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BUSINESSES working in the built environment in the East Midlands are being encouraged to celebrate their successes following a hugely challenging year for the construction industry. Entries for the Constructing Excellence East Midlands Awards are now open, with 14 prizes on offer spanning projects, innovations and sustainability.

Sponsored by Salus, the awards honour companies and individuals working in the construction industry in the region, with winners moving forward to the organisation’s national awards. Andrew Carpenter, chief executive of Constructing Excellence Midlands, said: “The past twelve months have been incredibly difficult for everyone, but as an industry, we should be very proud of the way we have adapted to the challenges that we have faced.

“These awards give businesses the opportunity to be recognised not just for the great work they do on projects across the region, but also for their efforts in developing their people and creating social value.”

Unlike last year – where lockdown restrictions meant the awards were held virtually – this year’s honours will be presented at a physical ceremony in September.

Carpenter said: “As restrictions on social gatherings begin to lift and we progress through the Prime Minister’s roadmap, we wanted to ensure that the awards ceremony was an opportunity for our industry to get together in person and celebrate its successes in a way that hasn’t been an option for the past year.

“We will be keeping a close eye on the situation regarding indoor gatherings and will ensure that the event follows all the necessary protocols to ensure that everyone can remain safe and well.”

Paul Meadows, director of the event’s headline sponsor, Salus, said: “We’re delighted to be supporting these awards, which do a wonderful job in recognising the hard work of the people and companies that make up our industry.”

To be nominated, projects, schemes, processes or philosophies should have contributed to the East Midlands built environment and can be celebrated as an example of best practice. Entries are welcomed from developers, clients, contractors, specialist and sub-contractors, engineers, members of the design team and other consultants.

The deadline for submissions is Wednesday, 7 April 2021. For more information and to enter, please visit cemidlands.org/about-the-awards-east-2021

The Constructing Excellence Midland and South West regions have recently launched an updated Clients Best Practice Guide, the first update since 2014.

The Clients Best Practice Guide can be downloaded HERE

This update like its predecessor has been developed by clients for clients and is aligned to goals and aspirations of the wider construction industry, such as the Construction Leadership Council (CLC) and the Governments Construction Playbook. Consequently, we are seeking the views of the wider Constructing Excellence community on how they currently procure construction services in relation to the updated best practice guidance.

The survey can be found HERE

Please follow the link to complete the survey, which is completely anonymous and will only take only 10 minutes of your time. This will enable us to gain an understanding of the pattern of procurement throughout the membership and help us to develop knowledge and tools for the future.

As the United Kingdom recovers from the pandemic, it is more important than ever that construction clients are ready to engage with industry in a meaningful way to bring about change.

Thank you for helping us to improve construction.

Representatives from some of the construction industry’s biggest names have been added to the board of Constructing Excellence Midlands.

Kier Group, SCAPE and Tilbury Douglas Construction – formerly known as Interserve – are just some of the companies represented on industry body’s 25-strong board, which oversees its activities in promoting innovation and best practice for construction industry across the Midlands.

Matt Talbot from Tilbury Douglas Construction, Adrian Hill and Mike Salter of SCAPE and Chris Stevens of Kier Group have all been elected, alongside Ben Hole of Faithful+Gould, Peter Richardson of Mott MacDonald and Nikita Badesha from Rider Levett Bucknall.

The public and education sectors are also well represented in the group, with Simon Delahunty-Forrest and Dr Amrit Sagoo speaking for Birmingham City Council and Nottingham Trent University respectively.

Sophie Chater from Totally Modular, and Chris Hall of Advicio Group complete the additions to the board.

Adrian Hill, acting deputy managing director at SCAPE, said: “SCAPE has been a proud member of Constructing Excellence for many years. The work and support that Constructing Excellence provides is essential, and in particular as the industry looks to recover following the events of last year.  I am delighted to take over Scape’s representation on the board and look forward to playing an active role.”

Matt Talbot, preconstruction director at Tillbury Douglas, said: “I am delighted to join the Constructing Excellence Board and look forward to making an active contribution in sharing best practice and innovation across the industry.”

