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When Will Outcomes and Value Really Start Driving Construction Procurement?

As far back as 2011 the Government Construction Strategy called for new approaches to the way that publicly funded construction projects are procured and delivered. The intention was to place outcomes and value at the centre of decision making. How well have procurement teams and the industry generally risen to this challenge? Perhaps we’ll leave that question hanging…

It’s worth reminding ourselves of the type of procurement model proposed:

  • Clients issue a brief that concentrates on building performance and project outcomes;
  • Designers and constructors work together to develop an integrated solution that best meets the required outcome;
  • Contractors engage key members of their supply chain in the design process where their contribution creates value;
  • Value for money is maintained by knowing what projects should cost, rather than through lump sum tenders based on inadequate documentation;
  • The interests of those who design and construct a facility are aligned with those who subsequently occupy and manage it.

But would anyone would claim that we are yet close to meeting this vision? The inertia in the industry and within procurement bodies has been hard to overcome. Perhaps an era of austerity and low margins is not the best environment for sweeping away cautious approaches. And maybe the fragmented nature of traditional construction projects hasn’t helped.

Presumption in Favour of Offsite

Recently, the Government signalled its desire again to adopt Modern Methods of Construction (MMC) more widely to deliver greater productivity and value. The drive to do this isn’t just about technology, it also recognises that the most effective organisations in the MMC sphere already work in the collaborative way envisaged in the Construction Strategy – with a focus on early engagement, outcomes and value.

The presumption in favour of offsite and the recent consultation launched by the DfE on creating a framework for offsite school building programmes are clear signals. Greater use of offsite and Design for Manufacture and Assembly (DfMA) is the direction of travel.

Across the education, housing and healthcare sectors there are significant opportunities for contractors that can acquire offsite expertise quickly. As an offsite specialist, Innovaré offers a fully integrated design to installation service. This provides a low-risk, low-investment route for contractors and procurement bodies looking for collaborative approaches that bring outcomes and value to the fore.

For more information contact us today on 0845 674 0020.