Ed McCann urges civil engineers to strive for efficiency and effectiveness as he becomes ICE’s 157th President

The online streamed inauguration event showcased the premiere of a brand-new film featuring a host of innovators, economists and futurologists.

Incoming ICE President Ed McCann has urged the industry to improve its productivity in order to fight the key challenges of today, including climate change.

At a live-streamed inauguration event, the second in the institution’s history, the productivity and efficiency challenge in construction, he said, goes right to the heart of the issue.

How to Thrive in the 21st Century

Premiering a brand-new film ‘How to Thrive in the 21st Century’, McCann cited recent studies showing that the industry is often extremely wasteful in the work it does, not just in monetary terms, but in wasted human capital, materials, tools and machinery, time, energy, social capital, land, and ecosystems, as well as information and data.

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Introducing ICE President Ed McCann's Future Leaders


He revealed that high rework and error rates in design and construction are typical, with between 10 and 25% of average UK construction project costs being associated with avoidable error.

Being less wasteful would allow us to start addressing the climate change issue, he said.

Civil engineers need to be ‘more imaginative’

And he encouraged civil engineers to be more imaginative and more diligent in developing an operating infrastructure that maximises the benefit to our communities.

Reflecting on his experience as project director for the Olympic Velodrome for London 2012, he revealed that one of the most interesting things he found about working on the Olympics was the genuine focus on societal benefits.

Relentless focus on effectiveness and efficiency

Concluding his film, the president set out the challenge: civil engineers fundamentally need to improve the productivity with which they design, build and operate infrastructure.

To do this, McCann said, requires a relentless focus on everything engineers do.

And he laid out a challenge to industry to get better starting now.

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