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New guide seeks to reduce costly construction design flaws

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Design deficiencies leading to errors in UK construction are costing the industry billions of pounds a year and must be addressed, a new design guide has suggested.

The Get it Right Initiative (GIRI) guide, aimed at reducing design errors, makes 12 key recommendations to service that aim.

Among the recommendations made by the design guide, is the advice that every project needs a clearly defined intent, a consistent focus on outcomes and the project team to work seamlessly together and adopt the process of back-briefing.

Other recommendations made by the guide include increased investment in design to reduce project error and the introduction of an independent principal consultant as the ‘‘controlling mind’’ for design development to ensure that design-related communications are well-managed.

The also suggests that all projects, regardless of the form of contract or procurement, would benefit from contractor advice at the design stage.

The guide states: ‘‘The purpose of this guide is to share knowledge across the Industry as to best practice when approaching projects, with an aim to reduce error and increase productivity.

‘‘It does not purport to be a ground-breaking report. It is a useful review and reminder of the key techniques that can be applied. The challenge is to apply these techniques in a consistent manner and to ensure that every project seeks to carry out these recommendations as a matter of routine. It will take determination and leadership.”

News of the guide’s release has come a year after the GIRI published a report at its launch last year, saying that avoidable errors are costing the £100bn a year construction industry £21bn annually.

The report said that between 10% and 25% of project costs are lost through errors. This included direct and indirect costs plus unmeasured costs. 

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