Improving quality, reducing risk

supply chain partners

Getting the right supply chain partners is crucial to realising the full benefits of Building Information Modelling – and SFS is at the top of its game

BIM is already proving its worth in the creation of higher quality buildings that offer reduced risk for clients and all supply chain partners involved in the project.

Key to a BIM project’s success is consistency and detail in the technical knowledge and information provided by all the stakeholders. This makes partnering with the right supply chain partners more important than ever if the advantages of BIM are to be fully realised.

The key goals of BIM resonate with the approach of those supply chain partners who are at the top of their game. For suppliers who offer technically advanced products with very clear, long-term benefits, like SFS, it is often a challenge on non-BIM projects to maintain clear visibility of these benefits in a way that all stakeholders can understand.

One of the dangers in such situations is that the specification is changed for an inferior product, which can be detrimental to the long-term quality of a building and introduces avoidable risk.

For SFS, the increased adoption of BIM is extremely welcome. We have a long heritage in the manufacture of high performance fastening systems for the building envelope, as well as door hinges for external and internal doors. It’s a product range that provides architects, OEMs and installers with an innovative choice of systems to create buildings that have a secure, visually appealing and long-lasting envelope, backed with warranties of up to 40 years.

Coupled with this, SFS has always recognised the importance of extensive technical support in the specification and application of fastening systems. The UK team is unique in the marketplace for being able to give customers access to specialist specification and technical teams, in addition to a technically trained sales force. This is backed by easy access to detailed technical information, including BIM-compatible resources.

Rainscreen support systems in the BIM era

Choosing the most secure, effective and installer-friendly method for attaching rainscreen cladding is extremely important on any project to achieve excellent build quality and reliable long-term performance of the façade.

In a BIM project, the availability of BIM objects for Nvelope rainscreen cladding support systems offers a number of advantages to architects, main contractors and other specifiers in the planning and design phase of rainscreen projects. This provides the scope to create digital representations of the intended layout, together with detailed technical information, accreditations and other background data to create a relevant, information-rich support specification.

Nvelope rainscreen systems are designed to make specification and installation of rainscreen easier and quicker, with an aesthetically superior end-result. A range of systems combining brackets, rails and fixings support decorative cladding panels and create the cavity between the building substrate and façade panel required for insulation and for ventilation.

Nvelope BIM objects contain detailed dimensions, product specifications and other key details to integrate into virtual model and simulated building designs. They are compatible with both Revit and IFC software versions, with Nvelope objects hosted on the NBS National BIM Library too, from where they can be downloaded to integrate into BIM software.

Structured BIM data for fasteners

In addition to BIM objects for Nvelope rainscreen support systems, SFS also provides structured product data on its fasteners. This product information is presented in plain language with simple questions and answers allowing integration into a greater system element, be that data or 3D geometry. They standardise data to enable clients and project teams to compare and select products based on value and life cycle benefits rather than just price.

The shift to higher grade A4 316 stainless steel fasteners and innovative rainscreen support systems is indicative of the movement, driven by BIM, to create better quality, more sustainable buildings. If a fastener offers a guaranteed service life of 40 years, rather than 10 years, the building envelope will need less maintenance, repair or replacement over its service life and thus have a smaller carbon footprint. This is why project teams on many of the world’s most high profile, architecturally stunning buildings already choose SFS fasteners in their building envelope construction, including the new V&A in Dundee and the groundbreaking Louvre in Abu Dhabi.

Supporting quality at every stage

Beyond BIM, SFS and Nvelope’s extensive technical resources ensure that the most suitable fastening solutions can be identified and specified with ease. Key to this is the unique Nvelope Project Builder. After information is submitted online to Project Builder, specifiers and installers receive electronic data such as project-specific bracket and rail spacings, guide pricing per m² and a pre-filled NBS specification document, with an option to access thermal calculations based on the unique wall build-up configuration.

SFS also offers technical guidance on fasteners and door hinges through its programme of RIBA-approved CPD seminars. Five complementary seminars are available to book, which can be delivered at clients’ offices and are worth double points to RIBA Chartered Architects. All the seminars provide up-to-the-minute technical information and guidance for designing-in longevity, safety, security, legislative compliance and client satisfaction.

With seminar topics including support systems for rainscreen cladding, envelope airtightness and thermal efficiency, fixing of warm roofs and designing roof safety systems, the CPD seminar programme utilises a wealth of technical know-how from right across the SFS Group.

With the right technical guidance and resources for BIM projects, it is easier than ever to select the most effective fastening systems for the building envelope and hinges for doors. SFS has long advocated the importance of specifying fasteners and hinges that are best equipped to accommodate the design requirements of the application, and BIM is enabling greater visibility of the benefits.

Please note: this is a commercial profile

Vincent Matthews

Marketing Manager

SFS Group Fastening Technology Ltd

Tel: +44 (0)113 2085 500


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