Domus Facades

A Message from Lord Pickles and Lord Blunkett, followed by Domus Facades's best practice article

The ability to listen and learn from one another has always been vital in parliament, in business and in most aspects of daily life. But at this particular moment in time, as national and global events continue to reiterate, it is uncommonly crucial that we forge new channels of communication and reinforce existing ones. The following article from Domus Facades is an attempt to do just that. We would welcome your thoughts on this or any other Parliamentary Review article.

Blunkett signature Rt Hon The Lord David Blunkett, MP
Pickles signature Rt Hon The Lord Eric Pickles, MP

www.domusfacades.com

BEST PRACTICE REPRESENTATIVE 2019
THE PARLIAMENTARY REVIEW
Highlighting best practice
20 | STEADFAST ROOFING
offering free training, up-to-date
method statements, risk assessment
method statement briefings and
personal protective equipment to all
ouroperatives.
By embracing best practices,
innovation and sustainability, we
are able to form an alignment with
our customers. We understand that
by doing this, a loyal relationship is
formed, therefore securing repeat
business. This in turn builds trust and
competitiveness with our suppliers,
who also want to align with best
practices in the industry. This gives us
our competitive edge.
Tackling the housing crisis
One of the challenges we face, and
the wider nation faces, is the need to
construct new homes to meet soaring
demand. We are lucky, as we operate
with companies who benefit from
the government-backed Help to Buy
scheme, but this does not entirely
solve the issue. Bigger steps need to
be taken to ensure that this shortfall is
addressed on a national scale. Longer
term, we remain very confident, as
there remains a significant shortage
of houses in the UK. Further out, the
Oxford to Cambridge Expressway and
its expected five new garden towns
should present us with considerable
opportunities on our doorstep.
Our future investment plans are far
from certain, but we are working
towards partnering with a major
roofing manufacturer to open a
training centre on our premises. We
believe that doing this represents a
good investment. The requirement for
new homes in the UK necessitates new
people to be engaged and to want
to join the industry. A training centre
will enhance standards and train new
operatives. We hope to give something
back to an industry that has supported
us all of our working lives. Helping
small start-up roofing companies with
expertise and advice along their own
journeys is something we would have
found invaluable 36 years ago, the
time of our own humble beginnings.
Today, we are a strong business of 30
full-time employees, backed by a team
of roofers, many of whom have been
with us long term. Despite the short-
term uncertainties and competitive
challenges, we have great hopes for
our future.
By embracing
best practices,
innovation
and
sustainability,
we are able to
form an
alignment
with our
customers
A product knowledge
demonstration
21DOMUS FACADES |
CONSTRUCTION & ENGINEERING
Managing Director NicShannon
Cliffords Inn, London
Having worked on a variety of notable projects, including
the Grand Entrance to Harrods and the redevelopment of
Regent’s Crescent, Domus Facades is a leader within its
sector. Dissatisfied with the technical solutions provided by fixed
system suppliers, Domus’ designers have designed a range of
their own, considering ergonomics and even design psychology.
Managing Director Nic Shannon tells
The Parliamentary Review
about the choice to create their own range of products and
how value engineering is driving a lowering of standards.
Delivering an architect’s vision demands a balance between material properties and
the environment in which it is to be showcased. We understand this balance. With
over 7,000 commercial stones on the market, we have developed our own support
systems in the UK for materials ranging from 20mm to 200mm thick. To achieve
this range of product delivery, a specialism is required on many levels within the
construction process.
Technical solutions from fixing system suppliers do not always match the
performance that is needed. When they do, they usually require additional
components at extra cost. Some cladding material properties can change by simply
becoming wet. For example, strength can fall by 35 per cent in some materials.
Another important factor to consider is human performance, which contributes to
failure in workmanship. This performance can be defined in terms of ergonomics:
in the physical dimensions of people and the newer area of design psychology.
Understanding this and articulating this into solutions is a continuous process.
FACTS ABOUT
DOMUS FACADES
»Managing Director:
NicShannon
»Established in 2006
»Located in Redhill, Surrey
»Services: Specialist contracting
in the field of stone and
porcelain rain screen cladding
»No. of employees: 10
»ISO 9001:2015 accredited
Domus Facades
THE PARLIAMENTARY REVIEW
Highlighting best practice
THE PARLIAMENTARY REVIEW
Highlighting best practice
22 | DOMUS FACADES
With this incredible inherent variance
in our materials and people’s
performance, we felt the support
systems on the market did not offer
the right technical solutions.
For a number of years, our business
model was based on a strong and
stable supply chain across Europe and
Asia. This covered numerous stone
quarries, limited porcelain factories and
fixing system suppliers.
Developing our own support
systems
When I became managing director four
years ago, I laid out a new direction for
the company and its supply chain. To
achieve this, the company turned to
industrial design to generate a range
of new products to form new fixing
systems for the cladding industry. We
had 20 years of design and installation
experience to draw from and so we
began the new product development
process.
Working alongside our internal
industrial designer, who has 20
years’ experience in stone cladding
design, we have created some unique
support systems for our industry.
Byapplying the product development
cycle, we have uniquely considered
ergonomics, guidance without taught
steps and even design psychology,
a definite step beyond that which
is normally associated with a stone
cladding company. The system is
packed with quality assurance details
that simultaneously reduce the
natural issues of human error and
remove a number of steps in the
installation process. In summary, we
have developed a safer and smoother
cladding system.
Our approach to our work in the
cladding industry is different from that
of most companies. As well as our
unique product development tools
such as 3D printers, we employ three
levels of analysis when we design
a cladding package. Firstly, we use
ANSYS software to model component
assemblies and to understand the
physics of load transfer and fatigue.
Secondly, we physically test the
components and connections in
our research and development test
laboratory in Surrey. Finally, we
carry out physical CWCT system
testing of our cladding and support
systems. The sight of an aeroplane
engine simulating storm conditions
on a two-storey wall is always a
stimulatingexperience.
The above can only happen if an
inquisitive nature drives the company
and asks what happens within a
façade. To do something in line with
guidance is not enough. We need to
know why.
We have worked on a variety of
notable projects. For the Grand
Entrance to Harrods, we used our
own fixing system with 20mm opulent
marble over five floors of cladding and
archways. This offered a lightweight
solution for safe handling with the best
technical fixing performance.
Half of Regent’s Crescent was
bombed during the war and rebuilt
Alberta House high-rise,
London Docklands
To do
something in
line with
guidance is
not enough.
We need to
