Government Urged To Start ‘Public Sector Construction Revolution’

Burflex House, Clay Street, Hull, East Yorkshire, HU8 8HA E.

Burflex House, Clay Street, Hull, East Yorkshire, HU8 8HA E.

Government Urged To Start ‘Public Sector Construction Revolution’

Government Urged To Start ‘Public Sector Construction Revolution’

By exploring productivity enhancing buildings, the government could help public sector workers to get more out of their days and improve the services offered across healthcare, education, transport and wider infrastructure.

This is according to a new report from Mace, which was written by a former Bank of England economist. The report explored just how much of a change introducing a new design, construction and operations approaches across the public sector would make to employees on the ground, Politics Home revealed.

It found that if the country’s 237,000 nurses in acute, elderly and general care were working in new productivity-enhancing hospitals, they would gain 25 million hours every year.

That would be the same as employing an additional 13,500 full-time nursing staff, the report noted.

Similarly, if productivity-enhancing schools were constructed for all 545,000 teachers in the UK to work in, they would gain back nearly 50 million hours a year, which is the same as giving each teacher an additional 2.3 hours a week.

Overall, the researchers at Mace found that four in ten public sector workers believe they currently lose at least two hours per week as a result of unproductive workplaces.

The report stressed that these kinds of factors should be taken into consideration when the government is assessing the value for money a construction project can bring.

Mace chief executive Mark Reynolds commented: “We need a new mindset about innovation and product development in construction.”

He added: “We need to try to understand our end-users more, and work to deliver our projects in a way that responds to their needs – and to do that we need to change how we design, manufacture and assemble our buildings.”

McAvoy is one firm that’s embracing offsite construction for projects it’s involved within the public sector. Building Products recently reported that the firm has been awarded four lots on the new £500 million Modular Building Solutions framework.

Crown Commercial Service (CCS) is the largest public sector procurement organisation in the UK and it allocated the lots to McAvoy.

Although the main focus under the new agreement will be healthcare and education facilities, it can also cover facilities for the MOD or emergency services, as well as community centres, care homes, student accommodation, residential schemes and offices.

McAvoy has already been involved in public sector construction projects using offsite methods, including the Lynch Hill Enterprise Academy in Slough and Goresbrook School in London.

Commenting on the latest award, Eugene Lynch, chief executive of The McAvoy Group, told the news provider that these long-term frameworks are important to the business.

“The advantages of offsite construction for new public sector facilities are proven and clear. We can reduce the build programmes by up to 50 per cent for earlier occupation and offer significant quality improvements,” he added.

Offsite construction on these large-scale projects will mean that the role other contractors play is likely to change. There will still be a need for scaffolding companies in Leeds and elsewhere in the UK, but the point in the project at which they’re called in could be different.