Paul Morrell defines the challenge for the construction industry

Challenging the construction industry — Paul Morrell, the Government’s chief construction adviser.

Paul Morrell, the Government’s chief construction adviser, has urged the construction industry to define a standard for buildings that is ‘good enough’ in an age of austerity that will be upon the industry for a number of years to come. In his keynote speech at a JCT Construction Industry reception at the House of Commons, he said, ‘This is absolutely not a defeatist call to dumb down, Instead, it is a confident plea to raise our game to respond to the need to live within our means, utilising finite money and resources, with a new offer.’

Stressing that the industry has to respond to changing circumstances imposed by environmental and economic issues, he said, ‘Both in what and how we build, there needs to be a new, self-questioning rigour. Certainly buildings need to be good. They must be fit for purpose, durable and sustainable — and I hope there will always be room in the public programme for a degree of patronage, an acknowledgement that the impact of buildings on a neighbourhood is so great that they must both take from and give to their civic context. But beyond that point, the point at which buildings are “good enough”, the price of spending to build something better is paid by those who get nothing at all.’

He concluded that the key to success was having a good client, increasing the level of standardisation throughout the industry and ensuring payment down the entire supply chain.’

Welcoming his comments, Prof. Peter Hibberd, JCT chairman, ‘said, ‘Paul Morrell’s remarks are timely and certainly strike a chord. He has a difficult task tackling the problems within the remit of his current role. We have a common objective — to make the industry better, not only by responding but by leading and by showing the vital contribution that construction can make to our lives.’




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