Back to Quality and Standards

This report covers the main themes emerging from the first Housing Forum Autumn conference, ‘Quality Counts: from start to end in housing construction’.


The need for this conference was emphasised by Housing Forum Chair Stephen Teagle in opening the day commenting, ‘Quality is a significant challenge in housebuilding and the sector has not always been getting quality in housebuilding right’.

Discussions have shown that the issue of quality revolves around four aspects – design, procurement, and build and customer experience. The sector has the tools to provide solutions for three of these aspects – design, build and customer experience.

That is because the industry shows a great commitment to design, and the National Design Guide is in place. Digitalisation helps the building process and collaboration offers clear routes to success. And similarly, KPIs and the NHBC can measure customer satisfaction.

Procurement is the one aspect of quality that the industry has yet to get right. Fragmentation, adversarial relations and the race to start on site as soon as possible without adequate planning and supply-side engagement, all militate against a quality result.

While there are many things construction gets right it is essential to get procurement right too. The Housing Forum is determined to make sure it does, making procurement reform a central message for 2020.

The conference began with an assessment of the performance of the housebuilding sector over recent years. Government is now taking a lead on design quality and the first half of the conference covered regulatory reform and quality maintenance measures like the chain of custody.

The major focus of the later sessions of the conference covered cost models to reduce risk and give certainty to support projects. Site regimes also support quality and first-hand experience of the application of digital technology was demonstrated.

The final speakers covered the importance of the management of cultures and securing the legacy of a development through individual digital libraries.

Featured image: BPTW, Rochester Riverside, Kent
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Stephen Teagle, Chair, The Housing Forum

Chief Executive, Vistry Partnerships

Mehban Chowdery, Regional Director, London


Jane Dann, Managing Director

Tibbalds Planning and Design

Chris Bath, Partner


Jamie Ratcliff, Executive Director

Network Homes

Andrew Mellor, Partner


Rebecca Rees, Partner

Trowers & Hamlins

Nigel Ostime, Delivery Director


John Gray, Partner

HTA Design

Nick Joslyn, Managing Director

4i Solutions

Rob Skingley, Director

Howden UK

Paul Mills, Project Director

Vistry Partnerships

James Henderson, Customer Excellence Director


Chris Stevens, Managing Director, London

Bouygues UK

Neal Curtis, Partner


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