Redeﬁning the future
How hard can it be to set out rules and conditions that will govern the outcomes of the procurement and construction process? Is it really that difﬁcult to ensure these are then used by building owners and occupiers for the majority of a building’s life? Apparently, almost impossible at the moment. Experience tells us that this is a big ask. Rarely is there any engagement in this process, but I remain optimistic that this can be changed. The object of this whole endeavour is to better inform procurement and construction
actions in order that the ﬁnal product will match the client’s requirements. That may mean the building is tuned to the life needed and will result in minimal upkeep, or it may mean a short lifespan – but what is required should be delivered, rather than something randomly created to a different plan. However, the way we go about this whole process inevitably will not lead to these
outcomes. It is clear that the various systems, databases and predictive techniques available will all fail if analysed hard enough. This is because none of them has the ability to look at every issue in sufﬁcient detail, and they do not offer enough control over the process to ensure everything that is planned is undertaken in the manner required. Unlike Tom Cruise’s character in the movie Minority Report, whose job is to catch
criminals before they commit their crimes, it is not yet possible for us to have a clear view of all possible futures. If it were, then whole life costing would be easy. But at present we are locked in to the imperfect and frequently unpredictable world we have to deal with on a daily basis. It is therefore clear that any amount of analysis and application will not bring us closer to ensuring the outcome we want will be achieved.