Major contractors and clients back productivity playbook

Image: 176812888 © Pojoslaw |

Major contractors and clients, including British Land, Landsec, Mace, Sir Robert McAlpine and Skanska, are helping to develop a new construction productivity playbook.

The playbook is aimed at boosting UK construction’s sluggish productivity levels.

The companies feature in the Construction Productivity Taskforce, which has been convened by charity Be the Business.

Former John Lewis chairman Sir Charlie Mayfield established Be the Business in 2017. Its aim is to boost UK productivity by sharing expertise from the highest-performing companies.

Taskforce’s three targets

The taskforce, which also features GPE, Morrisroe, SOM, Bryden Wood and Cast, has three strands of activity to increase performance:

“We believe there is a great opportunity to improve productivity in our sector, which, in turn, can lead to higher margins.”

Nigel Webb, Construction Productivity Taskforce
  • A private sector playbook that helps all parties to collaborate to get projects right from the start. The playbook is complementary to the government’s Construction Playbook and encourages clients, contractors and SMEs to adopt fair and collaborative behaviours to drive innovation and productivity.
  • Backing the Construction Data Trust, a new legal structure that allows organisations to share their data in a secure way. Taskforce members provide data on productivity, waste and health and safety. As a result, they can generate insights that drive higher performance in each of these areas. Data is anonymised to protect commercially sensitive information.
  • Leading a pilot programme where live construction sites provide insight into effective data collection. Two sites, British Land’s Norton Folgate in London’s Shoreditch and Landsec’s The Forge on London’s Bankside, are already active as part of this pilot, with more to follow. The Taskforce will shortly publish a practical best practice guide on how to collect and measure productivity on site, informed by this pilot.

Nigel Webb, chair of the Construction Productivity Taskforce and head of development at British Land, said: “Productivity levels in the UK construction sector have, for many years, consistently lagged behind other sectors. We believe there is a great opportunity to improve productivity in our sector, which, in turn, can lead to higher margins.”

Be the Business chief executive Anthony Impey said: “The Construction Taskforce is a key part of Be the Business’s goal of raising productivity in every sector and region of the UK. A more productive construction sector is at the heart of rebuilding the economy post-pandemic.”

On the Construction Data Trust, he added: “Long-term, sustained performance improvements can only come from measuring progress. The Construction Data Trust provides infrastructure for the entire industry to identify opportunities for improvement, while remaining non-competitive. This can serve as a shining example of industry collaboration for other sectors to learn from.”

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