HOUSE OF LORDS COMMITTEE CALLS FOR ‘RADICAL OVERHAUL’ OF CONSTRUCTION INDUSTRY
The construction sector as it currently operates cannot meet the UK’s need for housing and may struggle to meet the need for infrastructure, according to the House of Lords Science and Technology Committee.
Given that the UK construction industry faces a labour shortage and already lags behind other countries in terms of productivity, the committee called for the Government and the construction sector to urgently explore solutions.
In their report, Off-site Manufacture for construction: building for change, the Committee says that off-site manufacture (OSM) can help to increase productivity in the construction sector while reducing labour demands, improving the quality and efficiency of buildings, and reducing the environmental impacts associated with traditional construction.
However, take up of OSM is varied and somewhat limited across the sector because it is working with out-dated and unsustainable business models that are not conducive to OSM for construction. OSM requires collaboration between clients, designers and contractors from an early stage but much of the evidence the Committee received painted a picture of a construction sector that is fragmented and lacking in trust. These barriers must be addressed by the sector itself and strong leadership is needed from the Construction Leadership Council.
While OSM could lessen the labour shortage, the different skills required for manufacturing are currently lacking in the UK labour market and must be developed. OSM will require a combination of skills involving site implementation, digital and procurement. The Government must therefore ensure that young people entering the workplace are equipped with the digital skills needed for modern methods of construction, including off-site manufacture.
The Government’s Construction Sector Deal and its stated ‘presumption in favour’ of OSM, have shown a strong commitment to investing in this area and the Committee welcomes many of the initiatives. The Committee recommends that the Government develop and publish a series of Key Performance Indicators against which the success of the ‘presumption in favour’ can be assessed. Where the presumption in favour is set aside and a project goes ahead that does not use off-site manufacture, the Government should publish a statement explaining why it has not been used and justifying that decision.
In many cases, OSM is suitable for the construction of important social infrastructure such as hospitals and houses. The Committee heard evidence that if the Government is to achieve its aim of building 300,000 houses a year by 2020, OSM would be the only way to meet this target, and that traditional construction methods do not have the capacity to build enough homes. The Government must set out what conditions it will attach to the extra financial support for housing to drive the uptake of off-site manufacture and other innovative technologies.
Chairman of the Committee, Lord Patel said:
“There are clear and tangible benefits from off-site manufacture for construction which make a compelling case for its widespread use. We heard evidence that OSM could increase productivity in the sector by up to 70%.
“The construction sector’s business models are no longer appropriate and are not supporting the UK’s urgent need for new homes and infrastructure. The construction sector needs to build more trust and create partnerships so that companies can work together to improve the uptake of off-site manufacture, and the Construction Leadership Council should provide the necessary leadership.
“The role of the Government and the wider public sector is pivotal in a move to greater use of off-site manufacture. The report sets out actions that the Committee thinks the Government should take including implementation of the Construction Sector Deal, committed execution of the ‘presumption in favour’ of off-site manufacture and a greater move to procuring for whole-life value rather than lowest cost.”
Source: Estate Agent News
London Build is the leading building and construction show for London. Gain access to 8 dedicated conferences, 300+ exhibitors across 9 show zones, the construction industry's very own Oktoberfest, entertainment and much more. Promote your brand, open new business opportunities, win contracts and gain access to the latest market intelligence in London and the wider region.
What the UK's construction industry is saying about London Build..
It was our first time as an exhibitor and London Build Expo did not disappoint. It proved to be both exciting and productive. Looking forward to next year.
Certainly the best Expo I’ve been to with regards to meeting the desired audience!
London Build 2018 was our first year as exhibitors & we thoroughly enjoyed it. The show had plenty of interaction and interest!
London Build is a busy and vibrant expo bringing together large to small players in architecture, interior design, building, construction and refurbishment. I would recommend it as both an exhibitor and as a visitor.
We attended as a visitor for the first time last year and were impressed enough to rebook for this year. The standard of visitors that came to the stand was really good and the variety of roles from MD’s to electricians was excellent and some meaningful conversations took place, we met people that we would not have been able to access during a normal working week. It was a well organised event, very easy for the exhibitor and a really good atmosphere throughout, I would recommend that anyone who visited with a view to taking stand space in 2019 should go for it.
I would wholeheartedly recommend exhibiting at London Build.
We had a great time exhibiting at this year’s show. We met a real mix of individuals and companies, collected some valuable leads and found it an excellent platform to showcase our new fire safe building wrap material to the market.
A very well organised exhibition. From the initial booking of our stand, design, social media coverage and logistics; London Build 2018 was a breeze to organise and exhibit at. The layout of the floorplan was very clear and enabled exhibitors to find stands they were interested in and engage with exhibitors. We certainly made a lot of new contacts and would recommend London Build!
London Build is THE construction show for London. A must attend
The London Build Expo was a well organised and attended event. The quality of the speakers and the discussion was high and there was a progressive development of new products and materials on show.
London Build Expo was a wonderful event. I particularly enjoyed the balance of like-minded professions and stimulating debate. There was never a moment without something of interest to see
London Build Expo was a great experience bringing together all facets of building construction and operation. Highly recommended!
COUNTDOWN TO LONDON BUILD!