Making Construction More Civil

CCM is on a mission to change the construction industry. Out goes conflict, overcharging and poor delivery. In comes harmony, transparency and successful outcomes. Here, we catch up with CCM’s Managing Director Tony Brooks to find out more. 

Q – What’s wrong with construction?

A – The problem is the way civil works is procured. Asking main contractors to price and deliver civil engineering projects on a lump sum fixed price basis. It’s adversarial, confrontational, adds cost and it pits the client against the contractor.  

Typically, the client is interested in the cheapest job being delivered in the shortest amount of time with all risk transferred to the contractor. Contractor’s underprice tenders to win the work knowing full well that they will have to find a way to recover their margins through the course of the project. If they don’t finish in time, the contractor then claims for delays and additional work and the two parties go to war, resulting in project overruns, overspend and quality issues.  

This leads to conflict and mistrust. 

There are so many failed EPC projects, particularly EFW projects, in the market that the whole ethos of project delivery needs to change. We’ve seen the casualties of the EPC approach in recent years with contractors going bust. This starts from the project investors and client right through the delivery and supply chain.  A transparent and collaborative approach is a must for the future. 

Q – CCM has developed a new way of delivering civil works. What is it and why the change?

A – It’s a new form of construction management that eliminates confrontation and provides a successful outcome for all parties. Firstly, we go into the contract on a lump sum fixed fee basis. This means we take the risk on the contract in terms of the resources we require to deliver the project. Secondly, we provide a professional, fully collaborative team to work alongside the client, on and off-site. And thirdly, we are fully transparent with our clients throughout the process. 

When we founded CCM in 2009, we didn’t want to be in conflict with our clients. It’s not a nice way to work. We wanted to do something more aligned with our personalities. We wanted a collaborative, forward thinking approach.  

Phil Moss, our Chairman , has been in the industry for 50 years and I have been in the industry for over 30 years, so we know how to build things. We wanted to do it a different way. This led us to the construction management model. We have evolved this model to provide a transparent, hassle-free and cost-effective approach to civils.

Q – You call your approach PROJECT first. What does this mean exactly?

A –PROJECT first’ is about the whole project team, from client to on-site contractors, being focused on delivering a successful project. It’s about agreeing clear targets with the client and delivering projects smoothly, on time and with cost savings. It’s about eliminating conflict, ensuring transparency and avoiding unnecessary costs.  

Effectively, our team becomes an extension of the client management team, ensuring close collaboration and full transparency to achieve project targets in the most cost-effective way.  

PROJECT first optimises project delivery. It’s a lump sum fixed fee, team-based approach that promotes collaboration and safety. It reduces construction delivery time, avoids additional costs and removes potential conflict. 

Successful delivery of the project has to be the common goal as this will deliver success for all of the constituent parts involved. PROJECT first brings a focus. 

Q – What are the client benefits of PROJECT first?

A – Collaboration and teamwork, higher quality delivery, improved safety and harmonious working environments. The client has greater control and total transparency, with no surprises in terms of time and cost.  

We work closely with our clients to support them with the delivery of their construction projects and the time schedule. By working to a lump sum fixed fee and providing a team of professionals, we can guarantee good quality at the right price and in the right timeframe. It means we immediately resolve the adversarial and confrontational aspect. Our objective is to deliver the project in the agreed timeframe or better. 

Unlike traditional construction management or consultancy firms which deliver services by charging by the hour or the day, our fixed pricing means there is transparency from the start. Another benefit is we take the risk on the contract in terms of the resources we require to deliver the project. This motivates us to deliver projects as efficiently as we can. 

Our major projects typically last two to three years long. We do a lot of speculatory work, such as cost and pre-construction planning, procurement schedules and HR planning, before projects come to fruition. We don’t think you’ll find any other project management firms that would provide resources for effectively nothing on the basis the project may go ahead.

Q – What’s your vision for the construction industry?

A – Apart from changing the way civils are managed and creating a more collaborative and harmonious way of working, I’d like to see the industry move more towards being carbon neutral. I am desperate to harness this movement and do what I can to make construction more sustainable. Carbon capture technology is a really exciting development in the industry at the moment. 

We can do things like take public transport to travel to projects and cut pollution but this is bolder than that. It’s about how we construct projects in a more carbon-reduced way. In future, I’d like to be able to offer clients the option of a greener alternative for every civil construction project we quote for.  

Thank you!

Our Approach and Project First

We always put the project first to ensure civil works are delivered in a transparent, hassle-free and cost-effective way.