For many reasons a party to a building project may think about using building products that are different to those originally specified or requested.
Substitution can sometimes be simple and easy, but it can also be complex, time consuming and risky. Some substitutions can be successful and save money or time. But many do not, especially where unforeseen results occur because of not doing a full evaluation of the proposed change.
In many cases, products substituted after building approval has been granted, are effectively unauthorised. They may have no evidence of compliance with building code requirements. They may invalidate various contract conditions and warranties. They may expose people to heavy liability (financial, insurance, legal and law-based) should a failure happen. Substituted products may also reduce the performance of the building as a whole. Often the rectification costs and risks of product substitution far outweigh any perceived benefits of doing it in the first place.
This guide will help designers, contractors, clients, building certifiers and building owners to manage product substitution (using building products other than those originally specified or requested). It provides an easy 3-step control process for managing the possible risks.