Building confidence through transparency in construction

By Gavin White, Head of Product Management – Roofing at Sika

In the world of modern construction, trust in every part of the supply chain has never been more paramount. Every decision, from product selection to installation, depends on the reliability of the information provided – regardless of the source. Accurate facts from sources such as websites, brochures and specifications – form the foundation for safe and successful building projects – but this has not always been the case. 

Concerns regarding data accuracy and traceability have plagued the industry for years and is why we welcome a new initiative by the Construction Product Association (CPA) in response to concerns from Dame Judith Hackitt’s fire safety review, which is expected to usher in a new era of transparency and traceability in product information management. 

In what is now known as the Code for Construction Product Information (CCPI), a timely initiative designed to address these very issues, it consists of a robust framework outlining 11 clauses to ensure that all product information is clear, accurate, up-to-date, accessible and unambiguous. 

It is further divided into four sections – information creation, core information, associated information and support and competence – to empower specifiers and purchasers with the confidence to make informed decisions.

The first steps outlined in the CCPI assessment focus concentrate on establishing a strong foundation for product information. This helps to establish clear ownership, defined processes and well-structured systems that are essential for information creation and management throughout a product’s lifecycle. There is also huge emphasis on “version control” to ensure that all information remains consistent and reliable. All language used in product information is equally important and must be unambiguous and free from misleading claims.

Attention is particularly focussed on clauses 4-7 of the CCPI report, which further ensures that all core information is clear, accessible and constantly updated. Regular reviews by competent personnel are also required together with valid documentation for certifications, classifications and industry standard compliance, which is paramount. 

Product performance claims outside of standardised tests require verifiable information. The CCPI mandates that manufacturers must make readily available on their websites the descriptive and physical characteristics of their construction products. Any changes to product information must be meticulously documented and implemented through the correct procedures.

Additional clauses 8 and 9 in the Code, address the importance of transparency in information related to product handling, installation, operation, maintenance and disposal. The CCPI requires clear publication of this associated information on company websites. Warranty and guarantee details must also be outlined in precise terms, including exclusions and requirements.

The final two CCPI clauses (10 & 11) recognise the human element. Manufacturers are tasked with ensuring their staff possess the necessary skills, particularly those involved in product information dissemination. A robust training programme must be implemented to equip staff with the knowledge required for their specific roles, which means that identifying and addressing individual competence levels and limitations is crucial. This must be supported by a visible technical helpline together with contact details on company websites to foster a culture of accessibility and support.

We at Sika, a leading name in construction products, recognised the importance of traceability and transparency long before the CCPI Code was launched. Rigorous processes were already in place, which is why we were able to actively participate in the initial industry consultations that shaped the new Code.

Sika’s journey to CCPI compliance involved a three-pronged approach. First, a comprehensive leadership and culture survey assessed the company’s environment for adopting best practices in construction product information management. 

Secondly, we meticulously documented our existing management systems for product information creation, management and presentation. Finally, product sets were submitted for assessment and verification against the 11 CCPI clauses. This has resulted in the successful achievement of CCPI certification across all four of our product sets – a testament to our commitment to transparency.

While we have been pleased to adopt the Code, the CCPI’s ultimate success hinges on widespread industry adoption. Compliance is not just a box to check, it is a catalyst for a cultural shift. The construction industry needs to actively promote the code and become champions for transparency and traceability. By prioritising these values, we can ensure the safety and reliability of our products and also earn the trust of clients and the wider construction community.

In short, it means that the CCPI represents a significant step towards a future where trust underpins every aspect of construction. As more and more companies embrace its principles, the industry can collectively build a future where safety is not just a priority, it’s an unwavering commitment.