The importance of choosing compliant and conforming products in construction is regularly discussed in the media and within the industry. The most dramatic examples of the failure of substandard products – such as the Melbourne Docklands fire and the Infinity cable recall – are widely broadcast, yet the range of implications involved in choosing cheaper products remain largely underreported.[i]

For building professionals, it is important that the hallmarks of sub-standard drainage systems are easily identified so informed decisions can be made. Products demonstrating reduced flexibility can signal low quality, as they are only relevant for general applications. A cheap solution also suggests a lack of testing, or a short research and development period, which could lead to problems later down the line.

While building professionals might be eager to save money in the short-term to help projects fall between the lines of a restrictive budget, the long-term cost may not be worth the instant savings. If a product is significantly cheaper than its competitors, it is likely that corners have been cut somewhere in the process.

Unfortunately, the lasting impact of cheap alternatives may be completely unforeseen by those who have invested in them. Reduced flexibility, for example, could lead to the need to rework existing plumbing. In a multi-residential development, this oversight will seriously increase costs. Like cheap products from any sector, it is probable that less costly drainage systems will result in a shorter lifespan, thus reducing the customer’s value for money. If drainage systems are not suitable for the job required, it may result in damage, not only to the system, but also to the building it is incorporated in. In the worst-case scenario, if a drainage system is found to be non-conforming and non-compliant, it may need to be replaced entirely.

To learn more about the pitfalls of investing in low-grade drainage, please download this free whitepaper.

[i] The Real Costs of Installing Non-conforming and Non-compliant Building Products (white paper) (Sydney: Architecture & Design, 2016).