The Future of Specification: Durisol
Durisol UK was first introduced to the international construction industry in the 1940s, and has since gone on to become a worldwide manufacturer of cement-bonded wood fibre products. The firm has factories across the UK, supplying product to self-builders, house developers and social housing providers for a variety of build projects.
Here, Managing Director of Durisol, Neil Bussey, shares his thoughts on the future of specification.
How is the role of specifiers changing?
“I worked as a specifier over 20 years ago, but the business landscape has changed dramatically and now specifiers are inundated with options. As a result, traditional methods are coming under pressure. It is also challenging to find brick layers and traditional craftsmen, and so the market needs to start looking at alternative methods and Durisol sits very much in that space.”
In today’s quality focused, digital native and sustainability-conscious landscape, how has the needs of specifiers changed?
“We are finding local councils in Wales for example, now source from local suppliers which is a good thing from a sustainability perspective. However, all too often the final decision comes down to a price point. So, going forward, having the right environmental credentials is key, but at the right price. Durisol has a solution which is environmentally friendly with sensible pricing.”
How have you had to adapt your business to suit the needs of specifiers?
“Durisol is diversifying from self-builders through to many more commercial projects as well. Self-builders don’t always look for accreditations, however, once you get into larger projects there are many more accreditations and certifications required. Durisol is a well-accepted and globally accepted product that can address these needs.”
Do you find the specifier-manufacturer relationship easy to start, grow and maintain? Why is this relationship important to you?
“This is very important to Durisol in terms of being the first preference for specifiers. Historically we have overturned traditional build methods later in the process, but now we are working with specifiers to design in Durisol from the outset. We aren’t big enough to have a dedicated in-house technical team and we don’t wish to compete with consultants by creating a design service. We prefer to work with friendly and open-minded designers who understand the system and see the opportunity for both specifier and supplier.”
What advice would you give other manufacturers?
“This is a golden age for small manufacturers to go and take a larger slice of the market. Traditional build materials and labour are stretched and manufacturers of alternative systems should be poised to fill the void. All too often, supply in the market is stifled by major players to suit their own ends. Durisol will grow its revenues for this business in a market that can’t continue to do things in a traditional fashion and meet the volume targets that the government aspires to. This presents a huge opportunity for clever problem solvers to redefine the rules.”