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Report cover showing family outside their house

Using modern methods of construction to build homes more quickly and efficiently

“Modern construction methods can produce important benefits for housing authorities and developers, not the least of which is the reduced emphasis on on-site activity. This is particularly important in a time of increasing demands on an already stretched labour force. As with any new way of doing things there are risks, but these can be mitigated through good project planning and management.”

Housing and Planning Minister Yvette Cooper said:

“We must ensure that we build the new homes that the next generation can afford. This report shows that it is possible to build faster and cheaper using modern methods of construction whilst keeping the same high quality as traditional methods. We said it should be possible to build a high quality house for less than £60,000. Now the NAO has shown that is right.”

Jon Rouse, Chief Executive of the Housing Corporation, said:

“For the last five years the Corporation has been at the vanguard of encouraging innovation and modern methods in order that greater numbers of much needed good quality homes may be delivered more efficiently. The results of this study clearly show that modern methods have a distinct and continuing role to play in the delivery of our £1.6 billion a year programme.”

Note

This report is supported by more detailed material available on an accompanying CD-ROM providing a firm basis for further improvements in using modern methods of construction. The background material includes a set of sample project plans, showing how plans need to be tailored to gain maximum benefit from modern methods of construction. Detailed cost figures are also available, outlining how we calculated costs and how cost breakdown differs across construction methods. Also included are scenario papers examining cost variations for other development types, and papers detailing the whole life cost and durability of a sample development.

Published:
22 Nov 2005
Report cover showing an aerial view of the progress of the channel tunnel

Progress on the Channel Tunnel Rail Link

The National Audit Office’s report finds that London & Continental Railways (LCR) successfully completed the construction of Section 1 of the Channel Tunnel Rail Link (CTRL) on time and at a cost slightly below the target set in the 1998 restructuring. Drawing on the reasons for this achievement, the NAO report highlights lessons for other … Read more

Published:
21 Jul 2005
Report cover showing the inside of a railway station

Maintaining and improving Britain’s railway stations

While most of Britain’s largest stations provide excellent facilities, many other stations do not. The government, the industry and other interested parties must work together in a more concerted fashion to tackle the financial and other barriers to improvement so that more of our stations provide the facilities and services that rail passengers deserve.

Published:
20 Jul 2005
Report cover showing cranes

Improving Public Services through Better Construction

“Departments and agencies have had a reputation for delivering construction projects that were late or over budget and designing buildings that were not cost effective to operate. There has, however, been a considerable improvement in performance since my last report on the subject in 2001 and one of the significant contributory factors to this progress has been the work of the OGC in promulgating best construction practice, providing support to departments, and applying the Gateway Review scrutiny process to construction projects. Departments cannot, however, be complacent. There remains scope for further improvement and my report makes recommendations and highlights good practice that will enable departments to achieve better performance and identifies how the OGC can support them through its advisory and support activities to deliver maximum benefit in improving construction capability and performance across the wider public sector. Even if only 20 per cent of these improvements are practicable this would still release some £500 million to be reinvested in frontline public services or higher quality built assets to deliver improved public services.”

Published:
15 Mar 2005
Report cover showing traffic monitoring centre

Tackling congestion by making better use of England’s motorways and trunk roads

“Road traffic congestion on our motorways and trunk roads is an enduring problem. I welcome the Highways Agency’s efforts to attack the problem by making better use of our existing roads. In particular, it is aiming to improve roadside information to motorists and to deal more effectively with incidents and accidents.

“I am looking, however, for the Agency to adopt a less risk averse approach. It must not only carry out more effective trials of proposed congestion-reducing measures; but also, if the trials are successful, follow the lead of its overseas counterparts in implementing these technologies more widely on the network.”

Published:
26 Nov 2004
Cover of report showing tube train pulling into platform

London Underground PPP: Were they good deals?

“These are complicated deals, worth a great amount of money and spanning a long period into the future. I welcome the fact that there are prospects for improvement to the Tube. But in the face of the inevitable uncertainty about what the next 30 years will bring, only time will tell whether these prospects are fully realised and, therefore, whether the eventual price that the taxpayer pays is worth it.”

Published:
17 Jun 2004