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We are delighted to announce that all three of the CE Midlands Awards are now launched!!

G4C Midlands Awards 

CE East Midlands Awards

CE West Midlands Awards

All are open for entries and we are very excited to celebrate the very best in the built environment industry of the Midlands region again this year

Our awards are open to all organisations and project teams involved in delivering buildings and civil engineering projects

Please click on the links above for entry forms, deadlines and sponsorship opportunities

Last month, Martyn Jones speculated on the nature of the new technological-economic wave. Although forecasting is notoriously problematic – even perilous – this month he speculates on what management approaches we might see in the new wave.

Each of the past waves has generated new ways – and reformed existing ones – in which firms organise themselves and shape the forms of cooperation and competition they have with other firms. We are likely to see similar shifts in how we manage in the new wave.

Where to start in answering the question how will we manage? Well, by looking at where we are and what we might decide to carry forward from our current thinking is a good place to start.

The ICT wave, with which we are now familiar, came to be associated with networks of large and small firms based increasingly on computer networks, working closely and cooperatively and even collaboratively together, particularly with regard to technology, quality management, JIT and SCM.

The management approaches associated with the ICT wave included:

The Culture Excellence approach: Its proponents advocating a reorientation from focusing on strategy to recognising the importance of being close to customers, putting customers and the organisation’s people first, and a shift to the “soft” aspects of business, such as culture and emotional connection.

The Japanese approach: Promoted continuous improvement based on the idea that small, ongoing positive changes can reap significant improvements and increased mutual value. Typically, it is based on customer first, involving all employees in building mutual trust, cooperation, commitment, quality control, JIT, Kaizen, and the Five Ss.

The Learning approach: Recognized the importance of learning in adapting to change, acquiring knowledge, using experience to create new knowledge, and leveraging the new insights to improve performance and achieve strategic objectives. The knowledge generated is shared within organisations and, with the rise of SCM, increasingly between partner organisations with the benefit of more collaborative inter-organisational relationships.

More specifically in construction, Latham recognised the impact of the new paradigm and emphasised the importance of relationships and partnering in constructing the team. Egan’s 5-4-7 mantra further established our commitment to the new wave by calling for committed leadership, a focus on the customer, a quality driven agenda, commitment to people, and improving the project process by partnering the supply chain.

Of course, many aspects of these approaches are still relevant, and will be carried forward into the new wave as who could possibly argue against developing better intra- and inter-organisational relationships, having more seamless and effective processes, and learning to support continuous improvement?

And who would deny that in construction we have much left to do to fully implement many aspects of these management approaches, and meet the challenges set by Latham and Egan at the birth of the ICT wave. We can expect that in the new wave there will be some entirely new management approaches alongside some reshaping of existing ones developed in the ICT wave.

Here are some of his suggestions for our direction of travel:

Transitioning from ICT to AIT – from Information and Communication Technologies (ITC) to Artificial Intelligence Technologies (AIT) – while ICT and AI have some overlap in terms of the use of computer technology, ICT is concerned with the infrastructure and systems needed to manage and process data. AI goes beyond this to focus on creating intelligent systems that can operate autonomously and make decisions.

Transitioning from leadership to communityship – where community members (within an organisation, but more widely in project teams, supply chains or local communities) take responsibility for that community’s growth and development, nurturing positive, creative, mutually beneficial relationships between themselves and other members of the community.

Transitioning from customer focus to planet focus – recognising that putting the planet first is no longer wide-eyed naivety but on the contrary helps ensure our existence, save the planet, and in doing so offers the best competitive advantage in the new wave.

Transitioning from Lean and Agile Supply Chain Management (L/ASCM) to Green Supply Chain Management (GSCM) – building sustainable environmental processes into reconfigured supply chains from manufacturing to operations and to end-of-life management, and incorporating the principles of the circular economy: the model of production and consumption, which involves reducing, sharing, reusing, repairing, refurbishing and recycling existing materials and products as long as possible and extending their life cycles.

As we did in the ICT wave, Constructing Excellence – operating nationally, regionally, and locally – will continue to be a platform from which to stimulate, debate and help support the innovation needed -right across our operating system from clients to manufacturers – if we are to fully embrace and benefit from the technologies and ways of working made possible in the new paradigm and address the climate crisis.

Welcome to the November edition of our Constructing Excellence Newsletter. It has been an exciting few weeks for Constructing Excellence, with our annual Midlands Construction Summit followed recently by the launch of the Gold Standard Verification scheme, which is a national scheme focussed on advancing best practice in public procurement, so naturally close to our heart at SCAPE!

