Is significant improvement really achievable?

The Government’s recently published industrial strategy paper, Construction 2025, says it all when it calls for major improvements: 33% lower costs, 50% faster delivery, 50% lower emissions – this is an industry that needs to do much better.

Öppen is already well on the way to achieving these targets.

And why is traditional construction so problematic?

Here are just some of the construction industry’s headaches:

  • Skill levels are too low, because the industry has few formal qualification hurdles and suffers from low esteem
  • Industry capability is frequently destroyed through deep bust and boom cycles
  • The supply chain is minutely fragmented (18,000 construction firms in SW alone, with over half as just one or two person firms)
  • Designs become ever more complicated to meet environmental demands
  • ‘Design one, build one’ is the norm, so every building is a prototype
  • EU public procurement rules are complex, preventing systemic streamlining
  • Relationships are more adversarial than collaborative.

How does Öppen address these problems?

While almost all buildings are different, there are many aspects that are common to similar types of buildings. Öppen builds on the aspects that are common.

Öppen’s approach is similar to car manufacturers: to design and mass-produce a really efficient ‘body shell’ which can then be ‘customised’ by purchasers. See mass customisation.

But surely, different building types have different needs? True, so Öppen has four basic ‘body shells’ encompassing a substantial proportion of the market.