Pinsent Masons launches inaugural collaborative construction report

01 Jun 2016 | 03:10 pm | 2 min. read

- Decisive, strong leadership must drive collaboration - Cultural shift crucial to boost collaboration and efficiencies - Launch event on 6 June

Decisive leadership and an overhaul of contractual structures, procurement processes and behaviours are crucial to embracing collaborative practices in order to drive greater efficiency across the construction industry, says international law firm Pinsent Masons.

In the firm's inaugural report 'Collaborative Construction: More Myth than Reality?' construction experts outline a critical need for a cultural shift to ensure collaborative disciplines are adopted across the industry.

Launching at an event at Pinsent Masons in London next week (6 June), the report highlights a number of barriers to collaborative construction. These include the view that collaborative methods will be more costly, time consuming and resource hungry as well as inertia prompted by reluctance to adopt new practices and a lack of leadership promoting industry-wide best practice.

To overcome these barriers the report makes a number of recommendations to drive change. These include:

  • Continued use and development of BIM with greater clarity at the outset of projects as to when and how BIM is to be incorporated into the procurement, design, construction and operational phases
  • A greater commitment to change from industry leaders, Government and public sector bodies, major private sector companies and consultants
  • Ensuring contractual structures and obligations enhance and support a more collaborative environment by focusing on positive project outcomes and reducing the blame culture which dominates more traditional contract structures
  • Innovation, participation and cooperation of all core project team members to maximise value and long-term cost efficiencies.

Construction Partner, Martin Roberts, said: "As the demand for construction and infrastructure services increases, procurers and suppliers are looking at delivery structures which will provide not only sustainable, long term value to the procurers but also, more consistent, better margins for contractors, supply chain members and professional teams”.

"As BIM and data management technology drives new approaches to the design and construction process, the need to replace traditional competitive procurement and tendering processes with more collaborative structures and arrangements becomes ever more acute”.

"This report strikes at the heart of the complex dynamics surrounding these issues and points the way towards a more collaborative future."

Commenting on the report, president of the Institution of Civil Engineers, Sir John Armitt, said: "There is now a general recognition especially in civil engineering that strong client leadership together with design and build and collaboration between the parties is the best approach. As the report makes clear there are a variety of contractual structures and approaches which can work but none will work without leadership from the client and collaboration and trust between all the parties. It is not easy but without it the industry will not deliver value for money”

"Contractual structures which support and enhance a more collaborative working environment and reduce the scope for conflict must be the way forward."

“I agree with the view that whilst government can, of course, play its part, it is the major industry clients and their advisers who are best positioned to lead the change agenda”

Founding Director of Cast Real Estate and Construction Consultancy, Mark Farmer, said:

“As Pinsent Masons’ report highlights, collaboration sits at the heart of the industry’s ability to modernise….what we now need is multi–party leadership to make this a mainstream reality for UK construction not just an exemplar approach adopted by government and a few forward thinking private sector clients.”

For more information about the report and the launch event please contact Martin Roberts ([email protected]) or Nigel Blundell ([email protected])

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