Construction efficiency – plus ca change?

In preparation for todays Lancashire Construction Best Practice event presentation on Building Down Barriers, I have been back tracking and hunting down material from the time of the projects. Back in the 90’s, presentations were on acetates on overhead projectors, the handouts raw photocopies of those acetates.

One of the slides in a presentation made to the Midlands Construction Quality Forum* by  (I think) Clive Cain in 1996 illustrates the state of the industry at that time:

Scanned Image 39

Nearly 2 decades later have we improved?

Since Building Down Barriers we have had many many strategies to improve efficiency,  a recent (2006) study of labour efficiency showed a similar 30% of non productivity:

project footprints

And today? How much of the total cost of a project is consumed by waste and inefficiency? Have we dropped below the anecdotal 40%?

Of course any inefficiency is un-sustainable from environmental, financial and social perspective. I am reminded of the Honda advert strap line that ‘everything we do goes into everything we do’. How much of what we do in construction goes into ‘making the building grow’

It is hoped that the Lancashire Construction Best Practice Club, in association with UCLAN will undertake facilitated research to address inefficiency  and provide supported solutions. A local, Lancashire Building Down barriers, working with complete supply chains applying all the good approaches we advocate. Approaches that could include BIM, lean , cluster supply chains, collaborative working, carbon management, facilitated continuous improvement and importantly circular economy thinking.

Watch this space!

* a 1990’s innovative community of practice, comprising quality managers from construction companies with a passion to share and learn across companies.

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