Finding the right balance between cost and quality is a constant
battle for those involved in the specifi cation process, with construction
products, initially chosen at the design stage, often swapped out further
down the line for something cheaper.
This practice, often referred to as ‘value-engineering’, has been under even
greater scrutiny of late, with Dame Judith Hackitt describing it as a process of
“cutting costs and quality” which brings “anything but value”.
But spec-breaking is still a common occurrence in the construction sector
and this is brought to our attention by several of our contributors this month.
On page 54 of this issue, Tamlite’s John Allden explains how the recently
launched BiQ Tracker aims to end spec-breaking in building projects, noting
how, when it comes to lighting, “cutting corners” can lead to “all kinds of
According to John: “Not only do lower-price systems potentially herald
safety concerns for residents and maintenance teams, they are also less likely
to deliver the energy savings and quality of illumination that can be enjoyed
with higher-end schemes.”
He continues: “With the possibility of more frequent failures and thus
replacements, choosing lower-value systems can often be a misstep in every
conceivable sense: fi nancial, practical and technological.”
Elsewhere, fellow lighting luminary, Jim Ashley-Down of Watford-based
manufacturer, Waldmann, notes how failure to include specifi c products
can jeopardise the success and effectiveness of an entire build, urging
contractors to “look at the specifi cation and intent behind a project” and
“tender on a realistic level”; and you can see what else Jim has to say in our
exclusive interview, on page 56.
Meanwhile, if you have any comments, contributions or suggestions for
forthcoming editions of Building Products magazine, I would love to hear from
you. I hope you enjoy the issue.
Sophie Stevens, Editor
4 BuildingProducts.co.uk • May 2019
DESIGN / INNOVATE / SPECIFY
Editor Sophie Stevens
Assistant Editor Holly Miles
Sales Director Tony Brown
Advertising Sales Manager Justine Hall
Sales Executive Callum Flynn
Production Manager Jo Claydon-Smith
Designer Hannah Walsh
Publishing Director Luke Webster
Head Offi ce
Hawley Mill, Hawley Road, Dartford, Kent,
DA2 7TJ Tel: 01322 221144
Controlled free circulation:
Building Products is available free of charge to personnel
who come within terms of control. Copies are available on
subscription to persons who do not qualify.
Subscription Rates: Annual UK: £35 Overseas: £50
Single Copies: UK: £3.50 Overseas: £4
To subscribe email
Building Products is published by Mark Allen Group.
©2019 MA BUSINESS
Est 1985 ISSN: 0261-8761
Southern Print Limited. Direct input by Mark Allen Group.
All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be
reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means,
electronic of mechanical. While every effort is made to ensure
accuracy the publishers do not accept liability for errors,
printing or otherwise, appearing within this publication.
Some of the colour pictures used
editorially are provided and paid for
The views expressed by contributors
are not necessarily those of the
editor or publisher. Please read our
This will explain how we process,
use & safeguard your data
* Average net circ 17,605
– July 2016 - June 2017
Building Products, is the essential read for construction industry
professionals at every level of the specifi cation chain, providing
key decision makers with all the information they need to make the
best product choices in a fast-paced and ever-changing sector.
Its readership is diverse, comprising architects, subcontractors,
surveyors and facilities managers.