know why
23DOMUS FACADES |
CONSTRUCTION & ENGINEERING
to lower standards. This has been
knocked down and rebuilt to today’s
standards. An important part of the
external envelope is the stone cladding
package for one of London’s most
historic residential buildings. With
stone cladding units up to 200mm
thick and weighting 600kg each, our
safe installation approach is uniquely
different from our lighter works
atHarrods.
Value engineering has gone
too far
Quality requires time and effort, above
and beyond standard practice. British
Standards and Eurocodes are there
for a good reason but after years of
inspections, you do wonder how often
this incredible wealth of guidance is
being referred to.
We are – and have been for some time
– in a period when value engineering
has gone too far. This has led to
reduced design life, reduced impact
performance, brittle materials failing
due to bad weather details and quick-
fix workmanship.
Beyond this, cheaper labour is bringing
with it lower-quality skills, and the
workers themselves are tired from early
starts and late finishes. A wheel is only
as strong as the weakest spoke and
this lowering of standards is a worrying
development. If our codes of practice
had a grave, they would surely be
turning in it.
Investing in further
development
The more we learn about materials and
what effect they have on each other
in our built environment, the more
we can become true specialists in our
design and delivery to the marketplace.
To achieve this, we have invested
in test equipment and software to
allow us to see what calculations
cannotshow.
Best practice and guidance is great,
but if people are not aware of it, we
cannot expect it to be implemented.
We have decades of research and
development in our standards here in
the UK, so much so that the European
norms for our industry are based on
the British Standards.
Making people aware of the British
Standards and codes of practice should
be a priority. Copies of the Standards
should be free or at least available at
a reduced rate to make them more
accessible to companies and designers.
The cost of failure to material goods
and human health is too great.
When it comes to protecting one’s
PI insurance, using a company that
reduces risk through its understanding
of material and human performance
is an attractive offering. Codes of
practice can sleep well at night in
ourhands.
We are – and
have been for
some time – in
a period when
value
engineering
has gone too
far
Harrods Grand Entrance
Hall
BEST PRACTICE REPRESENTATIVE 2019
THE PARLIAMENTARY REVIEW
Highlighting best practice
22 | DOMUS FACADES
With this incredible inherent variance
in our materials and people’s
performance, we felt the support
systems on the market did not offer
the right technical solutions.
For a number of years, our business
model was based on a strong and
stable supply chain across Europe and
Asia. This covered numerous stone
quarries, limited porcelain factories and
fixing system suppliers.
Developing our own support
systems
When I became managing director four
years ago, I laid out a new direction for
the company and its supply chain. To
achieve this, the company turned to
industrial design to generate a range
of new products to form new fixing
systems for the cladding industry. We
had 20 years of design and installation
experience to draw from and so we
began the new product development
process.
Working alongside our internal
industrial designer, who has 20
years’ experience in stone cladding
design, we have created some unique
support systems for our industry.
Byapplying the product development
cycle, we have uniquely considered
ergonomics, guidance without taught
steps and even design psychology,
a definite step beyond that which
is normally associated with a stone
cladding company. The system is
packed with quality assurance details
that simultaneously reduce the
natural issues of human error and
remove a number of steps in the
installation process. In summary, we
have developed a safer and smoother
cladding system.
Our approach to our work in the
cladding industry is different from that
of most companies. As well as our
unique product development tools
such as 3D printers, we employ three
levels of analysis when we design
a cladding package. Firstly, we use
ANSYS software to model component
assemblies and to understand the
physics of load transfer and fatigue.
Secondly, we physically test the
components and connections in
our research and development test
laboratory in Surrey. Finally, we
carry out physical CWCT system
testing of our cladding and support
systems. The sight of an aeroplane
engine simulating storm conditions
on a two-storey wall is always a
stimulatingexperience.
The above can only happen if an
inquisitive nature drives the company
and asks what happens within a
façade. To do something in line with
guidance is not enough. We need to
know why.
We have worked on a variety of
notable projects. For the Grand
Entrance to Harrods, we used our
own fixing system with 20mm opulent
marble over five floors of cladding and
archways. This offered a lightweight
solution for safe handling with the best
technical fixing performance.
Half of Regent’s Crescent was
bombed during the war and rebuilt
Alberta House high-rise,
London Docklands
To do
something in
line with
guidance is
not enough.
We need to
know why
23DOMUS FACADES |
CONSTRUCTION & ENGINEERING
to lower standards. This has been
knocked down and rebuilt to today’s
standards. An important part of the
external envelope is the stone cladding
package for one of London’s most
historic residential buildings. With
stone cladding units up to 200mm
thick and weighting 600kg each, our
safe installation approach is uniquely
different from our lighter works
atHarrods.
Value engineering has gone
too far
Quality requires time and effort, above
and beyond standard practice. British
Standards and Eurocodes are there
for a good reason but after years of
inspections, you do wonder how often
this incredible wealth of guidance is
being referred to.
We are – and have been for some time
– in a period when value engineering
has gone too far. This has led to
reduced design life, reduced impact
performance, brittle materials failing
due to bad weather details and quick-
fix workmanship.
Beyond this, cheaper labour is bringing
with it lower-quality skills, and the
workers themselves are tired from early
starts and late finishes. A wheel is only
as strong as the weakest spoke and
this lowering of standards is a worrying
development. If our codes of practice
had a grave, they would surely be
turning in it.
Investing in further
development
The more we learn about materials and
what effect they have on each other
in our built environment, the more
we can become true specialists in our
design and delivery to the marketplace.
To achieve this, we have invested
in test equipment and software to
allow us to see what calculations
cannotshow.
Best practice and guidance is great,
but if people are not aware of it, we
cannot expect it to be implemented.
We have decades of research and
development in our standards here in
the UK, so much so that the European
norms for our industry are based on
the British Standards.
Making people aware of the British
Standards and codes of practice should
be a priority. Copies of the Standards
should be free or at least available at
a reduced rate to make them more
accessible to companies and designers.
The cost of failure to material goods
and human health is too great.
When it comes to protecting one’s
PI insurance, using a company that
reduces risk through its understanding
of material and human performance
is an attractive offering. Codes of
practice can sleep well at night in
ourhands.
We are – and
have been for
some time – in
a period when
value
engineering
has gone too
far
Harrods Grand Entrance
Hall

