Construction 2025 – from ambition to reality

Stuart Smith LCI (UK)

Lack of an integrated deployment plan risks relying delivery of the government strategy, warns Lean Construction Institute UK director Stuart Smith.

The Construction Industry and Government have agreed the ‘2025 Construction Strategy’ stating ambitious improvement targets for the sector

  • Lower Costs - 33% reduction in the initial cost of construction and the whole life cost
  • Faster Delivery - 50% reduction in the overall time, from inception to completion
  • Lower Emissions – 50% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions
  • Improvement in Exports – 50% reduction in the trade gap between total exports and total imports for construction.

However, the strategy does not explain how these will be achieved. The main problem is that there is no integrated deployment plan for the 2025 Strategy to deliver the systemic improvement that will drive the change necessary to deliver the levels of performance required.

The LCI-UK Summit is on 30th October 201: ‘Lean Infrastructure: Meeting the Challenges of Construction 2025’. There are still a limited number of places available. For further information & to book see: http://leanconstruction.org.uk/events/lci-uk-summit-2014/

The government has a central role to play as the primary purchaser on behalf of the infrastructure users across the UK and must address the economic requirement to invest in order to deliver faster and for lower cost by implementing a systemic improvement approach.


The Implications

The UK Infrastructure Plan sets out an investment of £45bn per annum over 10 years which, to achieve maximum value for the UK, requires the targets in the 2025 Construction Strategy to be achieved.

Without systemic improvement of the current construction industry (root and branch) it is unlikely that the Infrastructure Plan will be achieved, leading to:

  • Overspend by £15-£20 billion per year
  • Over-runs on project delivery
  • Failure to deliver the emissions targets associated with whole life costs
  • Not developing the critical mass of capable people needed to deliver improvement
  • Reliance on solutions and resources from outside the UK to meet the targets and hence adversely affect the current trade gap.

In short, if we fail to address these problems we will not be able to deliver the National Infrastructure Plan and will not be able to deliver increased value for money to the public.

A Lean Construction Deployment Plan  

A targeted approach is needed that will deliver significant value improvement to all UK infrastructure projects over the next ten years and beyond. Lean thinking has delivered a performance step change in other industries such as automotive, aerospace and manufacturing. It has been effectively translated and proven to work within Construction particularly where client organisations have led the way. Lean approaches create more value by reducing wasted resources, effort and time. Through Lean it is, therefore, perfectly possible to lower construction costs by 33%, deliver projects 50% faster, lower emissions by 33% and increase competitiveness to reduce the trade gap.

Augmenting the Construction 2025 strategy with a well-defined and resourced Lean Construction development and deployment plan could transform a great strategy into a realisable plan.

The theme of the forthcoming LCI-UK Summit on 30th October 2014 is ‘Lean Infrastructure: Meeting the Challenges of Construction 2025’. There are still a limited number of places available. For further information & to book see: http://leanconstruction.org.uk/events/lci-uk-summit-2014/

What is LCI-UK?

The Lean Construction Institute (LCI-UK) is a not for profit registered educational charity which, in alliance with other non government organisations, can offer the cross cutting expertise to transform the way the UK Construction and Infrastructure sector works.

LCI-UK is dedicated to the research, development and dissemination of the philosophy, approaches, strategies, practices and tools for adapting and applying Lean to construction.

LCI-UK is an independent charity, part of an international LCI movement, whose members know from experience that Lean thinking can improve the efficiency and profitability of the UK construction industry in a safe and sustainable way.  The board of trustees is made up of a cross section of senior industry experts who are guided by the Lean approach. We support research into innovative Lean methods from across the world, making it relevant to construction and then sharing this knowledge widely for the benefit of the whole of society.