Fresh approaches to project delivery and leveraging data to optimise asset performance were among the areas explored for improving the supply and quality of Britain’s social housing in a webinar today.

The webinar, hosted by the Chartered Institute of Housing, examined the role of social housing in the recovery of the construction sector following Covid-19. The CIH, said it would “start the process of bringing together outcome and value and social housing construction clients.”

The speakers included Katherine Bew, PCSG’s Managing Director. Katherine examined the importance of procurement and the right delivery approach to successful outcomes in the social sector where last year, in England, only 6,338 homes were built for rent vs the 145,000 needed to meet demand.

Katherine highlighted the outcome-based contracting (OBC) approach which is being deployed at Sellafield to help meet the challenges of remediation at the Cumbrian site.

A central tenet of the OBC approach, developed by Sellafield with a Project Facilitation Team including PCSG,  has been to establish the optimum culture and behaviours to enable effective collaboration with its supply chain. Ways have been identified to proactively manage risk, with for example, payments to the supply chain made on the achievement of outcomes defined in the works information rather than the completion of an amount of work.

Other speakers on the panel included David Philp, Global Consultancy Director, AECOM, & Director of the Construction Innovation Hub. He highlighted the importance of focusing on the whole life of assets rather than only on the capital cost and of using data about the asset to support better value decisions and understand future needs.

“Real-time data feedback means we can look at how are people using the asset? Is it performing well?…We can start to predict failure – not get to the point where an asset is failing. We get continuity of asset performance and resilience,” he said.

Last month, more than 60 housing groups, charities and industry bodies signed a joint letter to the Chancellor urging him to put investment in social housing at the heart of his economic recovery strategy. They said that every pound spent by the government on building new social homes generates at least £5 in local economies. It would create jobs and reduce the government’s £22.3 billion housing benefit bill, they added.

Natwest Group recently promised to invest £3 billion in social housing over the next three years to support the development of 20,000 homes.

To learn more about how PCSG helps clients across the public and private sector to deliver, operate and optimise their built assets – solving key business issues, unlocking value, building resilience and helping transform the way they do business – please email Olly.Thomas@pcsg.co.uk