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Centre for Digital Built Britain completed its five-year mission and closed its doors at the end of September 2022

This website remains as a legacy of the achievements of our five-year foundational journey towards a digital built Britain

Many industries and businesses have been converted into more efficient, dynamic, and productive forms. The construction industry, on the other hand, still relies heavily on labour combined with onsite work, which is no longer compatible with the current health, safety, and performance requirements. Furthermore, delivering building construction projects is a complex and slow-paced process. To get buildings ready for use, many stages must be validated, ranging from financing, programme development, design, bidding, construction, and commissioning. The fragmented nature of the delivery service for buildings is twofold; first, productivity is not yet at a satisfactory level; and construction stakeholders are still struggling to deliver a fully engaging experience to their respective clients. On the other hand, the complexity and fragmentation could also be an opportunity to break through the wall of the long-standing traditional business model, while creating space for new ways of delivering projects.

This seminar examines the existing business models that govern the service delivery of buildings, and it explores offsite manufacturing as a production-based business model compared to the traditional construction-based business model. Now more than ever, the need to build faster and more efficiently is critical. To be better prepared for the future, an understanding of production-based business models’ deployment in construction is needed, and offsite manufacturing may play a crucial role in delivering a fully customized experience for facilities in the near future.

Organised by:

  • Dr Mohamed ZAKI, Deputy Director, Cambridge Service Alliance, University of Cambridge.
  • Dr Gemma Burgess, Director, Cambridge Centre for Housing and Planning Research, Department of Land Economy, University of Cambridge

This seminar forms part of the Centre for Digital Built Britain’s (CDBB) work at the University of Cambridge. It was enabled by the Construction Innovation Hub, of which CDBB is a core partner, and funded by UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) through the Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund (ISCF).

Host & co-host:




Dr Mohamed Zaki, deputy director, Cambridge Service Alliance


Theme: Economics

Graeme O'Doherty, Partner, Anyoffsite, UK

Social, Environmental and Economic Benefits of Net Zero Carbon Homes


Theme: Operations / Supply Chain Management

Prof Mohamed Al Hussein, NSERC Industrial Research Chair in the Industrialization of Building Construction, University of Alberta, Canada

Strategies for Efficient Modular and Offsite Construction Practice

14.15 Coffee Break
14.30 Round Table / Discussion

Theme: Strategy

Mark Farmer, Founding Director & CEO, Cast, UK

Overcoming Barriers to MMC Market Maturity: Implications for Business Models & Strategy

16.30 Theme: Digital service offerings

Nigel Ostime, Partner, Hawkins\Brown Architects, UK

Using digital technology to improve quality and productivity in architecture


Close and wrap-up

Tuesday, 27 April, 2021 - 13:00 to 16:30
Contact name: 
Dr Zakaria Dakhli
Contact email: 
Event location: 
Online - zoom