Values driven policy in designing environments for children and young people's education, health and wellbeing

The new millennium coincided with a reappraisal of value in UK construction and calls from a wide range of influential individuals, professional institutions and government bodies for the industry to exceed stakeholders’ expectations and develop integrated teams that can deliver world class products and services. As such value is certainly topical, but the importance of values as a separate but related concept is less well understood. This paper addresses the construction industry’s need to deliver public buildings that can regenerate communities, transform schools, modernise healthcare facilities and inspire children in a way that will make a real difference to their lives. Doing this requires a strong service and estates vision driven not only by the technical building solutions, but also by practitioners aspirations. Stakeholder engagement is seen by the Government as a way to bring about this reform, however the stakeholder consultation tools that are being deployed by providers and clients alike may be limited in how they translate values, attitudes and good teaching, learning and healthcare practices into building design. The purpose of this paper is to present the need to understand with greater meaning the values and cultures of schools and healthcare facilities during construction briefing and delivery and how the spirits of users can be harnessed to ensure the success and transformation of a new facility. It presents a longitudinal case study in which various tools and approaches have been developed and applied to address this need within education capital projects. It also draws on value, values and stakeholder literature in education and healthcare. The importance of this paper is to extend the range of methodological tools used in construction to structure the effects of meaning, culture and values on the construction industry’s processes, products and building operation and to translate learning between the education, health and social care sectors. It also hopes to encourage construction providers to extend their service and explore the opportunity to employ a similar methodology, particularly in the public sector environment where there is a growing need for multi-agency service integration.