Full Proposal
PROJECT IMPLEMENTATION PLAN (rev 1 dated 2 June 1999)

1. Key Information

Project Title: Initial development of a toolkit for measuring functional performance

DETR Business Plan and Key (or Secondary) Priority: Construction Process:
Design Process

Lead Partner: BRE

Start date: June 1999 Completion date: May 2000

Proposer’s Reference: DETR’s First stage reference:
Total cost of the project (excl VAT): Percentage bid for from DETR:

2. The case for support
Context
Some buildings make a greater contribution than others do to the efficiency and profitability of the business operations carried out within them: their functional performance. However, the level of functional performance usually only becomes apparent some time after occupation. By then, the options for bringing the functional performance closer to the ideal are limited and expensive and involve client management input and costs which are unplanned and unwelcome.

The Construction Task Force report, Rethinking Construction, emphasised a focus on customer needs. The construction industry lacks the tools used by the car industry, such as the JD Power survey, which audits and benchmark client satisfaction, and Pacesetter used in the process industry to benchmark maintenance reliability and effectiveness. These already provide well-documented functional performance data to aid customer choice and management.

The toolkit proposed under this project addresses these issues and provides clients with an objective means of articulating needs for functional performance of buildings and for the industry to not only demonstrate compliance, but raise clients’ aspirations.

This project also supports aims of Movement for Innovation (M4I). It will evaluate the principles of functional performance of buildings, initially concentrating on offices, and develop supporting guidance, methodology and software tools to evaluate and compare performance.

The Key Performance Indicator (KPI) Working Group has been set up in the wake of Rethinking Construction to develop KPIs for the construction industry, initially in relation to the demonstration projects, covering time, cost, safety, quality, profitability and client satisfaction. The Group is moving towards putting into place a set of indicators to measure the performance of the facility provided. The toolkit proposed by this PII project will provide the tools to measure both the present KPI, client satisfaction, and two new, broader, KPIs being developed by the Group. These are to measure client satisfaction during the construction project’s development as well as during its occupation and the functional performance of a facility over life.

Being able to measure objectively how well an existing building or a proposed design matches the functional requirements and preferences of the client would improve client satisfaction, optimise efficiency and reduce costly alterations and disposals of inappropriate buildings. It would improve the briefing process and tackle the failure to communicate effectively which is a consequence of traditional barriers between designers and clients.

This proposal will build on work which has already been done on the physical performance of the building under the Building Performance and Costs in Use under the LINK/CMR initiative and the DETR/CRISP/BRE Study on Whole Life Costing. It will also build on the work on the measurement of the functional performance of offices in the UK (Building Quality Assessment developed by BRE, in collaboration with Bernard Williams Associates and DEGW), in Netherlands (Real Estate Norm) and the USA (Serviceability Tools & Methods). These systems for evaluating functional performance all focus on offices and this project will develop the methodology to produce a generic system for measuring and evaluating the fit between client requirements and functional performance for a potentially wider range of constructed facilities. Housing Quality Indicators (HQI) is a new system for assessing housing schemes seeking Housing Corporation funding and is being further developed by BRE. This will be reviewed under this project

Major output
This project will produce a practical methodology and toolkit for appraising the functional performance of proposed and completed office buildings along with initial software tools. The toolkit is primarily aimed at the building owners and users but it is envisaged that consultants and building providers will use it to articulate the brief and demonstrate functional performance in designs proposal for new build and refurbishment. Existng buildings can also be assessed by prospective tenants.

This will permit comparisons between alternatives and maximise client recognition of the costs and benefits of competing designs or buildings. It will assist clients in informing building providers of their needs and translating these into clear briefs. It will also provide a readily accessible checklist for use by designers, property surveyors and other providers seeking to demonstrate how they have interpreted the client’s brief. It will allow clients to amend the interpretation at a cost-effective stage of the briefing process for procurement of buildings.

BRE has developed an outline framework which takes a comprehensive view of constructed facilities, splitting them into their main functional performance indicators, for example, timeliness of delivery, environmental impact, capital cost/whole life cost, contribution to business effectiveness. A graphical representation will be developed for these strategic level issues to aid the decision to build. This is then used to ensure product functionality is achieved iteratively at briefing and design checkpoints.

Initial development of the toolkit will concentrate on office buildings and modules will be proposed for other building types identified by the Steering Group.

Other outputs include:
a workshop to demonstrate existing and developing assessment systems
case studies disseminated through CBPP web site
pilot study report
launch seminar
a brief closing report that describes:
how the research was conducted
key lessons from the process for future research
an assessment of the initial impact
proposals for further development work

Appropriateness
Analyses of buildings are generally based on subjective opinions and the experience of the assessor. Design proposals are often carried out with little or no knowledge of the business or process which the buildings house and thus the results often merely reflect fashion and some more obviously measurable factors such as energy consumption. Whilst these are important, they cannot readily be put into the context of the user client’s needs. A simple to use and understood toolkit will provide integration between design, briefing and business process, improve communication between advisors and clients and reduce disappointment.


