The ubiquitous Paul Morrell has been chosen to chair a new construction board formed to cut the cost of procurement for public sector building projects. The object being to take a hefty 20 per cent out of the cost of construction by setting new guidelines, though it is likely most in the industry will join ourselves at Plastic Surgeon in our concern about the ethos of Best Value being abandoned in a return to lowest price.
There are at the moment two strategies under consideration: the first involving inviting ‘framework contractors’ to bid for work against specific cost benchmarks, set out by government. If no company involved can better the benchmarks, the project will go to tender, with the framework contractors excluded. Then the alternative model involves a guaranteed maximum price, underwritten by insurance covering both overspend and defects.
Francis Maude, the Minister for the Cabinet Office, stated: “The commitment to reduce the cost of construction by 20 per cent is no small thing, but…this strategy will stimulate growth by enabling more to be constructed within the funds available.
“The public sector needs to be a better, more informed and strategic client. The construction industry, in turn, will benefit from a more collaborative working relationship with the public sector, allowing for innovation, increased efficiency, and delivering better value for money.”
Giving his perspective, Paul Morrell commented that: “We will work with the government and the construction industry to enable more effective relationships between the two in order to enable growth and sustainability across the sectors.”
“The strategy sets out challenging new ways of working that will deliver considerable benefits not only to the taxpayer, but also enabling growth in the industry and better understanding of the future direction for public sector construction.”
One way that Plastic Surgeon believes building projects can be made leaner as well as more environmentally friendly is by adopting a policy of repairing rather than replacing materials and components which inevitably get damaged around busy construction sites.
As a specialist in the field of repair, with more than 100 highly trained finishers covering the UK, we have time and again demonstrated the long and short term benefits of expertly executing ‘snagging’ operations.
Such interventions include filling and colour matching cracked and chipped masonry, taking dents and other damage out of cladding or door and window frames, concealing scratches in various joinery products, furniture and wood floors, and repairing holes, burns and breaks in bathroom fittings. In fact there are very few building substrates that we at Plastic Surgeon have not got a means of restoring to pristine condition.
What is more, our truly unique VisibilITy software – assimilating data from the finishers’ hand held computers, or palm-pilots – enables contractors and project teams to accurately determine what weight of building products has been saved from going to landfill. Such feedback also empowers project managers to identify patterns of damage and therefore to take action to prevent it.
As a general guide we at Plastic Surgeon reckon to save our customers £3 for every pound they invest in our services. This is a 200 per cent efficiency, or at least a 66 per cent reduction on waste, depending on how one views it.
Therefore a 20 per cent reduction in total cost might not seem so difficult to attain, if all of the waste connected to accidental damage and subsequent replacement could be taken out of the equation.
Plastic Surgeon is the UK’s market leading expert in fine finishing and repair services, and the only nationwide provider. Established for over 20 years, the company was one of the founders of the fine finishing sector, now employing over 100 staff based at its headquarters in Devon and operating from seven regional centres throughout the UK.
Plastic Surgeon can restore almost any damaged interior or exterior surface in commercial or residential buildings. Thanks to specialist training the company’s finishers are expert in repairing and fine finishing practically any material including;