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Specification Made Easy: Why Working With Clark-Drain Works Better for You

Specification is the under-the-bonnet detail that can make the difference between delivering any part of a construction project (including drainage) on time and on budget, and - at the other end of the scale - incurring massive change orders, cost overruns, and schedule delays.

As the word implies, it’s all about being specific about the products, materials, and work required, so vagueness and miscommunication just won’t cut it. But the fact of the matter is that all too often, specification is so laborious and complicated a process for construction professionals that the specifics get lost in the fog – and the quality of the work goes with it.

At Clark-Drain, nearly 60 years of supplying the construction industry has taught us that you deserve better than this, and so we have taken steps to make specification a quicker, easier, more precise, and less error-prone process.

After all, our products might be “grounded in expertise,” as we proudly say, but they have to be rooted in transparency, too; the onus is on us to make the effort to demonstrate to you that they’re the right fit for the job.

Here’s how we’re doing that right now.

Specification made straightforward: NBS

Essentially, specification relies on data communication and information exchange between client, designer, and contractor.

But as project data requirements become more complex, embracing - for example - new safety and sustainability regulations, and the additional challenges of climate change, it is crucial that everyone is on the same page for project requirements.

But where is that page, what does it look like, what information does it contain, and how do you get to it?

At Clark-Drain, we are working with NBS Source to give you and your construction partners open access to a comprehensive online library of data and information about our products, in just a few clicks – so you’ll never be left lacking specifics, or trying to fill in the gaps, again.

Let’s explore a few examples. An obvious one would be around the technical specifications that determine a product’s suitability for use in a certain application environment – so, its load-bearing capability, its dimensions, its drainage capacity, its resistance to damaging substances, its BS or EN standards accreditations, and so on.

Through NBS Source, at Clark-Drain we’ve made this information readily available at the click of a mouse – take a look at the F900 HDPE Channel Drainage solution here, for instance.

Equally, you might be seeking to specify a product based on criteria for ease of fitting and installation, as these factors ultimately influence schedule and – once again – the bottom line. So, a quick visit to this polypropylene channel drainage spec will tell you that the product is light and easy to handle, features a spring lock channel connection that enables several metres to be laid simultaneously, and has retaining pegs on its ribs to aid fixing in concrete.

So far, so good. But what about if, for example, your client has “softer” specification criteria, based not on typical technical or performance characteristics, but on, say, environmental credentials?

Here again, we’ve stepped up to the mark. The spec tells you not only, for example, that the B125 drainage chamber is constructed using exceptionally strong honeycomb walls, but that it is made from 100% recycled materials and is also re-recyclable at the end of its life.

In short, whether the spec is being driven by client preferences, operational and technical requirements, time scales and profit margins, or all of the above (which is often the case), at Clark-Drain we’re creating easier ways to not only get at vital specification data, but to make more productive use of it to win and progress business.

This means you can add products straight to your existing project specifications and 3D models through the NBS Chorus and Autodesk Revit integrations, or you can simply download the product information for use as and when you need it.

Getting spec right: the wider picture

But we recognise that specification is about a lot more than making decisions on products based on descriptions and data – it’s also about making decisions that are influenced by the supplier’s credibility, operational viability, and risk profile.

The most comprehensive, helpful, high-performing product specification in the world is a false economy if buying from the company in question subjects you to supply chain risk, or legal, financial, and reputational exposure.

This is why, at Clark-Drain, we are an approved member of Constructionline, an industry organisation that makes supplier credentials transparent to specifiers across a number of what they call “key insights.”

These are extensive, and cover criteria as diverse as health and safety, environmental sustainability, corporate social responsibility, ethical sourcing, quality, energy, and waste policies, equal opportunities and diversity, and many more.

They also cover importing and customs exposure – crucial considerations in the post-Brexit UK, although as Clark-Drain designs and manufactures many of its products in the UK, it is much less of an issue for us than for most other manufacturers.

Ultimately, our membership of Constructionline enables you to extend specification to the organisation as well as the products, giving you a potential edge when specifying against competitors.

Let’s talk specification

At Clark-Drain, we produce hundreds of products and product variants. Our people are always on top of our specs and pleased to talk to you about them whenever you need advice (because sometimes, only an expert will do).

 

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