With projects spanning multiple countries, Chelsom tells us how they’re able to utilise their skills and expertise when it comes to working internationally…
We operate in a truly shrinking world. Very often a single project could be put together from three different continents; the designer may be in LA, the procurement company or main contractors may be based in London and the hotel itself may be in Dubai. When it comes to working on international projects there are many elements to consider, but the shared goal should always be understood. Working collectively with all parties involved helps foster a mutual sense of ownership and ultimately a cohesive global project.
We understand the importance of creating lighting designs that meet the project brief, budget and time constraints and above all else we have the expertise to create lighting schemes that adhere to local regulations and can be interpreted by local contractors. In times of accelerated change, it’s good to go back to basics and recognise some fundamental considerations that make for a successful international project.
Our experience in completing projects in over 70 countries enables us to sometimes help designers in putting together specifications. We may have experience of local harsh climates, room proportions, switch locations, certain religious implications and general ideas of taste within that country. We are always willing to offer our experience and work closely with designers and specifiers to ensure a successful overseas project.
Electrical regs are indeed complex across the world. Even within the EU where there is supposed to be regulatory harmony, there can be three different plug type requirements within Germany and specific bathroom
regs in France. The USA has its own very stringent electrical product certification process (UL) as does Saudi Arabia (SASO) and Australia (RCM). Perhaps the most complex of the international electrical regulations is dimming technology because there are so many different types of dimming with all the associated componentry that goes with it, ensuring total compatibility in any country between the dimming gear, the switching and the light source requires serious expertise.
Obviously ensuring light fittings that are sometimes huge, sometimes heavy and sometimes fragile reach their destination safely and quickly is part of successful exporting. International customs paperwork can vary from country to country as can import duties and taxes. You need to be well versed in sea freight and air freight procedures taking particular note of any local restrictions, national holidays and of course language difficulties.
LANGUAGE IN EVERY STAGE FROM QUOTE TO CARBON LABELS
The British are generally linguistically lazy because most of the world speaks our language. However, to complete overseas projects successfully it is far better to have knowledge of the local language and that language should cover all parts of the process from website to enquiry to quotation to carton labels and delivery documentation.