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    ‘Defining the Need’ – the plan to accelerate standardisation in the construction sector

    ‘Defining the Need’ – the plan to accelerate standardisation in the construction sector

    The movement to bring standardised, repeatable platform systems found in the manufacturing sector to construction continues to grow. But has been held back by a lack of clarity and consistency in the processes and standards which allow platform solutions to work across multiple sectors, stakeholders, projects and building types. As well as a lack of confidence in a forward pipeline for these solutions. ‘Defining the Need’ is report outlining plans to accelerate standardisation in the construction sector. 

    The government’s Construction Playbook outlines 14 key policies and guidance for how public works projects and programmes are assessed, procured and delivered. This has helped to accelerate the growth for standardised, repeatable platform systems. At the same time, the Construction Innovation Hub looks to develop the processes and standards that support platform solutions and will develop a concept building using platform components to highlight how it works. The Hub aims to provide organisations with the processes and standards they need to make the necessary changes to their structure to implement a platform system and show them how to use it.

    Last year, the Hub’s Platform team partnered with several government departments including education, housing, health and social care, justice and defence, to create a cross-departmental data set of future requirements against a £50 billion five-year new build pipeline using these new processes and standards. 

    Initial data analysis served as evidence in support of the policies outlined in the Playbook, and signals the government’s move towards procuring more construction projects based on three main focuses. Focuses include platforms consisting of standardised interlinking components and assembly, driving improvements in setting clear and outcome-based specifications and enabling innovation by using modern methods of construction (MMC) through aggregated and standardised demand. 

    At the end of last year, the Construction Innovation Hub launched a summary of their upcoming ‘Defining the Need’ report, due to be published this winter. This report takes these three main themes and defines the potential benefits of standardisation and harmonisation across construction projects. Construction generally suffers a variety of challenges including weather issues and delays, projects can take up a long time and can come at increased costs. Standardisation and repeatable platform systems can help innovate the industry and improve efficiency and productivity. 

    This short series will look at the summary report for ‘Defining the Need’ and the Platform Design Programme, including what it is and its key findings and insights. It’ll also look at how it will benefit the construction industry, its conclusions and a look ahead at what the future of the industry looks like.