08 July 2022

Why should third-party ancillary components be part of building envelope system guarantees ?

Why should third-party ancillary components be part of building system guarantees?


A systems approach to designing and constructing buildings is based on how the components – including third-party ancillary components – within a system interact to achieve the required performance. System specifications are tailored to the needs of the project, so a system guarantee carries weight because it takes into account specifics like the site location and building use.

A guarantee that includes ancillary components is more valuable, and more comprehensive. Guarantees already offer certainty and reduced risk, because they say the system will do what is claimed. However, it’s necessary to look beyond the headline figure of the number of years the guarantee is for and understand what is needed to ensure the validity of the guarantee.

Including ancillary components in building system guarantees increases specificity

One of the biggest advantages of system solutions is that it takes pressure off specifiers. Trying to select every component within a building element, and spending time and energy on trying to ensure they all work together, is increasingly difficult – not to mention full of inherent risk.

Instead, a single manufacturer or system supplier can provide support in specifying components that are known quantities which combine in a compatible system. This ‘known quantity’ aspect makes it harder for contractors to substitute for cheaper components, reduces overall costs, and can also reduce the number of inspections needed over the buildings life without invalidating the system guarantee.

Choosing a proven system, where the compatibility of components is backed by testing, means anybody wanting to use an alternative product must be able to demonstrate that the alternative is capable of performing in the same way.

In situations where ancillary components are perceived as somehow ‘less important’ or ‘less critical’, any such alternatives might be more readily accepted – and that puts the integrity and performance of the system at risk.

A system supplier is unlikely to manufacture every component in a system. For those components they don’t produce – such as ancillaries – offering a range of options from trusted partners gives flexibility of specification while ensuring the system remains specific to the project. This specificity ensures confidence in the system and its guarantee can’t be undermined.

Detailed system guarantees are better able to demonstrate sustainability

System suppliers have control over who they work with, and which components they offer as part of tested systems. When this control extends to ancillary components, they can be confident about the traceability and the responsible sourcing credentials of every aspect of the system – and they can pass on that confidence to specifiers.

System solutions primarily reduce risk from a performance and cost perspective, but responsible sourcing also lowers risk significantly from an environmental impact perspective. A system supplier who has taken the time to work with responsible manufacturers of ancillary components can provide specifiers with the accurate and detailed information needed to make lower impact decisions.

Again, it comes back to specificity, and the difference compared to choosing products that are unknown quantities, especially where environmental impact reporting is concerned.

Tata Steel’s Platinum® Plus system guarantee incorporates ancillary components

Complex buildings need system solutions tailored to the needs of the project, rather than specifications copied, and pasted from one building to the next. Tata Steel’s Platinum® Plus guarantee helps to eliminate risk in building envelope systems by featuring components selected from a broad range of compatible roofing and cladding products.

The system guarantee incorporates a full range of accessories: all flashings, boundary gutters, fillers and sealants, ancillaries, stainless steel fixings, GRP rooflights, and safe link systems. All are from leading suppliers, all are independently tested and certified, and all are responsibly sourced and fully traceable through the supply chain.

Read more about Platinum® Plus and view explainer videos, download a brochure or start building your specification.