Building today publishes The Long Term Plan for Construction report, with a host of recommendations for industry and government

BTFC 3x2

The Building the Future Commission has called for the return of a chief construction adviser in Whitehall as part of its Long Term Plan for Construction report.

This idea is one of 11 key recommendations published in the commission’s final report today, which focuses on tackling construction’s short-termism.

The final report said reinstating a chief construction adviser could help the government become a better client.

The report said: “This should not be a lobbyist, but somebody who can work within Whitehall to make the government a better client, so that decisions across the main public sector building programmes are not short-term and merely based on cost.

“This could involve government using its influence and purchasing power to specify outcomes, such as for net zero or digital adoption, as a requirement. There needs to be closer collaboration between government and industry at the early design stages to drive delivery efficiencies and value for money.”

Other key recommendations include reforming the planning system, overhauling affordable housing funding, introducing whole-life carbon regulation, reforming procurement, introducing a single authoritative body for building safety and introducing certainty over pipeline of infrastructure work. The report recommends a new long-term strategy for vocational education, adoption of digital tools and a call for a construction recruitment campaign.

It also contains a host of other detailed recommendations in the commission’s eight topic areas, namely net zero, skills and education, building safety, workplace, culture and leadership, housing and planning, infrastructure, project delivery and digital and creating communities.

The report follows on from the commission’s interim findings published in September, which found a fragile economy, policy churn, under investment and short-termism were holding the industry back.

The Building the Future Commission, launched to mark Building’s 180th anniversary, ran throughout 2023 and explores solutions to improve the built environment in eight different areas: net zero; skills and education; building safety; workplace, culture and leadership; housing and planning; infrastructure; project delivery and digital; and creating communities. The commission received advice and guidance from 19 commissioners, all high-profile figures from across the industry.

At a London conference in September, the commission published in-depth reports on innovation break-throughs and reforming the planning system.

In addition to the regional roundtables and conference, the commission produced a podcast series, hosted commissioner discussions, convened a young people’s panel and produced more than 160 articles examining solutions to improve the built environment. 

Building also this week announced it is launching the Building the Future Think Tank, to follow on from the commission’s work.

The think tank will produce in-depth research throughout 2024 and beyond on behalf of the industry,

The think tank will initially look to produce editorial research reports on several themes, including AI and digital construction, implementing net zero, workplace and productivity, building safety, and people and skills.

Building is however taking soundings from the industry and the list could expand to cover more topics.

Download the full report below.


BTFC final report cover