I have been reading your “Under pressure” series with interest. At Malcolm Hollis, we are undertaking a development monitoring role on the BBC’s Broadcasting House refurbishment on behalf of Morgan Stanley and are very aware of the materials shortage.
A project of any size requires extensive planning to ensure that the volume of materials required are available.
Contingency plans are important. The impact on cost and timescales of a quarry closing down or a supplier ceasing to trade must be determined at risk assessment stage.
The biggest issue, though, is that many order books are full for four years or more which makes sourcing manufacturers difficult. With such a huge demand from the industry, it seems that there just aren’t enough materials to go around. Suppliers will continue to be more selective, which could affect smaller projects as the lower quantity orders become unattractive.
If the situation is like this now, I worry what will happen when the Olympic construction programme is well under way. Something must be done to protect developers of smaller projects.
Justin Bird, Malcolm Hollis