Success Stories in the UK Construction Industry

1. Introduction

This research explored the concept of ‘success’ as defined in the UK construction industry using a hybrid approach that integrates strategies for competitive advantage with seven viable guidelines that have proven to have bestowed first-class businesses with competitive advantages. Interviewees were asked to describe the strategies that their organizations employed and the advantage that they built in what proved to be ‘a successful relationship’—the seven guidelines were included in the questions—thus explaining the concept of ‘success.’ A sample of UK facilities management service providers/clients associations was selected. More work and sophistication, focused research, and a wider generalizability at the business level are required. The results show that success, as seen from associations, is the strength of the customer partnership strategy, the value place strategy, and the performance coping strategy. Furthermore, success in the performance output is measured by a number of performance KPIs, such as interoperability; good decision-making behavior; effective performance management interaction, plus ACR toughness in ousting their client’s vision.

Research on success in the UK construction industry has been largely unproductive, ambiguous, and of limited impact. This could be because while a considerable body of research has gone into the study of competitiveness and transformation in the industry, most of the methods, tools, and techniques developed have not been widely adopted. Second, the construction industry has generally taken for granted project outcomes and the adoption of best practice methods, tools, and techniques. This has caused a stalemate in productivity and an opportunity for others, such as FM service providers, who see an opportunity to challenge the industry. The present-day situation requires that industry practitioners and researchers adopt new and novel approaches to problem-solving in the industry and assess the promise which strategic alliances, partners, and relationships hold for improving industry-wide performance, and so shift back from managing projects to managing businesses. This would enable us to pursue growth in a knowledge-driven economy and re-energize trust in the industry.

2. Case Studies

In 2018, Cameron Millar won the Chartered Institute of Building (CIOB) International Innovation and Research Award for his work with Women into Construction and their support of apprentices to Crossrail. He has 15 years of construction industry experience. It was in 2001 when he was an electrical engineer and the Schools Liaison Officer in CITB-ConstructionSkills North West. It was plain to Cameron that the construction industry needed a way to break down the barriers responsible for the under-representation of women and members from other underrepresented groups, such as people from black, Asian, and minority ethnic groups. An idea for reaching future generations of school leavers was to start careers events and the construction days that schools and careers advisers could attend and spread the message far and wide that construction is a great place to work, highly skilled, well paid, and has a structure of well-being, plus a wealth of job opportunities.

In the construction and building industry, it’s all about the project. Is it on time, within budget, and delivered safely to the right quality? But for all those involved, for the client, the contractor, and people at every level within the chain, there are always stories on what inspired them to choose a path of knowledge and set off in a career in construction. There was this inspiration, this ‘light bulb moment,’ when they knew that this was what they wanted to do. Their education, experience, and career paths may be varied but a consistent message was that there is more trust needed in providing the ‘Latin rollercoaster’ – as described by Sandy Hopkins of the Infrastructure and Projects Authority – into an experience that is more of a steady and long path of launch, pursuit, curves in the course, elevation changes, and descents. This could be done by having more consistent, long-term visibility over future infrastructure investment.

2.1. Construction Project A

The initial estimated nominal cost for the CMP works was in the region of £1,600,000, and this subsequently reduced to around £100,000 by means of the effective de-scoping activities. The good communications and relationships with the statutory bodies and other stakeholders, as well as the innovative solutions and mitigation measures, were all key determinants of the successful delivery in satisfying all the stakeholders. The collaboration between the companies involved was excellent, and this project is a living example of the Joint Venture of Scottish Power, which has positively marked a milestone in both companies to develop closer working relationships in the bigger power transmission lines projects that may come in the near future. It is also a project that encourages the industry to continue considerately developing the work towards reaching the common goals of cost-effective delivery for the end customers, businesses, and their associated moral duty towards the Environment and the Scientific Knowledge.

Three companies joined together to participate in a Scottish Power project, the preferred bidder construction contract of the Crossford to Polquham Bridge 132kV Reinforcement project. It is an overhead line route of length 6.5km of 132 kV single circuit Wood Pole Line (WPL) conductor between the existing Crossford and Polquham Bridge 132 kV substation sites. Despite the terrain between the points, the presence of several obstacles that are already on the route, and the presence of potential scientific interest at the planned location of a section of the proposed route, the companies have still been able to successfully de-scope this project which initiated between 2016 and 2017 and was due to be constructed between 2017 and 2019.

2.2. Construction Project B

The calculation showed clearly that the designer is not professionally qualified to undertake work on materials and designs on nickel-based corrosion-resistant alloys. CCA does not have a framework within which to obtain a remedy for this deficiency. There is no reference to quality standards either in the original specification sent out for procurement. The absence of alternative suppliers of professional design consultancy services is affecting the construction company’s ability to get the work completed. It is an unacceptable position that has the potential to delay major construction works.

2.2. Construction Project B: A two-year project aimed at the extension of a wastewater treatment facility, scheduled to be completed in 2003. A steam methane reforming (SMR) plant is being built using high alloy austenitic stainless steel containing nickel at approximately 50%. The package unit has been ordered from a specialist company named Construction Company A (CCA). CCA has appointed a design consultant to undertake the design work on its behalf. The designer has been engaged in producing the design calculation for the SMR. This designer has failed to produce the desired end result; the quality of the work done is unacceptable. The errors have been detected by CCA’s/client’s design checker. The major discrepancies between the two sets of calculations have rendered the submission for building control approval unacceptable.

