AECOM Blue Book Heralds 'New Era Of Growth'


Leading design firm AECOM has released its

2014 Blue Book which this year focuses on unlocking productivity gains from the property and construction industry.

The report details how these industries will continue to recover from the past economic turmoil, and prosper in this new era of growth.

"As global business and construction trends rebound, our industry needs to take an active role in how this new era will be formed. Enhancing productivity is now of paramount importance to realising sustainable economic growth," said AECOM Global Chief Executive, Buildings + Places Jason Prior.

The Blue Book  draws upon knowledge and experience from world industry leaders to explore some of the big ideas needed to improve productivity.
AECOM says the industry must take an integrated approach to building cities, with the complexity of cities given due consideration when transforming communities. An in-depth understanding of the relationship between the interrelated systems that make up a city is vital at all stages of development. AECOM mentions that planning tool that take a broad view of the urban fabric can help urban developers and planners to make better informed decisions. AECOM’s Sustainable Systems Integration Model (SSIM™) considers the following questions:

  • Which plan is the ‘better’ plan in terms of satisfying a city’s major goals?
  • Which plan is inherently more sustainable and resilient?
  • Where are the planning gaps and how/where can we improve the plan?
  • How do we effectively communicate the complexity of urban planning decisions to a broad range of stakeholders?
  • How do we measure the performance and costs of sustainability, as well as demonstrate positive returns?

The report says engineered timber is gaining ground all over the world as a more productive and sustainable approach. According to the report, apartment buildings are typically able to achieve around a 30 percent saving in project duration, as the timber can be erected faster and trades can commence work earlier.

  The report also mentions that better utilisation and retention of the labor force can greatly improve productivity. Introducing innovating processes will create a sustainable labor force that retains industry knowledge, and reduce the impact of transient workers.
AECOM recommends the exploration of alternative financial mechanisms for development projects. The report notes that private sector partnerships can fund the shortfall in public sector funds, and that collaborative procurement models deliver better value.

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