We already know that we can build cheaper, faster and safer but we must get more from our built environment. We need inspiring places to live and work, and effective ways to move between them.
Thinking beyond the capital phase
We must think beyond the project – the capital phase – and consider how the built environment performs throughout its life. Crucially, we must redefine value, so we don’t just think cheap.
Currently, we build too many prototypes. Too often, projects are unnecessarily bespoke; designed differently, procured individually and built inconsistently.
Only with a co-ordinated effort and clear plan can we help the industry build smarter, greener and more efficiently, getting more from digital and manufacturing technologies.
Construction Innovation Hub
With £72 million from UK Research and Innovation through the Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund, there is huge potential for our newly-launched Construction Innovation Hub to transform our industry.
The Hub will drive collaboration to develop, commercialise and promote digital and manufacturing technologies for the construction sector. Research will help us understand how the industry can progress to develop new skills, product standards, capabilities and innovative solutions.
This will be combined with an academic programme to create the security-minded frameworks and rules that will underpin our future digital built environment and grow exports for UK know-how.
We have an opportunity to re-think exactly what building better means, focusing on outputs and outcomes, not just inputs and process. Through this, I firmly believe that we can help the industry overcome current barriers to innovation. It’s a tremendous challenge, but one I am delighted to be leading.
Driving collaboration through a new industry board
Collaboration within the industry is essential; transformation is not something we can achieve alone. It will require all parties to come together to measure value differently in terms of the required outcomes, supporting not just an improved deal for taxpayers, users and industry, but for society too.
Already the Construction Innovation Hub is working with government, academia, the Construction Leadership Council and other industry leaders to develop solutions that can be used across projects and sectors.
But I want to go further. I want to ensure we get the best input from key industry decision makers and leaders to help shape our programme so it can deliver for industry as well as society at large. Therefore, I am pleased to announce the creation of a powerful new Industry Board to help us develop the framework we need, focusing on those outputs that will make a real difference.
I want to make sure that we give a voice to all the businesses and members from the institutes, associations and partners and communicate our outputs directly, and through the Board members, so together we can help industry become match-fit for the future.
If we can help businesses to develop the right skills, capabilities and appetite to deliver the outcomes from a transformed construction sector then we will have succeeded.
Members of the new industry board
Appointed members of the new industry board are:
- Mark Farmer, Chief Executive of Cast Consultancy
- Diana Montgomery, Chief Executive of the Construction Products Association
- Alasdair Reisner, Chief Executive of the Civil Engineering Contractors Association
- Hannah Vickers, Chief Executive of the Association for Consultancy and Engineering
- Victoria Hills, Chief Executive of the Royal Town Planning Institute
- Huda As’ad, Head of Performance Infrastructure and Projects Authority
Appearing at Futurebuild
It’s no coincidence that we’ve chosen Futurebuild to launch our new Industry Board alongside our name and refreshed visual identity (formerly the Transforming Construction Alliance). The event, taking place this week, will be exploring and tackling the biggest challenges impacting the industry – we hope the Construction Innovation Hub will sit at the heart of the discussion and be the catalyst for its transformation.
If you’d like to learn more about the Construction Innovation Hub, join us at 10:30am on 7 March in the Innovation Zone at Futurebuild. To register for updates and future events, please visit our website.
Over the next few years, I believe we can achieve something truly transformational and I invite you to be part of it.
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