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17 June 2005 PR 05/56

Getting more value from construction

The findings of a three-year study aimed at helping the construction industry create buildings that better meet the aspirations of its customers will be unveiled next week.

The project, entitled VALiD (Value in Design), has been led by Loughborough University’s Department of Civil and Building Engineering and features several industry partners and members of professional institutions. It has been funded by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) and the Department for Trade and Industry.

The main purpose of VALiD is to address the pressing need of the construction industry to understand what ‘value’ is and how this is reflected in the aspirations of stakeholders in building projects. Stakeholders when asked to assess the value of the same design will judge it differently - some will value it or judge it to be good, while others will find it undesirable or inappropriate. This is because everyone judges their surroundings, of which buildings are part, differently.

The construction industry and its customers have long sought ways of demonstrating what value is considered to be and when it is being delivered by projects. VALiD aims to achieve this by giving the construction industry a method of engaging stakeholders in dialogue during project delivery and use, so that their views of value can be understood and responded to. It provides: a common language of value; a structured approach to helping stakeholders express their understanding of value and expectation of its delivery; and the ability to document and respond to stakeholders’ ongoing judgements of the project’s fulfilment of their expectations.

Professor Simon Austin, the project coordinator at Loughborough University said: “The key contribution of this work is advocating to industry the need for an understanding of value from the perspective of each individual stakeholder. VALiD helps the construction industry to make these differences explicit, helps stakeholders to state what their expectations are and then to judge whether or not they are being fulfilled throughout construction projects and the ongoing use of the buildings that result from them.

“VALiD provides structured approaches to this judgement process and helps construction industry members understand and react to these stakeholder judgements, so that if they find they are failing to meet expectations during the evolution of the design they can correct this.”

It is hoped the research will improve the quality of life of people living and working in the urban environment by involving more stakeholders in the design process of a new building.

VALiD is being officially launched on Tuesday June 21 at the Design Council in London. For further information about the project visit http://www.valueindesign.com

Ends

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Notes to editors

  1. Members of the media wishing to attend the launch event in London are asked to contact Judy Smyth for further details.
  2. The industry partners and professional institutions involved in the VALiD project are: AMEC, Arup, BAA Plc, Broadgate Estates Limited, Collaborating for the Built Environment, CABE, CIBSE, Davis Langdon LLP, Sheppard Robson, RIBA and the RICS.
  3. Loughborough has an established reputation for excellence in teaching and research, strong links with industry, and unrivalled sporting achievement. Assessments of teaching quality by the Quality Assurance Agency place Loughborough in the top flight of UK universities, and industry highlights Loughborough in its top five for graduate recruitment. Around 45% of the University’s income is for research. The University has been awarded four Queen’s Anniversary Prizes: for its collaboration with aerospace and automotive companies such as BAE Systems, Ford and Rolls Royce; for its work in developing countries; for pioneering research in optical engineering; and for its world-leading role in sports research, education and development.

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