Last edited 09 Apr 2021

Performance in the construction industry

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In construction, the term ‘performance’ can have number of different meanings.


[edit] Contractual performance

'Performance' commonly refers to the carrying out of works according to requirements set out in a contract.

Performance requirements might include:

Successful performance discharges the party bound to perform the act from contractual liability. Non-performance is the failure to do something required by a contract. For more information see: Non-performance.

A remedy as a means of relief that either party can pursue to compensate for the other party's non-performance.

Performance bonds are commonly used in the construction industry to insure one party against the risk of another party (typically a supplier such as a contractor) failing to fulfil their contractual obligations. For more information see: Performance bond.

Following the 2011 amendments to the Housing Grants, Construction and Regeneration Act, parties have the right to suspend performance of any or all contractual obligations when a required payment of a notified sum has not be made. This includes, suspension of part or all of the works, but also other contractual obligations such as the provision of insurance.

[edit] Performance specification

Performance specifications are a type of specification that describe the result that is required from particular items (rather than a specific brand or type of item) and leave it to the contractor or supplier to satisfy that requirement. In this situation, the nature of the performance required may be defined by the desired outcome, or by reference to standards. For more information see: Performance specification.

[edit] Performance bond

A performance bond is commonly used in the construction industry as a means of insuring a client against the risk of a contractor failing to fulfil contractual obligations to the client. Performance bonds can also be required from other parties to a construction contract. For more information, see Performance bond.

[edit] Key performance indicators

Key performance indicators (KPIs) can provide a method for measuring performance.

KPIs can be used to:

If clients intend to measure the performance of suppliers, it is important that KPIs are identified in tender documentation and that the regular provision of the information required to assess them is a requirement of the contract. KPIs may be of particular importance where the contract stipulates that the contractor will be rewarded or penalised based on their performance relative to certain indicators.

For more information see: Key performance indicators.

[edit] Building performance

The term ‘performance’ can also be used to refer to the efficiency of a building – how well it retains energy, its air tightness, thermal comfort, and so on. There tends to be a significant gap between predicted performance of buildings and their actual performance in use. This is known as the ‘performance gap’. For more information, see Performance gap.

The energy performance of a building is indicated by the rating of its energy performance certificate (EPC).

For more information see: Building performance

[edit] Industry performance

The UK construction industry is regularly criticised for being wasteful, adversarial, fragmented, dominated by single disciplines, reluctant to innovate and poor at disseminating knowledge (See Construction industry reports for more information).

A wide range of statistics are published to assess industry performance, including regular reports by; the Office for National Statistics, the Health and Safety Executive, the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy, the Ministry of Housing, Communities & Local Government, Glenigan and others.

For more information see: Construction Industry Statistics.

[edit] Project performance

The RIBA Plan of Work 2013 defines Project Performance as:

‘The performance of the project, determined using Feedback, including the performance of the project team and the performance of the building against the desired Project Outcomes.’

[edit] Related articles on Designing Buildings Wiki

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