Weatherproofing Technical Notes – Guidance for Built Up Walls
New technologies and solutions are coming to the market every day and, as competition between the companies grows it is hard to stand out from the crowd by delivering only a good product! Take into consideration the complexity of the nowadays façade projects the clients requires more than exceptional service, they need you to go the extra mile and going further what is expected. This is how you can differentiate yourself.
Things like listening, communicateing efficiently and being close to the client are important and essential but they do not make you a proactive, caring, and a trusted partner. The value you bring to clients must go beyond products and standard service practices.
Clients appreciate our advice and contributions that helps them save money or expand their business, positioning ourselves as trusted advisors and using our knowledge and guidance will determinate long-term partnerships.
We can highlight some points when it comes to servicing a client:
- Knowing your customers;
- Making the clients´ work easier;
- Helping the clients identify needs they may not yet have realised;
- Personalized, high-value interactions;
- Helping clients focus on different possibilities;
- Bringing new ideas and alternatives;
- Offering services that are usually not included but that are a must to the client;
- Going the extra mile and built a solid partnership.
“Instead of focusing on the competition, focus on the customer.” Scott Cook
Michelle Bacellar – B. Arch, M.Str.Eng.
Meinhardt Façade Technology | Technical Director
“As façade consultants, one of our roles is to investigate façade failures, find out their causes and provide recommendations for their rectification. Over the past 15 years, Meinhardt has carried out forensic investigations on many façade failures in the Middle East Region and we have witnessed repeated cases of failures related to problems with the air and water permeability performance of the facades, many cases relating directly to the weatherproofing membranes and lack of product service.
We found issues ranging from design faults, incorrect material specification, membrane discontinuity, poor installation or lack of membrane closure altogether!
These type of failures can lead to excessive moisture building up on internal finishes adjacent to facades, which can ultimately be very costly to the client, as often, in addition to rectification works to the façade, a full replacement of interior finishes is required.
With that in mind, a weatherproofing solution for façades that provides full continuity, ease of installation, compatibility with other materials and compliance with local environmental and statutory requirements, must be developed early in the design phase to ensure that the weatherproofing system is well integrated and coordinated amongst all trades that interfaces with the facades, thus avoiding or minimizing problems during installation and ultimately eliminating post construction failures.“
In regards to weatherproofing thematic service is crucial. When the clients are used to receiving only what has been paid – and nothing more, Effisus believes that more than added value products a complete service package should be delivered.
Effisus believe these should include:
1- Technical Support
At an early project stage, it’s important to engage and understand the problems and difficulties that the client is facing. As part of a completely free of charge Effisus service, we provide a concept design document that will include the client’s standard drawings, detailing the specifics product application. This allows us to look into the details, making a deep analysis of each project case which will be translated in a completely customisable solution.
2- Compatibility Tests
In some projects, it is necessary to do a proper assessment of the products to which they will be applied. Sometimes those projects do not include only Effisus solutions. For instance, during a façade construction project there are various product combinations applied at different project stages. To assure that these products will perform well together, a compatibility test report is issued based on previous tests in our in-house laboratory.
3- Site Visit
Previous to and during product installation a site training is provided. Based on our own experience and methodology we make this as easy and practical as possible.
Periodic site visits are also done to assure proper product installation including a report with comments, photos, observations, and corrective measures.
4- Factory Visit
In most cases, the weatherproofing solution or part of the solution is installed at manufacturing facilities and not on site. In those type of situations, there will be frequent factory visits for training and client support in order to improve the correct use of all the products and accessories, increasing the final quality and efficiency and minimizing human errors and waste.
5- Client Support
Sometimes, the client (who could be the applicator, façade contractor, architect, façade consultant, as well as the developer) has a problem and needs to have a specialist in weatherproofing thematic that could support him in all the subjects during a technical meeting or a technical visit.
This could be a meeting with a building control body or a warranty provider helping the client to obtain an approval or solving a problem on site/workshop, helping the client to achieve the project programme schedule. As you could imagine there are a lot of examples.
In the end and based on our experience, client support is generally lacking.
6- CPD Training
Effisus is involved with several players acknowledging CPD as a very important tool to keep up-to-date with the latest industry developments. Effisus has allocated teams in different countries and we see no boundaries when it comes to sharing and developing professional skills.
7- Only 1 Weatherproofing Supplier
For example, in a façade project it is a common practice to have sub-division of the whole project in work packages, where the weatherproofing system (VCL/Breather/EPDM Membrane) is provided by different suppliers. Effisus Ecofacade Envelope System assures one supplier solution to be applied for the entire project in regards to weatherproofing façade membranes.
The Effisus Ecofacade Envelope System is comporied of the Effisus Ecofacade System (EPDM membrane), Effisus Breather FR system (Class A2 Fire Rated Membrane) and Effisus Vapour FR system (Class A2 Fire Rated Membrane) all with the fastening accessories.
Advantages of having only one weatherproofing supplier:
- All compatibilities ensured;
- 1 weatherproofing design/solution;
- 1 project warranty for the entire weatherproofing solution;
- Fewer errors on site and design faults;
- Improvement of the façade application.
8- R&D – Research and Development
As part of our DNA, we are always looking for better solutions and improving the characteristics of our products. We are deeply involved in several R&D projects in order to solve our customer’s common problems such as Cavity Tray fire rated Class A2, Waterproofing EPDM Membrane Class B, Pre-fabrication, New technologies, etc.
9- Webinars and Technical Articles
We’re constantly developing new tools to interact with our customers and partners. Our online webinars are a great tool for meetings and training programs to discuss various themes in real-time. Along with the webinars, on our website, there are technical articles published on relevant issues in the weatherproofing thematic for the façade construction industry.
10- Respond to Clients as Soon as Possible. Pick Up the Phone!
When we talk about service we cannot exclude the importance of replying. In this case, speed means efficiency. This process should be as smooth as possible in order to reduce inefficiencies. One simple technical doubt or a logistic detail cannot be left without an answer for more than 24 hours.
11- Ready to Solve Clients´ Problems
Problems and mistakes are common during any project, however, the way we deal with them is the real test of our values. We should always try to understand the clients concerns and be ready to solve them, being honest and direct. We are ready to catch a plane to Paris or New York or anywhere else if it is needed!
Ultimately, the clients will decide what would be the right fit for them and which service is the best. Realising the differences and the possibilities that a company can offer in relation to another is the first step for the establishment of a lasting beneficial relationship.
“A brand for a company is like a reputation for a person. You earn reputation by trying to do hard things well.” Jeff Bezos
Zebian Aluminium and Glass Industries | Technical Team Leader
“Our reputable standards in dealing with complex architectural projects had made it imperative to select the vendors who share knowledge and provide finest product with optimal service.
As a part of the façade functions, weathertightness became associated with the ability to offer the guaranteed level of facade performance ensured by material characteristics, design efficiency, customizable solutions, quality and workmanship, installation method, and the permanent supervision. It is apparent that the listed points are controlled by the quality of the services rather than the product itself.
Effisus have been provenly one of our best suppliers to works with whom managed to provide detailed services for meeting as per client’s demands, there are many examples of providing these customizable services such as providing technical support, trainings at site, special cases solutions and many more in our projects from the initial stage till the handing over. Therefore, providing such technical support and services for us is more important than providing the material itself and the same is being duly received from Effisus.”