WHAT DO ARCHITECTS NEED TO KNOW ABOUT THE CODE FOR CONSTRUCTION PRODUCT INFORMATION?

At the end of March 2021, consultation closed on a draft Code for Construction Product Information (CCPI). The draft Code has been prepared by the Marketing Integrity Group (MIG), an industry body set up by the Construction Products Association (CPA) in response to Dame Judith Hackitt’s report Building A Safer Future.

The Code is aimed at manufacturers of construction products. It sets out 11 clauses that, when the Code is implemented, will need to be met in order for a manufacturer to be deemed code-compliant.

By meeting the 11 clauses, it is intended that a manufacturer is demonstrating their commitment to providing the industry with product information that meets five tests: clear, accurate, up-to-date, accessible and unambiguous.

Should design professionals be familiar with the CCPI?

At the time of writing the consultation response is still being analysed. The CCPI has not been formally launched, and therefore manufacturers cannot claim to be compliant.

As a result, design professionals cannot yet choose whether to work only with manufacturers who have the CCPI ‘badge’. As one of the primary users of construction product information, however, we felt it worth producing this blog post to help inform about the progress of the Code.

The CPA has been forthright in announcing its intention to push the Code through, regardless of feedback. As an architect or design professional, therefore, you can expect to see news of its launch (if you didn’t already know about it), and manufacturers starting to display the badge, in due course.

Will the CCPI make a difference to how you find and use product information?

That is the big question!

The Code is being heavily promoted to manufacturers, with suggestions that organisations risk being ‘left behind’ if they don’t adopt it. They are also being told that having the Code badge will help them to stand out.

But if the aim is universal adoption, then design professionals could eventually be in a situation where there is nothing to distinguish between manufacturers – which is not really any different to the situation now, where nobody has a CCPI-style accreditation.

In that case, the determining factor will remain your individual experience of interacting with a manufacturer, and whether you feel confidence in that manufacturer and understand what their product offers.

At present, we would anticipate the biggest visible difference being that product information – especially in written form – is likely to be presented in a different way. Exactly how different will depend on each individual manufacturer and their current approach to providing information. But will manufacturers need to be accredited in order to do better?

How is Polyfoam XPS responding to the CCPI proposals?

Like any responsible manufacturer, Polyfoam XPS is always looking for opportunities to improve. We have used the consultation version of the CCPI to start assessing our internal processes, examining the flow of information through different departments and the content of published materials.

Since there is no detail about how CCPI accreditation will be assessed, at this stage we can only identify areas where we feel we may not meet all of the essential elements of a particular clause of the Code. In that sense, the exercise has already proved useful, and will ensure we continue to provide product information to a high standard.

Multiple factors will dictate whether this translates into a formal assessment against the Code, however.

What is next for the CCPI?

The industry is awaiting a report on the consultation response, followed by what changes the MIG will make to the CCPI before putting it into practice.

There are plenty of examples where ‘having a badge’ is demonstrably a good thing, and designers and specifiers respond to it. But there are also examples of schemes and accreditations that, however well intentioned, simply do not resonate with the intended audience. In such a situation, it becomes hard to justify financial resource for a scheme or accreditation with no obvious demand.

When that occurs, we can only continue to trust in the integrity of our processes and ensure that the design professionals we interact with continue to receive the benefit of our ethos, even if there is no ‘badge’ with which to ‘prove’ ourselves.

While there is undoubtedly support for the draft version CCPI, it’s not clear whether this is mainly from people and organisations who are closely following its progress because they are aware of it and already responding to the idea positively. There are also justified questions and concerns, which the consultation will need to answer.

The real acid test, however, will be acceptance from product information users. For manufacturers to adopt the CCPI badge over the long-term, there will need to be demand for it. And product information users will especially need to be willing to notice and respond to possible breaches, including engaging with the infrastructure that is set up to support monitoring and enforcement.

About Polyfoam XPS

You can read more about Polyfoam XPS here. You will also find information about our complete range of products, and downloads such as technical documentation and product certification. We also regularly discuss industry issues and product performance in our blog.

For any questions regarding the product information we provide, to find out more about the CCPI and how we are engaging with it, or to discuss how extruded polystyrene insulation could benefit your current project, contact us.