The Association for Consultancy and Engineering has welcomed the publication of the Product Platform Rulebook for initial consultation, with the rulebook claiming to mark a new era of collaboration and innovation for the UK construction sector.
Developed by the Construction Innovation Hub (CIH) and its industry partners, the rulebook addresses the government’s ambitions – set out in the Construction Playbook and TIP Roadmap – to accelerate the development and adoption of solutions to deliver the UK’s future schools, hospitals and homes – boosting productivity, innovation and quality.
The Rulebook is described as an open-access guide to support industry – clients, consultants, contractors, manufacturers and product suppliers – in building capability and capacity to develop and deploy product platforms to meet demand.
Publication follows extensive stakeholder consultation and industry involvement in developing the Rulebook, which not only defines a set of seven guiding rules but also introduces a ‘Product Platform Development Framework’ – detailed steps to guide anyone seeking to develop and deploy product platforms.
Lee Rowley, minister for business and industry said: “Platform-based approaches are an example of how we can use digital and offsite manufacturing technologies to drive the transformation of the construction industry in the UK, improving its performance and delivering better outcomes for clients. This Platform Rulebook will help both construction clients and firms in the supply chain adopt more standardised parts by using product platforms to deliver new buildings and infrastructure, significantly improving productivity, quality, safety and sustainability.”
Hub director Keith Waller said: “Today’s publication is about driving the schools, hospitals, homes and buildings of the future. Designed with built-in mechanisms for continuous improvement and the opportunity for synchronisation and streamlining as both capability and capacity grow. The collaboration involved to get to this point has been exceptional – our beta Rulebook has been produced by industry and today marks the start of a further round of consultation. I look forward to seeing the Rulebook evolve as it becomes the basis for Platform approaches.”
Stephen Marcos Jones, CEO of the Association for Consultancy and Engineering, said: “We welcome the launch of the rulebook which marks a new chapter for collaboration across the supply chain, which meets a need that we identified in our Project Speed briefing on off-site construction published just a few weeks ago. The Rulebook will help with creating consistent demand, driving changes to procurement to facilitate the efficient use of off-site and encouraging the adoption of a standardised component based approach. While the Rulebook is technical in its approach, the impact is potentially transformative for society, putting us on a path us to create social value at speed in the form of new hospitals, schools, transport and other infrastructure.”
Construction Leadership Council co-chair Andy Mitchell said: “The Construction Leadership Council supports transformational change to the performance of our sector. The move to platform-based approaches to deliver is one such transformation. This requires a clear understanding of what the change will look like for companies across the sector, so we welcome and support the publication of the Platform Rulebook as a guide for anyone looking to work in this emerging area”
Ron Lang, technical director - DfMA, Atkins said: "The Rulebook is a fantastic example of what can be achieved when we work together for the benefit of the sector. The Rulebook brings much needed clarity to the subject of product platforms in construction and ensures client's and industry alike understand the benefits of product platform approaches, and how and when to develop and deploy them. We firmly believe that the uptake of, and continuous improvement in, product platforms will enable us to deliver greater social environmental and economic outcomes from what we deliver and how we deliver it, and lead to a more profitable, more sustainable model for our industry. To that end, we hope that the launch of the Rulebook signposts the start of an ongoing collaboration between government and industry."
Ben Carlisle, global practice leader for DfMA, Mott MacDonald said: “We are pleased to see the launch of the Platform Rulebook as a mechanism to bring clarity and common understanding to the industry on product platform approaches, being an enabler for industry to meet the evolving needs of future infrastructure. Infrastructure has a key role to play in meeting the huge environmental and societal challenges we face and establishing commonality across our industry on the what, why, and how of product platforms in construction is an important step in the right direction.
A series of consultation sessions will now take place with industry and government with an updated Rulebook publication due in late summer 2022.