Here are the tools to change our behaviors. It’s time for us to use them | Comment

This month marks an important milestone in the journey of one of the construction industry’s premier initiatives with the launch of the Construction Innovation Hub’s Value Toolkit on June 20. Like many milestones such as turning 21 or passing a driving test, the day itself can be full of anticipation, excitement and energy so make sure it reflects all the work undertaken to date. However, what’s really important is not how far you’ve come so far, but what happens after that point.

When I was appointed to the Construction Leadership Council (CLC) in 2016, one of the first meetings I attended was the presentation of Mark Farmer’s Review of the UK Construction Labor Model – or the Modernize or Die report – which proved to be a forerunner of UK industrial strategy in 2017 and an important benchmark I must rely on in CLC’s 2018 Procuring for Value report. The cumulative impact of these touchpoints is far greater than the sum of their parts, as each marks a milestone on our industry’s journey to source better, and the launch of the Value Toolkit is well course another important event in the development of this trip.

Our industry is often criticized for throwing the baby out with the bathwater as governments change, policy is revised and funding is redirected. However, often what really happens is that evolution takes place and, although perhaps repackaged or rebranded, work continues to solve the challenges of our industry.

He brings with him the real tools to show people how to change their behaviors – not just the imperative of “you must”, but the know-how to change.

We know that we have evolved considerably in both the public and private sectors in our procurement processes where 10 years ago, maybe even five years ago, cost was still the only relevant factor for most customers. We are now in a world where we have governance in the form of the Construction Playbook, clearly defined upgrade and zero carbon targets and where the ESG (environmental, social and governance) agenda plays an important role for investors, developers and end customers. ‘ decision making. However, although we are no longer at the beginning, we are certainly not at the end of our sourcing journey.

We must also remember that the value toolbox is not something that has been imposed on our industry. Led by the Construction Innovation Hub, it has always been a collaboration between industry and government, and now that it has been developed, it is a tool that will remain in the public domain for all to use.

>> To read also: Not just another toolbox

>> To read also: Companies chosen to pilot Value Toolkit on projects

He brings with him the real tools to show people how to change their behaviors – not just the imperative of “you must”, but the know-how to change – unlocking Pandora’s box on how to integrate environmental factors, social value, and other non-monetary values ​​in the procurement process. For those who already know that the future is different from the past, it’s more than words but a platform for practical action with an app, training and how-to guides.

In short, it’s about better decision making – looking at projects and programs holistically, with more than cost in mind.

Let’s refresh ourselves on what the ambition of the Value Toolkit has set itself. As the Construction Innovation Hub states, it was “developed in partnership with over 200 industry and government experts to help redefine value and how to measure it. The Value Toolkit enables value-based decision-making focused on achieving better social, environmental and economic outcomes, improving the industry’s impact on current and future generations.

In short, it’s about better decision making – looking at projects and programs holistically, with more than cost in mind.

So if June 20 marks a milestone for the Value Toolkit, where should we be looking to go next on this journey? Although born out of centrally funded projects, enabling clients to fulfill the Construction Playbook’s mandate to use a value-based approach, I am already confident that its use will spread much more widely. My ambition is to see the toolkit 100% adopted by central government funded projects in the future, and for this to trickle down to local government funded projects where the value of using the toolkit tools in their purchases would be significant.

Similarly, private sector clients who wish to demonstrate the ESG credentials of their projects would benefit massively from using the toolkit, as would planning assessments, where clearly documented assessments of the impacts of proposed projects are essential. A single framework that works across central and local government and the private sector that was the result of collaboration between industry and government will surely bring efficiencies that will benefit everyone.

As we head into our launch day with government and industry stakeholders from public and private sector organizations, we need to remember why this approach is crucial to the future of the built environment. We have to put it into context over the past five years where, among other fallout from short-sighted decision-making, we’ve seen supply chains and even the Carillion Monolith fall, the devastating impact of Grenfell where the procurement was driven by cost not value and the current market we find ourselves in through global and national events that challenge us daily in our project decisions.

Now is the time to use the tools at our disposal to ensure that we think before we build – or even think before we make the decision not to build at all.

Ann Bentley is a member of the Rider Levett Bucknall Global Board of Directors, a member of the Construction Leadership Council and a contributor to the Value Toolkit.

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