Lately it seems that a day doesn’t go by without a new report or article being published that assesses the health of the construction industry.
The skills shortage, the ageing workforce, adoption of new technologies, procurement processes, cost management – the list of areas in which we can improve seem to be endless. In this issue, Richard Saxon gives his view on just that, asking whether the current business model for construction in the UK can survive.
Of course, this kind of analysis is something to which all industries are subject, but as an industry currently in transition construction finds itself under more scrutiny and pressure than most. So we go on to take a deeper look at one of these potential areas of improvement and discuss why it’s so vital to our sector: cost management.
Chris Green provides us with an overview of cost management, detailing the quantity surveyor’s role and how their actions have a significant effect on whether cash flows or dries up. We then delve further into the topic: Andrew Smith looks at a number of issues including the impact of change management on cost, and Joe Martin details how to produce an order of cost estimate.
We also give two perspectives on design and build contracts: Andrew McSmythurs examines the myths surrounding them, which have only grown since the Hackitt Review of the Building Regulations and fire safety following the Grenfell Tower fire, while Oliver Sugden discusses the employer’s agent’s role in the process, and the industry’s perception of EAs.
Malcolm Horner in turn addresses the challenges of sharing construction cost data from both a practical and an ethical perspective, putting into a construction context the Economist Intelligence Unit’s latest findings – that data is now the fourth factor of production alongside land, labour and capital.
Elsewhere in the issue, Steven Thompson educates us on being alive to the risk of modern slavery in construction supply chains, identifying things to look out for and advising what to do to ensure we stamp it out once and for all.
In the leader piece, Rachel Titley also asks what core skills the modern quantity surveyor needs – a question more relevant than ever as thousands of youngsters receive their A level results across the UK this week.
Finally, we’re seeking your views in several ways. Read Justin Sullivan’s piece on the new collaborative model for the RICS and offer him your feedback, visit the update page and complete the RICS Health and Safety Survey 2018, or even drop me a line to let me know your thoughts on another issue of Construction Journal.
Freelance writer and former Editor of the RICS Construction Journal
Les works with members to produce journals that help surveyors with the technical and professional aspects of their day job. He leads the journal process from ideas generation and content creation, through technical review and onto design and the finished product.