That civil engineering is to examine its cost-saving potential across the UK under the chair of Terry Hill (“Civils cost inquiry could save schemes from axe,” 25 June,, is extremely positive news for the industry, for the economy and for the environment

Critically, the investigation will “look at how to change the design and construction of civils projects and whether clients could specify and procure projects with greater efficiency.” Wrap has worked closely with civil engineers in addressing the issue of material and CD&E waste, the most significant cost factors in these large-scale projects. Our research demonstrates that the most effective curb on waste can be made at the earliest design stages. Consultation with the Institution of Civil Engineers and industry has helped inform Wrap’s Designing out Waste: A Design Team Guide for Civil Engineering.

Our findings also support the critical role played by the client in raising waste management and resource use at the earliest stages of a project, and ensuring the entire supply chain works to reduce waste and associated costs. The client should ensure action is taken right through the project, starting at an early design stage, through to post-construction reporting. In particular, the client should set clear requirements in the project brief and during design team and contractor procurement.

Jim Wiltshire, programme manager - designers and contractors, Wrap