With sustainability high on the agenda across the construction industry, it’s an unfortunate reality that greenwashing is prevalent. Businesses’ use of half-true sustainability claims and carefully curated marketing mean that for many, the first question when told a product is sustainable is, “yes… but is it really?”.
This is why certifications are of increasing importance. They’re a shorthand way for architects and designers to know that the product they’re specifying does, in fact, live up to its claims - and those certifications verified by an independent third party are highly coveted. From a sustainability perspective, product owners and building designers are assured that products specified will provide the energy efficiency and weather-proofing elements critical to achieving the overall project scope, and deliver the desired performance attributes.
Certifications can cover raw material inputs, manufacturing processes and plant origins, and notably in the case of leading insulated panel provider Bondor Metecno, key attributes including fire, structural and thermal performance.
“For industry, certifications provide surety and trust to all stakeholders across the value chain that products used are fit for the designated purpose,” says Geoff Marsdon, Executive General Manager at Bondor Metecno. “These stakeholders include the full spectrum of construction, including design, approvals, construction, asset owners and asset insurers.” The comprehensive audit and verification method of certification is conducted at arm’s length from the manufacturing organisation, ensuring impartiality and integrity.
But certifications are equally important for manufacturers. “Certification is a central data source that consolidates all test reports, assessments and verifications indexed against the specific building codes and standards applicable for that criteria,” explains Geoff. “At Bondor Metecno, we consider certifications to be the most efficient and transparent method of sharing compliance data.”
There are numerous certification schemes across Australia and the world relevant to certain industry segments, materials, or locations. But there are a few that bear specific mention.
First - and no doubt familiar to all construction industry professionals - the CodeMark Certification Scheme is a voluntary third-party building product certification scheme, administered by the Australian Building Codes Board (ABCB). CodeMark is designed to provide confidence and certainty to regulatory authorities and the market, through the issue of a Certificate of Conformity.
Second, FM Approvals is an international leader in third-party testing and certification services. FM tests property loss prevention products and services for use in commercial and industrial facilities, to verify they meet rigorous standards of quality, technical integrity and performance.
Bondor Metecno takes certification seriously, as an important marker not only of the quality of their products, but who they are as a company. “We hold 17 different CodeMark certificates for our Australian made products, the largest certification range of any manufacturer in our industry,” says Geoff.
“In addition, a large proportion of our products are accredited as FM approved, ensuring asset owners have the availability of building products that qualify their assets for maximum insurance protection at minimum cost. As the industry leader we consider third party formal certification as the premier platform for displaying our credentials in aiding the design and construction of high performance, thermally efficient facilities.”
You may not be able to judge a book by its cover, but you can certainly judge a company by its certifications - and in the case of Bondor Metecno, that judgement is a resounding endorsement.