Inspire : Public Works July Aug 2014
36 Public Works Professional July-August 2014 THOUGHT LEADERS MALCOLM ABERNETHY EXECUTIVE OFFICER, NEW ZEALAND CONTRACTORS' FEDERATIOIN INC. Sustainability was also about using materials and work methods to deliver the best project outcomes. Sustainability worked to some extent and made us think about how we were treating the environment and our resources. The term also came at a time when there was greater emphasis on safety, making our workforce more stable, sustainable and hopefully more productive. 'Collaboration' came along with the realisation that working together often delivers the best outcomes. I really believe we can achieve great outcomes as a result of this approach and I think this is true when we look at many of the alliance projects over the past 10 years or more. This model was also adopted for SCIRT (Stronger Christchurch Infrastructure Rebuild Team) and appears to be working well. 'Contracting' is really all about risk, reward and relationships. Risks should be fairly distributed to the party best able to accept and manage the risk, and this is the model used in an alliance type of contract. It is also the concept used in our standard form of contract, NZS 3910:2013 Standard Conditions of Contract for Building and Civil Engineering Construction. Reward is fair compensation for the work to be delivered or constructed, and the risk that is expected to be taken by the respective parties. In an alliance contract, the reward is payment for the project, with risk being shared using the so-called 'pain share, gain share' approach. In traditional There is currently a great deal of talk about 'resilient infrastructure' within the sector -- particularly as a result of the Canterbury earthquakes. 'Resilient' appears to be the latest buzzword to make us sound clever or thoughtful. We have had many of these words over the years, with differing results. 'Collaboration' came fast on the heels of 'sustainability' and then of course there was 'productivity' to consider. Within our industry, we have had ‘fexibility’, ‘durability’, ‘built-in redundancy' and 'capability'. All wonderful words to express how we want to achieve constr uction, operation and maintenance of our infrastructure. (Actually, we used to call it civil engineering.) Why is it that we use these words that somehow require us to strive towards some intangible goal or outcome? They are all fuzzy buzzwords that don't really contribute to the construction of infrastructure. I think they are used in excess to make us feel clever and innovative (that's another buzzword), and to make us believe we are actually doing something new or unique. These words don't make us better, they are simply words -- what matters is the infrastructure we constr uct, operate and maintain for our communities. 'Sustainability' was the buzzword that was often misinterpreted as recycling and waste minimisation, but I believe the real driver was or should have been the protection and preser vation of our natural resources with minimal impact on our environment. A way with words 'Resilient' is the latest contender in a long list of buzzwords popping up in the infrastructure sector, but just how helpful is a new name for something we should have been doing all along? DOITONOUR ONLINE FORUMS: Visit goo.gl/gsTjy8 to discuss this article. MORE TO ADD?
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