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Centre for Digital Built Britain

 

UK Research & Innovation’s Transforming Construction Challenge partners are joining forces at Futurebuild 2020. Ahead of the event, Trudi Sully, Impact Director for Manufacturing at the Construction Innovation Hub, considers the drive to deliver innovation to transform construction and presents her pick of the Futurebuild 2020 programme.

The need for action by government and industry to deliver a transformation in construction has never been so pressing or has had so much support and momentum. The potential gains  from adopting manufacturing approaches and digital processes is significant, particularly given their demonstrable ability to boost productivity and resilience, extend whole-life asset performance, decarbonise construction and inform better decision-making.

Modern methods of construction (MMC) continue to be a central theme for government departments who have committed to a presumption in favour of offsite, so developing and adopting innovative approaches to planning, designing and delivery are crucial to create a more sustainable and productive sector.

Progressing this agenda requires collaboration and a shared vision across industry to drive and deliver change. To promote this approach the three major programmes funded by the UK Research & Innovation’s Transforming Construction Challenge (TCC) are joining forces to support Futurebuild 2020 as Lead Innovation Partner for the event. The TCC is made up of the Construction Innovation Hub – which itself brings together the Manufacturing Technology Centre (MTC), the Building Research Establishment (BRE) and the Centre for Digital Built Britain (CDBB) – the Active Building Centre and Transforming Construction Network Plus.

This marks a significant and synergetic moment: Futurebuild 2020 brings focus to innovation and movement towards a zero-carbon world; and the TCC programme supports industry in adopting digital technologies and methods to enable better quality buildings to be constructed faster, demonstrate better value and reduce carbon emissions. Importantly, these buildings will operate more efficiently to deliver better services and social outcomes for the people using them.

Futurebuild, which takes place at ExCel London from 3 to 5 March, attracts the best and brightest thought leaders and innovators in the sector and I am looking forward to meeting many of you at our Innovation Lounge – an adaptable networking area where industry professionals can meet key experts from all three TCC programmes. Engagement with industry is key and the Innovation Lounge will host a programme of activities, meetings, announcements, briefings and talks highlighting the range of opportunities the TCC offers for UK-based researchers and businesses. The TCC partners are committed to creating a collaborative environment to engage with industry with one voice, driving the innovation that is so vital for our sector’s future.

There will also be the chance to hear leading experts from across the TCC, including Sam Stacey, Keith Waller, Dr Ahsan Khan and Professor Jacqueline Glass, contributing to panel discussions and presenting their thoughts and analyses on the challenges and opportunities we face in 2020 and the years ahead. 

My pick of the programme includes the keynote from Keith Waller, Programme Director of the Construction Innovation Hub, on 4 March at 2pm, on the Offsite Stage. Keith will be setting out how the Hub’s £72m programme is working closely with government and industry to deliver real impact and drive change. He will outline how the Hub has evolved over its first year and how, in the coming years, the Hub’s vision to be a catalyst for change will further support transforming the sector through development and commercial adoption of manufacturing technologies and digital ways of working that are trusted and secure.  

The Creating Standardised Platforms and Components session on 5 March at 12.30pm on the Offsite Stage will be a panel discussion where you can hear about the  Construction Innovation Hub’s Platform Design Programme  from Mark Ireland, Chief Engineer-Technology Strategy, MTC, Dr Adam Robinson, Head of Research Programme, CDBB and Ron Lang, Impact Director for Value, Construction Innovation Hub. Members of both the Seismic and Prism projects complete the panel which will explore how digital and physical platforms and standardisation of components can facilitate the transformation of construction.

The keynote by Digital Director at CDBB and CTO, Mott MacDonald, Mark Enzer, will introduce the National Digital Twin, an ecosystem of digital twins connected via secure resilient data sharing on 4 March at 12.55 on the Digital Centre Stage. This keynote will explain why we need a National Digital Twin, outline what is being done through CDBB’s National Digital Twin Programme to deliver it, and explore the potential value it will bring to the people of the UK, both in the delivery of new assets and in the performance of our existing systems. 

Finally the winner of the Big Innovation Pitch which was launched last year by Futurebuild and BRE to find solutions to some of the biggest challenges facing our industry, will be announced on 4 March at 4pm on the Arena Stage. The winners from each the six different categories: Buildings; Critical Infrastructure; Energy; Interiors; Offsite and Resourceful Material, as determined from category shortlists on day one of the conference, will pitch to a panel of judges featuring Gillian Charlesworth, CEO - BRE, Keith Waller – Construction Innovation Hub Programme Director and Sam Stacey, Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund, Director for Construction - UKRI, who will crown the winner. I wholeheatedly recommend catching some of the pitching sessions to see how exciting the future of construciton can be and to support these up and coming disruptor companies.

If you would like to meet the organisations behind Transforming Construction and learn about how you can get involved, register for your free ticket to Futurebuild 2020 today: https://bit.ly/2ta7jhj.

Blog post written by Trudi Sully.

Trudi Sully is the Impact Director for Manufacturing at the Construction Innovation Hub. She works with key industry groups, contractors, clients, supply chain companies and across Whitehall, to provide critical insight and influence over the programme’s strategic planning to ensure delivery of impact, value for money, and to evidence transformation at scale. With over 20 years of experience of innovation management, strategic stakeholder engagement and transformational change programmes in both public and private sector roles, Trudi offers a rare breadth of perspective to support transformation in the construction sector.