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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

Professor David Mosey, Professor Cam Middleton, Darya Bahram, Dr Roxana Vornicu, Dr Paolo Giana

Despite the constraints imposed by the Covid-19 pandemic, there has been significant progress in the CDBB research programme examining how collaborative procurement models, integrated contracts and BIM can incentivise efficient project delivery and can optimise whole-life outcomes. The research team, comprising academics from the King’s College London Centre of Construction Law and University of Cambridge Laing O’Rourke Centre, have arranged and led online meetings throughout lockdown in order to engage with high-performing collaborative clients and teams, and have also developed important new contacts through their participation in a range of related Government and industry initiatives.

The team are planning a major online seminar scheduled for Wednesday 14 October 2020 at which research participants and other thought-leaders will exchange experiences and explore the potential for improved practices in construction procurement, contracting and digital technology. This event will enable reports on the sector-specific and cross-cutting activities of high-performing clients and teams, and will reach out to connect this work with related initiatives comprising the ‘Roadmap to Recovery’ from the Covid-19 pandemic, the development of ‘Post- Grenfell Procurement Guidance’ for high-rise residential buildings, the development of a new ‘Value Toolkit’ to support intelligent procurement, and the exploration of strategic contracts that can enable efficient delivery of ‘Modern Methods of Construction’.

The research team will present at the October 2020 seminar an innovative contractual medium for supporting the operational potential of BIM, ISO19650-1:2018, which emphasises how ‘collaboration between the participants involved in the construction projects and in asset management is pivotal to the efficient delivery and operation of assets’. The ISO 19650 standard makes clear the need for a formal enabler to create and sustain a collaborative delivery platform for project and programme delivery. The research has therefore included exploration of the ways in which a formal enabler can:

  • integrate the work of a collaborative team
  • provide ways for BIM to underpin agreed approaches to the collaborative development and validation of data
  • improve the accuracy and completeness of designs, supply chain engagement, costing, risk management and programming
  • connect and align the BIM commitments of clients, consultants, contractors, sub-contractors, manufacturers and operators.

Research over summer 2020 has highlighted that, in order to compliment and build upon the UK BIM Framework information protocol, there is a need for close joint working with industry partners to develop use cases that will lead to iterative improvements and collaborative integration.

This reflects the ways in which ISO 19650 shows that collaboration can unlock wider and more effective adoption of BIM. Detailed proposals in relation to this multi-party protocol will be presented and discussed at the October 2020 event. The event will examine the scope to realise the potential of BIM through a multi-lateral instrument that acts as umbrella and integrator among team members, providing a contractual means to clarify and enanle:

  • Information - what information needs to be exchanged in order to help parties understand each other’s positions, reconcile differing interests and improve outcomes?
  • Inclusion – which parties need to be included in order to maximise the value of these exchanges?
  • Integration – how are relationships between the parties integrated so as to ensure agreed exchanges take place at the times when they will be of most value?
  • Incentivisation – what is required to motivate the parties’ commitment to these exchanges?

In addition, the progress of research and engagements with the following high-performing clients and teams will support presentations and discussions at the October 2020 event, will lead to closer analysis of the interactions between procurement, contracts and digital technology:

  • Crown Commercial Service (‘CCS’) – The research team are engaging closely with CCS and their clients/consultants/contractors/supply chain partners in advancing the government’s ‘Project Speed’ initiative, designed to stimulate economic recovery through accelerated construction programmes post Covid-19.
  • Ministry of Justice (‘MoJ’) –The research team are working with MoJ to help them frame their collaborative sub-alliance, supply chain agreement and BIM integrator for the purposes of their new prisons programme. This has been selected as a prominent pathfinder project forming part of the government’s post Covid-19 ‘Project Speed’ initiative.
  • National Housing Federation (‘NHF’) - The team are working with the NHF and Procurement for Housing to help frame the multi-party framework alliances and collaborative call-off contracts that will govern their “Building Better” modular new build housing programme.
  • Southern Construction Framework (‘SCF’) –The team are studying with the SCF their detailed proposals new models of supply chain collaboration.
  • Melzo Municipality- The team are engaging in more depth with advisers to Melzo Municipality in Italy on their new BIM asset management strategy.
  • Central Bedfordshire Council (‘CBC’) and Engie Regeneration – The team are working with advisers to CBC and Engie on their approach to collaborative risk management in response to Covid-19.
  • Highways England(‘HE’) A14 and A303 – The team have completed their analysis with HE of the A14 project and have commenced a review of the A303 project.

Find out more on this project: Procurement strategies for incentivising collaborative delivery to optimise whole-life outcomes