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Contract Flooring Association Annual Guide to Specification & Sustainability Article

Contract Flooring Association Annual Guide to Specification & Sustainability Article
About: 


Have agreed to write 2000 words on Flooring Resource Efficiency, Waste minimisation, Site Waste Management Plan checklists and Material Exchange and here it is for those that do not see or read the guide.


REDUCE WASTE IN FLOORING
EASY STEPS TO REDUCE YOUR SHARE

REMINDER OF WASTE STATISTICS

BRE waste statistics showed

Environment Agency’s (EA) 2007 statistics showed 10m tonnes (£1.5bn)/year was over ordered and never needed.


OVER ORDERED NEVER NEEDED, LOST, STOLEN AND REORDERED

Its little wonder that so much is over ordered:


JOINED UP THINKING?

In 2004 the site waste management plan (SWMP) voluntary code of practice was launched when the UK construction industry was using 400 m tonnes of materials and generating 113 m tonnes of construction, demolition and excavation waste per annum.  The inclusion of waste reduction requirements in EcoHomes, BREEAM, Code for Sustainable Homes and subsequent introduction of the SWMP Regulations had been very effective in reducing the waste stream to 77 m tonnes by 2010.

So effective that UK Government that is renowned for lack-of joined up thinking has added the SWMP Regulations to the ‘red tape challenge’ a list of legislation to be considered for annulment in its quest to reduce red tape during the financial slump.  The financial sector has so much to answer for.


GOVERNMENT FRUSTRATION

It’s little wonder then that UK government from time to time asks why are we as an industry so inefficient, and rather than put in place legislation, it scrutinises and reports in the hope we will read and act to sort out our act.

1987 NEDO reported on Quality on Building Sites highlighted the disorganisation in information flows and drove an industry shift towards Co-ordinated Product Information (CPI).

The Latham Report encouraged us to build better co-ordinated project teams.
The Egan report called for year on year cost reductions, that is reliant upon an efficient streamlined construction industry and the Constructing Excellence Programme moved us along towards more streamlined procurement but the designers failed to engage in this movement.

The latest attempt to drag us up and drive down costs is procurement using BIM which the design professions appear to be embracing in droves, but until the classification and data organisation protocols are resolved to accept product data to enable the building of Big Open Data and until the design and decision tool Apps are created to interrogate the data using artificial intelligence to react with parametrics in an intelligent way, we will continue to be resource inefficient or wasteful in plain English.


OLD WASTE HIERARCHY
In order of priority: (most important top)


NGS NATIONAL GREEN SPECIFICATION WASTE HIERARCHY:

We use 42 Rs, (which could be the subject of a second article).


2011 WASTE HIERARCHY

(interpreted by NGS 2013)


IT IS JUST COMMON SENSE AFTER ALL

Most of what follows is common sense but unless all are applied comprehensively and consistently we will not make progress, all these issues must be in the head of the designer to jab their conscience each time they design.


DESIGN GENERATES WASTE

EA (Anglian)’s SITEwise II Waste Campaign discovered waste is not a key issue for design professionals and only ranked 8th out of 12 issues

Designer have plenty of excuses and will use them, the obvious one is there are too many conflicting requirements and others get prioritised.

Designers need to join in or more procurement may end up in the hands of the Design and Build sector.


DRIVERS?: BREEAM V SKA

Whilst BREEAM has contributed to waste reduction it can and should go further, its scope of resource efficiency measure reflect the authorship, their different priorities and understanding of projects.

BREEAM smacks of Business as Usual and addresses the minimum K40 (ceiling tiles) and M50 (carpet tiles) reuse.

Ska: make a significant difference it picks up on the obvious and goes much further and challenges the designer’s default actions and addresses:


SCHOOL FUNDING DICTATES WASTE

Funding rules set out to control costs but ends up costing more due to high wastage factors that its method dictates.

Money available is based on number of pupils with a space per pupil multiplier sets the room sizes.

But the rules do not permit size variation to suite the size of components preventing the opportunity to minimise waste from offcuts.


GEOMETRY DICTATES EVERYTHING

In reality because ever more sophisticated CAD gives greater freedom to fly kites, designers are seduced to use geometry for its own sake.

“I Can CAD, CAD Can, So I Do” seems to be the motto, which can lead to lazy thinking and lazy design and generates more waste when we should be going in the opposite direction.


GEOMETRY IN DESIGN

Circular & radial geometry demands bespoke parts or creates cuts & waste

Plasterboard ceilings and plywood floors do not fit, curved corridors, screed and plaster can.

When I challenge designers about the appropriateness of their choice they think I am mad.


NATURAL MATERIALS HAVE NATURAL VARIATIONS

We need to accept natural variation in natural materials or choose again, don’t choose a highly figurative species or cut if you want a neutral timber floor. 

Rejection rates can be high if the specification is too onerous, an 85% rejection rate experienced at a slate quarry where a green copper ore seam ran through the quarry and the British Library designers limited the number and size of the green spots accepted.  This was after the normal wastage of 1 tonne of slate generating 100 tonnes of waste due to the explosive method of extraction.

Interger house at BRE only uses reject floorboards from a project with too high a spec


REDUCE DEMAND ON MATERIALS

Co-ordinated modular design wastes less by coordinating the size of off the shelf components to the size of spaces, e.g. 3 x 300 mm. tiles equals a 900 mm. wide corridor.


MANUFACTURERS GETTING IT WRONG

They now make 900 mm square ceramic tiles, because they know-how, can and do, because they will sell a lot to designers who will choose them because they are big, without realising they will waste even more materials in rooms that are not multiples of 900 mm. modules; selling more tiles for the manufacturer, wasting larger tile offcuts to landfill.