2.3. Construction Project C

Not only that the safety and communication were integrated as essential items in the project and the project goals as a policy deliverable, the Concessionaire’s Act has the requisite implementation through benchmarked economics through performance monitoring. All construction activities were demanded to be driven by project performance considerations with a focus on its terminal point achievements, and failure was not an option with economic consequences. Concurrency increased the elements of risk. Work zones were sequenced methodically to be cost-effective and to resist any risk that a disappeared work front would create and impact productivity or delay the schedule. Both sides of the Channel Tunnel were to have force gray heads with controlled conversions into HOT Lanes in reduced customs entry barriers when justification emerged with appropriate system monitoring. As Eurotunnel has proved, brave efforts bring risk, but process innovation achieves the cost results, the safety results, and the compressive execution plans. Constructions worldwide are emulating these “Best Practices,” together with long-term “Performance Measurement,” as discussed in this Chapter.

The project involved the construction of the Eurotunnel link between the United Kingdom and France. This 20 mi (33 km) tunnel plans were developed in France in 1958 and an exploratory shaft was dug. Excavation began in 1990 using an earth pressure tunneling supplemented with a pressurized slurry tunneling as used in the Chicago and Washington D.C. metro systems. This high-risk construction project had multiple success stories, with the technical innovations in the proactive and continuous safety also acting as a benchmark. Design to construction was fully integrated and the worst-case scenarios from the multiple potential occurrence hazards were identified through extensive risk analysis. Every aspect from the design, procurement, construction to commissioning, operation, and maintenance was detailed in the buildable and maintainable tunnel concept to address the risk elements. This project was the epitome of coordination of activities during a construction project. The project combined a process of many dynamic and transient engineering shifts in the direction of tunneling for a significant proportion of its entire length at intermediate headings.

3. Innovations and Technologies

Every year, 2 million construction workers die in construction work accidents, and many more construction workers suffer non-fatal accidents. This is largely due to the hazardous nature of the construction work, the lack of a widely recognized and adapted safety culture, and the huge number of micro-, small-, and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) creating management weaknesses. Often, workers engage in dangerous work under pressure to finish projects in accordance with strict deadlines. They are also highly dependent on other parties’ performance (especially in jobs where working at height are common), and quality problems that may cause unsafe working conditions. Measures to ensure the high level of occupational safety required could also be a competitive advantage and a vital requirement for attracting and maintaining a young and highly skilled workforce. The integration of protection structures in the construction industry is also crucial as construction projects cannot be organized without the construction of scaffolding and temporary works. Promoting protection solutions for the most dangerous building areas could preserve the life and limb of more construction workers.

Some construction companies are leading the way by adopting innovative construction techniques and making a stronger commitment to developing and using new technologies. Innovation in construction targets environmental issues, health and safety, project management, monitoring, communication, field operations, etc. Examples are: sustainable solutions that reduce energy consumption; optimising the use of renewable natural resources; new tools and systems that keep operatives safe; information and communications technology (ICT) plays a crucial role in construction innovation and communications; real-time data transfer tools for collecting project material quantities, the completion of work task schedules, and accessing project documents and drawings; use of permanent remote monitoring systems; collaboration platforms improving work processes, planning and efficiency, and increased project capabilities and services; 3D printing of building elements; speeding up construction through modular design, pre-fabricated components, and novel construction; offsite construction; dematerialization allowing physical and electronic document management; data analysis during operations; automation of repetitive processes in construction.

3.1. Sustainable Building Practices

Eco-construction generally refers to the use of reusable or sustainable raw materials and practices to minimize the impact on the construction process, from siting through to demolition, and approaches that are environmentally responsible and resource-efficient. Historically, the philosophy behind green building is to minimize waste during the construction process. In modern times, the definition of healthy construction has included several modern advances, for example, energy efficiency and the use of full and healthy building materials. Along with this, the growing interest in the design of green buildings has also expanded the definition of sustainable construction. More definitions are involved in building design, construction efficiency, and environmental performance. This includes the production and use of the operation and maintenance of a building.

Coming to the point of the construction industry, the contribution of this particular industry to global carbon emissions is more than 23 percent. Here, sustainability has become a concern among professionals and scholars of the construction sector. However, the steps taken by the parties, especially in the construction industry, are still too small because the construction industry and its supply chain follow various practices that do not fall under the scope of sustainability. The result of these practices has been creating chaos in the environment, human health, ecology, and depletion of fossil fuels. Hence, construction companies should integrate sustainability into their organizations to assist in managing issues associated with the construction industry.

The term sustainable refers to the practices that prioritize environmental, social, and cultural benefits over depleting Earth’s resources. In business, sustainable practices are known as practices that help in the production or manufacture of things without having a negative impact on the economy, ecological system, and society.

3.2. Digitalization in Construction

Regarding actors in the construction sector, there are “a total of 2922 companies” facing the digital challenges and engaging in digital activities based on employer survey data, a finding that rivals long-standing traditional providers of digital transformation in the sector such as cultural, scientific, or technical service companies, which the sectors have numerically more numerous when activity is considered. It is therefore apt that a survey held across several European countries has ranked companies operating in the construction of buildings at the top place for most at risk of Industry 4.0, technologies leading to the automation of skilled workers; the overall of administrative, lightweight, and % of establishments were designated with a very high-risk level. Further, the need for digital transformation to paraphrase other strands of the economy will be discussed later throughout the study. To underline the importance of construction sector digitalization, it is estimated that €5.9 trillion value could be added for the primary activity through 2025 representing an annual return of 20% if unserved value chain activities are restored through construction by executing digitalization.

