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Centre for Digital Built Britain

CDBB opens its doors at Cambridge Science Festival 2019!

CDBB was delighted to host its first event in the Cambridge Science Festival, on 23 March 2019. We focused on the future of construction as we wanted to highlight the contribution digital technology will make to jobs and construction of the future. Read below to find out how the day went!

The Cambridge Science Festival provides the public with opportunities to explore and discuss issues of scientific interest and concern and to raise aspirations by encouraging young people to consider a career in science, technology, engineering or mathematics. 


This year the Centre for Digital Built Britain hosted a session aimed at highlighting to young people the construction jobs of the future and the skills they will need. As part of the government’s industrial strategy, digital is being championed as a way of improving efficiency in the construction industry. Therefore, CDBB wanted to demonstrate how many of the toys, tools and technologies they use for entertainment and learning can to eventually lead to dynamic and fulfilling employment in digital construction.  


A big part of the technology focus for the date was brought to us by our partners for the day - Bouygues, who hosted a range of digital activities to demonstrate how virtual reality and gaming pursuits can be adapted and utilised in the construction industry. Children and adult participants had the opportunity to try out virtual reality headsets, 3D scanners and time-lapse film while learning how these technologies are being used to construct and manage built assets that have better outcomes for citizens and society. A massive thank you to the Bouygues team for helping us have such a great day!


Some of the digital activities we had on offer also demonstrated how Building Information Modelling (BIM) is implemented to better design, build, operate and
integrate various buildings that better serve the people who use them.


We were delighted to have CDBB Researcher Thayla Zomer demonstrating how BIM has been used across the University’s projects and the benefits it is bringing. The University of Cambridge is building on the transformation to digital to support the delivery of exceptional educational facilities and enable more informed asset management decision-making.  


Kids and adults alike had a great time helping to construct a Lego-city, which was aimed at demonstrating how a platform approach to design for manufacture and assembly achieves a much more efficient and scalable approach to construction.  A facilitator helped to guide children through the construction of various components for buildings that developed into a really impressive CDBB Lego City. 


The variety and depth of ideas brought to the project by the children who partipated in this activity was truly amazing. with contributions including gymnasiums, space bases, old versus modern style housing, skyscapers, ports, road bridges and much more. It was truely fascinating to watch the construction take shape - and with such imagination. Two small children alone constructed a Manhatten sytle skyline, which impressed us all.


At the end of the day the Bouygues team took a 3D scan of the lego-city - which are we all very excited to see!

We also had a number of giant colouring stations set around the venue, which enabled some fantastic creative colouring to be collectively done of our CDBB graphic.



All in all it was a great day, and the CDBB volunteer team were pleased to be part of it, including taking time to try out the activities... We are already thinking of ideas for how to make next year's event even more fun! If you were able to come to our event, and would like to give us any feedback or ideas for next year then please do get in touch!

CDBB Science Festival Team!