Construction sector recovery needs ‘shift in approach to quality’

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Construction Quality Planning,
© Dejan Ljamić

The Construction Innovation Hub is inviting clients and businesses to join the discussion around new processes which could spark a game-change in the construction sector’s approach to quality planning

The Hub’s Construction Quality Planning (CQP) process is inspired by Advanced Product Quality Planning (APQP), which is already used widely across leading manufacturing sectors like aerospace and automotive.

Construction Quality Planning defines an approach for firms which supply the construction sector with new products and assemblies that will form part of tomorrow’s offsite manufactured buildings.

The CQP process will also play a vital role in guiding the Hub’s flagship Platform Design Programme which was launched last year and which seeks to enable new buildings like schools and hospitals to be designed and configured using a pre-defined ‘kit of parts’.

Quality management

Construction Quality Planning will form part of a wider family of quality management approaches from onsite assembly to whole life management, which will be rolled out at later stages of the Hub’s programme. Together these will help assure quality, providing a ‘golden thread’ to demonstrate safety and compliance of manufactured and assembled buildings.

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Construction Innovation Hub programme director, Keith Waller, said: “It is vitally important that the post-Covid-19 recovery is rooted firmly in new and better ways of doing things and not simply a return to business as usual.

“As we get Britain building again, we must grasp the opportunity to lay the groundwork for some transformative changes in construction, including a fundamental shift in our approach to quality.

“In developing Construction Quality Planning (CQP), we are not looking to reinvent the wheel. Rather, we are taking a tried and tested process which is already commonplace amongst cutting edge manufacturing firms and tailoring it to suit the unique needs of UK construction.”

Waller added: “Manufactured solutions will have a direct role in supporting a sector-led recovery – reducing the demand for on-site labour and creating new skilled jobs into manufacturing and assembly facilities throughout the UK.

“Moreover, with greater levels of offsite manufactured solutions, we can help to mitigate both the safety risks of labour-intensive sites placing demands on public transport, and the productivity and output of the sector on site at a time when social distancing looks set to continue for some time to come.”

Drive modernised construction

The UK Government’s Modern Methods of Construction (MMC) champion and Cast Consultancy CEO, Mark Farmer, added: “Over the last 3 years I have worked extensively with the development finance and building insurance underwriting industry as well as the new build residential warranty market to explore ways of better assuring quality and outcomes in the homebuilding.

“On the back of that I have been hugely impressed by the Advanced Product Quality Planning (APQP) approach used in the manufacturing sector and how it could be practically applied to drive a modernised construction process.

“This initiative by the Construction Innovation Hub really unlocks that potential and Construction Quality Planning (CQP) can in my opinion lead to higher pre-manufactured value becoming a proxy for better assured building quality, safety and performance. It will also in turn be a measure of how easily you will be able to access finance and insurance for built assets in the future.”

The consultation will be open until Friday 31 July 2020.

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