The forefront of the emergent digitalization within construction can be shown literally through the increased publications codifying its behaviors and impacts, but also by the sheer volume of research and innovation underway, evidenced through the range and diversity of research ongoing and now emanating from national and international funding bodies. Providing an overview of digitalization in the construction sector is not easy given the inherent complexity and nuanced range of activities associated with its definition. Moreover, the large, complex, and conservative nature of the industry. Owing to this, and as a relatively recent phenomenon, a memory-based work compound that will be conducted across several chapters, the depth of these activities culminating in the level of industry saturation. The overview will pertain to the prime actors of the digital transformation in the construction sector in line with the traditional formation being technology, organizations, and environment.

3.3. Off-Site Construction Methods

Due to its growing popularity in the sustainability of construction waste generated, the use of a number of environmentally friendly materials and design flexibility, research continues to examine off-site construction as an industrialization methodology. Moreover, with the integration of technology, it is perceived that off-site construction will be able to deliver sustainable buildings to both developers and society.

Reviewing the records of construction waste and occupancy hours, it was found that when off-site construction is employed, much less construction waste is generated as opposed to in situ construction methods. The completion of an off-site camp for the Ministry of Defence within 39 weeks with a fast-track solution was also impressive. Erection of the buildings within the campus was quickly completed. The commissioned buildings have produced a positive impact on the environmental and construction as pre-fabricated materials were adopted in the task, which is a different method from the traditional building methods. With off-site construction involved in the project, construction resources such as time, manpower, and management were saved.

Research studies have indicated that off-site construction is not only sensitive to cost-effectiveness but also a suitable method to be adopted since it was found that the selected construction costs, including the total costs of the main structure and external wall element cost, are approximately 0.019% of UK building cost per square meter. Research has indicated that the off-site external wall shows a significant reduction in the mass of the UK building structure.

The published research demonstrates its effectiveness in building technology and environmental performance. Different strategies have been taken to achieve sustainability in the construction industry, which included reducing the volume of waste generated, integrating low-cost materials, and eventually employing the off-site construction concept. Off-site construction uses pre-engineered and pre-fabricated materials, whereby fewer construction resources are being used at the construction site. It prevents the usage of timber since all the walls are formed with high-recycling materials such as recycled steel, recycled polystyrene, as well as recycled aluminium.

4. Collaboration and Partnerships

Another construction contractor that has weathered the current difficult business conditions successfully is R Durtnell & Sons. It is a family-run construction business that has been operating since the 16th century. It specializes in much-needed niche areas of construction, such as restoration, conservation, and bespoke new buildings. It opened in the 1530s and in 1591, opened its present formal ledger, which has been regularly used and is the only instance of more than ten books covering 420 years of construction business. It has over 10,000 entries describing a constant flow of work over the centuries in various forms including rebuilding castles, education and religious establishments (abbeys and cathedral), hospitals and almshouses, and significant local landmark features. Building control records of its projects undertaken in the 20th and 21st centuries exist; these span various forms of work including residential, community-based, charitable, and public sector projects.

One clear success story in construction has been the UK contractor John Doyle, which had net profits of £1 million in 2000-9. Its Managing Director commented: “We have Priory Walls Nycs Ltd, a specialist stonework company. It’s one of the premier purchasers of stonework in the UK. We’ve established a great network of stonemasons and this has been our (accidental) salvation over the last few years.” John Doyle Roofing (JDR) has a £22 million turnover, specializing in roofing, waterproofing and restoration services. It has worked on demanding and innovative projects including the London 2012 Velodrome, Southmead Hospital in Bristol, and restoration work on landmark buildings across the UK such as the Royal Crescent, Bath. John Doyle Group Chief Executive Paul Cox said: “Projects such as the London 2012 Velodrome and the Royal Crescent, Bath, have featured prominently and illustrated the specialist skills the group collectively has. Today we can offer an unrivaled range of skills and expertise that can tackle virtually any type of construction renovation project typically valued between £1 million and £20 million. Our phenomenal reputation for remarkable craftsmanship.”

4.1. Public-Private Partnerships

The term ‘public-private partnerships’ has been used in several different contexts. In our case, we consider it one structure where the special vehicle is required to lead construction, finance, manage the lifecycle of a given case and operate outputs to acceptable norms in respect of specific public buildings. The asset in question is public infrastructure where its majority of the risks are assumed by the private sector. The model in the UK normally incorporates a lock-up period spanning 5 to 10 years initially followed by a complete handover to the public sector. Most notably, the special purpose vehicle’s work is carefully controlled by means of performance mechanisms governing the attainment of agreed quality levels. The partnership is closed with via a procurement process entailing a centralised contract where the vehicle holds a long-term outsourcing agreement. Conclusively, it sets out a financial structure benefitting from tax treatment arrangements for avoidance of double taxation within its partners and introduces the use of project-specific special-purpose companies.

