Boosting construction productivity could deliver £15bn savings every year

Latest News Wed, Dec 6, 2017 2:43 PM

New plans will revolutionise British infrastructure and boost the construction sector’s productivity in a move that could generate savings of £15 billion a year.

The plans were revealed alongside the National Infrastructure and Construction Pipeline, which sets out projects for the next 10 years.

This £600 billion pipeline includes both public and private investment. It will give certainty to industry that there is great appetite to develop infrastructure and will encourage the sector to invest in the right technology and skills to meet this demand.

The Transforming Infrastructure Performance programme sets out how the government will ensure these projects are delivered swiftly and efficiently. It contains ambitious plans to transform infrastructure delivery over the long-term, using the government’s influence to drive modern methods of construction so Britain can lead the world in high-tech building. The Transport Infrastructure Efficiency Strategy sets out how these lessons will be applied to drive efficiency and productivity in transport.

The government is a major player in construction and delivers many projects every year, such as transport, schools, prisons and hospitals. This accounts for a quarter of all construction projects, and using this purchasing power will enable ministers to drive innovation and encourage firms to invest in modern methods and technology.

Methods such as off-site manufacturing, where projects are part-constructed before being assembled on location, can boost productivity by reducing waste by 90% and speed up delivery times by more than half (60%). For example, a school that typically takes a year to build could be done in just over 4 months.

The announcements tackle this head on and give the sector the certainty to start investing in the right technology and skills.

Tony Meggs, Chief Executive of the Infrastructure and Projects Authority (IPA), said: "Publishing our Transforming Infrastructure Performance (TIP) programme today demonstrates our commitment to tackling the annual £15 billion productivity gap in construction. The IPA has a significant role to play in helping to create a more productive and innovative sector.

"We want to maintain confidence in the sector and will work alongside industry, using our purchasing power to drive the adoption of modern methods of construction in both new and existing infrastructure. The scale of ambition is great but by aligning our initiatives we can work with industry to deliver transformation for the sector."

Director General of ICE Nick Baveystock said that productivity, quality of life and the ability to face future challenges depends on the right high-performing infrastructure assets being managed in a coordinated way.

"Through the Transforming Infrastructure Performance (TIP) programme, Department for Transport’s Infrastructure Efficiency Strategy and the commitment to £600 billion investment over the next ten years, government has made a long term, strategic commitment to an infrastructure system for a modern economy," he added.

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