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Last edited 11 Feb 2021
Constructing Excellence (CE) describes itself as ‘…the single organisation charged with driving the change agenda in construction. We exist to improve industry performance in order to produce a better built environment. We are a cross-sector, cross-supply chain, member led organisation operating for the good of industry and its stakeholders.’
It was one of a number of cross-industry bodies established to drive change in response to the Latham Report (Constructing the Team, 1994) and the Egan Report (Rethinking Construction, 1998) which concluded that ‘the industry as a whole is under-achieving’, and called for dramatic improvements.
Egan stated ‘…we are not inviting UK construction to look at what it does already and do it better; we are asking the industry and government to join with major clients to do it entirely differently’.
Other bodies that were created included:
- Reading Construction Forum.
- Design Build Foundation.
- Construction Best Practice Programme.
- Movement for Innovation (M4i).
- Local Government Task Force.
- Rethinking Construction.
- Construction Clients' Group.
It was increasingly recognised that there were too many such groups, and following a series of mergers, they were united as Constructing Excellence in 2003, to create ‘..a powerful, influential voice for improvement in the built environment sector.’
Constructing Excellence is a not-for-profit organisation governed by a board of management made up of representatives from across the industry. It has 9 regional offices across England and Wales. Client and supplier organisations can become members of Constructing Excellence for a fee.
Its activities include:
- Lobbying to try to influence change.
- Publishing construction industry Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) each year using performance data collected by the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills.
- Benchmarking and demonstration projects.
- Industry awards.
- The Construction Clients' Group, promoting best practice and industry improvements.
- G4C, the ‘junior’ branch of Constructing Excellence.
- Constructing Excellence in Learning Ltd (CELL), accrediting qualifications.
Since Latham and Egan, there have been significant moves in government procurement to encourage collaborative working and foster partnering, and it is generally considered that construction has become more efficient and safer.
However, in May 2008, ten years after publication of Rethinking Construction, Sir John Egan stated that "we have to say we’ve got pretty patchy results. And certainly nowhere near the improvement we could have achieved, or that I expected to achieve…..I guess if I were giving marks out of 10 after 10 years I’d probably only give the industry about four out of 10" (ref. Egan: I’d give construction about 4 of 10).
On 19 August 2016, it was announced that Constructing Excellence had 'merged' with BRE (Building Research Establishment). This move is intended to grow the CE membership and increase its impact on the industry. BRE provides strategic and membership support for CE while also acting as main delivery partner.
The aims of the agreement are to:
- Develop a stronger, sustainable and independent Constructing Excellence and constituent parts,
- Deliver better value to members and other customers,
- Grow the membership at local, national and international levels, benefiting from BRE's expertise and influence.
- Foster an improved culture of innovation amongst leading-edge firms.
Peter Bonfield CEO of BRE said:
“Constructing Excellence has always represented a movement for positive change, harnessing the energy and commitment of many hundreds of organisations at a regional and national level. Both BRE and CE are trusted and independent brands who have worked very closely together for many years - the synergies are strong. But most importantly we share the core objective of creating a better built environment for all. We are very pleased about this.”
In June 2017, it was announced that departing chairman of Constructing Excellence, Murray Rowden, had been replaced by three co-chairs; Heathrow’s Phil Wilbraham, Turner & Townsend’s David Whysall and Modernise or die author Mark Farmer.
Murray Rowden said:
“I am delighted that Phil, Mark and David have accepted our invitations to take over the leadership of Constructing Excellence. With their strengths in infrastructure, housing, offsite and performance measurement, and strong links with government initiatives, they are ideally placed to drive growth in our influence, profile and participation including membership.”
Don Ward, chief executive of Constructing Excellence said:
“Following our merger with BRE we are delighted to announce the new leadership of our organisation, and I look forward to working with them all to lead and support the sector in a period of major opportunity for sector transformation.”
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