One of the most prestigious home bases in the country for the showing of temporary art exhibitions, the gallery, as with the new Scottish Parliament building at Holyrood (among other national assembly projects carried out in different countries), exemplifies a graduation of scale in procurement methods and accompanying moves towards a more socially polarised orientation. Beside Edinburgh’s Waverley Station, the Parliament finally emerged in 1999 under the direction of a joint project partnership named ‘Enric Miralles’. Consistently cutting-edge work has been produced by this no less than 5-prime-authors team when they met and defeated lampooning and mocking critics. Several collaborations, of varying but significant longevity, were necessary and in a backdrop all too ready to categorically demolish the architects’ application proposals they were given the design go-ahead in respect of with some hesitation.

4.2. Joint Ventures

Major construction worldwide often requires the involvement of joint ventures (JVs). A JV is often established or disbanded after the construction phase. It is important to take into account the strategic relationships of JV partners to achieve a successful construction project. Major construction worldwide often requires the involvement of joint ventures (JVs). The JV is often established or disbanded after the construction project. It is important to take into account the strategic relationships of JV partners to achieve a successful construction project. The JV is subject to an instance where our management model has been tailored to suit their individual business and project requirements. The clear delineation between the JV and the various enabling and facilities management elements of the project is an inherent part of the management philosophy of the JV framework.

Another form of partnership is that of a joint venture (JV). A JV is an association of persons or companies combining their resources to achieve a single construction goal where each party is involved in the risk of the construction activity. Recently, we have seen an increase in the level of collective working within the industry, such as partnering, because the scale of projects has made it impossible for one or two companies to wholly resource the various elements of construction. Duties and obligations are required in order to survive with reasonable risk. Risk can often be associated with procurement, starting with selecting the method for doing business and ending with the completion of construction work. As a result, a growing number of business entities are engaging in JVs in the construction process. A JV allows the members to work together to pursue a particular project. The net present value (NPV) of the future cash flows of the construction project provides the value of the construction project, so all members of the joint venture need to note that the lessons of understanding the NPV method can be learned from both the internal and external environment analyses. The term “joint venture” is not subject to change – it is now the market approach, highly underpinned by “international perspective”.

4.3. Supplier and Contractor Relationships

Walker et al. then aimed to extend the work of Walker et al. in the single-case context by observing the dynamics of the buyer-supplier relationship during the preproject procurement phase and using a social exchange theory as a key unit of analysis. The findings showed that the amount of investment in the dyad relationships inadvertently enhanced the buyer’s knowledge, competence, expertise, and their legitimacy respect for their supplier which was not previously reported. Additionally, the investment also improved the construction process and procurement path and encouraged the supplier to familiarize themselves with the needs of the buyer. In buyer-supplier research, the commenced relationships taught the buyer and the supplier excellent lessons and produced trust. The preproject and construction phase focus on a better understanding of the decision-making process. The supplier’s ability and virtue in relation to the buyer, the construction process, and the procurement path. Such intricate details between the buyer and the supplier were based primarily on investment intentions at a lower level.

Several authors attempted to evaluate the quality of supplier and contractor relationships. One of the prominent models used was proposed by Walker et al., where they performed a longitudinal case study of a Japanese high-rise building construction project to study the dynamics of relationships within the supply chain. They analysed the buyer-supplier-contractor relationships by using a social exchange theory lens as it provides a framework that is highly applicable to describe interorganisational relations. The findings suggested that the Japanese contractor’s organizational learning process had become more willing to collaborate on repetitive urban building projects as the project progresses and the mutual confidence between the Japanese contractor and their suppliers and contractors developed. Hence, the case study indicated that the process of buyer-supplier-contractor collaboration was not necessarily dynamic and that interorganisational relationship building at the construction site was with the project’s goal fulfilment. Additionally, relationships established with suppliers were a little different from those with a contractor.

5. Government Initiatives and Policies

The Strategy Programme Board has established the Construction Leadership Council whose objective is to improve the productivity, skills, and commercial capacity of the construction sector in the UK. The UK government is keen to see the creation of a stronger UK-wide industry, which should be capable of delivering the construction products and services that are needed to drive international business to the UK. Members from industry represent it and also represent other audiences, offering an overall vision in conjunction with various actions that the construction industry should plan and deliver. It is believed that the establishment of the Council was an influential factor in the improvement of the industry’s productivity. To date, ten working groups, each with its own industry champions, have started to effectively deliver the critical areas of an industry-wide reform. This is a top-level initiative that is raising the profile of collaboration, making construction companies realize their strength in unity, advocacy, tier 1 influence, and supply chain advantage. Circular Economy is a committee priority.

Recent industry initiatives: The CIP has been working alongside the UK government and the CITB with the aim to increase productivity and sustainability in the industry. The 2025 Construction Strategy lays out the ambition between industry and government to effect the necessary modernization of the industry. The strategy meets the Industrial Strategy’s vision “To improve the percentage of UK construction delivered overseas by 50% between 2013 and 2025.”

5.1. Infrastructure Investment

The trend looks set to continue through 2015, given the significant investment lined up for UK infrastructure projects. The Chancellor introduced his Spending Review and Autumn Statement 2014 by announcing the biggest road-building programme for 30 years, including the new £1.5 billion A14 scheme and a £300 million package of improvements to the east-west link with North Norfolk, set to include the full dualling of the A47. A multi-billion pound package of substantial rail enhancements was also confirmed, with part of the money earmarked for the electrification of the Midland Main Line. This potentially opens up significant opportunities for construction businesses large and small across the East of England. This latest boost to UK infrastructure generally, and rail and road networks in particular, also has particular relevance given the ongoing debate about the need for Britain’s business heartland, the so-called ‘M11 Corridor’ stretching from London to Cambridge and on to Peterborough, to have the infrastructure in place to compete on the global stage.

