The true value of seeing the big picture:
How the Hub’s Value Toolkit is helping deliver solutions for tomorrow… today.
10 September 2021
An opinion piece by Ian Nicholson, Construction Innovation Hub, Value Delivery Lead
The pilot phase of our innovative Value Toolkit in now well underway, giving early adopters the chance to see tomorrow, today by offering a structured process with supporting tools and guidance throughout an asset lifecycle. It offers a truly different way of working as we commit to a greener and more equitable post-pandemic world.
Developed collaboratively with more than 200 partners, including RIBA, UKGBC, Social Value UK, ACE, the CLC, CECA and CIOB, the Toolkit reflects our sector’s potential for technical innovation and, ultimately, its collective desire to do things better.
One of the most valuable aspects of the Toolkit is the opportunity it offers to consider the big picture when decision making, ensuring we are making the right interventions within the wider system. Historically, we often deliver projects well – for example, lowering carbon emissions or achieving high levels of employment, for example. However, time is rarely spent considering whether the drivers for a project have been properly defined to ensure that the right problem is being solved in a way that will deliver optimum value. The Value Toolkit provides a mechanism to consider this objectively and define the value outcomes to be delivered. The Value Toolkit process also supplements other existing frameworks, such as BREEAM and CEEQUAL that are focused on ensuring we deliver projects well. The Toolkit is also well aligned to existing process and policy, including the Green Book, Government Soft Landings and the Social Value PPN.
Crucially, the Toolkit poses and helps answer three vital questions to create the progressive, innovative outcomes we are all striving for:
- What is the right intervention to create the greatest value?
- How can we optimise the value created through the intervention we’ve identified?
- How do we know if we’ve realised that value and what can we learn for future interventions?
The Toolkit supports informed decisions at every stage of the project or programme lifecycle to optimise value. It ensures outcomes are considered throughout the whole lifecycle of the asset, creating a consistent theme of value from early concept through delivery and use.
The Value Toolkit sets out a series of integrated activities which support value-based decision making. It gives policy makers and clients a deep understanding of value and enables them to optimise outcomes. These activities are organised into five streams: Value Definition, Client Approach, Risk, Measurement & Evaluation and Appointments. These are not isolated streams, but involve interaction, iteration and continuous review. Within each of these streams of the Value Toolkit there are steps, key deliverables and key decision points.
The Hub’s Value Toolkit provides a practical method of defining a value profile for calculating and comparatively assessing the relative value of different options or solutions to be delivered by an investment.
However, practicality alone is not enough, we must also have ambition. As the world’s focus turns towards Glasgow and the challenge of tackling the climate crisis at COP26, the work of the Construction Innovation Hub becomes even more vital, as the Value Toolkit supports the delivery of the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals. As we face this unprecedented challenge, we will continue to champion the collaborative ethos that was the hallmark of the Toolkit’s development and refine this innovative tool while preparing the legacy model to underpin an industry-wide launch at the end of the year.