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Centre for Digital Built Britain

 

CDBB is approaching the end of the first year as part of the Construction Innovation Hub. In that time we have gone through significant change needed to help us meet the ambitions of the Transforming Construction Challenge programme – and to achieve the aims of a digital built Britain.

Indeed we are ambitious. I recognise what we are promising might appear unachievable – a perfect utopia of a successful society enabled by data to be efficient, sustainable and enabling people to flourish. But without ambition we cannot innovate. Without ambition we cannot start to identify the first steps we need to take on the journey. Knowing what and where we are aiming for helps us to focus on the goal and identify what we need to do to get there.

CDBB has progressed from start-up mode – which was termed ‘research-policy-change’ – generating publications including the Gemini Principles, the Roadmap to the Information Management Framework and the Capability Framework and Research Agenda. This was accompanied by additional activity involving the wider community and provided us with the evidence and knowledge needed to plan our route and generate our to-do list to reach a digital built Britain.

As we move forward on this journey we are joined by collaborators from far and wide. In addition to our partnership with BRE and MTC as part of the Construction Innovation Hub, we celebrate the many connections we have made with organisations such as the UK BIM Alliance supporting us in ensuring we are developing solutions in sync with the real world and meeting our objective to deliver positive change.

If nothing changes we will not have succeeded in delivering a digital built Britain and we will not have unlocked the societal benefits we are aiming for.

Our next phase is ‘discovery engine to delivery engine’. CDBB activity at the heart of this phase will focus on supporting innovation, ensuring alignment, and continuing collaboration – and all along the way from discovery to delivery, we have checks and balances in place to make sure we remain on the right track.

Five flagship pillar programmes support the discovery to delivery engine: Future research programme; National Digital Twin programme; Emerging practices and technologies programme; International programme; and UK Implementation programme. In turn these five progammes are underpinned by Communications and Engagement, Security, and Supporting industry programmes designed to secure alignment and collaboration. This is crucial to implement innovation, receive input at any stage, and allows CDBB to share and optimise our outputs.

Our evolved structure is intended to foster clarity for all stakeholders interested in our programme and provides mechanisms for engagement and collaboration. While we are ambitious, CDBB cannot deliver this programme of change alone and we need people to join in on the way. We don’t only want to talk to the people who agree with our vision – I actively encourage you to challenge us; if we aren’t doing something right then we need to know. This is a shared journey.

Over the next few weeks and months CDBB will be refreshing our website and providing additional detail on our programmes of work. Please do sign up to our newsletter and social media channels to be informed and get in touch if you have something to say – we want to hear your thoughts.

Achieving the ambitions of the digital built Britain programme is an enormous task, and one I am very proud to lead. However if our work is executed well, transition will be made together and the benefits shared. Just imagine the possibilities; irritations about poor building quality and badly functioning infrastructure could be a thing of the past. Plans for designing and building new facilities will be better informed by previous projects to focus on making homes affordable, energy-efficient and beautiful, enabling people to flourish. Surely such ambition is worth working for?

For more information watch Andy Neely at the Summer Research Showcase: