Construction is heading for radical change says Sam Stacey
by Sam Stacey, Challenge Director – Transforming Construction at UKRI
In July 2018, the Government published the Construction Sector Deal as part of the Industrial Strategy. The Sector Deal describes how Government construction procurement will be mobilised to leverage change in the design and assembly of buildings, how the skills challenges faced by the industry will be addressed, and how £170m provided as part of the Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund (ISCF) will bring to market the solutions needed for transforming construction.
I am proud to be leading the allocation of the £170m ISCF contribution, plus the £250m pledged by industry – a total of £420m to be invested over the next four years.
We are taking construction forward to a radical future and there are exciting opportunities ahead for jobs and profits in construction.
The challenge exists to transform the UK construction industry. This will provide better jobs and profits in the industry, better value for money for clients, and above all buildings more attuned to the planet and its people.
The construction sector is a major part of the UK economy but its ability to deliver in the future is under threat from an ageing and declining skilled workforce. Current methods are labour intensive and wasteful.
In my talk at BIM Show Live, I’ll cover:
How we will bring to construction cutting-edge research knowledge and the best current thinking on manufacturing, material, energy and digital innovation.
Construction solutions developed by the programme will be demanded by the Government departments procuring construction, and in parallel the programme will support the supply chain in delivering those solutions.
The need to address buildings first, drawing on the market steer provided by Government through its procurement of social infrastructure. Demonstrating this approach at scale will inspire transfer to other parts of the sector such as housebuilding and economic infrastructure.
The focus of the challenge will be across three main technical areas: taking a manufacturing approach to delivering buildings, using digital technology to design and manage buildings through their life, and integrating components into buildings so they can power themselves.
Our programme will foster a cross-sector, collaborative approach which involves standardising modularised components from which buildings can be procured, manufactured and assembled.The technologies that underpin these include IoT, asset management, offsite manufacture, robotics and data analytics.
Our programme will also work to commercialise energy generation and storage components in buildings across the UK, effectively turning them into power stations.
The longer term outcomes of this combined effort is to lay the foundations for achieving the Construction 2025 targets to deliver built assets 50% faster and with 33% lower whole life costs while halving the lifetime carbon emissions and increasing exports 50%.
The £170m Government funding for transforming construction is split into 3 main areas: the Core Innovation Hub (CIH, £72m), the Active Building Centre (£36m) and the remainder (up to £59m) for the R&D programme.
The CIH is established across a consortium of the Manufacturing Technology Centre (MTC), the Buildings Research Establishment (BRE) and the Centre for Digital Built Britain (CDBB) at the University of Cambridge.
I urge everyone to join the construction revolution in whatever way they can.
You can see Sam’s talk at BIM Show Live 2019 on Wednesday 27 February at 14:00: Transforming Construction.