Productivity in construction: Creating a framework for the industry to thrive

The CIOB recently published this excellent report authored by Brian Green available here. It is a substantive analysis and complemented by our own Unlocking Productivity report supported by ProjectFive and published in late 2016.

Don Ward is quoted in the report on the theme of outcomes and value as follows:

“Construction should first and foremost be measured by the outcomes it generates for the wider economy and quality of life. It is a means to an end.

The cost of construction – and maintenance – of a facility, whether a building or a piece of transport or energy infrastructure, is dwarfed by the effect that well designed, well built and well maintained facilities have on the productivity of the rest of the economy. Good school buildings enable good education, good hospitals enable good healthcare, good offices or factories and transport enable productive businesses, and good housing, energy and transport greatly enhance quality of life or ‘wellbeing’.

Put the other way, bad buildings or roads seriously damage productivity in the rest of the economy.

Once we are clear about how an investment in construction delivers this value, we can focus on what most people would probably think of as ‘productivity’ – delivering as efficiently as possible, lower £/m2 through ‘right-first-time’ lean techniques, no accidents or defects, less waste and environmental impact, more local jobs and increased social value. Compared with today’s average, this probably means more resource deployed in up-front planning and design and more offsite manufacturing, and consequently less resource for on-site installation.”