There’s no getting away from the fact that, at the moment, the future is looking a lot brighter for the construction industry than it was this time last year. Like many parts of the UK economy, the sector was hit hard by the recession, but there are now increasing signs that it’s picking up again. What’s more, the most successful businesses in the sector are already leading the way with impressive growth. Latest industry figures show that the UK construction industry as a whole grew by 2.3 percent in January, with infrastructure output recording the sharpest monthly increase at 4.5 percent. The statistics, reported by Industry Today, which tracked data from the Office for National Statistics, also showed that new business for construction firms increased at the fastest pace since 2007.

5.2. Housing Development Programs

The UK government’s plan reflects a shift from regulatory-driven climate and carbon obligations to investment in promoting growth. One of the key objectives of these initiatives is to maximize the opportunities for growth and to create the right conditions to unleash energy investment. The National Infrastructure Commission is expected to support such growth and thus rank as a basis for national infrastructure assessment to further drive construction as part of the mission of clean, affordable, and secure energy. Whether the ambitious population housing targets set by the Wales government will be achieved is therefore in the hands of the nation – industry, banking, property developers, etc. But the enabling leads to success.

The UK government requires an average of 250,000 homes to be built each year up to and beyond 2020, and 300,000 each year until 2030, just to keep up with projected household growth. The UK construction industry in 2016 overcame the 200,000 threshold for the first time, with 217,350 homes created, which was the highest figure since the start of the recession 9 years ago. The increase in output was supported by initiatives catered towards housing demand, which according to reports from the Department for Communities and Local Government, showed that housing stock increased by 189,650 in the year – up by 11%, which is the fastest increase for a decade.

5.3. Regulatory Reforms

In the past few years, companies in the UK construction industry have started to perceive rationalization as a major prerequisite for remaining competitive. To become effective, they evaluated the costs ahead, and the Department of the Environment soon started actively encouraging them through the development of the National Construction Services and the subsequent construction programs. The implementation of efficient construction improvement initiatives and the release of the Building Regulations Working Party report forecast cost reductions of 10 to 20% in the construction industry. This has occurred at the same time as the abolition of the Builders Regulations price penalty in 1996, which opened up the option of cheaper construction methods to investors, further stimulating cost reduction awareness. For example, the 1995 Royal Commission identified “major untapped potential” when undoing regulatory barriers in construction. In 1999, the Construction Management Industry Board reported that it was necessary to reform contracting rules in the UK so that 50 percent of the industry was exposed to the cost drivers of a client or other industry.

As has been stated earlier in this paper, regulatory reforms are nearly universally acknowledged by surveys as a key driver of improvement in the efficiency and performance of the UK construction industry of the early to mid-1990s. Dramatic reduction of regulation and administration through licensing and other bureaucracy have played a significant role in the industry’s achievement. The removal of import and commission licenses for materials for construction, the granting of industrial deregulation licenses for the import of complete buildings, the abandoning of the Building Regulations price penalty, and the streamlining of the administrative approval procedure for projects in important regional development areas are clear signs of the political commitment to industrial construction. However, political changes after 1997 resulted in a temporary lack of decision-making that contributed to a war of creeping repression which was not conducive to long-term programs of any type and was particularly disadvantageous for long-term construction projects.

6. Skills and Workforce Development

As part of that long-term investment, the Jaguar Land Rover team has played a leading role in developing a number of pathways that show how the sector, business, and each of us individually can harness the potential of forward-looking government policy. Westminster has secured a virtuous circle that has helped to scale up the private sector innovation landscape at a time when global markets were effectively shut down to many companies that do not have access to leverage. With the policies put in place by successive governments over many years, there has been real and tangible support and investment to deliver world-class innovation here in the UK. Since 2016, many companies and RTOs have secured significant funding to undertake major low-carbon research projects, many for the first time.

Congratulations to the Jaguar Land Rover team, Christine Gaskell, Liverpool City Region Local Enterprise Partnership, and all our partners for their work and investment in the sustainable development of their businesses. Christine Gaskell and her team deserve enormous credit for that work; not just for taking bold decisions and coming together for the common good, but for a series of achievements that have not only cemented JLR’s position as a major UK manufacturer but also created a business network that is leading the way in many areas that underpin 21st-century sustainability. Christine and the JLR team have played a leading role in creating a network that has helped to put in place a long-term investment in the skills, diversification, and productivity of the UK’s manufacturing base.

6.1. Apprenticeship Programs

Employers who need more female workers have been encouraged to get involved with support to address their particular concerns. Female mentors will help recruit new trainees and at East Surrey, West Kent, Brighton, and Chichester colleges, two women already involved in construction training have undertaken training to be Construction Ambassadors. For the first time in Europe, the SWWPTC held a Female Taster Day on 19 June, under the new WBL scheme. More than 50 exhibitors attended from a variety of trade and work areas, who took along their live projects and training opportunities. The Angie Strutton Women into Construction representative also visited the shows and helped out with the special taster event, and she joins the CITB stand at the Open for Business event.

