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In December 2020, the Government launched its eagerly anticipated Construction Playbook. Derived from both the recommendations of both the public sector and industry, including Willmott Dixon, the 83-page document is a blueprint to drive positive change in an industry that was worth over £117bn to the UK economy in 2018.

The Construction Playbook has been designed to support public sector construction, although its principles can also be adopted for the benefit of private sector construction. It outlines the role the UK construction sector will play in the country’s recovery to the Coronavirus pandemic as well as the role the construction industry will play in reducing the UK’s greenhouse gas emissions to net zero by 2050.

Within the Construction Playbook are fourteen key sectors, providing a wealth of best practice. Some of the key points laid out in the document include:

  • Providing greater certainty to industry through long-term plans for key programmes.
  • Incentivising industry to innovate by focusing on the output of what the Government wants a project to achieve, rather than micromanaging how it’s done.
  • Modernising construction by standardising designs and parts, as well as embedding digital technologies including the UK Building Information Management Framework.
  • A consistent approach to social value, with a minimum of 10% of tender grading devoted to the requirement.
  • Investing more in training and apprenticeships, driving forward innovation in construction, boost productivity and focus on value for money in public sector developments.

Willmott Dixon and the Construction Playbook

Willmott Dixon welcomes the release of the Construction Playbook, providing clarity and direction for customers, and an agreed standard for contractors to comply to. Speaking about the release of the Construction Playbook, Rick Willmott, Willmott Dixon group chief executive comments:

“The Construction Playbook provides a well-illustrated direction of travel for the industry and an opportunity for green growth, to work better with customers, social enterprises and supply chain partners and deliver local prosperity through integral social value. Alongside the wider industry, we look forward to embracing the challenge laid out ahead of us.”

Many of the topics laid out in the Construction Playbook are already embedded in Willmott Dixon’s ways of working:

  • We recognise the benefits of programmes rather than projects with over 60% of our work coming as repeat business. Through early engagement with Westminster City Council, Powys County Council and Sandwell Metropolitan Borough Council, we have seen first hand the benefits longer-term programmes can deliver, deriving supply chain cost savings through economies of scale and standardised design.
  • As part of our Now or Never 2030 Sustainability Strategy, amongst a range of industry leading targets, we have pledged to be net zero carbon in use by 2030.
  • Our local construction teams across England and Wales are driven to deliver brilliant buildings and are at the forefront of sustainable building design. Working with the London Borough of Sutton, we have delivered the largest Passivhaus secondary school in the UK at Harris Academy Sutton and the UK’s first negative carbon Passivhaus ‘plus’ school at Hackbridge Primary School.
  • We are at the forefront of Modern Methods of Construction, with our work at Pix Brook Academy utilising more than 70% offsite build to create a £24.6m school for 1,160 children in just 52 weeks.
  • We are committed to leaving a social value legacy in our communities. We are placed on many UK leading construction procurement frameworks and procure over 75% of our work through these mechanisms. Each requires social value delivery that exceeds the grading illustrated in the Construction Playbook.
  • Building on the BSRIA Soft Landings methodology, the development of our Energy SynergyTM process is delivering our customers in-use savings of between 5-15% as we bridge the performance gap and drive down energy costs.