Consultant’s annual survey of procurement trends also reveals use of BIM only creeping up at tender stage

Material costs and availability along with supply chain capacity are among the two biggest issues set to worry contractors over the coming year, according to a survey by RLB.

But despite the concerns over shortages of materials and labour, the survey of 113 main contractors in RLB’s supply chain said the take-up of MMC had only gone by 2% since its last report in 2019 and suggested more of the industry needed bringing up to speed on its benefits.


More education is needed about the benefits of MMC, the RLB report said

In its report, RLB said: “Adoption rates of MMC have climbed since our last survey; towards nearly a quarter of projects. Whilst contractors still see accelerating rates of adoption for the next three years, a similar confidence in our last survey has not actually translated into current practice. With government policy still focused on improving productivity, the areas of focus would appear to need to be education and building supply chain capacity.”

The consultant’s procurement trends survey flagged hotspot trades including brickwork and blockwork and cladding and curtain walling.

The report also said BIM was still not being provided enough at the tender stage, with only 28% of those surveyed stating that projects had offered BIM in procurement.

The report added: “Once again there seems to be a reluctance of projects to share BIM models at tender stage. However, contractors tackling larger projects provided with BIM models are far more frequent. The benefits that contractors see in being provided with BIM models is largely as our last survey, but with contractors’ estimators seeing the benefit in BIM to the speed of take off.”

Other findings included the average fixed price period being offered by contractors has decreased by 5 months since 2019 to just 16 months, while there has been an increase in the popularity of design and build – to 66% of projects of those surveyed – despite concerns over quality delivered through this procurement route.