Collaboration is a huge part of the built environment, but the pandemic has ultimately changed how teams communicate.
Forging a culture of trust and co-operation from the outset of any project is important. Early engagement with all stakeholders can ensure buy-in and a ‘one-team approach’ and effective communication channels provide the foundations to building strong relationships. NEC recommend that it is a good idea to co-locate teams so that face-to-face communication is the preferred option.
However, during the pandemic face-to-face communication became limited and teams had to make sure collaboration was still a focus. On a recent project at Loughborough University Science and Enterprise Park (LUSEP) construction was underway when the Covid-19 pandemic hit.
The team had established ongoing and open communication, which built trust and maintained the collaborative ethos. This meant that challenges were easily identified, and solutions were put in place quickly and efficiently. For example, installing certain elements meant that social distancing could not be maintained. Early identification of these issues meant that the project team could put in additional measures, allowing operatives to be two metres apart.
It was due to this collaborative approach that LUSEP recently won the NEC Building Project of the Year 2021 which was a huge testament to the 'one team approach' we adopted between the key stakeholders. The NEC were so impressed with our collaborative approach to the scheme that they have created a case study which you can read here.
“NEC is a collaborative contract suite that encourages all contracted parties to act, ‘in a spirit of mutual trust and co-operation’. But what does this mean in practice?”