Winston Churchill once said: “We shape our buildings; thereafter they shape us.”That sentiment is now increasingly backed by evidence, with a strong focus on the development of buildings that are safe, resilient to the impacts of a changing climate, environmentally friendly in their construction and operation, and which promote occupant health and wellbeing.
o meet those requirements, it is essential that architects, designers, engineers and other specialists involved in the planning, design and construction of buildings have access to products, materials and systems that are truly ‘fit for purpose’. Similarly, building owners are increasingly seeking information about the building materials present in their existing structure, the suitability for the building and how those materials should be maintained. Yet, surprisingly, there are few places that building owners and professionals can go in order to readily find information about building materials and compare alternatives. The result of that absence is either hundreds of wasted hours of research time across the sector or, perhaps worse still, the specification of inputs into buildings that are inappropriate or sub-optimal.
Save Time to Find and Compare Building Products
At Edge, we have spent years speaking to clients and attending events where that situation was highlighted as something holding back the industry. So we decided that, rather than wait for someone else to do so, we’d solve it by developing the BPI Rating platform. BPI Rating stands for Building Product Information Rating, and is a platform designed to create a home for all that data. Our hope is that it will help the industry save time and effort when searching for products with the right credentials, while also providing a clear route for leading suppliers to showcase their wares.
BPI Rating provides information on the Compliance, Resilience, Environmental and Social credentials of building products, systems and materials, as well as collating reviews and in the future including information on maintenance issues. These can be looked at in detail by users, but are also summarised into a simple rating scheme that makes it easy to filter and compare products. The ratings are linked to the comprehensiveness, quality and transparency of products’ credentials, making the site a great “one stop shop” for those that might otherwise be overwhelmed by the vast array of information out there in the market.
How You Can Use BPI Rating
BPI Rating has been developed through an inclusive innovation process, with the Edge team regularly engaging with industry to understand their needs. As such, we hope it’s already a good way down the road to being a useful and practical resource. But the more people use it, the better it will become. That’s why we’ve made it free to use for those searching for and comparing products. It’s also open for building product suppliers to create an account and enter details of their organisation’s product range , including their array of credentials, certificates, test results environmental information and much more. Finally, we’re always looking for opportunities for collaboration, and would welcome contact from any organisation that already collate and promote similar information. There is lots of scope to link databases to create a rich ecosystem for the sector.
We’d like to offer our thanks for the support of the Insurance Council of Australia and the Government’s Entrepreneurs’ Programme in the development of the platform. We’re also hugely grateful to all those industry folks that have provided their input into its development. We couldn’t have done it without you.