Safety, sustainability and digitalisation: the future of the architectural ironmongery industry

The GAI members’ day on 27 May saw more than 200 door hardware professionals from around the world join the virtual event to see what the future holds for the architectural ironmongery industry. 

The first keynote session of the day, The Future of Architectural Ironmongery, saw an expert panel debate the construction industry trends that could significantly impact on the role of door and window hardware professionals. 

Hannah Mansell, UK group technical director Masonite UK, Paul Martin, UK managing director of dline, Steve Bewick, chief operating officer for access control EMEA dormakaba, and Richard Waterhouse, a consultant and former chief executive officer at NBS, joined chair Liz Male, director of PR and communications consultancy LMC, to discuss the key issues effecting the sector and the implications for businesses, individuals and for the Guild itself.

The panellists identified three major themes – the changing fire safety regulatory landscape, an increased focus on sustainability, and the significant shift towards data and digitalisation - as the issues that they believe the sector should be most aware of over the next five to 10 years. They also explored issues such as whether they would recommend architectural ironmongery as a career – and the skills and attributes that would be needed by newcomers for a successful future in the industry - as well as discussing the essential first steps to becoming more sustainable businesses, and what it takes to protect specifications and break the contractor obsession with lowest price.

The event continued with the GAI’s AGM, at which Mario Del-Signore, managing director of CES Security Solutions UK, was announced as the new president of the GAI and Kaz Spiewakowski, managing director at GEZE UK, became vice president. 

The rest of the event consisted of a fully customisable agenda. Attendees could choose between a selection of sessions covering standards, key business issues and member specific benefits. 

Daniel Mansfield, head of policy and engagement at BSI, led a CPD session on the different types of technical standards, how they are made and the role of the BSI within this. GAI’s technical manager Douglas Masterson also joined this session to share the Guild’s involvement in 24 BSI committees and its role in the creation or revision of several influential British Standards including BS 8607 mechanically operated push button locksets, BS 8214 timber based fire door assemblies, and BS 9991 fire safety in the design, management and use of residential buildings. 

As part of a virtual product showcase, attendees could preview new products from a wide range of manufacturers and suppliers, including from GEZE, Forza Doors, HOPPE (UK), Codelocks, Croft, Strand Hardware, Mann McGowan, Masonite UK, Simonswek, ABLOY and others.

The final keynote of the day was a comparison between British, European and American standards by Laura Frye Weaver, vice president of education, certification and technical activities at the Door Hardware Institute in the USA and Douglas. The session gave an overview of the organisations in the US that set American standards and the UK equivalents, and compared specific product standards that impact architectural ironmongery.  

The event can be watched on demand here.
Upcoming Event GAI Webinar: Fire Doors in the Grenfell Tower tragedy 4 Nov 2021 @ 9:00 - 4 Nov 2021 @ 10:00
Upcoming Event GAI Webinar: Fire Doors in the Grenfell Tower tragedy 4 Nov 2021 @ 9:00 - 4 Nov 2021 @ 10:00