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Measuring the social value of infrastructure assets (IP10)

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One of the main objectives of the TIES Living Lab programme was to develop the collaborative protocols and benchmarks that the TIES Partners and their supply chains needed, so they could deliver a substantial improvement in terms of cost, scheduling, productivity, quality, environmental performance, and social value.

Data on infrastructure projects is routinely captured in some form, but often siloed within corporate systems. The benchmarking framework, developed as part of the TIES Living Lab project, provided a flexible common structure on which to present contextual and performance data. This helped to ensure that similar data from different organisations could be collected, analysed and reported in similar ways. This work, under the projects on Metrics, Benchmarking & Repository, was a collaboration between experts from Whole Life Consultants, the University of Dundee, Accelar and Loop and the seven Communities of Practice (CoPs) that were set up under the TIES Living Lab.

The data tool assigns a monetary value to a set of metrics, so that data can be analysed according to project phase or aggregated to understand impact at a local, sub-regional and regional level, and can include all phases of an asset’s life cycle and all viewpoints including construction, operations, and end-user experiences.

Collecting social value data for benchmarking will contribute towards improvements in decision making, by providing extra information about the effect of trading off improvements across different impacts. With this level of detail, it should also be possible to assess the impact of MMC on embodied carbon, waste reduction, community impact, sustainable employment and speed of delivery of assets which can relieve pressure on social systems and also scrutinise whether structured investment in MMC can support the UK government’s levelling-up agenda.