Over the past ten years, there has also been a considerable increase in the number of females taking up building and construction apprenticeships. Both CITB and London CITB have been particularly proactive in promoting the industry to females. In particular, Women’s Skills held a series of special events during Construction Week (10-14 November) at the SITS Training Centre in Erith, Kent. In March, a number of training providers took along their female trainees to a ‘taster’ day at the London College of Furniture. This was designed to give them an opportunity to gain firsthand experience of bench joinery, brick, and plumbing techniques.

6.2. Training and Certification

Construction, as an important sector of any economy, plays an important role in the infrastructure and overall growth of any country. Construction skills, training, and procedures play an important role in safety measures. In recent years, skills have become one of the most important issues in the Southeast Asian construction industry. The project-based nature of the construction industry necessitates the training of workers for construction projects in the United Kingdom. Safety training, as a key part of site health and safety measures, is very important. The effectiveness of the written text manual is evaluated by the Safety Health and Environment Committee. The communication system of interaction notice boards is effective in serving as a means of improving communication between contractors and workers.

Construction skills, training, and procedures play an important role in safety measures. In recent years, skills have become one of the most important issues in the Southeast Asian construction industry. Safety training for construction workers is particularly important in today’s construction industry. The level of occupational safety and health training of workers directly affects the level of injury accidents at work. Implementing a safety management system and training in the construction industry is an effective measure to improve the level of safety at work. In order to implement safety measures and improve the safety level of small construction projects, safety training for construction workers on site is particularly important. The effectiveness of site health and safety training is difficult to assess due to the unique nature of construction work and the lack of knowledge and understanding of practitioners.

6.3. Attracting and Retaining Talent

Attracting and retaining talented people is a common theme in a number of the case study articles. This 50-person, €16 million turnover firm mostly earns near £30,000,000 in bonuses. The firm significantly invests in a combination of formal and on-the-job training. It tries to create the conditions and develop employees and the company. During the monitoring period, the productivity of managers improved through the provision of opportunities to learn, develop employees, and apply new learning. Therefore, investments in developing employees need to remain a focus that is directed to reach the desired performance improvements. A number of companies in this development team invest in leadership capabilities at each stage so they see in the future. Their strategic investment in leadership is seen by Junifer clients in the UK, Ireland, and Iceland.

One pattern among the UK construction top performers is that they place great emphasis on building staff and motivating them to innovate and improve. They praise their staff and recognize their success together as ‘the family’ with the phrase ‘Working together as one’. The approach for attracting and keeping great people, and nurturing them into successful teams and a successful company, is called ‘Getting better better, because people make it happen’. Their mission is to attract, build, and keep the best people in the industry. It grows sustainable earnings and gives all the people, of all ages, the incentive to take up training and education to undertake, improve, and innovate, and to make a contribution to the company’s success. Significantly, it is linked to bonuses up to 25% of earnings. When the company does well, everybody shares in the success.

7. Sustainable Construction Practices

To help avoid over complex prescriptive legislation, the house builders and contractors are urged to demonstrate that a ‘suite of tools’ approach is working and providing sound carbon accounting within the supply chain management basic principles of the project and the measurement of site practice at all BAA sites. They should engage with businesses and the UK Government to further improve the evidence base for legal compliance in relation to the CRC Act. BAA Contractors’ green policies can be embedded into their corporate social responsibility guidelines, subject to contractual agreement, and through key performance indicators associated with green performance. Some BAA policies require other sustainability practice targets to be set, should foster safe and healthy site behavior, and encourage retention of key staff in a competitive market.

Construction companies and their suppliers will need to change their practices regarding energy efficiency and carbon management in order to address increasing environmental restrictions and work effectively towards BAA’s and its stakeholders’ corporate aims. Changing practices at construction sites, and the establishments that underpin those practices, are seen as a key driver. BAA’s approach to carbon quantification will require an increased understanding of materials in use, their source of supply and transportation, and the emissions resulting from site works. Effort-sensitive carbon accounting data collection and collation are key to measures and tactics being identified and managed and proof of compliance produced.

The BAA’s airport expansion programme plans to increase the capacity of the airport to support more than 700,000 aircraft movements each year, making the total annual air transport movements under full capacity 750,000. The sustainability strategy was embedded within BAA’s business processes and the company’s overall corporate social responsibility commitment aimed to deliver tangible and measurable incremental sustainability improvements. The programme seeks to secure significant incremental biodiversity improvement through the development of, and effective management of, green spaces both on the site and around the end of the existing runway.

7.1. Green Building Certifications

The UK construction industry has achieved many success stories throughout the years. The listed case studies, among many, are a testimony to the remarkable strides made by the industry in embracing sustainability and innovation. The industry has developed a positive method that will enable all parties involved from the beginning of the project design stage. The eCommerce hub in Rugby triumphs at the BREEAM awards, and the sustainable spirit retailer soars to victory at the BREEAM awards. 59 New Street, in Birmingham, is one of the most prestigious addresses in Birmingham and Hastings. The Keyford Portfolio European headquarters for ASOS achieves BREEAM ‘Outstanding’ Retail refurbishment Development agreement to transform EK East Kilbride to Glasgow Local Plan Development Framework.

