Construction Performance, Quality & Waste

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The Construction Performance, Quality & Waste project aims to increase the value of infrastructure delivery in Australia by reducing waste in all its forms, including lost time, rework, design mistakes, construction inefficiency and lifecycle performance failure.
This waste can result in up to 25% increase in project costs, totalling $30 billion per year.

 

 
The Australian construction industry is diverse and the potential for waste or inefficiency manifests itself in multiple ways. We are not learning from previous mistakes, and there is an increasing disconnect between different project elements and between different project stakeholders. The Warren Centre’s Construction Performance, Quality & Waste Project seeks to respond to this challenge, identifying key actions, processes and protocols which can make a difference, and ultimately developing programs to implement them.

Sources of WasteThe diversity of the Australian construction industry results in the potential for waste or inefficiency manifesting itself in a number of ways:

  • Unnecessary complexity (cost/time delays)
  • Poor design (poor constructability)
  • Confusing standards and specifications
  • Rework (doing something multiple times)
  • Non-conformance (failure at inspection)
  • Snags (failure of quality system to ensure defect free works) on handover
  • Delays (cause cost and disruption)
  • Poor quality materials
  • Lack of people/competency
  • Defects (issues found after during lifecycle)
  • Performance failure (excessive downtime, repair cost, energy, water use).

The ProblemThe problem is the increasing disconnect between the following crucial project areas we have identified:

  • Quality system records and project outcomes
  • Standards applied and specifications documented
  • Off-site manufacturing capability and on-site works constraints
  • Complexity and competency overwhelming systems engineering capability
  • Timely recognition of non-conformances and delayed remediation
  • Designing for purpose and designing for construction
  • Risk averse behaviours and opportunity blindness

Objectives & OutcomesThe long-term objective of this project is to reduce waste by at least 50%, by bringing together key stakeholders (including owners, regulators, designers & specifiers, manufacturers & suppliers, and builders & contractors); by identifying key actions, processes and protocols which can make a difference; and by developing implementation and education programs.

The outcome of the initial phase of the project will depend on its progress. It may be a better articulation of the performance expectations of all parties to the delivery of major infrastructure projects and an identified process of how to learn and improve. Or it may simply be an answer to the question: if our mandated quality systems are not working, what do we need to replace them?

Why The Warren Centre?The Warren Centre is a unique position to bring its independent processes and extensive networks to bear on this issue, building on its success with previous projects in finding solutions and answers in complex environments.

Of particular interest is the award-winning Professional Performance Innovation and Risk project which has identified a protocol (PPIR Protocol™) which is currently being adopted around Australia and which defines the standard of performance of an engineering task which can be expected by employers, clients and stakeholders.

Next StepsWe are seeking active support and participation in this project from stakeholders, in four key areas – owners/regulators, designers/specifiers, manufacturers/suppliers and builders/constructors.

To date we have completed an initial round table with interested parties representing these areas from which key elements of possible terms of reference were identified, as follows:

  • How can industry get the correct balance of risk allocation in client, design and in construction processes to improve accountability for waste?
  • How can the multiplicity of standards across federal state and international boundaries be removed to eliminate waste and lost time in design?
  • How can the an industry culture of not learning from mistakes and non-transparency of costs be removed?
  • How can our existing systems for performance/quality be reinvigorated or changed to eliminate waste rework and lost time?
  • What are core competencies lacking and needed to address these massive performance shortfalls?

The Warren Centre is currently establishing a project team to clarify the terms of reference, budget and timing of the project, prior to seeking industry funding. Please download the project flyer or contact Malcolm Boyd for more information.