I’ll start with a huge thankyou to Andrew and the Constructing Excellence Midlands team, as well as all of our speakers who joined us at Villa Park, for putting on what was a fantastic, thought provoking Construction Summit on the 18th October.  Well attended as always, the audience heard from an incredible array of speakers on Building Safety, the Climate Crisis and Future Skills.  In what remains a challenging time for our sector, the participation in a really high quality discussion from so many of our members was great to see; reminding us what we’re all about.

In national news, the Gold Standard verification scheme, operated in partnership by Constructing Excellence and Kings College London, is a new set of quality management criteria against which new and existing public procurement frameworks can be reviewed to ensure they achieve and improve upon the highest standards of operation and delivery.

The Gold Standard verification scheme, which launched on Wednesday 1st November, has been developed by an industry task force, led by Professor David Mosey CBE, following his recommendations in “An Independent Review of Public Sector Construction Frameworks” – commissioned by the Cabinet Office in 2021 to evaluate whether frameworks are creating value and efficiency. It forms a key part of the UK Government’s policy on construction procurement, and builds on the principles of the Construction Playbook.

You can read the Constructing Excellence Press release here.

The presentations from our Construction Summit are now available to download

Please CLCK HERE to view the event page with the presentations as attachments at he bottom of the page

This month CE Midlands held a launch event for our annual Awards

You can take a look at CE Midland’s CEO, Andrew Carpenter’s presentation from the event HERE

There are many ways you can get involved with our prestigious awards, as a main sponsor, category sponsor or even sponsor a drinks reception

If you are interested to support the awards and put your company name in front of our audiences then please take a look at our ‘Sponsor opportunities document HERE

We wanted to let our members know about two books written by Jennifer Charlson, which may be of interest on the topics of building safety and environmental law.

Lessons from Grenfell Tower: The New Building Safety Regime” 

You can access complementary details from these two publishers’ websites: Taylor & Francis and Routledge

Environmental Law for Sustainable Construction: A guide for construction, engineering and architecture professionals

You can access complementary details from these two publishers’ websites: Institution of Civil Engineers and Emerald

A technological revolution is coming. Something we have had every 50 years or so, beginning with the Industrial Revolution. Each wave or revolution has generated a great surge of development and immense wealth creating potential.

Through a combination of interrelated new products, technologies, industries, infrastructures, and organisational and managerial innovations, these waves produce a quantum jump in the potential for increasing productivity, embracing all or most sectors of the economy, and opening up an unusually wide range of investment and profit opportunities.

Such a radical transformation of the prevailing technical and managerial common sense for best productivity and most profitable practice is often termed a ‘paradigm’ shift because it is so pervasive and impacts on almost any industry or endeavour and wider society.

As we ride the sixth new wave and enter the new paradigm, there is much that we can we learn from the previous paradigm shifts.

For example, history tells us that a new paradigm is not just a new range of products and systems but most influential of all is the dynamics of the relative cost structure of all possible inputs to production. These inputs fulfil several conditions including clearly perceived and rapidly falling relative cost.

Amongst the other features of these waves is that these inputs or ‘key factors’ have the power to transform the rules of decision making and common-sense procedures and the ways of working established in the previous paradigm.

But, in the shift to a new paradigm, history tells us there are concerns as well as benefits, losers as well as winners. Take the case of the fourth wave (between the 1930s and 1980s). The rise of mass production and the proliferation of automobiles and aircraft spawned highways, and airports generated huge wealth but also stored up a significant legacy of problems such as degradation of the planet and its resources, and health and climate issues resulting from burning fossil fuels.

The next technological-economic shift is now here and we are beginning to see the new opportunities – but also the challenges – it presents. Mustafa Suleyman, one of tech’s true insiders, a technologist, entrepreneur, and visionary, in his book The Coming Wave, offers us an erudite, clear-eyed guide to the deep economic, technological, social, and political challenges that lie ahead in the new wave.

Sulyeman vividly explains that generative AI, synthetic biology, robotics, and other innovations are improving, becoming cheaper, spreading rapidly, and presenting exhilarating opportunities.

But he warns they pose threats too, being sufficiently powerful and pervasive to reshape every aspect of society including the distribution of power and wealth, the nature of warfare and work, and even human relations.

Construction will be affected by and play a significant role in the new wave. As in previous waves, we will provide the infrastructure to support the new technologies and industries. After all, we built the mills that spawned the Industrial Revolution and the vast factories that housed the growth of the automotive industry in the fourth wave, between the 1930s and 1990s.

Previous paradigm shifts have been fuelled by burning fossils. Now just think for a moment about the effort needed to transform our massive infrastructure from one based on oil and gas to one focused on clean electricity.

