[Skip to content]

FM World logo
Text Size: A A A


Ann Bentley addresses conference delegates

11 September 2018 | Herpreet Kaur Grewal 


Making sure value is embedded into the creation of a building from the design stage by involving users and managers is crucial to lengthen the quality of its running life, according to Ann Bentley, from property and construction consultancy 
Rider Levett Bucknall


Bentley, who was addressing a mixture of facilities managers and suppliers at this morning’s BIFM Procurement conference, said: “One of the points I am trying to make quite forcibly is that… if the asset users and asset managers are not involved right at the very early procurement stages, then you will definitely procure a sub-optimal asset. There is so much evidence to demonstrate that. But again, the evidence doesn’t always come to the fore.”


She said government policy now states that “they will embed the procurement value approach in public procurement and build the capability to do this via infrastructure projects associations”.


But Bentley said “if value can’t be defined, how can it be delivered?” 


She said the government does not know how to do this because the “industry does not do this very well and only does it [at all] in places”.


If the government wants to do that, “industry has to give them a definition of value and put in place some standards or methodologies so it’s easy to use”.


Bentley said the construction industry often only addressed a building’s immediate costs rather than assessing what value it could provide. She said: “Very few clients can assess cost and value.”


She added that “100 per cent of the value of any built asset actually happens after it is finished”.


“That is pretty obvious if you think about it but so much time and effort is spent by construction professionals looking at the 20 per cent of the cost that happens before the asset is handed over and when it is in use," Bentley said. 

"For me, it is a real issue whether we are when going to move things forward to where we need to move them… This isn’t a game, this is about using less resources, it’s about the future of the world and when you put it on that platform it sounds considerably more important than just asking ‘how do I procure my new building’. ”


She added that the “advent of artificial intelligence that builds on performance, multiple sensors in buildings and free data storage” shows that there is the “capacity to do and change things that historically we probably didn’t have. So what we are asking for is deliverable”.


Bentley is a member of the UK Government’s Construction Leadership Council, a member of the CBI’s Construction Council and an adviser to the Construction Industry Council. She is a member of the Institution for Civil Engineers (MICE), a fellow of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (FRICS) and holds an MBA from Henley Business School. 


She is also a visiting professor of business management, project management and quantity surveying at Birmingham City University and a visiting lecturer in the School of Construction Management and Engineering at Reading University. 


Having been in the property and construction sector for over 35 years, Bentley is experienced in working with commercial, public and third sector clients. She is an advocate of diversity in the construction industry and the career opportunities open to all sectors of society.


The BIFM procurement conference continues this afternoon.