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Solidly constructed: Supertext builds guidelines for construction product legislation for the FOBL

The Federal Office for Buildings and Logistics (FOBL) is responsible for the implementation of construction product legislation. Supertext helped it to create new user-friendly guidelines.

The new construction product legislation has been around since 2014. It aims to ensure the safety of construction products and to enable free cross-border trade. The Federal Office for Buildings and Logistics (FOBL) is responsible for its implementation. It decided to develop a set of guidelines as a service for professionals, and brought Supertext onto the scene in summer 2016.

Squaring the circle

The FOBL asked us to do nothing less than square the circle: the guidelines needed to be simple and easy to understand, but also legally correct. The target groups: manufacturers, importers and dealers in construction products – but also lawyers. And time was also tight: although we already had a draft of the guidelines, for a single copywriter to edit 17,000 words (68 standard pages) in just a few weeks – with a subsequent round of proofreading as well – was a demanding task.

Supertext immediately set to work to find a suitable candidate: an experienced copywriter with a strong understanding of both sides – the building industry, and the lay readers. We quickly struck gold thanks to a network of more than 900 language professionals and the experienced supervision of Enrico von Walterskirchen, who can find the right copywriter for any challenge. After a few test jobs and a briefing in Bern, each chapter was revised – with the close cooperation of the FOBL.

Pulling off the balancing act

The result is a compact, user-friendly handbook whose tone and layout are optimally tailored to the target groups. Together, Supertext and the Federal Office for Buildings and Logistics pulled off the optimal balancing act between simplification and legal correctness.

Cover image via Flickr: Construction – Vincent Diamante (CC BY-SA 2.0)

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