Chartered Institute of Building Magazine of the Chartered Institute of Building

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Construction Playbook creates ‘digital marketplace for building parts’

8 December 2020

The government’s ‘Construction Playbook’, to be launched today, will be a ‘game changer’ which creates an ‘open digital marketplace for building parts’, according to key industry figures.

The Construction Playbook is expected to be similar to the existing Outsourcing Playbook, and will provide guidance on planning, evaluation, contract selection and implementation.

The publication of the document follows the launch in the summer of the Construction Leadership Council’s (CLC) ‘Roadmap to Recovery’, which set out a series of commitments to transform and strengthen construction in the wake of the covid-19 pandemic.

The CLC said it hoped the Playbook would cultivate a stronger and more sustainable relationship between government and the industry and offer the opportunity for a “more strategic and less transactional” approach to construction delivery.

Build UK vice chairman Andy Steele, one of the industry leaders involved in the Playbook’s development, said: “The Construction Playbook is a comprehensive document, addressing ad‐hoc and fragmented practices, and its implementation will greatly improve efficiency, investment and innovation within the industry. Embedding these new ways of working across all Government departments and throughout the supply chain is the important next step”.

The Construction Playbook will be launched at a ministerial roundtable later today, after which it will be available at Gov.uk.

Critical game-changer’

Construction Innovation Hub programme director Keith Waller said: “The Construction Playbook is a critical game-changer in our transformative journey as a sector. The covid crisis has brought us together as never before, exemplified through our ambitious CLC Roadmap to Recovery. Now, together with Government, we have a collective vision for what the future must look like.

Working closely with the CLC and pioneering leaders across industry and Government, we at the Construction Innovation Hub have spent the past year accelerating the crucial parts of our UKRI-backed transformative programme which we knew would be vital for both recovery and transformation. Our Value Toolkit, Platform Design Programme and digital workstream, along with other key projects, will play a critical role in turning the playbook’s policy ambitions into a reality.”

‘Amazon for manufacturers’

Offsite advocate Jaimie Johnston, director at Bryden Wood, said the playbook would create an “Amazon for manufacturers”.

He said: “Modern methods of construction underpin the playbook. The smart combination of offsite manufacturing and new onsite construction techniques means we can finally leave behind the crowded, dirty and dangerous construction site, and build more efficiently, more quickly and more sustainably.

“The playbook signals a wholesale shift in the way public buildings should be procured, designed and built, and looks ahead to a new, closely integrated design – construction – manufacturing industry. This will give a massive – and very timely – boost of energy, productivity and innovation to UK manufacturing and construction. Those resistant to modernisation should be left by the wayside, but for those who can see the potential and are willing to adapt, the opportunity is enormous.

“The government is making possible an open digital marketplace for building parts. These parts will be interoperable and standardised for use across many different types of building. This will finally open the door to efficient supply chains that will allow smaller manufacturing players to succeed and bring the benefits of the current, digital world to design and construction.”