The CIOB’s – the Chartered Institute of Building – parliamentary reception on 12 December launched its report ‘Improving Quality in the Built Environment’, reporting on the outcomes of its Construction Quality Commission, set up to identify what promotes or prevents delivery of quality in construction, and what steps are needed to bring about change.
Opening proceedings was Eddie Hughes, MP for Walsall North and someone who has spent time in the industry. He commented that 30 years ago industry standards were somewhat different but we have now reached a point where a culture of ‘health and safety is the way we work’ and firmly embedded within the sector. He called for those present to support the CIOB’s work, adding: ‘I want to see that same cultural shift with regard to construction quality.’
Paul Nash FCIOB, Chairman of the Commission, opened his remarks by saying: ‘Quality, or rather the failure of quality, is arguably the most important issue facing the construction industry today.’ He then outlined what the CIOB report focusses on: ‘Our research identified … an underlying cultural issue in the industry. Quality was being sacrificed to achieve targets.’ Nash, a CIOB Past President, then spoke of one of the key outcomes of the Commission’s work, the forthcoming Code of Quality Practice: ‘Today we are announcing the launch of a consultation on the Code.’ The intention behind this is to set standards for the industry to achieve and ‘provide practitioners with the tools and processes needed to deliver quality on construction projects.’ He concluded by saying: ‘There is never an excuse for poor quality.’
Roberta Blackman-Woods, MP for the City of Durham and Shadow Minister for Housing, Communities & Local Government, added her voice to the debate. She welcomed the CIOB’s report, saying: ‘I think the work you are doing is really important and I’m glad to see that improving the quality of the built environment has gone up the political agenda.’
The CIOB’s Construction Quality Commission was launched in early 2017 in response to a report into defects that led to the closure of a number of Edinburgh schools. It was given a new impetus following the tragic Grenfell Tower fire. The Commission, led by a group of the CIOB’s Past Presidents, worked with members and other industry organisations to identify the main issues with regard to quality in construction. To find out more about the work undertaken by the Commission, have a look at the report that was launched at the parliamentary reception: Improving Quality in the Built Environment