How to set yourself up for future success: a Code of Considerate Practice for Construction 

Surrounded by the steel and concrete marvels that buildings are today, it’s hard to imagine a time when construction wasn’t like this. As an industry we have transformed ourselves over and over again, sometimes to fit the need of the hour but most often to fulfil a shared commitment to excellence. 

Being in this industry, it is hard to ignore the transformation that is happening right now. Buildings are still built to serve a purpose, but there are more expectations around sustainable practices, higher levels of community engagement, and their impact on society and the environment. As architects of this change, the responsibility is on our shoulders to ensure that the practices we implement today can set the future of construction up for success. At the Considerate Constructors Scheme (CCS), our focus is just that—nurturing a community of construction leaders dedicated to leading the way in raising standards across the industry.

In 1994, Sir Micheal Latham released Constructing The Team, a joint review of procurement and contractual arrangements of the UK’s construction industry. The report outlined several inefficiencies and challenges that are found in the construction industry even today.

From this work, the CCS was founded to improve the image of the industry and act as a catalyst for delivering all that is best in considerate site practice across the UK. Our three areas of focus are: Community, the Environment, and the Workforce.

Fostering Harmony in the Community 

One of the biggest challenges for the construction industry in improving our image is the criticism we face for our impact on local communities. Noise, disruption, and safety concerns strain relationships between construction sites and their neighbours. These shortcomings are often the focal point of why construction is seen as a disruptive force rather than one that builds new, better places. At the end of a construction project there are new homes, new shared spaces, a school, a hospital, a better road that eases traffic congestion.

There is a mismatch in perception, and often the great value added by construction to a community is underplayed. This can stem from a lack of understanding and communication between construction sites and the community that surrounds them.. The CCS addresses this head-on, urging construction companies to move beyond the constraints of legal obligations and be the best, most considerate neighbours they can, actively engaging in dialogue with the community, actively looking at what value they can create in addition to their building work.

This involves addressing concerns related to noise levels, disruptions to daily life, but goes beyond that, encouraging local employment, actively involving communities in the project, hear and address their concerns, and leave behind a positive legacy.

Our goal is clear—a future where construction projects are not just tolerated but welcomed and appreciated by the communities they inhabit. This, however, demands more than a mere adjustment in operational practices; it necessitates a cultural shift within the industry. This narrative shift requires construction companies to view community engagement not as a regulatory checkbox but as an integral part of their ethos.

Building A Sustainable Future 

From resource depletion to carbon emissions, the far-reaching consequences of construction practices have long been under heavy scrutiny, times are calling for change. Sustainability is no longer a buzzword, it is a pressing global concern. The construction industry is deeply entwined with environmental challenges—spanning from the depletion of finite resources to the risks of air, water, and soil pollution.

CCS aims to serve as a supporting and guiding force to help the construction industry to navigate a shift to sustainable practices. These challenges are opportunities for transformation and new growth in the industry as it forces us to re-examine our practices and embrace new, environmentally friendly technologies. 

Sustainability as a practice demands more than incremental adjustments, it demands a paradigm shift.

The CCS envisions a future where construction projects are not just structures but sustainable contributions to the built environment. This is why through our Code of Considerate Practice we encourage responsible use of resources, eco-friendly construction methods and to embrace innovations that promote energy efficiency.

Nurturing a Resilient Workforce

Lack of diversity and well-being issues have long cast shadows over the industry, creating challenges for workers, the construction sector and impeding the growth of the sector. Workforce safety is a priority that goes beyond just physical safety. The construction industry often demands rigorous physical labour, which can take a toll on the mental and emotional well-being of workers. 

Our goal as an industry needs to be one where safety, diversity, and worker well-being form the cornerstone of workforce management—a future that goes beyond traditional industry norms and creates a more resilient workforce.

This is another focus of the Considerate Constructors Scheme. We work with constructors to make sure they always have an eye on the wellbeing of their staff and offer advice on how this can be done through the expertise of our monitors and a wealth of resources we offer to the industry. Fostering an atmosphere where the workforce feels supported and taken care of can help to maintain healthy worker relationships and morale on the construction site. 

The construction industry, for better or worse, gets evaluated based on its lowest-performing site. Addressing some of the challenges the sector faces and educating stakeholders only ensures that everyone is held to the same standard.

The challenges we face today force us to reevaluate our conventional approaches and present opportunities for growth, innovation, and positive change. The future of this industry is one where each project is a testament to responsible practices, sustainable contributions, and a workforce that thrives in a culture of support and inclusion.

Amit Oberoi

Amit Oberoi is Executive Chairman for Considerate Constructors Scheme where he works to raise standards across the construction industry. Prior to his appointment to executive chairman in March 2023, Amit served as non-executive chairman since July 2022 and a board director since January 2022. Amit has over 20 years of experience in global risk management, including leadership roles across many sectors such as construction, technology, management consulting and national authorities. He has also worked across multiple markets with governments on high profile transformation and infrastructure projects, including the FIFA World Cup in Qatar. In 2016, Amit established a digital healthcare company which focuses on improving personal resilience and health.