In our construction businesses we build long term relationships with clients. By working collaboratively we are able to align clients’ needs with their long term ambitions. This approach is becoming even more important as projects become more complex and demanding. Our capabilities in delivering complex projects has seen us maintain our success rate in pre-qualifying on projects with our "hit rate" running at 61%.
These complexities mean we carry out some of our projects in joint ventures where specialist skills or expertise are needed. Examples of our joint venture partners are engineers, other contractors and consultants on our frameworks for the water utilities and larger highways projects.
This approach has allowed us to maintain and improve our level of customer satisfaction, which has increased from 82% to 83%, and has been recognised through the awards that we have won during the year. For example The Hive in Worcester received various awards that were only possible due to the collaboration of many partners - see The-Hive.
The quality of the projects we deliver is also important as we work for clients again and again. In the last year 52% (by value) of the work we completed was for clients for whom we had completed projects previously.
Customers influence every decision we make, from the land we buy to the homes we design. We set out the service our customers can expect from us through a Customer Charter, and they also receive:
- A homeowner manual, explaining the purchase process and providing other useful information including hints and tips on greener living.
- A home demonstration, to explain every aspect of their home before they move in.
We use an independent partner to help us check how well we are meeting our customers’ needs and have maintained high levels of customer satisfaction with 93% of those surveyed saying they would recommend us to a friend.
Our approach was recognised during the financial year with Linden Homes being named as ‘Housebuilder of the Year’ by Building magazine.
In housebuilding we develop a number of sites under joint venture agreements with housing associations and other housebuilders. Significant relationships in our housebuilding business include our partnership with the Homes and Communities Agency. We also have major projects with Affinity Sutton and the Devon and Cornwall Housing Associations and work with other developers in joint venture.
The reduction in running costs due to improved energy efficiency is also one of the greatest advantages for customers when buying a new home. We build our homes to be energy efficient by adopting a fabric first approach, and have been discussing this approach with Government. We also believe that allowing people to understand their energy use is vital to helping them be more efficient. So we have trialled smart meters on several schemes and await guidance from Government on their specification.
We are building more and more energy efficient homes by improving the fabric of the buildings first; in the year 52% achieved Level 3 of the Code for Sustainable Homes (or equivalent). To help us understand how effective our fabric first approach is we have started to undertake post-occupancy monitoring.