Construction News

Thu July 25 2024

Related Information

RIBA candidate campaigns on procurement reform

2 Jul 20 An architect running for RIBA presidency is basing his campaign on a call for construction industry procurement reform.

Architect Nick Moss
Architect Nick Moss

Describing it as the elephant in the room, Nick Moss says that poor procurement practices are to blame for most of the industry’s deepest problems.

“Procurement underpins everything. Procurement is choking our industry at all levels and stages,” he says. “This lamentable system works badly for everyone, including our clients. A vicious cycle of deteriorating service is creating an impoverished built environment. Grenfell has shown modern procurement’s race to the bottom can have catastrophic results.”

Nick Moss is a partner in the Manchester practice Sixtwo Architects and president of the Manchester Society of Architects. He is seeking election to be president of the Royal Institute of British Architects.

As part of his campaign, he has written an open letter to construction industry leaders seeking to gather momentum behind his call for procurement reform.

Related Information

 He proposes replacing the current default procurement route of lump sum design and build, except for simple projects. Alternatives might include traditional or incentivised construction management contracts, with contractor’s profit linked to performance bonuses. He also advocates open-book methods, where the client cannot be exploited.

Further details of his proposals are on his website.

His open letter reads:

Dear Construction Industry Leader,

Like many others, I believe that procurement is choking our industry at all levels and stages. No-one need look far to see the vicious cycle of deteriorating service that’s creating an impoverished built environment, crushing fees and salaries and promoting unworkable bids. If you are on the front line of the construction industry, this issue is affecting you right now.

We have all witnessed the Scottish schools PFI failure and the growing unviability of modern contracting. We have all witnessed the reduction of quality in the most expensive place to build in Europe. Worst of all, we have all witnessed Grenfell. There can be no greater example of modern procurement’s race to the bottom having catastrophic results.

These are difficult and unprecedented times. But they are also an opportunity- to change this calamitous system forever.

“The mindset of doing things as cheaply as possible and passing on responsibility for problems and shortcomings to others must stop.” Dame Judith Hackitt

I’m Nick Moss, practice owner, President of Manchester Society of Architects and prospective candidate in this year’s RIBA Presidential election.

I’m calling for procurement reform and I’m asking you to join me. Together, we can create a new Code of Procurement, one that works in everyone’s interests.

We need the best and brightest minds to take this on. Please be one of them.

Got a story? Email


Click here to view latest construction news »