Some success stories in the UK construction industry include BREEAM, a global measure for sustainable building achievement, and LEED. In 2009, the Ministry of Defence in King’s Hill was awarded Outstanding BREEAM certification with a score of 85.54%, achieving a BREEAM rating of “outstanding” and securing the highest world score for a building of its type. The first UK retail centre to be awarded BREEAM’s top environmental rating of “Outstanding” was St Stephen’s Hull. It achieved a BREEAM retail ‘Outstanding’, the highest score in the UK for a retail centre, recognizing the design to be 58% less carbon intense and 100% of the estimated annual CO2 emissions saved.

7.2. Renewable Energy Integration

The outcomes may inform policy development by governmental bodies and standardizing agencies, training and service providers in the UK, and other countries where renewable energy construction is becoming an essential part of energy policies. There is, however, limited research on labor requirements for integrating renewable energy solutions into existing commercial buildings, selecting solar photovoltaics (PV) and biomass boiler systems due to their potential for offsite energy generation for the building type.

Data collection will be conducted through interviews and focus group discussions with different stakeholders in the renewable energy construction industry across the UK, including architects, sustainability consultants, construction clients, main contractors, subcontractors, and renewable energy companies. Through these focus group discussions, policy document reviews, and construction project observations, potential measures for promoting a skills training framework that meets the direct and indirect skills needs of renewable energy construction are examined. Based on the outcomes of the study, the essentials of a model for a sustainable and effective renewable energy construction skills framework are drawn. Conclusions of the study offer insights into potential framework components, incentives to encourage industry engagement, transportability, collaborations, and partnership models.

Since its inception, the UK renewable energy industry has grown steadily, offering more jobs and opportunities than were first imagined. This rapid growth and transformation of the RE industry has left the workforce with a varied skills landscape and presented an added need for training practitioners in the skills demanded by the industry. This, in turn, opens up opportunities for the construction industry.

7.3. Waste Management and Recycling

This section presents a series of projects or pilot studies that indicate the potential to use high MRE targets. We try to draw out elements of the projects that can provide useful learning. This information provides non-exhaustive advice when searching for materials on issues such as the technical and economic challenges that may be faced. Topics could also highlight the business case, design and planning, training and skills, construction, materials and capacity building of re-use, as well as the recycling market. Some projects have specific or technical requirements for which DfS modes, and these elements are included in the recommendation. Our examples were selected to represent a variety of different projects and case studies, including multiple building types, a variety of building types, as well as various scale projects.

Our case study database has been obtained from sites where materials have been carefully sorted, recorded, and accounted for through stringent QA and waste reporting procedures. When we speak to an audience about waste, materials resource efficiency (MRE), and how to achieve higher material reuse and recycling rates, including technical and economic challenges, the session often leads to lively discussions. Some participants prefer to consider case studies of complete projects that have already demonstrated high MRE targets are achievable rather than focusing on the commercial and residential buildings that they or their organizations are currently planning or constructing. This section might also provide some initial guidance which is short but might stimulate the analysis that was successful during previous construction and demolition projects in the UK.

Success stories in the UK construction industry demonstrate that waste recycling and re-use can be achieved while maintaining project cost and sometimes even saving cost. The case studies provide evidence that it is possible to achieve high levels of material recovery, typically between 90-98% of waste materials produced on site.

8. Challenges and Solutions

Manufacturers and contractors have increasingly discussed the possibility of importing lean production as a means of improving the level of construction. Here we consider whether lessons learned in the world of manufacturing can be directly applied to construction, and the validity of the concept of importing foreign best practice into distinct industries. We turn to construction as an embedded industry in this instance where the fate of the ultimate consumer of the product lies far beyond the scope of any process improvement activity. The authors conduct extensive dialogue with industry professionals working at the coal face of design and construction seeking their views and feelings on emerging lean construction awareness within their industry. Key to this was an explanation of the meaning and likely effects of importing any manufacturing best practice such as lean production. The research question has grown into “are the core principles of lean production in conflict with the constraints under which construction is carried out”? By considering first whether the concept of lean construction is, itself, valid given the specificities of the industry, and following this, by examining lean principles individually to determine whether they have universal application or whether any are explicit to manufacturing and thus inapplicable to career client/construction industries.

The problems in most construction projects can be derived from the following aspects mainly: unreliable reliability/handover information, unreliable supply from subcontractors, unreliable planning information, dependent work process with current contractual requirement, unreliable organization and control, high overhead in transportation, and very sophisticated major equipment are required. To solve these problems, several methods and technologies have been proposed and implemented as follows. On the other hand, most of them have limitations such as the following due to adoption regardless of work process rightness. In current contracting, licensure from the government is done without the understanding of the development and operation of the construction work process by companies. Adoption is done for one piece of a work process only. The definition of the FFCW terminology is too abstract, and linkage with a real work process is difficult. As a result, the effect has not been felt. The incentives to advance various methods and technologies further are also important. The strategy consists of three steps as follows. First, create a simple terminology and a method. Second, reduce general-purpose rules for case by case needs of each construction company under the development and operation of the work process. Third, link for none of methods and technologies and method synthesis that was advanced.

8.1. Project Delays and Cost Overruns

Project delays and cost overruns have been intractable problems that continue to plague significantly investigated construction projects. Frequently, the adversarial and confrontational relationships which characterize traditional project procurement systems have been identified as major contributors to the problems. The critical importance of successful project time and cost performance in construction, which underpin a variety of production systems, has been widely researched. The evidence indicates that success in project time and cost management is positively correlated with business success and is in tandem with the long-established and well-documented concepts of just-in-time (JIT) production systems.

