The Covid19 pandemic has apparently thrown the world into chaos. More than ever, we hear words like uncertainty, recession, slowdown, the new normal, etc. As industry members, all the stakeholders – Manufacturers, Distributors, Architects, Consultants and Developers, need to keep in mind that this is an unprecedented situation but it will, like all situations, pass. Having said that, there are pitfalls to avoid when it comes to the solutions directly addressing the product specifications in buildings the post-Covid19 market.
There’s lot of information flowing in the market on anti-microbial, touch-free, sensor-based, hygiene-oriented building material solutions. While there is no denying the fact that the market for such solutions will grow at a much faster rate, we also need to be careful that such solutions should not make us lose focus on the overall specifications dynamics, especially in the project business. Here is a check-list from buildingandinteriors.com, made after talks with some seasoned minds in the Indian building materials industry:
- Architects and Consultants should look at the anti-microbial solutions for buildings with a clear focus on who the suppliers are. Any specialised product range requires an expertise that may not be available with suppliers across the board.
- Service support is the key – Buying specialised solutions needs to come with a robust service support and will go a long way in going justice to the very need for such solutions.
- Go with the specialists – There are specialist suppliers in the market who have had solutions in their portfolio that the Covid19 market has thrown open. Such suppliers will be better positioned to address the needs of the market.
- Robust anti-microbial solutions in buildings support hygiene in that ecosystem. A failure to offer anti-microbial protection puts the life of the users/inhabitants at risk.
- Specialised solutions are not necessarily the most price competitive. This is because there are certain manufacturing/quality standards which need to be maintained and it involves a cost. When specifying or using such solutions, be prepared to absorb a higher price. It will go a long way in addressing the basic premise for which such solutions were needed – maintaining hygiene that the projects demand.
- Anti-microbial solutions sometimes need closer analysis on the claims made. Sometimes, the anti-microbial properties are based on a layer of treatment on top of the product. When these products are subject to periodical cleaning, these layers/coatings begin to come off. So, a product maybe lasting you a lifetime but chances are, it’s anti-microbial properties won’t.
- Even in these times, the basic principles for the execution of any project remain the same. One needs solutions that can do justice to the project – structural, aesthetic, hygiene, functionality, etc. Not all aspects would involve any special solutions in the post-Covid19 market.
- Environment criteria should get increased attention – It is said that we got into this situation because of our relentless defiance of the rules of nature. The products selection should bank on quantity optimisations and choosing environmentally sustainable solutions.
- Project business is slated to get even more competitive – With an anticipated increase in labour costs in projects, the pressure will be felt by the product suppliers. The Architects and Consultants need to balance the short-term benefits with long-term gains for their projects.
For more coverage of the post-Covid19 market scenarios, click on each of our 3-part series: