Future Proof Building — ignore at your peril?


Future Proof Building is the next consumer-driven initiative that builders, designers and developers will need to embrace if they wish to deliver a sustainable product that their clients want. Future Proof Building is the brainchild of construction visionary Lester Haycock and his innovative team at Construction Marketing Services Ltd. 

Building Today has featured this concept in depth, and it is something builders are going to hear a lot more about as the programme rolls out and the consumer is wisened up to what is available to them. Simply put, Future Proof Building means incorporating features that may seem cutting edge today but will become standard features in the future. As clients are investing signifi cant funds into their projects they will want to ensure their home or building maintains and improves its value. 

Having outdated features, materials or technology used in the construction of a project is a sure way of diminishing the value of the asset. Conversely, careful planning and analysis of future requirements will maintain the building’s value, keep maintenance to a minimum and produce a comfortable living environment that meets its occupants’ needs for many years to come. 

Many key industry players, manufacturers and suppliers — including Carters and the Registered Master Builders Federation — have partnered with CMS to help educate the industry and consumers about the benefits of Future Proof Building. 

You will see significant advertising and promotions aimed at the consumer who will, in turn, request from their builders and designers relevant elements of Future Proof Building to be included in their projects. 

If you have any doubt of the effectiveness of this type of pull-through promotion look no further than the Gib Living Solutions campaign. Clients are now driving the inclusion of Gib noise zones, tough zones and wet zones, all as a result of being educated about the product and the solutions they deliver. Previously, Winstone Wallboards marketed direct to the industry with little uptake. That all changed when the consumer was educated, and it will be the same for Future Proof Building. So how does it all work? 

Eight icons relevant to the design and construction phase have been developed by CMS. Each one of these has considerations and best practise scenarios that, in many cases, will be beyond the minimum required under the Building Act or may not even be a consideration. But all will deliver sustainable benefits in some way to the end user. T

he icons are: 

• Energy Efficiency Energy costs are rising like never before and, no doubt, will continue to rise as resources become scarce. Heating your home and water uses the bulk of your energy. Efficient ways of heating, insulating and even passive solar energy will become increasingly important to energy-conscious clients. 

• Space Management Changes to lifestyle and increasing construction costs mean space management is an essential consideration in the design process. Good use of available space can mean that a similar lifestyle can be achieved from smaller areas and, hence, save on construction costs. Flexible designs and multi-purpose rooms will lead the way in the future. 

• Life Cycle Costing More expensive materials with a longer life can often work out to be a more cost-effective option than low cost, short life alternatives. This is a crucial part of the decision-making process but is a rarely discussed option with clients, as all too often the focus is on the immediate bottom line. 

• Sound Control With sections becoming smaller and homes consequently being built closer to each other, noise pollution has become an issue. Glazing systems, wall linings and sound insulation systems are all relatively simple to install at time of construction, producing good results. 

• Quality Assurance Future proofed homes are built from quality materials, correctly installed by building professionals. The building industry is expected to become more focused on quality assurance as home owners look for guarantees and warranties to protect their investments. 

• Resource Responsibility It is no longer acceptable to simply take the cost effective options when building. We need to promote the use of environmentally-friendly products, recycled materials and renewable resources in order to make efficient use of our limited resources. 

• Security and Automation Just as you would not dream of installing a garage door today without a remote garage door opener, there will be things in the future that will be regarded as standard. These could include centrally-controlled computer systems for lighting, heating, home entertainment and security. However, building for the future today could be as simple as making provision so that it is easy to install wiring and services as they become available. 

• Health And Safety Many common health problems can be kept at bay by incorporating future proofed materials and systems into new homes. Efficient systems for keeping the home warm, dry and well ventilated, along with the use of non toxic building materials, will enhance living conditions for the occupants. 

If you would like to know more call Carters Consultancy on 0800BUILDING or visit the CMS web site at www.cmsgroup.co.nz. I suggest you find out more before your clients start asking you for Future Proof Building. 

There is nothing surer that they will.

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