Mabey has released a report urging early contractual involvement across the supply chain to tackle the construction industry’s productivity gap.
According to the firm, over the past decade the industry has seen a sharp drop in productivity, forcing the government to tackle the sector’s annual £15bn productivity gap, including cutting costs by a third by 2025.
Using examples of its own work, Mabey suggests that early contractual involvement for the development of Kirkthorpe Hydropower station in Wakefield halved the installation time of groundworks and cut the cost of the propping solutions for excavation works by 50%.
At Bank Station, the firm argues that accurate real-time monitoring of building columns ensured that any movement resulting from tunnelling work never exceeded set parameters. In particular, where a nearby building’s foundation was sitting close to excavation work, and a 1.5mm of movement could have jeopardised its glass façade.
The report argues that there are recent projects across the UK which demonstrate both the financial and productivity benefits of early contractual involvement across the supply chain, better risk-sharing, greater diversity and embracing digital engineering.
Mabey Group CEO Juliette Stacey said: “Delivering projects on time and on budget is a challenge that has always plagued the construction industry. Unless we implement new ways of working, slim margins and below average productivity will prevent UK construction from reaching its full potential.
“Our experience, working with contractors, subcontractors and clients, across multiple sectors, has taught us that it is not the sole responsibility of the end organisation to drive down costs and increase productivity. All contractors and infrastructure clients rely on a broad and deep supply chain of specialist organisations. The key is unlocking expertise in those specialists through better collaboration and early contractual involvement, and to adapt to better ways of working across the entire supply chain.”