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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

Our Challenge

When planning a complex project like a high speed rail network or a public housing development, computer models can balance the differing needs of local communities, small business owners, the natural environment and other stakeholders, giving human designers and engineers better insights about the possible outcomes of their decisions. A digital built Britain will enable humans, assisted by artificial intelligence (AI), to make smarter decisions about complex systems or circumstances. While this technology already exists across a range of sectors including automotive, finance and healthcare, the scale and complexity of decisions in the built environment – and the volume and variety of data – means more research and development is needed. CDBB envisioned a future where we leveraged data about assets and services for the public good, improving the performance, lifespan and sustainability of infrastructure to contribute to human flourishing.

Our Solution

CDBB collaborated with organisations such as the Alan Turing Institute, the Open Data Institute and industry leaders to research, develop and demonstrate the value of advancements in the fields of data science, artificial intelligence and machine learning.

Projects within this theme

Project Title Lead Researcher

Open ML Training Data For Visual Tagging Of Construction-specific Objects (ConTag)

Aiming to adopt ML technology for the digital construction sector, ConTag will provide visual and 3D training dataset and pre-trained deep neural networks (NN) to benchmark against. We expect this shared and open datasets to kick-start further ML developments in both academia and industry.

Dr Jan Boehm

Feasibility of an Operationg System for Interspatial Networking in a Built Environment

Building a new operating system for situated environments that can handle the demands of thousands of sensors and actuators that need to run in a coordinated and highly reliable fashion. We designed a software architecture that securely connects physical spaces with extremely low latency, high bandwidth local-area computation capabilities and service discovery.

Dr. Anil Madhavapeddy

PolyChora Alpha: a new digital interface for interdisciplinary city design

Developing a new digital interface to integrate the data and visualisation of the designs of land use, buildings, transport infrastructure and associated urban services at the neighbourhood and city scale.

Dr Ying Jin

Aerial swarm robotics for active inspection of bridges

Creating a coordinated aerial swarm system using drones to inspect the cracks in bridge structures, improving the monitoring coverage and efficiency.

Dr Shan Luo

Machine Learning and AI in the Built Environment

Improving the foundations for applying tried-and-tested machine learning (ML) approaches to the built environment by reducing the cost of creating and deploying ML systems.

Dr Thies Lindenthal

Adaptive Design of Supported Excavations

This workshop highlighted the need to develop the technology to be more reliable, the skills to operate Observational Method tools, the standards to underpin these and a body of open-access case studies of good practice.


Dr Giovanna Biscontin


Key Researchers in this Theme

key researchers