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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

A new publication explores the actions that will need to be taken by the construction sector over the next 20 years if we are to meet the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), deliver on carbon reduction targets and save ecosystems from collapse.

Four Futures, One Choice which has been developed by the Centre for Digital Built Britain as part of the Construction Innovation Hub’s transformative programme, presents four possible future scenarios for what the construction sector of 2040 could look like. The four scenarios provide insight into a series of swift and decisive actions that can both aid the sector’s COVID-19 recovery and, in the longer-term, lead to a more sustainable built environment.

The four scenarios were developed by identifying a number of potential driving forces and factors. These included:

  1. The UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) – 17 goals set by the United Nations that envision a world where the built environment is a platform for the flourishing society and the natural world; and,
  2. The dependency ratio – a measure of the number of dependents aged between 0 to 15 and aged 68 or over, compared with the total population aged 16 to 67.

Four Futures, One Choice, which was released today in summary format, will be available as an open access e-book from December 2020.

Construction Innovation Hub Programme Director Keith Waller said:

“The scenarios explored in this book reinforce the need to move on from opting for the cheapest option and instead shift the focus towards what’s best for the future. Our Value Toolkit is designed get the sector thinking and talking more about value and reframe the way decisions affecting the built environment are made and ensure that impacts on the environment and society are considered as part of this process.

“Another area where we are actively working to shape the future is our focus on digitally designed components. Our Platform Design Programme will develop and embed these principles, helping to create new platform solutions that can be deployed across multiple projects and sectors so that the components can be used as part of a school, hospital, prison building or station. By working with industry, we aim to identify, refine and develop solutions that can be deployed at scale.

“If we make the right choices now, we can look forward to a transformed natural and built environment in 2040 that is powered by a growing skilled construction workforce, highly literate in using data securely for the public good.”



Notes to editor:

  • To find out more about Four Futures, One Choice, click here:
  • The Construction Innovation Hub brings together world-class expertise from the Manufacturing Technology Centre (MTC), BRE and the Centre for Digital Built Britain (CDBB) to transform the UK construction industry. Working around the four core themes of Value, Manufacturing, Assurance and Digital, we are changing the way buildings and infrastructure are designed, manufactured, integrated and connected within our built environment.
  • The Centre for Digital Built Britain (CDBB) is a partnership between the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy (BEIS) and the University of Cambridge, established by HM Government in the 2017 Autumn Budget as the home of the UK BIM and Digital Built Britain Programmes. It seeks to deliver a smart digital economy for infrastructure and construction, and to transform the UK construction industry’s approach to the way we plan, build, maintain and use our social and economic infrastructure for the future.  CDBB is a member of the Construction Innovation Hub, alongside the Building Research Establishment (BRE) and the Manufacturing Technology Centre (MTC), and we collaborate with other partners in the Transforming Construction Sector Deal.


For further information:

Jo Dickson
Communications Manager
Centre for Digital Built Britain