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Creating value-adding relationships from building regulations testing
Alex Harrington-Griffin sat down to learn more about how building regulations testing, although often a latter thought for small developers, can actually lead to value creation, and better sales performance if the right firm early on. Robert Joselyn from Hertfordshire-based RJ Acoustics told us how.
"Often clients come to us at the end of a project. If our tests fail at that stage, it’s a lot more difficult and costly to put things right."
Since launching the business in 2011, how many projects approx have you worked on and what has been the project you are most proud of?
We have worked on over 2,000 projects since starting, from small conversion projects to huge sites of over 600 units.
The projects where we’ve been involved from the start, given advice, and ultimately seen the tests pass once complete are where we’re most proud.
What do you feel is most important when receiving a brief from your clients? How can they help themselves when engaging a specialist such as yourself?
I think the most important thing is timing. When clients come to us early in the project, we can save them time and money by offering advice to give them the best chance of passing a SAP Calculation, sound insulation test, air tightness test or ventilation test.
Often clients come to us at the end of a project. If our tests fail at that stage, it’s a lot more difficult and costly to put things right.
How does your work translate into benefit for the end user and value for your development clients?
As we do multiple things, the value to the end user is a range of things. This can be peace and quiet in your own home, money saved on energy bills, or the satisfaction of having a smaller carbon footprint.
For the development clients, the benefits, as listed above are huge savings in time and money. Aside from advising on the best products and construction methods, we also do our best to offer as many services in-house as possible.
This means that we understand the impact each one has on the other, and therefore we won’t suggest, for example, a floor build-up in SAP that will mean you fail a sound test.
Your business started in acoustics, and then added SAP Calculations and Energy Performance as service offerings - how do you see your offering evolving in the next 3 years?
We have actually always offered air tightness testing as well as acoustic testing, and we now also offer the SAPs/EPCs, energy statements, ventilation testing and commissioning and water calculations.
Where we go in the next few years is dependent on Building Regulations and the direction they go. We are always looking out for new regulations that tie in with what we already do, that we can add to our repertoire to make life easier for our clients.
What we really need to do sooner rather than later is change our name – as you can see we offer far more than simply acoustics now – so that’s something to keep an eye out for.
Your customer testimonials all seem to hint at your company being very user-friendly and easy to work with, where has this culture stemmed from?
Hopefully, this is just a reflection of the personalities of the people we have working at RJ Acoustics. Some of the larger companies can be a little lifeless, simply offering a testing service with no add-ons. We like to do everything we can to help our customers achieve a pass. This means that initially, we’re not always the cheapest quote, but in the long run, we are likely to save customers money and alleviate stress.
Finally, there is a band called RJ Acoustics - do you have any musical talent and have you considered a collaboration?
We have one drummer, one guitarist, a piano player and a beatboxer, so I’m sure there’s plenty we could add! Perhaps we should collaborate to make an RJ Acoustics theme song!