The Value Toolkit enables us to pick better projects from the beginning

Tim Chapman
Tim Chapman 12-07-2022

Tim Chapman is a Director at Arup. He says time is running out for the construction sector to transform its practices in the light of climate change and the biodiversity crises.

For far too long, the construction industry has seen cost as the main arbiter of value. We now have a very short time to change our industry paradigm as we play our part in addressing broader challenges such as the climate crisis and biodiversity risk. In changing our practices, we must ensure we add social, environmental and far wider economic value through the decisions we make. In short, now is the time to ensure value-based decision making drives our practices and that our projects are the best possible vehicles to change society for the better.

We have all known for a long time now that the industry isn’t working to its maximum potential. For many years people have suggested the problem lies with traditional procurement practices and processes which focus largely on cost-based decision making.

In the past few years, I have been involved in supporting the development of the Value Toolkit which enables organisations to also take into account wider parameters such as the value of a project or programme to wider society and the environment.

The Value Toolkit enables us to pick better projects from the very beginning. Construction Innovation Hub Programme Director Keith Waller has said that a large section of our industry focuses on ‘doing the wrong things well’ and is ‘not doing the right things’.

The gestation period for some of our projects is long: think 20-odd years for the Hinckley Point C nuclear power station and I have personally worked on the Crossrail project for over 30 years.

I know how important it is to pick the right projects at the very beginning so make sure we can solve these immediate problems that are upon us.

The Value Toolkit allows us to spend more time at the very early phase of projects where the client is often still unable to clearly articulate the outcomes they want to achieve. By spending more time at this stage with a wider team of stakeholders and fully understanding the fundamental mission, together we can make sure we have picked a project that will help resolve the multiple challenges that our society faces, now and into the future.