The Responsible issue

Oliver Parsons

Editor of Modus (RICS)

Despite efforts to promote a less adversarial culture in construction, disputes are becoming more protracted. Last year’s Arcadis survey of global construction disputes shows they are taking longer to resolve – lasting an average of 13 months, compared to nine in 2010.


Therefore, it’s much better to avoid getting to the point of conflict in the first place – and this is leading to an increasingly high profile for conflict avoidance techniques such as dispute boards and conflict avoidance panels. In this month’s cover feature, we take a look at the advantages and challenges of dispute boards and conflict avoidance panels in construction, while also speaking to some of the professionals around the world working on such boards and panels to find out what it takes to perform this trickiest of project roles.

Also in this month’s “Responsible” issue:

Digital disruption is a phrase as much admired as it is feared, representing the process of lean, smart digitally-enabled companies arriving in new markets and changing the game entirely. But what challenges does the trend represent when it comes to regulation and legislation? Peer-to-peer property lenders, for example, are much less highly regulated than funds. We discuss the measures that may be needed to allow this market to develop, while also protecting the consumer.

We meet three surveyors across the world who have worked on both sides of the private/public sector fence, and have decided that they prefer the latter. We ask them what it is that draws them back to the public sector, and what they have to say to those who see it as a second-best option.

Japan is a world leader in offsite housing production, allowing it to create 140,000 such buildings in 2014 alone. But there is a flipside to this homebuilding culture, in that housing in the country is widely considered to be a disposable asset. In this feature, we examine the factors that have led Japan to take this approach, and what we can learn from this completely different housing paradigm.

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