WHAT WE NEED

We really need is flooring products of appropriate sizes to suit the room and/or smaller sizes for use at the perimeter to reduce waste at edges.

Of course these must all be co-ordinated sizes, from the same batch for consistency of appearance or complimentary colours for contrasting borders.

We also need designers to engage, this can be prompted by manufacturers literature including guidance on resource efficiency: tables of dimensions of numbers of tiles, just like the brick development association sheets.


CENTRED SETTING OUT

One of the first rules designers are taught is to set out modular components from the centre of the room in both directions and cut at all 4 edges and a variation is to set the joint or the tile at the centre of the room.  This accommodates tolerances in non-straight walls and diverts us from thinking about the size of stuff and working with them, into a habit of cutting components by default in every space which results in 30% of waste being offcuts.


SEGAL APPROACH

Appealing to Architects respect for past heroes may allow them to engage with the Walter ‘Segal Approach’ which acknowledges the size of a product, off the shelf, used full size, abhors all cutting and reduces waste to zero, it dictates a need to co-ordinate design, something we seem unable to do very often or very well.


CO-ORDINATION OF SERVICES
Covers, Drains & Chambers

Recessed covers of inspection chambers do not have to follow the orientation of the drain or the chamber, they can be rotated and positioned to fit the floor finish above so there is no or less cutting but may need to be larger to suit.


RESPOND TO STRUCTURE OR FINISH?

A chicken and egg dilemma potentially here, do you design the structural grid to suit the finishes?

The answer is of course you do or of course you should, and visa versa. 

Structural grids, partition sub-grids, ceilings services and fixings, platform floors and floor outlets should all be considered at the same time.

And of course somebody substitutes the finishes specification and the logic is lost on all that follows.


BAD DESIGN IGNORES EDGES:

Respond to structure and to room perimeter, floor finishes should not ‘pass under’ loadbearing wall.

Coordinate the scale of the components to the grid and if not then change the scale of the components at the perimeter to minimize cutting and waste.

Creating contrasting borders is only beneficial if there is a change of scale of components, if you want let the craftsmen work it out, but its better if the designer thinks it through first, and hence no surprises.


CHANGE MATERIALS AT PERIMETERS

One way to minimize perimeter off cut waste is to change at the perimeters:

But care must be taken to avoid an error I often encounter: a change at the perimeter without any understanding of its purpose and cutting at the perimeter of modular components as well, potentially two sets of waste not one.


DESIGN OF EDGES JUNCTIONS & ABUTMENTS

Today we need to focus on the performance of building more than we seem to have ever done in the past and so the junctions become more complicated and even more important to get right.

A wall to floor abutment must ideally be airtight junction and not permit thermal or acoustic bypass.

With complex procurement we need to be aware of who is doing which bit of the detail: is it by the flooring contractor or by others? Who gets there first and who needs to do what for the final detail to be competent in all respects.

On top of that we need to think about:


WASTE COST® lite

NGS are acutely aware of the amount of materials that the industry generates and wastes and whilst others are interested in data about the quantity and tonnes diverted from landfill, NGS are interested in how the industry engages in the costs of waste, NGS created a simple cost calculator that demonstrates that spending money on waste segregation can and should save considerably more; allowing QS and buyers to engage with the issue and not dismiss it as an expensive overhead.


WASTE COST® flooring

NGS have ambitions to develop the calculator to engage specifically with flooring waste issues and include a reporting mechanism to report to designers bypassing the barriers in the supply chain; advising designers about waste percentages, quantities and embodied carbon; but this development has to be funded or needs patronage.


SITE WASTE MANAGEMENT PLANS

NGS have promoted SWMP since 2002 in workshops where we developed pre-edited checklists, making them quicker and easier to use with many cells blacked out or part completed with guidance on available solutions including:

These can be used to add value to tenders and sub-contract bids and are increasingly being asked for by Main Contractors.

NGS SWMP documents include:

SWMP Appendix listing a range of related issues:


SITE CONSIDERATIONS


LEAN CONSTRUCTION PRACTICES

Manufacturing aspires to JIT (Just In Time) principles whilst our industry seems to dwell in JIC (Just In Case) or JTL (Just Too Late):


SITE WASTE CHAMPIONS

Ideally a paid volunteer, with resource efficiency in the blood, who abhors skip loads of materials leaving site everyday;


FOLLOW UP & DEVELOPMENT

This article is inevitably limited but it is expanded upon, and linked to guidance documents, published papers, websites, databases, specifications, checklists, calculators, CPD seminars, toolbox talks, etc. at:

/news/blog-archives/blog-projects/cfj-contract-flooring-journal-november-issue/ (This page)


© NGS BrianSpecMan aka Brian Murphy
24th October 2013 - 1st December 2013

Contract Flooring Association Annual Guide to Specification & Sustainability Article
Images: 


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 CFJ Logo png

Resource Efficiency V Effectiveness Cover png


© NGS BrianSpecMan aka Brian Murphy
24th October 2013 - 1st December 2013

Contract Flooring Association Annual Guide to Specification & Sustainability Article
See Also: 


NGS JARGON BUSTER


NGS ROBUST SPECIFICATIONS


NGS DEFECTS


NGS SOLUTIONS


NGS PROJECTS


NGS PAPER


NGS MANUFATURER'S SERVICES


NGS INSTALLER'S SERVICES


NGS CPD

  • EcoBuild 2013 Carpet Recycling UK
  • Harrogate Flooring Show 2013
  • FSP Flooring Sustainability Partnership
  • CFJ Interview

© NGS BrianSpecMan aka Brian Murphy
24th October 2013 - 1st December 2013

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