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Construction industry taskforce launches framework to boost sector productivity

by Sion Geschwindt
Construction industry taskforce launches framework to boost sector productivity

An industry coalition featuring the likes of Mace, Skanska, and Sir Robert McAlpine, has developed a framework to help boost productivity within the construction sector.

Published yesterday by not-for-profit group Be the Business, the framework outlines seven steps which contractors in the private sector especially could take to make their operations more efficient.

Also involved in the project were Landsec, Lendlease, and architect Bryden Wood. Together, the firms make up the Construction Productivity Taskforce.

The methodology behind the taskforce’s framework was developed on two live UK project sites – Landsec’s The Forge in Southwark and Norton Folgate, British Land’s Blossom Street development.

Measuring Construction Site Productivity – Seven Steps

Step 1: Engage: Engagement of supply chain partners and key stakeholders

Step 2: Define: Conduct a definition workshop to agree key metrics

Step 3: Identify data: Identify key data points needed to measure the key metrics

Step 4: Identify technology: Identify and integrate suitable technologies to capture the required data

Step 5: Collate data: Collate the data capture plan: mobilise technologies and processes to streamline data collection

Step 6: Measure & Analyse: Measure, analyse and review to test the metrics and identify productivity
improvement insights

Step 7: Improve & Feedback: Implement productivity improvements and feedback on results

Nigel Webb, British Land head of developments and chair of the taskforce, said: “Margins are a big issue in our industry, particularly amongst contractors and the supply chain.

“I if I was asked to set up a construction company today, I would think there were mad, asking me to do that and to take on all that risk. But improving productivity would help that, and with it bring extra finance to invest elsewhere in the business.

“That itself allows us to invest in skills, to invest in net zero technology and to invest in our people.”

Katy Dowding, Skanska executive vice president, believes that an increased focus on planning, a key part of improving productivity, would in itself have a wide impact on the sector – as seen during the coronavirus pandemic.

“There was a lot more preplanning [during the pandemic] and a lot more thinking ahead. So safety improved, as well as production,” she said.

“So actually, I think what we’re seeing with this is improvements in safety, quality, reduction of waste, and therefore environmental carbon benefits as well.

“It’s about a lot more than just doing things a bit cheaper. The aim of the framework is to establish a mindset where productivity is central to planning and management and considered as early in the design process as possible.”

Neil Pennell, Landsec head of design innovation and property solutions, added: “To be able to improve, it is important first to measure and compare.

“This framework, with its data to dashboard focus, provides a great starting point for the industry to begin to standardise the process of measuring site construction productivity.”

Image credit: SARAWUT KAEWKET/Shutterstock

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