Following Dame Judith Hackitt’s review of Building Regulations and Fire Safety, it was highlighted that there is a need for significant cultural and regulatory change throughout the entire industry to support the delivery of buildings that are safe, both now and for the future. In response to Dame Judith Hackitt’s recommendations, and the subsequent reports and legislation that came in its wake, it is clear that trust, safety and transparency are the only ways forward.
British Gypsum has been at the heart of discussions about the future and is leading the construction industry by implementing fundamental changes needed to improve transparency and provide certainty when it comes to fire safety and technical competency. Through meeting industry partners and conducting an in-depth review around data and marketing integrity, it found the need for exceptionally clear and accurate information across products, systems, and specifications to be vital.
The belief is that no construction partner should be left behind in this, that all must go on this urgent journey of responsibility together. If the industry is really going to change then British Gypsum is clear that the ‘golden thread’ of information must run all the way across it. Last month saw a significant landmark in this vital approach to building better with the launch of the brand-new British Gypsum website. It features five key elements, inspired, and built upon a century of know-how and expertise, but very much designed for the future.
A website fit for the future
From specifier to contractor, to installer to clients and building owners, British Gypsum believes that to build better and build safer, everyone must have access to the same accurate and up-to-date tested product and specification information. For this reason, its new website is now fed by a single Product Information Management (PIM) system.
The PIM system is a ‘single source of truth’. It is used by everyone at British Gypsum to make sure that every piece of performance information on products, systems and drylining specifications is accurate and consistent. Whenever it is updated, information is immediately fed through to every platform, meaning there can be no discrepancies.
The website also features new collateral that is easily accessible to download. All of it complies with the direction of the Code for Construction Product Information (CCPI) guidance and British Gypsum will be applying for assessment in line with the code as soon as the opportunity becomes available. Information is written clearly in plain English and drylining system names now have a standardised format for clarity.
There has been a big investment into new digital tools, including QBot, the online chat feature. This is available to access any time, for the technical questions people most frequently ask. There are also helpful calculators, the facility to find certified professionals to carry out work, and a wide range of information about courses and skills development in order to attract new talent to the industry and help upskill those already here.
Throughout the website the goal is clear: to share knowledge, expertise, and accurate information in the clearest way possible and set the bar for higher standards.
Raising the bar to EN standards
Perhaps the most significant change of all to the website is the brand-new White Book Specification Selector tool. British Gypsum was at the forefront of industry transparency even back in 1972, when it launched the original White Book. At the time, this was a pioneering specification resource for drylining systems. The brand new ‘White Book Specification Selector’ tool, launched last month on its website, is equally transformative.
With improved functionality, the new tool has ‘sliders’ that filter based on criteria the user gives. This means that it is easy to find the exact technical specification along with products and systems that are most relevant, and no search query comes back without an answer. From fire protection to structural duty, acoustic performance, and much more, the tool removes ambiguity to encourage the right specification for every project.
As a demonstration of its commitment to the highest standards, the British Gypsum website will now automatically serve EN, rather than BS standards across the site. Whilst the business will still continue to support its partner construction customers specifying and building to BS standards, this will no longer be served automatically from the new tool. This higher level of specification is an indication of how seriously British Gypsum is taking safety and testing. It significantly simplifies the fire claims made, giving customers greater confidence, and demonstrating a commitment to the safest drylining solutions possible.
The launch and investment in this website not only sets the bar for quality and transparency, it sends a clear message to the industry that things must change, and that everyone must play their part in creating the cultural shift called for by Dame Judith Hackitt. With the launch of its new website, British Gypsum has put itself firmly on the map to help others build better and improve the lives of the communities they serve.
To find out more please visit the British Gypsum website.