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Collaboration could save ‘adversarial’ projects

Australia’s buildings construction market is the world’s most adversarial, according to the recently released Blue Book, published by technical services consultancy AECOM.

Adversity, which stifles the delivery of new property developments and social infrastructure, may yet be tempered, however, by a strong desire to improve project efficiency and profitability through collaboration.

AECOM’s 15th annual Blue Book reveals the current trends in Australian, New Zealand and global buildings, infrastructure and construction markets.

This year’s insights reflect the challenging times businesses and governments have faced in recent years, said Michael Batchelor, CEO of AECOM Australia New Zealand. “Delivering more from less has become a global mandate requiring a structural change in the way projects are delivered. Greater emphasis must be placed on how to increase leverage from process, people and data.”

AECOM surveyed construction practitioners from around the world to identify countries leveraging benefits from collaborative behaviours, and others in which adversarial behaviour—which includes an unwillingness to share responsibility and risk—is entrenched.

Research revealed a link between collaborative processes and enhanced organisational performance and project delivery, reported Batchelor. “There’s a clear desire by business to leverage new forms of project delivery, such as Integrated Project Delivery, to enhance performance and profitability.”

He added that there were obstacles, however. “The two greatest barriers to collaboration driving efficiency gains in Australia and New Zealand’s building and construction sectors are the nations’ respective cultures and awareness of alternatives.”

Technological advances in the sector, such as building information modelling (BIM), were not considered barriers to improved collaboration but were opportunities for more efficient ways of working that were being underused.

Download a free copy of AECOM’s Blue Book (PDF format)

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