Looking to the future recovery of the construction sector

As we are all aware, a little over 2 years ago, the world as we knew it changed significantly due to Covid and put a halt to pretty much everything: in both our professional and personal lives. What we thought would maybe be a few weeks turned into months, and then years. Even when things started opening back up it was at a snail's pace and came with various restrictions and inconsistencies. Scotland as we know was one of the strictest countries in terms of the restrictions and the work that could be carried out, especially in the construction sector.

The majority of works ground to a halt, projects were drastically delayed, or shelved, and when we did get back on site, isolation periods, reduced resource and material availability are causing additional unexpected delays. We have also had to re-evaluate planned works due to the increase in costs of materials and labour which can feel like a never-ending game of catch-up and evaluations.

Throughout all of this, it is tempting to place projects on hold and put them to the side for another day but we mustn't lose sight of our collective vision driving forward towards Net-Zero. With the government's ambitious 'EESSH2' targets and 'Housing to 2040' strategy, it will be here before we know it and we are already seeing positive changes in developing new ways of working, from early engagement in project planning to more flexible and collaborative approaches with contractors throughout the project lifecycle.

We have also seen an increase recently in our partners using our frameworks to procure consultancy services, supporting their long-term pipeline of projects, and shaping their program of work over the coming years. And along with our recently launched Call-off Service and additional support through SPA's added value services, we can support our Partners throughout each step of their projects.

At SPA we are always thinking ahead about how we can support our Partners throughout these challenging times and as such, we have a busy time ahead of us. Over the last few weeks, we have held multiple pre-tender engagement workshops to define the requirements and structure of our next iterations of 2 of our frameworks – Consultancy Services and Offsite Construction. This Pre-Tender Engagement with our Partners is critical to ensure we provide our Partners with Framework solutions that are fit for purpose along with being sustainable for the lifetime of the Framework.

Our new Construction Consultancy Framework is an amalgamation of 3 current frameworks - Construction consultancy, Fire safety consultancy, and Energy efficiency consultancy - with additional services also now included. And our new Offsite Construction framework is bringing Modern Methods of Construction (MMC) to the forefront in a bid to address new housing challenges in the sector and provide additional solutions to building new homes for Scotland’s communities. Our current framework covers three-dimensional units and panelised systems, with our new iteration, we have developed it to include a wider range of MMC categories and solutions. The feedback and dialogue with SPA Partners received have been invaluable and we are working through our Framework development process before the tender release.

We have recently completed the office refit of our partnership hub and have already seen many of our Partners and Appointed Companies making good use of the space through various events. Our meeting areas are open for all partners to use. For further information, T&C’s and to book please contact Angela Banner, Office Manager angela@scottishprocurement.scot

Back to blogs