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Construction minister Brian Wilson today welcomed the launch of a ...
Construction minister Brian Wilson today welcomed the launch of a

new tool designed to continually benchmark the quality of buildings

against industry standards.

Following the launch on 5 July of the DTI Better Public Buildings

Action Plan, the new Design Quality Indicator highlights the

government's commitment to maximising the benefits to people of

building work.

In support of these two initiatives, Mr Wilson said:

'The Better Public Buildings Action Plan shows that this government

is leading the construction industry by example and expecting the

best service from what should be a world class industry.'

'We all have a duty to improve our urban environment and the quality

of life for those who use it. Good design can transform our

perceptions of urban living and it is right that the government leads

by example in the buildings it provides.

'The Design Quality Indicator allows us to have a real dialogue on

the standards of our buildings at the conception stage or beyond and

to continually aim to improve them.'

Every government department has nominated its own Design Champion to

lead on the Better Public Buildings initiative - a role filled in the

DTI by Mr Wilson.

The DTI Action Plan will be used as a guide for all DTI organisations

to become best practice clients to the construction industry. Over

the coming months, the whole of the estate that falls under the

responsibility of DTI ministers will be expected to adhere to the

recommendations of Rethinking Construction and the Better Public

Buildings initiative.

Through its Better Public Buildings Action Plan, the DTI is committed


- Leadership as intelligent clients to the construction industry;

- Providing the resources to ensure key procurement staff have the

right skills and development opportunities to act as intelligent

construction clients;

- Properly resourcing the design and project planning phase of


- Integrated supply teams;

- Focussing on its long-term business needs and the whole life

performance of its estate;

- Continuous improvement and sharing successes, setbacks and lessons


- Measuring, monitoring and benchmarking performance;

- Post-project reviews covering design, fitness for purpose and

procurement strategy.


1. The DTI Better Public Buildings Action Plan is available on the

Better Public Buildings website at

It follows the publication in October 2000 of the cross-departmental

document Better Public Buildings which is also available on the same


2. Five other departments published their departmental Better Public

Building Action Plans on 5 July with the DTI. They are: the

Department for Work and Pensions, the Home Office, the Department for

Culture, Media and Sport, the Foreign and Commonwealth Office and the

Lord Chancellor's Department. The Ministry of Defence, the Department

for Health and the Department for the Environment, Food and Rural

Affairs have already published their plans. Other departments are

expected to publish their plans shortly.

3. The Design Quality Indicator was developed by the Construction

Industry Council (CIC) with support from the DTI Construction Sector

Unit's Partners In Innovation (PII) programme. It also received

substantial support from the Commission for Architecture and the

Built Environment (CABE) and Rethinking Construction. The Indicator

complements the existing set of performance measures currently being

used by Rethinking Construction.

4. The central purposes of the DQI are:

- to enable all participants in the development process to have a

shared understanding of design quality

- to develop a common language for discussing the design quality of


- to enable architects to be able to clearly identify clients

requirements, and communicate to clients the value that they can

deliver through good building design

- to improve the quality of buildings by adding more value through


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