30 RCI 0614

RCI June 2014

INTERVIEW JOHN TEBBIT subject, John still calls the relationship between construction and government a happy one. Despite this claim, recent government schemes have caused John to take the same perspective as many in the industry. “Depending on who you talk to, ECO is either brilliant, alright, or an absolute disaster. I don’t think there’s anybody that says the Green Deal has worked particularly well. “I think the Green Deal had to be done, it wasn’t done as well as we’d hoped; the interest rates weren’t as low, some of it seemed be over complex and over protective. It was like watching one of those medieval knights put on more and more armour until the point they can’t move, at which point it rather defeats the object of being a knight. “The real problem with Green Deal is that the government is still trying to peddle the illusion that the Green Deal will get us where we want to be.” Having discussed the issue with colleagues at the CPA, John worked out that based on the target of cutting housing emissions by 60%, households would have to spend at least £10 for every £1 saved. Therefore, for these homes to cut emissions by the desired amount, thousands upon thousands would need to be spent; something which most do not have available, and it is this aspect that is halting the Green Deal. John added: “A lot of my colleagues said ‘why is it we keep saying to people this is all about money?’ It isn’t just about money, it’s about a well-insulated, well-controlled, well-ventilated nice home that’s more comfortable to be in. I think if we just focus on it being about money, we’ll never get it to work.” 030 JUNE 2014 RCIMAG.COM Digital construction Despite these views on the government’s apparent inability to protect competence through regulation, or roll out an effective energy efficiency policy, John is an enthusiastic supporter of the 2016 deadline for BIM use on government contracts. “I now call it ‘digital construction’, I don’t call it BIM anymore. We are moving from the analogue to the digital. Construction is one of the last big industries to adopt digital information and it will happen. “What I think is fascinating about it is that the design people will be doing this in a digital way, and we will actually be able to get that digital model to the manufacturing more cleanly, so we might re-establish that link again between designer and manufacturer which I think is really useful.” This process will also ensure that quality is maintained, as designs must be exact before being sent to manufacturers – “a good thing” John says, as it is “better to plan something first rather than bodge it out later.” But to John, BIM symbolises more than just a change in how members of the supply chain interact. It will also change the fundamental ways that the industry operates. “Imagine you’re a contractor and you’ve got the digital model come in. As people build it, they update the digital model so you know exactly what’s been done so the client says ‘you know what, I’ll now pay everybody via the digital model and the project bank account. So if, for example, your roofing guy has done the work and updated the model and everyone’s accepted that that’s right, he gets paid. We’ve suddenly got a mechanism for doing that. If you start changing the way people get paid, you start changing the market model. “I’m optimistic, but it will happen as inexorably as in every other industry. You are not going to stop it, it is driven by huge forces and to resist it, unless you’re in a niche area, forget it. It’s going to happen.” The future of construction John is also optimistic that the current recovery being enjoyed by construction will continue, but is also concerned over where the industry is headed: “I think construction can continue to grow but I don’t believe that we should aim at a percentage of GDP to be spent on construction, that’s confusing inputs and outputs. “I think you have to be careful and look back and ask ‘what do we want to achieve in construction? Not how much do we want to spend on construction’.” Where ever construction is headed, John’s presence will be felt long after his career with the CPA has ended. Now working as managing director for sound compliance firm Robust Details (RDL), John has been involved with RDL since the company was first formed in 2004 as a representative of the product sector, and will no doubt bring the same energy, insight and humour to the sector as he did to the Construction Products Association. ROOF IN A BOX Quality, Reliable, Value ROOF IN A BOX are collections of high quality products and accessories that are essential for any roofing project. Swiss made, approved by major Single Ply Membrane manufacturers: Sika / Sarnafil / Trocal, IKO, Icopal, Carlisle, Firestone, Protan. PREMIUM KIT All accessories shown PLUS 1 x Rion 110v Heat Gun DIGITAL KIT All accessories shown PLUS 1 x Digital 110v Heat Gun Unit J, Woodrow Way, Fairhills Industrial Estate, Irlam, M44 6ZQ Tel: 0161 777 9009 Email: sales@lancastria-group.co.uk www.lancastria-group.co.uk


RCI June 2014
To see the actual publication please follow the link above