Understanding key challenges in the specification of residential new build.

The challenge

Our client – a manufacturer of insulated board – was looking to develop a specific value proposition for house-builders. They sell indirectly to this group via merchants so do not have direct feedback from them. To help do this they wanted to understand the process they go through when developing a specification for their housing and what their key challenges are as well as their potential needs from an insulation manufacturer. This was with particular reference to thermal performance.

Our approach

We targeted senior decision makers, from both commercial and technical functions, from the largest house-builders in the UK. There were three stages to the research:

• In-depth face to face interviews (12) to map out the process of specification and understand key challenges in-depth

• Quantitative telephone survey (100) to quantify the findings

• In-depth telephone interviews (10) to clarify some key areas and test ideas

The results

We were able to map out the specification process and show that the industry took a fairly conservative approach to thermal insulation aiming to meet the basic requirements only at the lowest cost. We identified certain key challenges such as thermal bridging and concerns about how to meet future regulations. We also identified where an insulation manufacturer could support house-builders and build relationships with them.