A new tool aimed at improving the quality of outcomes in the construction industry and providing a core component of the “golden thread” of information called for by Dame Judith Hackitt has been jointly launched by the Chartered Institute of Building (CIOB), Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA), and Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS).
The free-to-download digital tool – the Quality Tracker – will provide a constant reminder of quality targets, which may normally be discussed at the start of a project but then neglected as deadlines approach and costs rise.
The Tracker sets up a formal “chain of custody for quality” aligned to the RIBA Plan of Work, enabling all prospective and current members of the project team to better understand their risks. This improves collaboration, increases transparency, and averts disputes as project teams grow and change, the three bodies said.
Post-completion, when signed-off, the Quality Tracker gives purchasers, tenants, investors and asset managers a straightforward account about the quality targets for the building they are buying into and its development history.
It also allows clients to demonstrate their overall commitment to quality and differentiate themselves in the market.
The wider adoption of the Quality Tracker will also incentivise better quality in buildings, CIOB, RIBA and RICS said. In turn, it is hoped this will lead to improved human health, safety and wellbeing, and boost the construction industry’s reputation.
A guide to the Quality Tracker is being launched at the same time. It explains the background to the tool and how it should be used.
The Quality Tracker will be piloted over the next six months on real construction projects.
Paul Nash, past-president of CIOB and chair of their CIOB’s Quality Commission, said: “Last year the CIOB established a Commission to examine the issue of quality in our industry. We needed to understand what was preventing or promoting the delivery of quality on construction projects.
“Our research identified that there was a need to raise standards across the industry and to improve education and training on quality. But importantly there was also a recognition that the industry needed to collaborate if it is to bring about the change that is so urgently needed.
“It is for this reason that the Building in Quality initiative is so important, and I would encourage our members and wider industry to support this initiative and work together to build a better industry.”
Chair of the RIBA client liaison group, Nigel Ostime, said: “The tracker will provide a core component of what Dame Judith Hackitt called a ‘golden thread’ that has been missing to date, and we are convinced that projects that implement the process it sets out from inception to completion will see a step-change in the results achieved.”
RIBA president, Ben Derbyshire, said: “This is a significant cross-industry initiative which will enable clients and construction industry professionals to achieve better long-term building quality.
“The industry needs a shared definition and method of measuring quality, and better ways to account for risk and uncertainty – and this tool is an excellent response to those issues. I urge all industry professionals to pilot and help to shape its development.”
For further information on how to sign up to the pilot, visit https://www.architecture.com/working-with-an-architect/building-in-quality-pilot