Andrew Carpenter, chief executive of Constructing Excellence Midlands, said: “We are delighted to add so many talented, insightful individuals to the board. We’re always keen to have as many different elements of our diverse industry involved as part of Constructing Excellence, so to have representation from the likes of top tier contractors such as Kier and Tillbury Douglas, right through to SMEs such as Totally Modular, as well as local authorities and academia, is really encouraging.”

With Boris Johnson’s announcement that the country may return to pre COVID-19 conditions on Monday 21st June 2021 we, like many others, have been making arranging for our events and activities in the second half of the year. With that in mind I would like to offer you a series of dates to mark in your diaries in the hope you can join us, and the face-to-face networking can re-commence.

Each of these events brings an opportunity of additional sponsorship and/or exhibition space availability and anybody interested should contact lynn.broughton@cemidlands.org.

With all the pent-up frustration of having to work from home for fifteen months we feel the desire to get out and meet people will be massive and we hope and trust this series of events will be eagerly awaited by our members and supporters.

As the UK looks to build its way to a brighter future following COVID, construction clients are being told that they hold the key to ensuring the sector emerges from the crisis a more efficient, inclusive and greener industry.

Constructing Excellence Midlands (CEM) – which was created to lead the change agenda and is already backed by many of the region’s key construction industry players – has launched a new guide aimed at all clients procuring construction work and who are therefore positioned to significantly influence the sector’s processes, practices and outcomes.

Central to the Client Commitments Best Practice Guide is the theme of achieving best value over the lifetime of the project and through considering social value. It calls for a move away from the all-too-familiar ‘race to the bottom’ that can be the result of traditional and often wholly unrealistic lowest-price procurement processes.

The Client Commitments Best Practice Guide deals with six main areas of responsibility for clients:

A guide was first published in 2006 to outline best practice for clients in the build-up the huge level of construction activity anticipated for the London 2012 Olympics.

The newly launched 2021 guide –  which we developed in association with Nottingham Trent university  –  was arguably even more important now in the aftermath of COVID and the need to address the climate emergency.

For the last 12 months we’ve endured the COVID crisis but we now have the Government’s call to ‘Build back better, Build back faster, Build back greener’ and the Construction Leadership Council’s Roadmap to Recovery for the industry, all of which is taken into account in the new guide and which plays alongside the Value Toolkit and the Construction Playbook.

For the first time in many years the construction industry is coming together with one voice through which more people are understanding the concept of value, whole-life building costs and social value, rather than simply focusing on lowest price build cost.

We all live in a society which is accepting that – post-COVID – the construction industry that we look forward to is not the same one we left behind and clients have a major responsibility for shaping this. I would therefore encourage all clients of the construction industry to read this document, take on board its recommendations and work towards driving the change that we all need.

CLICK HERE to view the Client Commitments Best Practice Guide

CLICK HERE to watch CEO, Andrew Carpenter’s video introduction to the guide

CEM leads the change agenda in construction regionally as part of Construction Excellence’s national mission to improve the industry’s performance and produce a better built environment.

It wants a greater collaborative culture within the industry and acknowledges the need for committed leadership and a customer-focused approach in the sector. It wants to work with the client base to encourage a more enlightened approach to procurement that focuses on quality and delivery – not only cost.

Alongside achieving more integrated supply chains and lean processes, the aim is to pave the way for improved productivity, the adoption of new digital and off-site construction technologies, a focus on people and wellbeing and to address the need to attract and recruit the next generation of industry leaders.

More and more customers want to buy from suppliers with sustainability at the heart of their organisation. Research has shown that sustainability has real business benefits when integrated into a firm’s operations including improved brand image and competitive advantage, increased productivity and profits, as well as reduced costs and waste.

 

In order to help businesses in the West Midlands maximise their opportunities by adopting sustainability best practice, the Energy & Bioproducts Research Institute (EBRI) at Aston University is offering one-to-one health checks to help companies get to grips with their sustainability goals and to solve energy, waste and environmental challenges.

 

Entrepreneurs and business decision makers from all industrial sectors including engineers, manufacturers, consultants, brewers, horticulturists, lawyers, marketeers, estate managers, foresters and accountants can all benefit from an exclusive sustainability health check with EBRI.

