On the last Wednesday of October we hosted the second of this autumn’s constructing excellence breakfasts broadly themed around the 8 stages of the RIBA plan of works (RIBAPOW). In this session we explored social sustainability aspirations and how to identify, measure and put in place tools to monitor them, in line with Stage 1 of the RIBAPOW, Preparation and Brief.
First up to speak was Rob Wolfe, Executive Director at Renew who introduced his proposal for the new national Constructing Excellence social value task group which is being developed alongside CEYH. The group will sit under the wider Constructing Excellence procurement group (which coincidently next meets in our region on 8th December) with the aim of providing a forum to share best practice and provide practical advice and guidance to clients, contractors and central government on how to embed social value into construction projects.
The next step for the task group is to determine membership which will be done via an open call for expressions of interest. Once membership has been identified, the group will agree terms of reference and then identify three specific tasks to work on initially. Anybody who is interested in being involved should contact Rob via email@example.com .
Rob then went on to talk about the work Renew have done in assisting regional businesses to develop a social value strategy. He advocated the importance of developing realistic and measurable KPI’s tailored to the needs of the project which can be monitored and evaluated throughout the project lifecycle. One of the examples he gave was the work Renew Leeds carried out with BAM on the First Direct Arena in Leeds (more info on Renew’s website here http://www.renewleeds.co.uk/our-impact/case-studies/chy-case-study-leeds-arena-contract/ ). He also stressed the importance of mentoring, this should not be a parent-child relationship, both parties need to challenge each other along the way.
— Eddie Murphy (@edwrdmrphy8) October 28, 2015
We then welcomed Ian Chapman, Regional Manager from Britcon who presented an excellent case study on how their social value strategy has evolved and its application to 3 to 4 current developments, including a project with our own Leeds Beckett University. Ian started his presentation by stating that traditionally their social value strategy has been driven by Considerate Contractors Scheme but they have since built up greater awareness from working with Renew and by being involved with frameworks, such as YorBuild, that have identify specific social value aspirations. This illustrated to me the important role that clients have in driving the improvement agenda for social value. Ian gave some great examples of where Britcon have set, met and exceeded social value KPIs on projects including;
- Increased collaboration with supply chain on Tropical World development by 113%
- Exceeded work experience targets by 400%
- Increased engagement with local schools and colleges
Ian then went on to describe how Britcon are using their experience on these developments in other projects and perhaps most significantly how there has been a shift at Britcon from obligation (doing social value because our clients want it) to doing because they see real tangible benefits for their business and the wider community. This was a great presentation from Ian showing just how much can be achieved by just deciding to ‘DO’ and I think we can all learn something from that.
All the presentations can be viewed in our storify summary of the workshop below along with the best tweets and images from the session.
Our next event on 25th November will be looking at Stage 2 of RIBA plan of works and is all about specifications – Starting to Specify the Specifics of your Spec (try saying that after a few #BIMbeers!) Further details and booking here