“Achieving Excellence in Construction” was launched in 1999 to improve the performance of public sector bodies as construction clients. The key thrust of Achieving Excellence is the delivery of best value for money. This is not the lowest cost but the best balance of quality and whole life cost to meet the user requirements.

Sustainability and business justification

The first thing they are urged to look at is Sustainability and the business justification. The business case involves looking at the range of solutions and the effect they would have on the local community and end users.

Investment and project delivery

Next they have to look at investment and project delivery. It may be that higher investment costs may reap better business benefits and give cost savings through such things as lower energy consumption. Added to this are considerations about adaptation for future use and, finally they also have to look at future demolition and re-cycling costs. All this has to fit in with the needs of economic regeneration and sustainable communities. If the job is the refurbishment of historic buildings, then the priority has to be conservation. (Incidentally, the skilled trades love working on these jobs!)

Cost Management

Then they are to look at Cost Management. This isn’t just the initial costings but has to include design changes during the project and whole-life costs. At this stage, they are dragged into Logistics which can offer higher customer service, reduced costs, reduced waste and reduced time.

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Health and Safety on site

Next in line for them is the consideration of Health and Safety on site. This item is partially out-dated because the contractors are now obliged to take it very seriously. However, the problem still remains once the project is in the hands of the end-user and it has to be maintained.

End-user

Now we’ve got as far as the end-user, they have to be trained as part of the hand-over in sustainable procurement, H&S, recycling, etc.

Having gone through thinking about all those things, the Public Sector clients are pushed back to the beginning again!

They have to re-consider if the facility can be economically adapted for a new use! This is a bigger issue now than it was in 1999 because our society seems to be changing so fast!

Read more about Achieving Excellence: The National Archives