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Early engagement at design stage may make material savings of over £500k a year for Bradagh Interiors

Early engagement during the design stage could help Bradagh Interiors save 10% in costs and materials on each contract through reduced off-cut waste and raw material expenditure.

Bradagh Interiors Ltd provides interior construction and installation services to companies. Based in Derry, Northern Ireland it provides services on medium and large-scale construction projects throughout the UK. The company was introduced to our team by McLaughlin and Harvey as part of its supply chain for Scottish projects. The resulting site visit and meeting with Bradagh’s director Kevin Gallagher during the company’s recent refurbishment contract at the John Lewis department store in Edinburgh highlighted a number of opportunities to make significant material, waste, carbon and financial savings.

Our on-site opportunity assessment for Bradagh Interiors identified that early design stage engagement could achieve in summary: 

  • Estimated savings of over £504k a year
  • Material needs reduction of 170 tonnes a year
  • Reduction in waste arising by 25 tonnes per year
  • Carbon savings of over 500 tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalents

Bradagh Interiors had already theorised that tailoring the type of wall framing stud used to suit the needs of a specific job could result in significant savings through reduced waste tonnages and material costs. Our team found that the stud types being recommended by design teams for vertical support in wall framing were generally being over-specified on some projects. This over-specification has the potential to increase material costs and result in significant off-cut wastes. It can also generate additional labour costs, both for the measuring and cutting processes and also for the handling of the waste materials.

Our team highlighted the benefit of engaging with design teams early on to enable consideration of the actual requirements relating to the walls being built. This would enable bespoke stud specifications to be created. For example, the ‘I’ profile studs currently specified could be replaced with ‘C’ profile studs which consist of around 40-50% less metal per metre and on average cost around 50-60% less. Equally, 70mm studs were found to be adequate where 92mm and 146mm studs had previously been specified providing the potential to reduce purchase costs by around 40-60%. This would also reduce metal quantities used on each job by around 50-60%.

The scale of most contracts conducted by Bradagh Interiors and the quantities of studs used are also likely to enable the ordering of bespoke manufactured studs at specific lengths, preventing the need for them to be cut to size on-site. This bespoke ordering could save an estimated 10% in costs and materials on each contract wherever feasible.

Our team also identified the importance for Bradagh Interiors to conduct accurate pre-construction surveys of sites or gain access to detailed plans for each job prior to commencement as this would allow for far more accurate specification and quantification of materials. Bradagh would need to work with architects and customers to ensure pre-construction surveys are possible and this, in turn, will allow bespoke ordering of studs and avoid the over-specification.

Changes to stud specifications and ordering processes could save Bradagh Interiors around £504k per year, avoid 170 tonnes of raw material usage per year and reduce waste by 25 tonnes per year. The materials and waste reductions will also result in an estimated emissions reduction of around 500 tonnes of carbon dioxide equivalents each year.

“We were impressed by the savings potential available by ordering tailored materials for specific jobs. We’ll certainly make sure we increase our input at the design stage to fully realise these savings in the future ”, says Kevin Gallagher, Director at Bradagh Interiors.

Bradagh Interiors was surprised by the actual savings potential. The results of our analysis highlight the potential value of early engagement with key subcontractors in relation to the design process. Bradagh Interiors stresses the importance of getting this early input into design decisions, ideally at the design stage or by providing feedback to designers during pre-construction. Reducing waste and saving money not only helps with the project you are working on but can also help win new work. Stating waste saving experience on future tenders demonstrates wider expertise and environmental credentials which can set you above the competition when it comes to winning bids. 

Your company can benefit too

Contact us for free advice and support, and potentially qualify for grant funding to implement waste prevention measures. Call 0808 808 2268 or email enquiries@resourceefficientscotland.com quoting “construction support”.

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