Bilco Assist is a new initiative aimed at sharing Bilco's knowledge and expertise with the construction industry. The leading access products manufacturer has invested in providing a resource which architects, building engineers, facilities managers, roofers and M&E contractors can tap into to improve their skills in access product specification.
“This is one area in which most of the industry’s proficiency in specification still lies with the manufacturer,” says James Fisher, Managing Director for Bilco. “While access products have evolved and improved over the past couple of decades, there is still a confusion of ownership of their specification process, so the usual wealth of knowledge that comes with years of practice just hasn’t been accumulated."
“We want to be able to help educate those who need to specify roof access products, so our teams will be available on site, at the end of a phone and to provide CPD seminars, at a customer’s own premises if they prefer; in order to share the dos and don’ts of roof hatch specification, in order to achieve a quality product and installation, while maximising best value for money.”
The task of roof hatch specification can be carried out by an architect, but is also often left to the building contractor, M&E contractor or roofer. Bilco has observed that facilitates managers can find that they inherit a product that is not the most suitable and can even represent an ongoing safety issue, which could have been avoided with a more informed specification.
Because the task can land almost anywhere along the construction chain, the task is often handed to someone with less experience than they would normally need to make a truly informed decision, says Bilco. “When you repeatedly carry out a task, you tend to become expert at it,” explains Fisher. “Being given this task from time to time doesn’t make it easy for anyone to become proficient at it or to remain current in their knowledge. So it seemed a sensible move for us to make what we know more widely available; hence the launch of Bilco Assist.”
Bilco Assist also includes a repository of information on Bilco’s website, which includes CAD drawings, BIM information and NBS Building specifications. “If you haven’t had the opportunity to become expert, the next best thing is to consult one – ideally, Bilco,” concludes Fisher.
Bilco is also forging links with industry organisations and has recently joined both the National Federation of Roofing Contractors and the Single Ply Roofing Association, through which it is working to share advice and guidance on specifying suitable products for each project or application.