Why do we build? Why develop society? Who reaps the benefit? This podcast looks at the new interest the construction industry is taking in quantifying and appreciating social value.

One of the biggest challenges for industry practitioners in creating social value on their projects is being able to understand what social value means for that project and what best practice delivery looks like. 

Guests Penny Anderson, Associate Director Social Value, Atkins, Peter Masonbrook, Head of Social Value, Faithful + Gould, and Simon Toplass, CEO, Pagabo, try to define what it is, talk about new legislation, and we hear from a framework provider that is putting social value at the core of its projects.


Social Profit Calculator are very proud to be named as one of the 31 strategic partners collaborating in support of the Transport Infrastructure Efficiency Strategy Living Lab project, “TIES Living Lab”. This programme was announced by Minister of State, Andrew Stephenson last year and is designed to drive innovation across major infrastructure projects in the UK. Other collaborators include Department for Transport, Network Rail, Construction Innovation Hub, construction innovators Kier, MMC specialists Akerlof, along with academic experts from the University of Dundee and Leeds.

Maximising Opportunities

TIES Living Lab is an alliance that aims to fuse the very best data and digitalisation techniques that UK infrastructure initiatives generate. This intelligence is critical in transforming the UK construction agenda and improving productivity. 

Advanced logistic approaches aim to identify and tackle systematic issues that hinder innovation in construction. TIES Living Lab plans to provide the tools and systems the construction industry needs to improve cost efficiency of projects and help identify Modern Methods of Construction to reduce time delays, cost overruns, reduce projects’ carbon footprints and improve safety skills for construction workers.

A Transformative Collaboration

Over the next two years, the partnership will invest more than £16 million in new approaches, tools, data systems, operations and processes. It will bring together industry experts and business leaders with academic institutions to develop and establish best practice in the way we utilise innovation within transport infrastructure. Furthermore, creating potential applications beyond transport infrastructure, and into other projects.

Andrew Stephenson commented:

“As we begin our green recovery from the coronavirus pandemic, the need to level-up our country and boost economic prosperity has only increased, and we are determined that we don’t just rebuild, we rebuild smarter. The Living Lab is a great opportunity for industry and academics to work together to embrace new more productive, more efficient and more sustainable ways of delivering transport infrastructure.”

Our Chief Operating Officer, Sarah Coughlan thinks this is a move towards a greater understanding of the whole life value and is another welcome advancement for the industry.

She says:

“SPC has been working with the TIES Living Lab and the DfT since last year. We are working with a host of industry and academic partners to push forward the social value agenda in infrastructure.”

This strategic, scalable and sector wide approach intends to be a catalyst for real cultural change, shifting focus within infrastructure delivery decision-making from the costs of construction to a greater understanding of its whole life value.