Last edited 09 May 2022

Platform approach to construction

The Construction Playbook, Government Guidance on sourcing and contracting public works projects and programmes Version 1, produced by the Cabinet Office and published in December 2020, is focused on getting projects and programmes right from the start. Its principles and policies are intended to transform how public works projects and programmes are assessed, procured and managed. It is a ‘compact’ between government and industry, setting out how they will work together in future.

It states:

‘We will look to procure construction projects based on product platforms comprising of standardised and interoperable components and assemblies, the requirements for which will be part of a digital component catalogue.

Contracting authorities should collaborate to find opportunities not only for their own platform solutions but also for ways in which cross-sector platform solutions can be applied, for example, by using platforms that enable interoperability of components across different sectors.

‘Future procurements and frameworks should support this with the development of a market and supply chain that can develop and deliver designs based on these platform approaches, manufacture and supply components, and innovate to improve and develop these over time.’

For more information see: The Construction Playbook.

NB Redefining value, The manufacturing revolution, Remanufacturing, refurbishment, repair and direct reuse in the circular economy, published by the United Nations Environment Programme in 2018, suggests that product platform: ‘Refers to a set of common elements, including underlying technical components, parts or technology that are shared across a range of the company’s products. New derivative products can be developed and launched by the company based on a common product platform.’

The Product Platform Rulebook, Draft for consultation, published in May 2022 by the Construction Innovation Hub, defines platform as: ‘A term that is widely used but with consistent elements including: a set of low variety core assets (i.e. components, processes, knowledge, people and relationships); a complementary set of peripheral components that exhibit high variety; stable interfaces that act as a bridge between the stable core and variable peripherals; and a set of rules or standards governing how components can be integrated.’

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