In a wide-ranging interview published in Infrastructure Intelligence Mathew spelled out his three priorities for the coming 12 months.
A perennial issue in the construction industry, and one that it has consistently failed to address. The answer to the lack of productivity lies within the industry itself, “… there are real solutions out there and we need to do a lot more as an industry to promote what we are capable of achieving, rather than looking to the government to bail us out with public spending.” This will be achieved by the adoption of technology, of digital and offsite techniques. “We’re seeing digital design techniques coming to the fore more and more and if you start to combine that with other aspects of digital design and offsite construction then you have a real opportunity to transform productivity.”
Widespread adoption of new technologies and techniques has been held back by a lack of collaboration. “We are very fragmented as an industry. If you look at the business models, procurement, the way we compete for work - all those things make it hard for people to collaborate.” Mathew sees industry bodies and government coming together. “It may be easier to match fund as a collective rather than sectors acting alone, and I will be looking to see how ACE can play its role in ensuring that the industry speaks with one voice. We need a pan-industry approach because that’s the way to achieve change.”
“We need that solid evidence, something that is sustainable that changes how we deliver projects and transforms the way we work. One-off gains that are not repeatable is not what we need. Critical mass is crucial.”
Outlining how he will use his time as ACE chair to push for real change, Mathew says “My approach will be to look at what ought to be achievable. There is no excuse not to make the changes we need. Otherwise others will come in and take our space, so it’s up to us. We can’t just sit around waiting for others to act.”
Many of the opportunities identified chime with those promoted through our own Digital Design and Offsite Construction campaign.