This project comprised two extreme cases in the UK construction industry where, to this effect, the concept of time and cost as measures of diagnostic project management success were taken to the extreme. The results from this study indicated the transcendence of time over cost in determining project management performance success. The tenets of JIT have been shown to have positive bearings on the success of projects in the construction industry. This study has thus tested and found congruence between JIT theory and the realities of the construction industry. This has been done in both small industrial buildings and roads construction projects. Findings from both projects are in agreement as they are backed by uniform positive SSE values with overall positive project time and cost management success indices. Clearly, the closeness of the SSE values to a value of 1 is a demonstration of strong evidence that there exists a ‘very strong positive relationship’ between each of the success measures with project management. The study, although it has achieved the set objectives of testing the applicability of JIT theory in the construct of small industrial buildings and roads construction projects, it however only takes a particular sector in the UK construction industry and so may therefore have implications for further research in the remaining sectors of the UK and indeed the world at large.

8.2. Shortage of Skilled Labor

Lastly, it was analyzed that an increase within productivity would not be enhanced by improving operational processes. As a result, by influencing these construction-based organizations ended up being expediency lean. A larger amount of labor concerned within fabrication and in fact visual management considered as delivering processes could be updated by ensuring all components are in full flow and allow low costs levels involved within the production in both small and large organizations such as outputs of product and service type products. High-labor costs would be reduced using Reynolds processes and Construction Industries which would see the involvement of Construction Companies who have in-funded boards and scaffold as to which tasks or involved actions managed effectively. Tables 8.3 and 8.6 show the number of actions discussed and proven and iClS circular may also re-development being proven effectively. Utilizing organizations and in fact organizations, it was discovered that any boards could depend upon numbers of actions as suggested by a research performed by Batley and Slingsby.

The construction industry is still considered as one of the most dangerous industries to work. Although, working at construction sites is considered as hazardous to health and in fact life, the pressure of the industry plus its continuous growth require resources, particularly when working towards targets in operations. Although, a number of executives have the opinion that achieving high-profit margins is beneficial, its advent could consider potential risks and in fact even affect overall commitment when handling their responsibilities. Even when upon achieving project deadlines becomes attainable, organizations may not be able to complete such projects because the skilled laborers involved within the operations cannot be exploited. As a result, it has been widely reported that the skill scarcity within the construction industry is continually increasing most industrial organizations. Numerous organizations are currently complaining that they are currently spending a huge sum of amount during recruitment operations aiming towards roles and in fact responsibilities than those which they otherwise offer during the past years. From reported literature, large organizations within the construction industry, it has been suggested that all opportunities would be utilized by organizations to offer excess pays during the acute shortage of skilled labor to enable the delivery of construction projects, with project deadlines and providing responses to operational pressures.

8.3. Brexit Implications on Construction Industry

If the EU will be entitled to block or withdraw the UK the authorization of the UK firms, the UK construction industry would become more bureaucratic and expensive. The construction industry’s influence on the EU-UK negotiations appears significant since the UK and EU are interdependent in terms of infrastructure activities and investments. For the UK unique pro and European ad referendum obligations, international and national arrangements may be impeded. Some decisions for the construction industry that may be achieved may refer to the prohibition of the continuity of the bilateral business between the UK and EU, UK hostility, and the attraction of corporate investments also oriented to many tariffs related to those activities. If it is unlikely that EU members will elect the option of economic motivation, the UK government can be restricted from the enlargement of the work for the main infrastructures through tax cuts or removal of pass-through fees as well as special and interesting agitation for the main beneficiaries. As a result, the UK construction companies will not qualify or be chosen for future projects.

After the Brexit vote in 2016, the construction industry has influenced policy. Immigration tends to be seen as important for the construction industry. Although in the UK there are many workers that work in the construction industry, research indicated that the EU migrant workers have begun to fill skill gaps that appear within the oldest employees. This is an issue that needs to be addressed as businesses start planning for a successful future within the UK construction industry. The majority of EU migrants work in the construction sectors, particularly the ones related to manufacturing, public administration, and agricultural activities. They hired EU workers since British ones were not qualified. Those that would not use EU workers would reduce the level of investment, becoming the country poorly developed in terms of infrastructures.

9. Conclusion

Based on the results of our research, thorough marketing studies, continuous training, and close collaboration with clients, local communities, and supply chain partners, licensing the successful merging of sustainable construction with sustainability can be combined in a unique construction process that is poised to expand further in the immediate future. The practice of transforming sustainability also into a business advantage should be disseminated and replicated. The guide presented in the previous sections is still in its infancy; nevertheless, it might contain some principles of unique value. In conclusion, the United Kingdom construction industry results show that aiming high, licensing collaborative leadership, sustainable construction, and strategic innovation leads to a positive collaboration, allowing companies and clients to continue successful operation in the global market niche.

Interviews with senior target-oriented managers and their collaborators at diverse construction companies confirm that, contrary to what prevails in the industry, speed to market, cost considerations, and environmental issues are not necessarily the most important project drivers. The case studies show that innovation successes in the final market are the result of thorough market surveys and close collaboration with big clients, servicing both their existing and potential needs, using competitive design and build procurement systems. The practical lessons from case studies have been synthesized to serve as a guide in the future for aspiring market leaders.