As reported on Building today, Sir John Egan Author of Rethinking Construction speaking at a reception at the House of Commons to mark 10 years since the publication of his report said he would rate the construction industry’s performance since as “four out of 10”.
Egan particularly criticised housebuilders for failing to follow the guidelines laid down in his report. “[Housebuilders] have made no cost improvements at all. Absolutely nothing. Also, their productivity processes actually generated much less than half of the demonstration projects.”
“I just don’t think they were trying. In this ‘nice decade’, as the Bank of England called it, they really didn’t try. And now they’ve got their comeuppance. It’s very, very sad.”
Egan said that housebuilders could have made progress with simple productivity and design improvements and more off-site building. “the houses could be costing a great deal less than they do, and there would still be a market.”
Egan went on to say that the government was partly to blame for “not trying” to be a good client in its construction projects.
Summing up the lasting impact of the report, Egan said: “We have to say we’ve got pretty patchy results. And certainly nowhere near the improvement we could have achieved, or that I expected to achieve.”
I would concur with Egan on this one, with some very successful exceptions, the principles and targets set by the Rethinking Construction report have not been understood or adopted let alone met. Many in the industry are not even aware of these targets. It continues to amaze me the lack of knowledge, in some cases of the existence, of the Egan report, across the industry and in education.
With a score of four, questions must surely be asked of the effectiveness of the organisations established, with government funds, to deliver Rethinking Construction.