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Project Team Integration 'boosts' construction productivity

14 April, 2014

The Australian Construction Industry Forum (ACIF) and the Australasian Procurement and Construction Council (APCC) have produced two important and valuable guides to help the construction industry improve productivity.

The Case for Project Team Integration, and The Project Team Integration Workbook contain straightforward ways to improve project team collaboration and performance. They make a strong case for early integration of project team members, to get the best from all disciplines that can contribute to good project outcomes and, where it is used, from Building Information Modelling (BIM).

"Collaboration amongst members of project teams in the construction industry is a good thing", said Robin Fardoulys, Chairman of ACIF, announcing the release of the guides with John Tondut, Chair of the APCC Construction Leadership Group.

"Collaboration is a vital input to efficiency and productivity, reduction in wasted effort, and minimisation of disputes. BIM will produce best results (design to achieve project sponsors' objectives, minimal changes, optimal buildability, designed-in operational efficiency) when all who can contribute are involved in designing and planning for the work they will perform for the project."

"The industry is beginning to invest heavily in Building Information Modelling (BIM) to drive more efficient design, site management, construction methods, and asset management", said Tondut. "It is also a key to driving greater productivity from supply chain arrangements, offering opportunities to avoid design clashes and reduce variations during project delivery."

"The Australian construction industry has, presently, a fragmented approach to BIM, and to the use of supply chains. There are significant benefits to be had for clients of the industry from the adoption and widespread use of both tools, said Fardoulys."

"Government as buyer in Australia could spur on the productivity gains to be had from both, by normalising the market by encouraging the use of BIM, and requiring contractors to nominate the members of supply chains they will use, on all Commonwealth Government projects," said Fardoulys.

"The more challenging and potentially more rewarding, opportunity lies in government challenging the orthodox approaches to ensuring probity and value requirements are met, by finding innovative ways to appoint project teams before design solutions have been finalised", he said.

"Ideally, government procurement policy should encourage collaborative working.

Productivity gains will come from greater attention being paid to collaborative working, rather than the traditional trade and professional discipline 'silos'. Silos inhibit collaboration and the ability of all parts of the industry to contribute to design, buildability, and generation of value for money service deliveries from capital works assets."

ACIF and the APCC are continuing to work together to pursue ways to encourage the selection of members of project teams before the scope of design is settled, to facilitate those opportunities, including negotiation.

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