Objectives
The key objectives of this proposal are to:
to assist building owners/users to acquire or develop buildings that closely match their requirements through a fuller understanding of the complex interaction between buildings and the people and processes that occupy them
develop a practical methodology for appraising the functional performance of proposed and completed buildings along with supporting tools
use the developed tools to, in due course, provide benchmarks for functional performance for use during project briefing and demonstration projects
identify the means, in the longer term, of improving the functional performance of existing buildings the consequent impact upon the occupier by identifying best value refurbishment

Strategic fit
Within the Construction Process business plan this proposal supports key priority 1 - the design process. User and facilities input can be maximised and client satisfaction improved through improving communication of requirements and demonstrating how the building or design achieves a match with the required functional performance.

In tackling the traditional process of briefing, and providing an objective measurement tool this proposal also supports the Best Practice Business Plan key priority 4 - Support for the IT Best Practice initiative. It utilises IT to improve communication between the design team, building providers and their clients and optimises visualisation technology to improve the articulation of client requirements and client appreciation of developing designs, particularly during briefing and the early stages of design development.

This project enables CRT, CCF and DBF to fulfil their key commitments to continuous improvement of design of facilities promoted within Agenda for Change, Working together for better Construction and the Design Build Foundation Executive Summary. It offers techniques to ensure designs are focused on the needs of the client and providers can demonstrate that they understand what clients want from projects.

Impact
Understanding and demonstrating functional and business performance of products has changed other industries. The creation of a similar performance index for constructed products would have a huge impact on the performance of the industry when added value of their products or designs are assessed.

Using the toolkit will result in cost savings brought about by more precisely matching the design or completed building to the needs of the client and his business. Unnecessary or redundant performance can be readily identified at an optimum stage and eliminated from the brief and/or design or accepted as a consequence of purchasing an existing building. Lower performance can also be identified in good time and corrective action taken.

Either way considerable cost savings will be realised before large investments have been committed

Refurbishment options can be assessed and recycling of buildings can be shown to be economical, functional and sustainable, thus eliminating the trend towards the demolition of apparently redundant buildings.

A key purpose of this pilot approach is to assess the likely impact of a fully developed toolkit for measuring functional performance of office buildings. The cross section of partners on the Steering Group representing many client groups will an ideal way of evaluating the potential of the toolkit. Task 5.1 will consider a marketing strategy.


Method
BRE has recently worked up an assessment system for offices, Building Quality Assessment (BQA) and some evaluation of systems from abroad. These will be further evaluated during the project. BRE also has under development BREBENCH, incorporating a number of BRE initiatives will also be reviewed. A number of these systems will be presented early in the project as working /developing examples for comment and input by the Steering Group. Trialing the developing toolkit on live projects will form an essential part of the methodology. The existing and developing systems have in the past mainly concentrated on measuring objective factors. These will be mapped to softer, user/occupier and business process related issues. New factors covering these issues will be identified and developed by the research. The buildings to be used for the trials will be nominated by the Steering Group in order to facilitate user/occupier feedback.

Phase 0: Project Management
A Steering Group with representatives of major clients, facilities managers, designers and property surveyors and the whole supply chain will be confirmed and individuals within each organisation briefed on the project and their role in guiding it. This group of commentators will remain involved throughout the project, provide projects for pilot studies, a focus on end user requirements, final validation and help with marketing and dissemination, particularly to the smaller client.

BRE will provide the secretariat for the Group and project management for the project. BRE’s quality system in running and maintaining records for the project will be followed.

Phase 1: Pilot Phase
Task 1.1 A world wide review of existing functional performance measurement and mapping systems covering the fit between client requirements and design for office buildings will be undertaken early in the project. It will also cover previous research on the relationship of functional performance with the business needs and how the client uses and adapts the building over life and associated costs.

Task 1.2 Review selected existing working and prototype assessment systems and carry out a strengths and weakness analysis. Identify factors from these systems that could be merged to create a framework for a generic system.

Task 1.3 During this phase, other systems that are well established in other industries will be identified for their potential contribution to the development of the toolkit.

Task 1.4 Shadow any further pilot evaluation studies due to be carried out on HQI. Identify HQI factors generic to office building types

Task 2.1 Hold a workshop to demonstrate existing and developing assessment systems. This will include contributions by users of systems from other industries

Task 3.1 Define outline framework for office toolkit

Task 3.2 Select one or more office buildings offered by the Steering Group and carry out assessment for functional performance using an existing or developed system. Projects at design and occupation stages will be sought. These may also be Egan demonstration projects, subject to consultation. This will validate the emerging system, identify shortcomings and provide the Steering Group with the opportunity of early use of a working system.

Task 3.3 The results will be analysed to identify further shortcomings and whether the systems that have been trialed can form the basis of further development. The results will be presented as case studies and disseminated through CBPP and the Steering Group members to test market response and to help the occasional client become aware of the potential of the toolkit and the benefits to be gained from its use

Task 4.1 Concurrently, guidance will be developed on the types of issue that may vary from client to client. Clients may have standard policies or higher requirements than regulations, such as the use of renewable resources. The system should permit adjustment to reflect these.

