Pettigrew fears 'false dawn'
The HVCA has welcomed the new Construction Strategy, but has urged the Government to follow through decisively on the proposals.
The association particularly welcomed the emphasis on improved integration across the supply chain; standard forms of pre-qualification; the elimination of wasteful processes; and fair payment. “All of these measures are welcome, but the hard work of delivering them has still to be done,” says Roderick Pettigrew, deputy chief executive of the HVCA.
“We have had false dawns in the past, but if the Government is to hit its carbon reduction targets and deliver a more sustainable built environment that is fit for the future, then it must follow through on this latest initiative.
“If implemented, the strategy could slash construction costs by at least 20 per cent allowing more to be built for less. Cost benchmarking will play a crucial role, but the overall key is proper engagement of the skills and knowledge of the complete supply chain through integrated teams with all members sharing the risks and the rewards,” he added.
“Delivering a sustainable built environment requires all specialists within the supply chain to be fully engaged – this is only possible with integrated teams,” said Mr Pettigrew.
The HVCA also believes the role of Chief Construction Adviser should be made permanent to demonstrate commitment to the strategy and the industry. This would ensure that Paul Morrell (or a successor after November when his tenure is due to end) had sufficient continuity and security of employment to concentrate fully on delivering the strategy and making sure its measures stick.
“The fact that Mr Morrell also chairs the new Construction Board makes this an even more important strategic decision,” said Mr Pettigrew. He also pointed to the proposal to retrain government agencies involved in procurement as a major potential breakthrough.
“They must have a better understanding of the shortcomings of the present system and the benefits of the alternatives now available,” he said. “They must also have a grasp of the opportunities offered by modern design approaches like Building Information Modelling (BIM),” added Mr Pettigrew.