The initiative, called Project 13, appears to be an attempt to replicate working models in the water industry, where contractors and consultants regularly work in alliances, and use this model more widely on other civil engineering projects.
According the ICE, Project 13 will “establish a better business model for infrastructure delivery, improving productivity, performance and mitigating the skills risk. By working with suppliers, contractors and clients it will set out a clear ambition for what this new model should look like across the whole supply chain and life of the assets.”
It adds: “We are in the development phase, designing a blueprint for the future of our industry based on an enterprise relationship that maximises performance rather than a transactional one which transfers risk. By using examples of the best current practice and applying these lessons across the whole industry we aim to create a step-change that will deliver better outcomes across the board.”
It is not entirely clear how this initiative differs from all previous attempts by the construction industry to improve itself, such as Latham and Egan, who set out to end the use of adversarial contract forms.
However, ICE director general Nick Baveystock said: “Our industry is often criticised for low productivity and concentrating too much on margins. Project 13 is the industry’s attempt to address these issues.”
By March 2018 a support package will be available to help clients and suppliers to move to “the new model” of project delivery. This support will take the form of advisory support, tools, guidance and peer review.
KPMG and Anglian Water are involved. Richard Threlfall from KPMG said "Project 13 is a concerted effort to transform the UK construction industry. It requires us to change how we think and act, and crucially how we work together. It won't be easy but the prize is a world-class industry and better outcomes for our society."
Dale Evans from Anglian Water said: “The traditional transactional and disaggregated approach to procurement has not only failed for deliver the levels of improvement seen in other sectors, in an increasingly digitally enabled world are not fit for purpose. Project 13 has clearly demonstrated that we must make the shift to delivering through integrated, collaborative and highly aligned enterprises.”