As a built environment discipline, conservation is no less susceptible to adversarial tactics than that sector as a whole – see for example our ‘Ten Red Flags…’ Guidance Note on the IHBC’s ToolBox – while Designing Buildings Wiki (DBW), as host platform for the IHBC’s Conservation Wiki, features guidance on ‘Adversarial behaviour’ for mainstream practitioners that may also offer useful context for IHBC members.
image: DBW website
Designing Buildings Wiki writes:
The construction industry is often described as being ‘adversarial’, that is, it frequently involves conflict, opposition, confrontation, dispute and even hostility. Indeed, in her autobiography ‘Open Secret’, published in 2002, Stella Rimmington, the former Director General of MI5, wrote; ‘…the Thames House Refurbishment was fraught with difficulties. It was clear that dealing with the building industry was just as tricky as dealing with the KGB.’
- Alfred Bossom’s book ‘Building to the Skies: The Romance of the Skyscraper’, published in 1934, was one of the first major criticisms of the performanceof the UK construction industry. Bossom described an adversarial and wasteful industry in which construction took too long, was too expensive and was not satisfactory for its clients.
- The 1964 Banwell Report‘The placing and management of contracts for building and civil engineering works’ recommended that the industry should develop less adversarial
- In his In 1994 report‘Constructing the Team‘ Sir Michael Latham notoriously described the construction industry, as; ‘ineffective’, ‘adversarial’, ‘fragmented’ and ‘incapable of delivering for its customers’.
- ‘Modernising Construction: Reportby the Comptroller and Auditor General’, published by the National Audit Office in 2001 pointed to a ‘…tendency for an adversarial relationship to exist between construction firms, consultants and their clients and between contractors, sub-contractors and suppliers’.