Welcome to our May E Bulletin

Andrew Brown, CEWales Director, says we have the answers to improving how Welsh construction operates and changing behaviours: we just need to do some revision.

Construction in Wales is an interesting place to work – challenging but rewarding too and full of potential. As a board director of CEWales and as a full time PR consultant I see two sides of the story. I see reports that Wales is a robust and dynamic economy with huge potential. I also see the news and hear talk about the demise of Dawnus, fears regarding Interserve and concerns about how frameworks operate, and the poor behaviours displayed through some procurement processes. The truth is somewhere in between. What we can all agree on is that there is a lot to be excited about – a platform from which Welsh construction can achieve much more than it is now – but there remains a great deal of work to be done if Wales is going to embrace change and improve the business of construction and deliver the built environment everyone needs.

The need to change – particularly in terms of behaviours is reinforced in the Constructing for Future Generations document revealed at the CLAW conference on Wednesday 15th May and now live on our website. We have a moral obligation to deliver a built environment that adheres to the goals and objectives set out by the Wellbeing Future Generations (Wales) Act. Not just because of a legal imperative, but because it is the right thing to do – for all of us, for the planet. That ethical principle is one that – whilst unspoken in these terms – runs through the Egan and Latham documents upon which the work of CEWales is based. No one is arguing against making margin or using innovative materials and designs to create great landmark works – big and small. What we must do is deliver the homes, hospitals, schools and infrastructure Wales needs in a manner that works alongside our resources, minimises waste, reduces carbon and looks toward a long term future. If we build, maintain and refurbish facilities and buildings and adhere to sustainable development goals then we will be focussing on value.

What's more we already have the answers. So, when you've finished reading the new document: the Constructing for Future Generations, why not do some revision (after all, it is exam season in our schools). Look up Be Valuable and consider taking a longer view of the projects you're working on than the accountant or QS might recommend. Then, check both documents against the CEWales strategy paper, Building for Prosperity.

Then, why not go wild and check out Egan and Latham. Because, whilst those documents are twenty years old now, the ideas and recommendations are still valuable guidelines. If we heed the advice in these documents, of which almost all of which is complementary, then we can indeed build a successful and robust built environment for future generations.