Opinion Piece

CIOB launches new digital resources for construction clients

Being a construction client isn’t just about creating the right building for the right price within the right timeframe. It is also an opportunity to solve some of the biggest economic, ethical and ecological problems we face today. Construction clients play a pivotal role in the industry’s ability to raise standards, improve collaborative working, encourage innovation and push towards net-zero.

Regardless of the type of project, construction clients are responsible for co-ordinating a complex web of resources, in some cases relying on many specialist consultants.

Often, the client will be trying to co-ordinate their construction project alongside their day jobs and it is not uncommon for clients, particularly for end-user clients, to have no professional training and little or no prior experience of the construction process. For example, a headteacher overseeing the building of new classroom block, a medical practice manager commissioning an extension to a GP’s waiting room or a homeowner planning their first loft conversion or kitchen extension.

To support construction clients, the Chartered Institute of Building (CIOB) has launched new digital resources – for both homeowners and professional clients – designed to help them achieve better project outcomes and create more value. All resources are available via here with much of the information offered free of charge.

With 48,000 members worldwide the CIOB is the world’s largest and most influential professional body for construction management and leadership whose purpose is to improve the quality of life for those using and creating the built environment.

The CIOB’s commitment to clients was renewed in 2021 by its past president Mike Foy OBE, but is now a strategic focus, embedded in the institute’s five year corporate plan. Foy is now Chair of the CIOB Client Steering Group, set up to oversee the development and implementation of the CIOB’s work stream to support construction clients.

Central to the CIOB’s initial support for clients working in a professional capacity is a NEW step-by-step guide: Leading Projects in the Built Environment. It is available to download free of charge here

Aimed at those who are new to the construction process, the easy to digest document is designed to help professional clients get the building blocks right from the start. It explains how projects are generally structured and managed, and what to look out for along the way. Drawing on CIOB members’ experience and expertise, it highlights the things clients can do to benefit their project. Although the guide is aimed primarily at professional clients running larger projects/programmes, the principles apply to all clients regardless of project size.

If you are responsible for developing or maintaining built assets, this guide is for you, especially if you are new to the process. It will help you to get the building blocks right from the start.

The CIOB’s website features additional resources which include online training courses via its academy and signposting to third-party support, as well as a set of top tips and FAQs for homeowners. Over time, the CIOB envisages a global, one stop shop for all clients in need of advice on how to make their construction project a success. There will be case studies and knowledge sharing podcasts and resources available for contractors, when they subcontract work.

The aim is to capture and share learnings to encourage greater collaboration and good decision making, highlight known pitfalls and help minimise waste. Ultimately the aim is to help clients achieve better project outcomes for them, the environment and society at large.

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