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Time for change: Constructing Excellence calls for radical digital transformation in construction

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At its Annual Conference on December 12th, