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Clients are happier with their consultants . . .

Performance by consultants in the uk construction industry has improved considerably over the last four years, according to research by the Construction Industry Board for National Construction Week. Overall satisfaction of clients with their consultants increased from a score of 6.61 out of 10 in 1995 to 7.27 in 1999, an increase of nearly 10 per cent. Consultants were rated on five criteria: design creativity; ability to innovate; speed and reliability of service; co-ordination between team members; and overall value for money. Least impressive was the perceived improvement in speed and reliability. This showed an overall rise of 5 per cent between 1995 and 1999, to a rating of 6.92, but this figure masks a fall in the rating between 1995 and 1997.

Another warning comes from the analysis of projects by value - the smaller the job, the greater the increase in satisfaction. On projects under £1 million, performance has improved over four years by 15 per cent to 7.32; on projects between £1 million and £20 million it has risen by seven percent to 7.21; but on the largest projects it has fallen by more than six per cent to 6.09. Satisfaction with main contractors has risen more spectacularly over the four years, by 16 per cent to a rating of 7.2.

The survey uses figures gathered by the Construction Clients Forum and compares it with research previously undertaken with members of the British Property Federation. The report is sponsored by Argent Group, Ernst & Young and Bucknall Austin.

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