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GIRI Strategic Leadership Group starts work to highlight the benefits of zero error.

A Partner at national law firm Weightmans has joined five other high-profile figures in the construction industry to pledge their commitment to the aims of the Get It Right Initiative – a not-for-profit, industry-led body whose members want to eliminate avoidable error in the sector.

Paul Lowe is part of GIRI's Strategic Leadership Group. The remit of the group is to provide strategic direction and thought leadership to GIRI, to champion its message of zero error and to highlight the many benefits – for productivity, safety, sustainability and reputation – of getting it right first time.

The group will assist GIRI to forge stronger links with policy makers in government, and at board level across the construction sector, in order to stimulate debate on error reduction, drive change and prioritise routes to improvement.

GIRI’s push to highlight the wide-ranging impact of error comes at a pivotal moment for construction, with the industry being urged to ‘build back better’ while at the same time taking steps to reduce its carbon footprint and improve sustainability. Recognising and addressing the root causes of error plays a crucial part in pursuit of these goals.

Client, contractor and consultant organisations in the construction industry are represented, as well as the insurance industry and professional bodies that serve the sector. Expedition Engineering senior director Ed McCann, who is also ICE senior vice-president and a committed supporter of the zero error agenda, was one of the key players in the formation of GIRI, along with Emer Murnaghan, who is head of responsible sustainable business at contractor Graham as well as being ICE vice-president (UK regions).

Dr Alistair Hitchcock and Sarah Williamson represent the experience and views of key infrastructure clients HS2 and Sizewell C respectively, while Weightmans partner Paul Lowe contributes an unrivalled insight into both the specialist insurance sector, and the progress of Building Safety Bill legislation. As director of engineering knowledge at the Institution of Civil Engineers and former editor of New Civil Engineer magazine, Mark Hansford is perfectly placed to advise on effective communication channels and knowledge-sharing networks.

Strategic leadership group:

  • Dr Alistair Hitchcock Head of engineering, Phase 2, HS2
  • Paul Lowe - Partner, Weightmans
  • Emer Murnaghan - Head of responsible sustainable business, Graham
  • Ed McCann - Senior director, Expedition Engineering and ICE senior vice-president
  • Sarah Williamson - Civil programme director, Sizewell C
  • Mark Hansford - Director of engineering knowledge, ICE

GIRI executive director Cliff Smith said:

"This strategic step forward for GIRI will help us to get more traction in the industry for our message that error reduction has benefits right across the board. It demonstrates our continued commitment to industry improvement and providing value for our member companies."

ICE senior vice-president Ed McCann said:

“I believe that this highly experienced group will help ensure that we have the right strategy in place to deliver on GIRIs mission to eliminate error in construction in pursuit of waste reduction, improved quality, enhanced safety and overall better value to society.”

• The Get It Right Initiative [GIRI] is a not-for-profit membership organisation that has adopted a multi-disciplinary approach to tackling error. It has more than 60 members, including clients, consultants, contractors, regulators, educators, professional institutions, insurance companies and trade bodies.
• GIRI’s members are working together across the sector, to raise awareness about the challenges of error, and eliminate it.
• GIRI’s research identified that the measured direct cost of avoidable errors in the construction industry is in the order of 5% of project value. This equates to approximately £5 billion per annum across the sector in the UK and is higher than average profit levels across the industry (around 3%). When unmeasured and indirect costs are included the situation gets much worse with estimates of total costs ranging between 10% and 25% of project cost or between £10-25 billion per annum across the sector.

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