www.domusfacades.com

This article was sponsored by Domus Facades. The Parliamentary Review is wholly funded by the representatives who write for it. The publication in which this article originally appeared contained the following foreword from Rt Hon Michael Gove.

Rt Hon Michael Gove's Foreword For The Parliamentary Review

By Rt Hon Michael Gove

This year's Parliamentary Review comes at a momentous time for parliament, as we collectively determine the destiny of the United Kingdom. 

On October 31, the UK will leave the European Union. The successful implementation of this process is this government's number-one priority.

Three years after a historic referendum vote, we will deliver on the decisive mandate from the British people. Trust in our democracy depends on it. Until that final hour, we will work determinedly and diligently to negotiate a deal, one that abolishes the backstop and upholds the warm and close relationship we share with our friends, allies and neighbours in the EU. But in the event that the EU refuses to meet us at the table, we must be prepared to leave without a deal.

As the Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster, it is my job to lead on this government's approach, should that scenario happen. Preparing for Brexit is my department's driving mission. But while I am leading this turbocharged effort, the whole of government is committed to this endeavour.

Ministers across Whitehall are working together to ensure that every possibility is considered, every plan is scrutinised and every provision is made. A daily drumbeat of meetings means that we are holding departments accountable, so that preparations are completed on time.

The chancellor has confirmed that all necessary funding will be made available. And we have mobilised thecivil service, assigning 15,000 of our most talented civil servants to manage our exit from the EU.

We will make sure that on November 1, there is as little disruption to national life as possible. Our trade relationships will continue to thrive, thanks to agreements with countries around the world worth £70 billion. Our country will remain secure, thanks to nearly 1,000 new officers posted at our borders. And the 3.2 million EU nationals now living and working among us can remain confident, with absolute certainty, of their right to remain in the UK.

Above all, our goal is to be transparent. Soon, we will launch a public information campaign so that citizens, communities and businesses are ready and reassured about what will happen in the event of “no deal”.

In my first few weeks in this role, I have travelled to ports and tarmacs, borders and bridges, all across the UK –from the seaside of Dover to the rolling green hills of County Armagh. I have heard from business owners and border officials, farmers and hauliers. They are ready to put an end to uncertainty. And they are ready to embrace the opportunities ahead.

Our departure from the EU will be a once in a lifetime chance to chart a new course for the United Kingdom. Preparing for that new course will be a herculean effort. But this country has made astounding efforts before. We can do it again.
Rt Hon Michael Gove
Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster