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Construction Post Pandemic: 'Great Expectations' or 'Bleak House'?
  • Sep 13, 2021
  • Latest News

by Rupa Lakha, Partner Construction, Engineering & Projects - Charles Russell Speechlys

2020 brought an unprecedented challenge which has had a huge impact on the construction industry. In the UK, the construction industry has claimed almost £22bn across the government’s 4 main pandemic schemes; it was construction companies who made up a larger proportion of bounce back loans than any other sector.

However, the latter part of 2020 showed sizeable rebounds with signs of promising recovery. As one of the biggest contributors to GDP, maximising recovery within the construction industry is integral to the wider recovery of the UK economy.

In India, the pandemic exacerbated common problems experienced in the industry, irrespective of geography.

In its reaction to the pandemic, the construction industry has shown to be on the cusp of redefining itself and needs to start thinking in a more collaborative manner in order to enable desired levels of recovery.

Existing Key Challenges in the Construction
1. Unbalanced risk allocation
2. Lack of co-ordination/interface
3. Lack of investment into the tender programme
4. Adversial approach and blame culture

During the webinar, we asked: What is a key barrier to collaborative working?
• 44% of attendees said 'lack of coordination/interface'
• 21% of attendees said 'projects not being priced properly
• 14% of attendees said 'unrealistic programming'

Looking forward: Collaboration is the key
• Collaborative working is crucial to facilitate progress; the CDC Guidelines advocate for parties to administer contracts in a reasonable way.

• Movement towards using the processes in the contract towards resolving problems; use notice provisions as a method of instigating dialogue to resolve issues rather than as a way to protect rights in relation to future claims.

Practical steps to initiate the sea change:
• Greater investment in tenders from both sides

• Greater interface between legal and technical advisors to ensure the contract documents are fit for purpose

• Proper administration of the contract with a key emphasis on the contract administrator’s role in administering the contract in a fair, reasonable and  independent way

• Better record keeping: e.g. drone footage, use of 3D cameras, greater use of AI

We asked the attendees: What do you think the future holds?
• 51% of attendees said 'Great Expectations'
• 40% of attendees said 'Pride and Prejudice'
• 9% of attendees said 'Bleak House'

Watch the discussion with Charles Russell Speechlys, Link Legal and Blackrock Expert Services for a practical approach to adopting new behaviours to secure greater growth and success across the supply chain.