Task 4.2 The framework for describing the mapping of the briefing process will be developed for a specific building type (the exemplar) and circulated to the commentators. Guidance will be sought on the level of detail required for other building types (i.e. more or less than the exemplar) and for missing or superfluous critical issues for office buildings.

Phase 2 Dissemination
Task 5.1 A marketing strategy and an impact assessment procedure will be put in place.

Task 6.1 The final guidance document, together with proforma on diskette will be launched at a seminar hosted by CRT, and the system will be endorsed as part of the toolkit to be used in meeting the objectives described in the Agenda for Change. It will be priced to cover the cost of production, to allow it to be purchased by the widest possible audience.

Task 7.1 The case studies will be provided through the CBPP web site, with details of how to obtain the guidance document and proforma publication. This will ensure that the smaller client will be made fully aware of the potential of the toolkit and how to benefit from adopting its use.

Task 7.2 A final report will prepared at the end of this phase and will include assessment of further development work.
Risks

The project team
BRE has considerable background experience in the field of physical and functional performance of buildings, as referenced in the Context section of this bid. Therefore, the scope of the project is well understood and charted by BRE and the project is based on sound work already carried out, all of which reduces the amount of the unknown. The Steering Group will bring a whole supply chain direction to the project and ensure its applicability in matching their needs.
Scope
Priorities may need to be reviewed in the light of early analysis of existing systems in order to ensure a fully working and robust system emerges based on pragmatic concepts. Full software development may not be achieved within the very tight budget constraints imposed and will depend on the state of the development of the software of the systems used for the trials. However paper and disc versions with suitable guidance will be available.

Benefits
Benefits will include:
clients will better understand their long-term investment decisions
clients will be better informed as to the potential influence that design and specification have on the productivity of the organisation and how their influence can be deployed to the greatest effect
designers will be better informed and better able to demonstrate how proposals affect the functional performance of the building
value engineering techniques will be encouraged leading to the elimination of redundant performance and avoidance of over-specified performance

The toolkit will help clients and project team in:
assessing and comparing performance of their buildings
knowing how well a building is suited to the type of business it supports
benchmarking functional performance of buildings, leading to continuous product improvement
portfolio or asset management, investment appraisals, purchasing or selling properties, rent reviews
defining performance at briefing stage for new build and refurbishment, judging alternative design proposals, project management of developing designs, value management, risk assessment, feedback
assessing the need for refurbishment,
encouraging sustainable construction.

The developing toolkit could be used to provide help in developing the key performance indicators being proposed by the KPI Working Group. This has been set up in response to Rethinking Construction and is developing KPIs for the construction industry, such as client satisfaction, and functionality of the product.

Other supporting information The toolkit will provide valuable assistance to CRT, DBF, RCF and CCF in realising their goals.

Through its Agenda for Change, CRT has stated its commitment to designing facilities that are focussed on the needs of its customers by:
understanding and measuring customer needs
using design techniques and processes that address customer needs
achieving predicted design performance
measuring customer satisfaction.

In Working together for Better Construction, CCF are looking to:
set clearly defined and quantified objectives for each project…
appraise whole life costs and quality nor just the bottom line
improve clients’ management skills and become better informed about the construction process
make available to clients objective and appropriate advice on options and choices for meeting their needs.

The Design Build Foundation’s common set of values to:
Promote and improve the integration of design and construction to deliver customer satisfaction through a single source of responsibility by:
creating excellent value for the customer
focusing on seeking and serving the customer’s needs
recognising the importance of design
improving design performance through a real understanding of client and team member needs
seeking innovative solutions

In "Bridge to the Future" the Reading Construction Forum survey of construction industry customers found that:
Customers expect the construction industry to adopt the modern commercial "Best Practice" of understanding its customers needs and finding innovative solutions that yield savings and improve "value for money"
Instead, customer perception is that:
The construction industry frequently fails to understand the needs of their customers generally, and has a poor understanding of customers business needs in particular
The construction industry is slow to adopt innovative practices and facts to exploit the full potential of Information Technologies


3. Communicating Results
Users/Beneficiaries Mechanisms for knowledge transfer Obstacles to take-up,
usage and application; and
how to overcome them
Regular clients
Designers
Membership of Steering Group
Guidance documentation and software
CRT sponsored launch event
CBPP and web site to disseminate case studies and to be point of sale
CPN events

Obstacles:
Untried system
Lack of awareness

To be overcome by:
Endorsement by Steering Group
Publicity and marketing strategy

Occasional clients
Contacts by Steering Group
Guidance documentation and software
CBPP and web site to disseminate case studies to be point of sale
CPN events

Obstacles:
Untried system
Lack of awareness
cost

To be overcome by:
Endorsement by Steering Group
Publicity and marketing strategy
Pricing strategy


7. Lead Partner’s Project Manager

Name: M Clift

Address: BRE Garston Watford WD2 7JR

Telephone: 01923 664122

Fax: 01923 66 4991

e-mail: cliftm@bre.co.uk

Web page: www.bre.co.uk