The coming wave will need to be fuelled by clean electricity, produced through a massive increase in nuclear and renewables coupled with a decentralisation and rewiring of the National Grid to accommodate more offshore wind by 2030.

As well as providing the physical infrastructure for the emerging industries we can also see the new technologies being deployed within the built environment, enabling SMART building solutions, and using AI for better product design, project management and raising productivity. And we already have virtual and augmented reality, drones, digital twin, 3D laser scanners, 4D simulation, BIM and 3D printing.

And the downsides? As in previous shifts there will be significant pitfalls. Not least that these technologies and new ways of working may be used to increase power differentials between construction’s main players resulting perhaps in more opportunistic behaviour and greater discrimination and inequality.

Indeed, some forecast that the coming wave promises to provide us with godlike powers of creation and one of our greatest challenges is to devise forms of governance that harness the benefits of AI and biotech whilst avoiding the dangers, and retaining power over entities that may be more powerful than ourselves. In other words, the coming wave could make the next decade the best in human history, or the worst.

Applications for Round 15 of the Quarterly Co2nstruct Zero Business Champion programme are now open.

Please push this free opportunity out across your networks and encourage potential Business Champions (BC) to apply. Since the CZ 6th quarterly framework publication, there has been a keen interest across the industry to join the programme, more information on the Co2nstructZero programme can be found on this link here.

CLICK HERE for the application form, and HERE for edition one of the CZ Business Champion Getting to know you Q&A, this will be a future addition to this commission, to encourage uptake. This showcases the value of joining the programme!

Please feel free to work with your identified member/business to complete the attached application form and ensure that it is complete and submitted to by COP on the 2nd October. Applications are welcome from across the construction industry and please strongly encourage SMEs to apply.

Please note:

The questions within the application form relating to the Co2nstructZero Nine priorities, answers should demonstrate which of the nine priorities the company is achieving or working towards. It’s important to evidence and explain what the business is achieving and how they expect to reach any future sustainability goals, relating to the priorities of the programme.

Section one includes a set of questions for the Business Leader and Section two is a set of questions for the Emerging Leader (a young professional employee between 20-35 years old)

We are really looking forward to receiving applications and reading more about the fantastic work happening across the sector. We aim to get application outcomes announced in November once the CZ Programme board and CZ Programme Leads have made their assessments.

Round 16 of the programme will then open for applications in December.

If you have any questions please contact Stuart Young MCIPR


The challenge

In the United Kingdom, an estimated 4.5 million tonnes of wood waste is generated each year. Much of this comes from the construction and demolition sector. The vast majority of this timber is processed by the high-volume wood recycling industry into biomass for power stations, composite sheets like MDF, animal bedding, and landscape surfaces, but some still can find its way to landfill. Although it’s great to see how far recycling has come in recent decades, downcycling by chipping means that the timber cannot be reused in its original form. We provide an alternative that pushes this valuable material up the waste hierarchy and creates social value in local communities.

Our solution

The Community Wood Recycling network of wood recycling social enterprises works to ensure as much timber as possible is reused. We sort the wood we collect to find the best outcome. Longer lengths and sheet material are sold as affordable material for DIY in our network of wood stores. Shorter pieces are used to make handmade reclaimed timber furniture. In some areas we supply firewood for the local community. Anything that can’t be reused is recycled by chipping.

All this labour-intensive activity creates jobs, training and volunteering opportunities for people who are excluded from the workforce or facing social isolation.

How Does Community Wood Recycling Work?

· Waste wood is collected in 3.5 tonne caged trucks, reducing the CO2 and particulate in comparison with the conventional alternative of a skip lorry. We hand load our vehicles, giving our clients better value for money and transporting the waste more efficiently.

· The wood is carefully sorted for reuse where possible

· We take all non-hazardous wood including pallets

· We are correctly licensed, insured and supply Waste Transfer Notes. We have trained staff with CSCS cards and the correct PPE.

· We provide environmental reports and certificates of recycling

· Our reports can be used for Considerate Contractors and BREEAM

Richard Mehmed, Community Wood Recycling Managing Director, reflects on the impact of the network:

“By working collaboratively with the country’s top builders over the last 20 years, our nationwide network has saved more than 230,000 tonnes of waste wood to be sorted for potential reuse. This has created an estimated CO2 saving of 116,000. Over 6,000 people have passed through our network’s training and volunteering programme.

“When I see beautiful handmade products made from timber that would otherwise have been sent to be chipped, and hear the pride our trainees take in becoming valued members of our teams with a hopeful future ahead of them, I am inspired by the power of community reuse.”

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