New construction commitments to be launched

Targets set by Sir John Egan to modernise the construction industry are to be replaced by the Olympic construction commitments.

It is understood that the Strategic Forum agreed the change at a meeting on Tuesday, attended by Baroness Vadera, the construction minister. The new document will be launched on 11 June.

Egan, a former chief executive of BAA, set out a series of targets in his 1998 Rethinking Construction report, such as the encouragement of partnering between suppliers and clients.

Peter Rogers,  devised the Olympic commitments

The Olympic construction commitments were devised by the 2012 Task Group, led by Peter Rogers, a director of Stanhope. The Strategic Forum hasdecided that they will be extended from companies working on the London 2012 build programme to the whole of the industry.

Each commitment will be accompanied by a set of aims for the industry to meet over the next four years, and references to the Olympics will be deleted.

There is a higher level of obligation than there was with Egan

Graham Watts, CIC

The contractors, consultants and trade bodies that had already signed up to the Olympic construction commitments, including Balfour Beatty, Costain and Skanska, will automatically be transferred to the new list.

The 2012 commitments fall under six headings: procurement and integration, client leadership, design quality, commitment to people, sustainability and health and safety. The latter two were not covered in Egan’s report.

Michael Ankers, chief executive of the Construction Products Association, said that although the commitments were voluntary, the Strategic Forum would launch a programme to encourage companies to sign up.

Graham Watts, the chief executive of the Construction Industry Council, said: “Chairs and chief executives of companies will sign on the dotted line and targets will apply so we can check these things are being done. There is now a higher level of obligation than there was with the Egan targets.”

The six targets in Egan’s report include having integrated teams on half of all projects by 2007. It emerged last month that the industry had not achieved this.