Contrasting traditional and manufactured building essay

Great Britain / building / construction / Latham report / traditional / manufacture

Essay Topic:

The problem of contrast concerning he traditional and manufactured building in Great Britain.

Essay Questions:

What role does building play in the economy of Great Britain? What are the main peculiarities of traditional building? What benefits of manufactured building can be listed?

Thesis Statement:

The main problem concerning the traditional building is “the waste and poor quality” of the old structures; so it became obvious that both of the sides would benefit from high quality building.


Contrast of traditional and manufactured building Essay


”…Working together, we can create a modern industry, ready to face the new millennium..."

Sir John Egan

Introduction: Building has always made a sufficiently good input to Great Britain’s economy and has always been its strong and integral part. Nevertheless, modern approaches of the process of building are the innovations that were in a great demand for a very long time. Within the process of traditional constructing the benefits are not evenly distributed between the customer and the constructing company. The main problem concerning the traditional building is “the waste and poor quality” of the old structures; so it became obvious that both of the sides would benefit from high quality building. As a reply to a high demand on changes in the principles of the building process, new propositions of improvement appeared. It started in 1994 with the Latham Report ”Constructing the Team” made by Sir Michael Latham and went on in the Egan Report “Rethinking Construction” by John Egan in 1998.

These propositions of changes are based on top-level customer satisfaction through high-quality construction. The primary aim of these changes is a gradual improvement of the constructing process that will eventually lead to an outstanding performance in this industry. Though British constructing industry has always been authoritative, nevertheless, it is very important to mention the reasons that lead to the appearance of these reports. The British constructing industry was experiencing a “crisis” as a result of mismanagement all the way to the early 90’s: the designs of the buildings were very promising but they often faced numerous construction defects and over budgeting. The projects were often over late and this caused a high discontent of the clients. The Latham Report and especially the Egan Report were created with a purpose of changing the pace of building and to raising its quality value and to put British constructing industry on top and reveal its full potential.

The Latham Report in 1994 was the response to the weighty decline of the construction performance in Britain. The organization and the execution of the construction projects were sometimes miscalculated to the smallest details and undermined the British constructing reputation. Latham’s yearlong research resulted in a deep analysis of existing construction defects and in concrete recommendations for the improvement of the constructing industry of Britain. Sit Latham gave 30 recommendations such as: reducing the real construction cost by 30%, extension of the usage of design, mastering "alternative dispute resolution methods", elaborating the responsibility for building liability, etc. These recommendations opened the first and very important way to the renewal of the industry in the country. Latham also introduced the New Engineering Contract that declared a standard form of a contract. It established certain responsibilities of the companies for the defects discovered in their structures such as 10-year building defects insurance. In his report Latham claimed that the client is the “core” of the constructing industry and it should work on the satisfaction of his needs in the first place. Latham set the basic principles of conduct to every constructing company in order to achieve the most prosperous position in the industry. Latham’s priority was partnership. As the traditional building entirely lacked partnering relations, this priority was a real breakout with the outcome of achieving the best result for the client. As the traditional building did not seriously consider the possibilities of accidents or defects, Latham brought Risk Management in. Latham’s report introduced “teams” expected to work in different directions of the construction: Design Team, Partnering Team, etc. Partnership Team idea can be called a “revolutionary” one, due to its novelty to the incompletely thought-out traditional British building.

The innovation of the Latham Report in comparison to the traditional building is in the first place its all-embracing approach to constructing. As the Latham Repost is a joint government and industry report the partnering approach starts indeed being a fundamental change in the industry, due to its bilateral contact with all the requirements taken into account. Such kind of interaction is based in the first place on the principles of collaboration and is the primary tool for the achievement of a double-sided satisfaction. For the first time the constructing company becomes obligated to take full responsibility for not over-budgeting and finishing the “projects” on time, therefore solving the main problem that caused the crisis in the constructional industry. Latham Report principles and objectives of trusting the construction work through gradual collaboration and keeping partnering relations with the client is achieved through providing all the information of the sketch of the building to its very demolition. This opened new informational horizons in the sphere of standard building: sharing opinions on every single stage of construction. Latham’s formula is: partnership= high quality building, meeting all the expectations + efficient maintenance of the building by the client afterwards. This can be compared to the formula of the traditional building: clients expectations + constructor’s interpretation and therefore mistakes=the required construction.

In 1998 brought new recommendations by the Construction Task Force’s “Rethinking Construction" in July 1998 performed by John Egan. This report actually opened the period of fundamental changes in the whole constructing industry. As Britain’s building has always been excellent its main reason for appearing was that the industry was still under-achieving. The main reason for this underachievement from the point of John Egan is the low rate of the research in the given industry. As research by itself means developing new strategies of building its lack greatly influences the constructing results performed. Traditional building is standing at the same exact place, without any moves to a better profitability and attracting investments. The “Rethinking construction” report offered a new model of construction with “…committed leadership, a focus on the customer, integrated processes and teams, a quality driven agenda and commitment to people…”[paragraph 17]. The primary goals of the traditional building are overage good performance and not a strong back out of the traditional design. Egan offers setting more “ambitious” goals and gradually controlled performance in construction. As the Latham report, Egan’s report was based on improvement through reduction of the timing of construction, cost of construction and its possible defects. Traditional building is characterized by the peculiarity when the process of construction is not “visible”. It is only possible to observe the client making the order and after some (sufficiently long) time the obtained structure with all its defects and discrepancy in relation to the client’s requirements. The “Rethinking Construction” report makes the process of construction open to the client’s corrections at any phase of the construction. This report is the guidance-project to leadership in the constructing industry. The report set a number of “ambitions” for Britain’s construction. This “ambitions” are a combination of quick building manufacturing and high quality of manufacturing. The “rethinking” process in the first place lays in considering the manufacturing capability of the constructing. It applies manufacturing to the so-called “unique constructing”. The traditional building based on the idea that every building is unique and there is no way manufacturing has to be applied. Egan’s report made an emphasis on many houses being alike therefore on the possibility to use manufacturing as a quality and timesaving technology. Manufacture from the point of the “Rethinking Construction” is the concentration of all the essential and constantly repeated constructing processes. “Manufacturing has achieved performance improvements by integrating the process and team around the product”[chapter 3]. “Rethinking Construction” in comparison to the traditional building views the improvement of the working conditions as one of the primary requirement for general Britain’s construction improvement alongside with health and safety requirements.

Conclusion: Both of these reports, with “Rethinking Construction” at the head put the start the prosperous development of a “new” process of building and therefore put Britain’s construction industry on a new level of performance. The imperfection of the traditional building is completely eliminated by the new construction strategies. As the capacity of the building industry nowadays is immense therefore these ideas are to catalyze its development and open new perspectives for it. Many companies nowadays consider “Rethinking Construction” to be their primary line of conduct in relation to their clients and workers. Companies gradually transform the traditional building process into a complete innovation. British companies are stopping using the same experience and therefore design for their constructions become a variety. This variety is the result of learning more and getting experience through a constant teamwork with the client and other companies. The traditional building with its multi-defects is being transformed by the “zero-defects” strategy. The traditional building did indeed require a lot of changes in order to keep Britain’s construction industry on the highest level of functioning. Its “improvement directivity” with meeting the client’s expectations at the core, makes it the most likely to survive in the contemporary industry market. This new construction management is the way to successed and change the abutment of the traditional building no only in Britain but throughout the world. This improvement program in case of its complete realization will lead Great Britain from being an authority in constructing to being the best constructing industry ever.


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