20 June saw the launch of the Value Toolkit, designed to change the way the industry thinks about and measures value, and one of the key initiatives of the Construction Innovation Hub.
Ann Bentley, RLB UK Board Member, who was instrumental in its development, talks in Building magazine about the significance of the launch and how important value-decision making is for the future of the built environment.
Here are the tools to change our behaviour. It’s time for us to use them.
When I was appointed to the Construction Leadership Council (CLC) in 2016, one of the first meetings I attended was the presentation of Mark Farmer’s Review of the UK Construction Labour Model or the Modernise or Die report, that turned out to be a precursor to the UK Industrial Strategy back in 2017 and an important reference for me to build on in the CLC’s 2018 Procuring for Value report. The cumulative impact of these touchpoints is far greater than the sum of their parts, as each one marks a staging post on the journey our sector is on in procuring better, and the launch of the Value Toolkit is of course another significant event in the development of this journey.
We must remember too that the Value Toolkit is not something that has been imposed on our industry. Led by the Construction Innovation Hub, it has always been a joint collaboration between industry and government, and now that it has been developed, is a tool that will remain in the public domain for all to use. It brings with it the real tools to show people how to change their behaviours – not just the imperative of ‘you must’, but the know-how of how to change – unlocking the pandora’s box of how to bring in environmental factors, social value, and other non-monetary values into the procurement process. For those who already know that the future looks different than the past, it is so much more than words but a practical platform for action with an app, training, and how-to guides.
Let’s refresh ourselves on what the Value Toolkit’s ambition set out to do. As the Construction Innovation Hub states, it was “developed in partnership with over 200 experts from across industry and Government to help redefine value and how to measure it.
“The Value Toolkit enables value-based decision making focused on driving better social, environmental and economic outcomes, improving industry’s impact on current and future generations.”
Put succinctly, it is about better decision making – looking at projects and programmes holistically, with more than just cost in mind.
So, if 20 June marks a milestone for the Value Toolkit, where should we be looking to go next on this journey?
Although born out of Central Government funded projects – enabling clients to meet the mandate in the Construction Playbook to use a value-based approach – I am already confident that its usage will stretch far more widely. My ambition is to see the toolkit 100% adopted by central funded projects in the future, and for this to cascade down to local authority funded projects where the value of using the toolkit in their procurement would be significant. Likewise, private sector clients who want to demonstrate their projects’ ESG credentials would benefit massively by using the Toolkit, as would planning appraisals, where clearly documented assessments of the impacts of proposed projects are key. A single framework that works across central and local government and private sector that was the result of collaboration between industry and government surely will bring efficiencies that will benefit all.
Now is the time to use the tools available to us to ensure we think before we build or even think before we make the decision not to build at all.
This is an abridged version of an article that first appeared in Building Magazine. To read the full article, please click here.