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Sustainable procurement for residential client Francoise Murat
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Sustainable procurement for residential client Francoise Murat



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  • 1. Sustainable procurement for residential client
    When sourcing sustainably is a necessity and not a “nice to have”
  • 2. Necessity V Choice
    • Interested in green issues/products only because of children’s health
    • 3. Not interested in where it comes from : sourcing sustainably – but WE felt it was important
    • 4. As local as possible
    • 5. Does what it says on the tin
    • 6. We were told Autistic child could die if she is not protected from dust, solvents, etc...
    • 7. If we can do this within 2 months we have job-we declined not realistic, job took 7 months!
    • 8. Our purchasing decisions were made on:
    • 9. Speed of delivery/procurement
    • 10. Price
    • 11. Green credentials
    • 12. Localised sourcing
    • 13. Fulfils brief
    • 14. Aesthetics preserved, function, form
  • Background information on client
    • Family of 3 children:
    • 15. 1 with Asperger’s Syndrome – repetitive patterns, no social skills
    • 16. 1 Autistic child with respiratory problems, Asthma, extra-sensory touch, hearing and smell, heavy metal poisoning (existent)
    • 17. Dust major consideration
    • 18. Noise and existing toxicity in the house
    • 19. Autistic child is home schooled and has special therapy programme with gymnastics etc...
    • 20. Family cannot move out and has already started to unpack
    • 21. Can go away for 5 weeks for major works +additional 1 week
  • Brief for late 19th century house refurbishment
    • Extension for therapy area – ground floor
    • 22. New kitchen + new flooring + small extension
    • 23. Servants stairs discard
    • 24. New bathrooms
    • 25. Re-plaster as required
    • 26. New flooring 1st floor (hall +bedrooms)
    • 27. Refurbish staircase (pine)
    • 28. Paint and decorate
    • 29. Retain as many period features as possible
    • 30. No sacrifice to form, function, aesthetics because of green requirements
  • Client’s imperatives
    and wood stains
    • No mobile phones,
    no radios, no excessive
    • No smoking on site
    • 36. Delivery of finished project by Early December
  • Process of sourcing materials - paint
    Paint: we took 5 weeks to test ‘Green', ‘eco’, ‘natural’, ‘organic’ paints
    Researched for veracity of ingredients or claims to green credentials
    Tested: application, coverage, opacity, texture
    Cost versus coverage
    Delivery charges, time
    Client did not allow for extra cost on any additional time/materials sourcing/procuring
    Builder also did not make for added costs, although we asked for him to provide 4x costs on materials and ensure he was paid for paint on extra = he did not
  • 37. Paint sourcing
    • We ordered over 300 litres of paint: colour match cost £30.00 (to Dulux colour) per colour, shipping next day for paint or same day once set up, set up was labour intensive
    • 38. These companies are set up for small orders: private clients, one room, more a wish to go green and then a must or real willingness
  • Wood products
    • Eco floor varnish: procurement and application (Auro)
    • 39. Testing on sample floor in studio = no problem
    • 40. Application on flooring – 5 weeks
    • 41. Staircase: sanded whilst family away 1 week, eco wood stain applied, 3 days to dry, matt finish (Auro)
    • 42. Preparation is everything
    • 43. Need contractor who will go the extra mile
    • 44. Different woods = different end results
  • flooring
    • Lyno
    • 45. Bamboo
    • 46. Tiles
    • 47. Wood
    • 48. Cork
    • 49. Samples ordered, colours, form and function, reliability of delivery, maintenance, application for the trades
    • 50. Cork was only one contractors had never installed – bought engineered boards
  • Kitchen
    • MDF kitchens – researched bamboo, solid wood, reconstituted, etc...
    • 51. Reality of time and costs and reliability
    • 52. Fitted John Lewis kitchen look alike when family away for 5 weeks
    • 53. Wants over-ride requirements, usual but shocking for us
    • 54. Cork flooring
    • 55. We found mould under old floor, black mould
    • 56. Toxicity
    • 57. Pressure to clear asap
  • Conclusion
    Extremely difficult project for dust, VOC free house, old house, clients living there – found lots of problems
    Gas boiler not switched off – old boiler removal
    Water contaminated – we put a whole house water purifier, water decontaminant (heavy metal)
    Eco/green suppliers : fantastic customer service, detailed knowledge of their products, performance, available at any time, good data sheets on most foreign products (Auro)
    Delivery of materials via Fedex, courier = v expensive
    Green – health and safety – spontaneous combustion of eco wood stain/varnish
  • 58.
  • 59. More conclusion
    • The Green Shop (Stroud) was speedy in sending samples, data sheets, and had stock (wood stain, varnish, paint Auro)
    • 60. Individual paint companies who manufactured their own had good turn around1-2 days upon receipt of order for delivery
    • 61. Cork company, distributors NOT manufacturers = be careful as they had to go to Portugal manufacturer who imports through one distributor who then distributes further= at least 5 days (no stock)
    • 62. Individual small companies not geared up towards large bulk orders
    • 63. Also trade price max we found 10% off retail
  • And finally....
    Did not always succeed
    Many untested/unknown variables/science is not exact
    Clients specifics did not always match real life
    What clients and says and finally does = pushing the envelope?
    Be prepared to change schedule on daily basis
    Think on your feet as most trades have no experience of eco products/materials
    Solution finding exercise
    Don’t give up!
    Great experience in eco materials/ application/ allergy/ health problems –find solution