment towards these topics grows, it’s as vital as ever for design professionals to deliver reliable, quality materials and hardware on their projects.

Architectural hardware for example, is one of the most heavily used elements within a building environment, and a typical busy door can be used 150 times each day. Door hardware plays a pivotal role in a building’s operational network and its fire safety, and so the application of certified hardware solutions shouldn’t be undervalued.

Consort Architectural Hardware

Avoiding Costly Errors

In some cases, design teams will face a choice between the initial costs of certified products and their less reliable counterparts. Although economic considerations are often part of the construction process, durable hardware will continue to perform long after its initial supply period, whereas cheaper hardware alternatives can become counterintuitive, failing to offer that same quality and durability and leading to costly consequences.

Later in a building’s lifecycle, where less durable products have been used, complications can arise. With this, the costs associated with future maintenance and replacements can quickly begin to add up and work against the original decision. Not to mention the expense to building safety.

More recently, sustainability continues to grow into the conversation, fairly asking questions about the environmental impact buildings omit. As was referenced at the recent COP26 conference, the built environment and construction sector accounts for 38% of the world’s Carbon Emissions. For the UK specifically, it’s said that 45% of the total UK carbon emissions are associated to the built environment and changes must now be made to avoid both environmental and reputational costs.

Consort Architectural Hardware

Daniel adds:

“The time has come for decision makers to do their part to limit the consumption of construction resources too, and certified architectural hardware can play its part here too. Hardware can also gain environmental certifications, such as ISO 14000, which is a set of standards designed to reduce environmental waste and damage.

“Similar to Certifire, BREEAM is a third-party sustainability assessment method focusing on infrastructure and buildings. Hardware products can become recognised under independent standards - providing users with peace of mind that products are more durable, ethically sourced and environmentally resourceful. The aim is to reduce replacement hardware and the amount of packaging that is associated with replacements. And extended durability - represented through certifications - is the way forward.

“The benefit of using certified architectural hardware is now more clear than ever. From performance benefits to dependability, all hardware - even the often-overlooked lever handles and flush bolts - should meet the requirements of their building, and there’s no better way to ensure this than with certified products. Building design will benefit from raised standards, and right now, decision makers can benefit from certification-led design.

Consort Architectural Hardware