Getting back on track

We’re building back stronger by applying the lessons learnt through the crisis to improve the way we deliver for our clients.

If there’s one thing the crisis has brought forward, it’s long term change. Positive or negative, you don’t hear people talking about simply returning to the way it was before – it’s always ‘the new normal’.

The NHS, to take an example, underwent a complete overhaul of its operations, needing to embrace digital health technologies practically overnight – something that was perhaps previously considered impossible. While of course the challenge it was facing should not be underestimated, the experience provides an opportunity to learn and move forward on a new, and better, path.

We can apply this to any industry, with all of us undoubtedly feeling the impact of the crisis in some way – and construction is no exception. In fact, much like in healthcare, those in the sector previously hesitant to adopt new ways of working are now more open to embracing digital construction techniques. The unexpected challenges of coronavirus have not only broken-down barriers but also brought to light new ways of working and driven innovative thinking; lessons that can be taken forward for future operations, far from defaulting back to what might have been.

In this sense the ambition to ‘Build Back Better’ is a welcomed and empowering perspective on change. At Sir Robert McAlpine, we are pushing ahead to achieve this, with 97% of sites now operational. This is driven by our people, including our partners and wider supply chain, who have embodied resilience and allowed us to make steady increases in productivity. Careful following of the guidance, and keeping safety as the first priority, has meant 86% of the workforce are up and running. Meanwhile, our digital tech team has been feeding value into projects through the likes of visualisation of data and AI progress tracking, while off-site prefabrication has allowed our teams to continue to deliver progress across multiple projects.

The past few months have been far from easy, but with our focus now firmly on the future, the next steps will not simply be a reaction to the crisis. The lessons learnt and the challenges overcome will inform an approach to recovery that sees us build back stronger, and able to more efficiently deliver the kind of class-leading assets our clients expect and deserve.

News and comment

  1. How we are supporting Build Back Better

    08 Jul 2020

    We’re fully committed to playing our part in the recovery by building back better and greener and nurturing an inclusive environment which fosters diversity and talent.

    Read more about How we are supporting Build Back Better