RICS QS and Construction Conference May 2014

Delegates from Moreton Hayward attended this years RICS QS and Construction Conference which took place at the Kensington Close Hotel, London.

The conference was chaired by David Bucknall OBE who is also the chair of RICS QS and Construction Professional Group Board and Stalwart of the UK’s construction industry.

The day started with an opening keynote speech from the Right Honorable Mr Justice Edwards-Stuart, judge in charge of the technology and construction court. Mr Justice Edwards-Stuart gave delegates an update on recent construction case law and litigation, and was keen to emphasize the role of the court as a means of support for the industry rather than a vehicle for punishment.

Following the keynote address, delegates heard from representatives from both the public and private sectors as they outlined the key demands on the profession and the increasingly important role which the quantity surveyor has to play in meeting current government targets and in ensuring the UK’s construction industry continues to grow and remain competitive. Mark Kennor, General Manager, Commercial Management at John Lewis aligned the challenges facing John Lewis as a commercial organization with those currently facing the QS Profession. Geoff Gilbert, Head of Commercial, Infrastructure at TFL explored the role of commercial management in the development and delivery of infrastructure projects. Delegates also heard from Iain Wright MP, Shadow Minister for Competitiveness and Enterprise as he outlined Labour’s vision for the construction sector beyond 2015.

Following an update from BCIS (delivered in tandem by Joe Martin, Executive Director and James Fiske, Director of Delivery and Operations), Terry Stocks, Deputy Director of MoJ Estates took to the stage to share his knowledge and experience of best practice in implementing lean procurement and management to meet the current challenges facing central Government construction projects.

Stuart Earl Director, Gleeds Cost Management Ltd and Chair, RICS Measurement Initiative gave a rousing presentation on the importance of measurement for the QS, examining in detail RICS New Rules of Measurement, their potential with regard to a whole-life cost management and how they can help deliver on the initiatives outlined within Construction 2025.

The remaining afternoon sessions brought together experts in two key panel sessions, one focusing on the role of BIM and the other looking at the future of the QS profession which followed a great speech from Richard Saxon CBE on a rethink of the build process. Both panels prompted some lively debate, with some great audience engagement and real opportunity for delegates to share the challenges they are currently being faced with and identify ways and means for driving the profession forward. It was a great way to bring the conference to close and left our delegates with plenty to take away and think about on their journeys home.