Cast in-situ concrete. Collaborative working for zero defects – good practice guidance for procurement, design and construction  (RP1078)


This project follows on from work by CIRIA on this issue reference – Towards Zero Defects. Defects are a constant irritation to the industry, are very costly to fix, lead to delays on projects and undermine industry initiatives to improve performance and productivity as set out in Construction 2025 July 2013  .

There is no single root cause that leads to construction defects and therefore no single solution. Getting to zero defects and right first time requires consideration at all stages of construction, from client specifications through to client acceptance on completion. It also requires the client and supply chain to work collaboratively to find the best way of achieving this outcome.

Following on from our initial approaches to industry and the findings from the Get It Right Initiative research we propose to focus on defects associated with cast in-situ concrete, which was cited in the research report as having the greatest frequency of error and greatest financial impact. 

The good practice guidance will cover the common problems encountered, the mechanisms that lead to poor outcomes and how zero defects might be achieved through collaborative approaches and implementing other measures. It is intended that this guidance will help to improve current practices and facilitate change. We are aware of the Get It Right Initiative and our work will be complementary to this initiative.  

CIRIA have produced a series of lean guides, see below, and the good practice guidance proposed will draw on these well-established principles to support collaborative approaches and a culture of continuous improvement to develop people, processes and practices.

C725 Implementing Lean in construction: Lean and BIM                                                               C726 Implementing Lean in construction: Lean and sustainability 
C727 Implementing Lean in construction: Lean benefits realisation management                          C728 Implementing Lean in construction: Lean client’s guide 
C729 Implementing Lean in construction: Selecting a Lean consultant                                           C730 Implementing Lean in construction: Lean tools and techniques – an introduction 

Project aims
The project’s key objectives will be to:
  • Identify the common project risks associated with key project stages; procurement, design and construction. How these risks are shared across the supply chain using different forms of procurement.
  • Demonstrate how alternative collaborative approaches to procurement, design and construction might control the risk in a more acceptable away.
  • Show how other sources of error not directly attributable to good collaborative working practices can affect the quality of output such as training and skills and how they can be addressed.
  • Include a number of case studies to show good practices implemented successfully.
  • Provide organisations with guidance in establishing the right ‘zero defect’ culture and methods for continuous improvement.
  • Outline the benefits of using good practice procedures.
  • Engage with client organisations, tier 1 and 2 contractors, designers and those with a role in managing defect risk to ensure input from all key stakeholders.
Project status
CIRIA is currently seeking a research contractor for this project.

Download the full proposal.    Get It Right Initiative letter of support

Further information
To find out more contact Kieran Tully at CIRIA.