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KPI report omits green issues

KEY PERFORMANCE indicators to track the progress of sustainable development in the construction industry were absent from the latest tranche of post Egan report measures unveiled this week.

The KPI report for the minister for construction lists seven criteria - time, cost, quality, client satisfaction, client changes, business performance, and health and safety. UK clients, consultants, contractors and suppliers are urged to use these to check progress towards the objectives set out 18 months ago in Sir John Egan's Rethinking construction report.

But, according to the KPI Working Group, those covering sustainability have proved difficult to set out and are still being developed by architect Rad Bennetts. Others covering respect for people will be delivered by group chairman Alan Crane. Both are due to be added in June.

Green pressure groups condemned the absence of any environmental performance indicators when KPIs were first announced last year. But despite assurance from Crane that sustainability is on course for delivery it is still not clear how they will be defined.

Construction Industry Board chief executive and member of the KPI Working Group Don Ward said that current interpretations of sustainability give weight to economic, social and environmental criteria. Measurement of economic and social performance, already covered by the KPIs, is relatively easy across a range of construction activities.

But comparative environmental assessment was far harder, he added. 'Anyone can measure energy performance of a building but it has little relevance to a road project,' Ward observed.

Copies of the report are available from Department of the Environment, Transport and the Regions. Tel: (0870) 1226 236.

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