A range of pandemic-prompted innovations have changed industry practice for good. Josephine Smit talks to those who led the way
From “Build back better” to “Never let a good crisis go to waste”, politicians and business leaders have no shortage of aphorisms and slogans to apply to new ways of working in the wake of the pandemic. While for many, changes in the way they operate have been driven by two years of abnormal trading conditions, enforced lockdown closures or large-scale working from home, some working in construction had a very different experience to draw on.
They are the consultants, contractors, specialists and suppliers involved in delivering pandemic-related facilities like Nightingale hospitals and testing facilities. While others temporarily slowed or halted operations, these businesses and individuals found themselves working harder and faster than ever to respond to the emergency. Within the common and familiar foundations of the ProCure22 framework and NEC3 contract, project participants excelled and innovated in their processes and practices to deliver what was needed.
The resulting projects have, in many cases, already been dismantled, but the ways of working adopted to deliver them have left their mark. Some project participants have developed new practices, while for others the experiences have confirmed the value of approaches promoted through reports ranging from Sir John Egan’s Rethinking Construction to the government’s current Construction Playbook. At the same time, projects have highlighted the gap between the everyday and best practice, giving the broader industry much to think about.
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