2024 industry predictions

Hi everyone,

Despite the shocking weather recently, we are feeling upbeat at Sewell Group! It’s a new year and we have some exciting plans in place for growth. Our Co-Owners (aka our team) are feeling fired up to deliver our services in new and innovative ways, always keeping our customers at the heart of everything we do. Our business leaders across our different sectors were keen to take over this edition of our newsletter and give their thoughts on how things might pan out this year. I hope you find something of interest in their speculations and they would love to discuss things further and hear your views if you want to get in touch.

Hopefully it will stop raining soon…all the best, Jo


Public private partnerships

We’ve got a long and proven track record of working in partnership with the public sector, and we’ve delivered many successful public private partnership (PPP) projects, which are still delivering benefits for the communities they serve.

Public private partnerships offer innovative and novel ways to fund, build and manage quality facilities which really make a real difference to society, delivering cost effective and modern projects which enhance and improve the way we live.


Focus on early engagement

Mark Boothby, Joint Managing Director of Sewell Construction, says the past few years have been extremely volatile for the construction industry, with many SMEs facing administration following tough trading conditions. “In 2024 we expect to see an increased focus on early engagement, partnership working and strategic support to help manage construction risks, as well as a continued drive towards achieving of higher building performance standards in areas such as energy conservation and fire safety,” he said. “With a strong history of strategic partnership working we are well placed to support clients on this journey.”



Emma Bolton, Chief Executive at Community Ventures, believes that consultancy businesses will look at diversifying their workforces in 2024. “Estates consultancy spans so many areas now, that you need to bring in lots of different viewpoints and backgrounds to provide comprehensive, holistic advice,” she said. “I think we’ll see clients wanting consultancy teams that can flex, change and adapt, swapping in experts depending on the task. they’re working on. It’s really important teams have first-hand experience of service planning to be able to fully appreciate the challenges customers have in ensuring that the estate is an enabler to their ’day job’. That’s one of the reasons we have diversified in the last few months, adding clinical service planning to our portfolio.”



Sewell Facilities Management’s Managing Director, Sean Henderson, has worked in the industry since 2013, and thinks having worked in various roles within the construction sector before this. “What clients want changes over time, but at the moment we’re seeing a definite trend towards total FM (TFM),” he said. “People want to be able to outsource all their facilities work to a single provider with as much as possible handled in house, knowing that everything will be taken care of. If customers want a single service, we can still do that, but many people are seeing the benefits that come with a TFM package.”


PFI Handback preperation

Assure Advisory is our newest business, an asset management consultancy within the facilities management sector, here to make sure your buildings are working for you. Paul Marshall, Assure’s Chief Executive, thinks that 2024 will be an important year for public private partnerships. “A lot of PFI contracts are now past their half way mark, even closing in on their completion, and now is a crucial time to be thinking about those end of term requirements,” he said. “The Infrastructure and Projects Authority recommend that handback preparation begins seven years before the end of the contract, and we are now seeing contracting authorities being engaged in mid-contract health checks, so it will be important for interested parties to get ahead of the curve and start planning for their end of contract obligations, or risk facing unnecessary challenges when expiry finally arrives.”



Christopher Carline, Managing Director of I&G, says demand for offsite manufacture and Modern Methods of Construction (MMC) will increase in 2024. “When parts of the build are constructed off site, it makes projects quicker, improves quality, and can give a great finish,” he said. “It’s also a great step forward to making construction more sustainable, as building in a controlled environment produces less waste and fewer carbon emissions.”


Continued love for big data

Claire Harrison, Chief Executive of Parallel, thinks smarter use of data is key for this year. “We’ll see the love for big data continue in 2024,” she said. “As a company that specialises in data intelligence, Parallel is supporting more and more clients to understand their aspirations and what intelligence they’re looking to garner from their data. Even those who aren’t specialists in this field are recognising the need to get to grips with both the amount of data they have, and how it can be effectively used to drive efficiencies and support strategic decision making.

“In our core market of health, we’re seeing a real drive to tackle health inequalities and access to services across ICBs. We’re continuing our work with our partners to utilise data to better understand neighbourhood make up, in support of the Core20Plus5 agenda.”


sustainable refurbishments

The construction industry will have to focus more on sustainable refurbishments, rather than new builds, predicts Sewell Construction’s sustainability expert Steve Dam. “80% of buildings that will be standing in 2050 have already been built,” he said. “More and more, we’re going to see people trying to refurbish, retrofit and refit existing buildings, making use of assets they already have, but giving them a new life.”



Tim Wigglesworth, Chief Executive of Shared Agenda, believes 2024 will be the year when infrastructure strategies assume a greater prominence for all stakeholders across health systems. “Infrastructure strategies help give a high level view across more than just the estate,” Tim said. “They’re wide ranging in scope, so can seem intimidating to tackle, however the benefits they bring in clarifying and informing short, medium and long term goals for organisations is definitely worth it.”

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