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This is an abridged version of a post by our client Paul Gibbons of Decipher Consulting. Paul looks back on 2019 and makes a few predictions for construction in 2020. Decipher aim to simplify the complexities of construction, supporting clients in project advisory services, project controls and dispute resolution. Find out more at www.decipher-group.com.

Retentions and late payment

Last year I predicted we might see changes to the way retentions are dealt with. Despite research showing retentions cost the industry up to £1million a day, the ‘Aldous Bill’ has now been shelved. Bill Bordill wrote about the issue in this article.


This year saw a lot of uncertainty.  With Brexit continuing to dominate the headlines, we have seen a reluctance to make any big decisions. All parties’ manifestos contain promises that could lead to big changes. We’ll have to continue to wait and see what could be next.

Building a Safer Future

June saw the publication of ‘Building a Safer Future’.The review builds on the recommendations put forward by Dame Judith Hackitt following the tragic fire at Grenfell Tower in 2017. It introduces clearer responsibilities for those involved in the design, construction and maintenance of buildings over 18 metres tall. A number of councils are early adopters of the scheme and we expect the regulations to become commonplace on projects through 2020.


The construction industry has often been seen as being behind when it comes to the implementation of new technologies. But are we reaching a turning point? The government appointed Mark Farmer, author of ‘Modernise or Die’, as their champion for Modern Methods of Construction.

Offsite manufacturing and modular construction are becoming common. The use of AI, drones and robots are no longer the stuff of science fiction movies. This video highlights advances in offsite construction. However, the industry suffers from a major skills shortage. Retraining, recruiting and retaining professionals in these new methods will be vital to the success of the sector.

For the full version of this article, follow this link.