Health & Wellbeing – a factor for specification

Here are two facts to consider:

  1. Many building clients and tenants are starting to look closely at the costs of their buildings throughout its operating life. This focus on operating costs over capital costs is tied to the realisation that the operating costs can be as much as 5 times the capital costs.
     
  2. Far in excess of the building’s operating costs is the impact on health and wellbeing of the people who live and work in them. Good design can improve the productivity of occupants and reduce illness. And so health and wellbeing is moving up the scale in terms of importance.

For the manufacturer, when promoting products to specifiers, it is important to understand these issues and how your products can contribute to delivering a better environment. It might be lower operating costs, ease of maintenance or as a contributor to health and wellbeing. Present this effectively, with the consequent benefits and you provide another reason for the specifier to stay with your product and resist substitution by the contractor.

In our report Health & Wellbeing in Specification we looked at these factors and how they are influencing specification. Natural daylight, good sound insulation, comfortable well-ventilated environments and the use of colour are all key contributors which designers are taking into consideration. Manufacturers need to review how their products can contribute to this and promote these benefits to clients, tenants and specifiers. 

Health and wellbeing can manifest itself in many different forms.

  • Retailers are realising that a more welcoming environment encourages shoppers to stay longer and spend more. Research in the USA by Walmart found that when they added rooflights to their stores sales increased. For this reason, most UK shopping centres being built today have glazed atria.
  • Both in retail and other work environments, it has been found that health and wellbeing improvements reduce staff turnover and absenteeism as well as increasing productivity.
  • A well designed environment in schools and universities improves learning.
  • In hospitals, designing with health and wellbeing in mind can speed patient recovery.
  • The NHS has even been conducting trials with housebuilders to reduce residents’ illness by improving the health and wellbeing of homes.

In my course Creating Demand through Specification, we start by looking at market dynamics, of which health and wellbeing is one, before progressing to look at how to effectively engage with decision makers and use these various features to create meaningful benefits, which can differentiate you from competitors and improve the chance of specification and eventually an order.

If you want to sell your products on benefits, not price, you need an effective specification sales strategy. Why not book a place on my one-day course at the Building Centre on 10th October 2017 and get some new ideas.

Chris is founder of Competitive Advantage Consultancy which specialises in specification strategy via market research, training and consultancy for the construction industry. He is a a member of the BIM4M2 steering group and serves on the organising committee for CIMCIG, the Chartered Institute of Marketing’s Construction Industry Group.

 

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