The Construction Playbook and CE

A Construction Playbook has been published outlining how Government will work with the industry to make sure public projects are delivered faster, better and greener. Where does the Constructing Excellence movement fit in? What happens next?

CE Wales and Constructing Excellence nationally is backing the UK Government’s the Construction Playbook – December 2020.

The playbook sets out how government will work with the construction sector to make sure public sector works are delivered faster, better and greener.  There is strong alignment with the Playbook and Constructing Excellence’s core values and vision, and this should represent a step change in how more than £117 billion spent on public sector works can accelerate sector transformation.

There is much to digest in the Playbook, but the ethos and focus on outcomes and value, collaboration, digitalisation and standardisation will not be new to those in the Constructing Excellence Movement – it certainly echoes the sentiments expressed by Egan and Latham. Indeed, the Construction Playbook feels like it reaffirms the role of CEWales and its vision and values.

The Government have spelled out a vision for Better, Faster, Greener delivery. The Playbook, as a compact between Government and industry, is the means that will make this vision a reality. By bringing to bring to bear its enormous buying power as a client, Government will help us as a sector turn our transformative ambitions into reality. Fundamental transformation has never been more achievable.

A key focus for the Playbook is upfront, creating the conditions for project success.  It looks systematically at how to approach risk, sustainability and innovation across portfolios of projects and programmes.  The key policies of the Playbook will:

  1. Set clear and appropriate outcome-based specifications that are designed with the input of industry to ensure we drive continuous improvement and innovation.
  2. Favour longer term contracting across portfolios, where it is appropriate. We will develop long-term plans for key asset types and programmes to drive greater value through public spending.
  3. Standardise designs, components and interfaces as much as is possible.
  4. Drive innovation and Modern Methods of Construction, through standardisation and aggregation of demand, increased client capability and setting clear requirements of suppliers.
  5. Create sustainable, win-win contracting arrangements that incentivise better outcomes, improve risk management and promote the general financial health of the sector.
  6. Strengthen financial assessment of suppliers and prepare for the rare occasions when things go wrong, with the introduction of resolution planning information requirements into critical contracts.
  7. Increase the speed of end-to-end project and programme delivery by investing up front with time and resources to set projects up for success.

All of this creates the right environment to improve Health, Safety & Wellbeing, move towards our 2050 net zero commitment and promote social value.

It is worth checking the link here from CE national that summarises the Playbook and CE’s reaction to it. There is still a lot of work to be done and a key role for the Constructing Excellence movement across the UK and in Wales to apply the ideas in the report. In England it is now moving into an implementation phase (2-3 years) and the work CE will be doing with the Value Toolkits (developed by the Construction Industry Hub) and CE’s wider work is feeding into that through various channels.