 

“Help is at hand”, says Tim Miller, EBRI’s Director of Engagement, “We are providing tailored support and guidance to help companies use innovation to get the best out of their resources, and to equip them with the knowledge to enter new green markets. Our new sustainability health checks can help business owners reuse, recycle or reduce their waste, enhance their energy systems, as well as meet customer and investor demands to demonstrate their organisation’s commitment to sustainability.”

 

He continues: “Not only can we support entrepreneurs looking to either develop new low carbon products and services or turn waste material into energy, we can also help business owners link into the ever expanding green industry supply chains, such as energy-from-waste, energy systems and bioproducts.”

 

During a 30 minute health check session, EBRI will discuss the particular sustainability challenge that the company is facing so that its team of experts can then devise a bespoke summary of their recommendations, research findings and other useful information to help the business. This will be provided a few days later at no cost to qualifying companies*.

 

To book a slot, interested businesses can email bioenergy@aston.ac.uk, visit https://bioenergy-for-business.org/business-support/sustainability-health-check or call 0121 204 3383.

*Small and Medium-sized Enterprises located within the following West Midlands Local Enterprise (LEP) areas: Greater Birmingham and Solihull, Black Country, Coventry and Warwickshire, the Marches, and Stoke-on-Trent and Staffordshire.

Challenge a team of Nottingham Business School postgraduate students to gain fresh thinking and up to date research insights for your business

If so, Nottingham Business School like to hear from you.

Working in teams of 5 or 6 our MBA students devote themselves to carrying out useful research for your organisation on a number of strategic management issues.

Our next available projects start soon, and there’s no financial cost involved:

A written report by the students also follows.

To find out more and get involved contact:

Angela Scott, Experiential Learning Coordinator – Postgraduate Programmes, Nottingham Business School, Nottingham Trent University, 50 Shakespeare Street, Nottingham NG1 4FQ.

T: 0115 848 3888

E: angela.scott@ntu.ac.uk

I am pleased to be able to welcome you to the Constructing Excellence March Overview.

Building on some of the closing remarks from Keith’s comments last month I’d like to talk a bit about collaboration. It’s a word that to me, is bandied about far too often in our industry and progress towards being truly collaborative is slow. But it’s at the core of what Constructing Excellence is about and something we practice as well as preach.

With the impacts of managing Covid-19, productivity has taken a hit and disputes are arising around who picks up that bill. Clients, in some cases, are also having to evaluate their budgets in order to manage their own Covid-19 response to deliver products and services safely. This recipe could lead to a conclusion that we are on course to more competitive tendering and ‘races to the bottom’. But why, when this is the perfect time for collaboration to come to the fore? We need to demonstrate the benefits.

Many of you will be familiar with MacLeamy’s curve, conceived and popularised by Patrick Macleamy. The model looks at effort, time linked to the ability to influence change, and cost implications. It suggests that an early focus on effort, and the more parties that can be brought into the early stages of a project, the greater the chance of successfully engineering out problems with the design and deliverables before they become extremely costly issues.

It is the principle BIM works to, and the many frameworks go a long way to supporting, but competitive tendering does not. The false savings of traditional competitive tendering mean that a cheap project on paper regularly results in large numbers of variations and often disputes, costing all parties considerable time and money. Within Constructing Excellence Midlands it is something our Construction Clients’ Group (CCG) put a focus on and within the Client Guide, ‘Collaborative Procurement and Integration’ is a key topic.

But I mentioned we also practice it, so what did I mean? Well, we’ve recently partnered with Constructing Excellence South West and MyProPass to be able to offer CPD accreditation at our future events which critically, during these challenging times, will include virtual conferences and webinars. Our members will be able to search for relevant events, sign up, record their attendance and receive digital accreditation for their records. This is a great step forward for us as an organisation and a fantastic benefit for our members and demonstrates collaboration in action.

So in closing, my call to action would be this, if you’re not familiar with the concepts of early engagement and collaboration already, take some time to understand them and understand the whole life project savings that can be achieved. If you are familiar with them, then educate others and promote the principals that collaborative working can have over and above the false economy of savings derived from competitive tendering.

Oh, and keep an eye out for further developments from CE Midlands working in partnership to promote collaboration in construction coming soon.

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