It would be fair to suggest that increased productivity is sought across all industries in the UK. Accessing higher levels of productivity delivers better results and reduced costs, factors which stimulate further growth in the economy. When it comes to achieving this, it is crucial to ensure that the means of measuring productivity are correct, accurate, and reflect the honest position an industry finds itself in. In the construction sector, there are growing concerns about the productivity measures which are in place being outdated and incorrect.

At present we have a sense of more construction work than ever before being undertaken. From new builds to regeneration work, such as structural alterations in city centres, the activity in this sector is setting new record levels with each passing year. Despite this being the case, the existing productivity measurements indicate that the sector is stagnant, with only a real term productivity of 1.4% recorded between 1997 and the present day.

Whilst there is no doubt that the current operations and processes in the industry have room for improvement, many are questioning the apparently low level of productivity increase recorded. At the forefront of this questioning is the Chartered Institute of Building, who have made it clear that they believe productivity measurement needs to be improved in order to reflect current standards and practices in the industry. This view is echoed by the leading figures across the industry, with the consensus being that revised productivity measurement would serve to stimulate further success.

The approach we have taken has always seen productivity improvements as a crucial part of projects we are involved in. We, for instance, know that any onsite work causes delays to the overall project. We counter this by conducting as much work as possible offsite, reducing the actual downtime to the lowest levels possible.

In order to best meet the rising demands for building work in the UK there needs to be a significant increase in productivity levels. Whilst no one disagrees with this, the advances made over the last two decades in achieving this should not be discounted or overlooked.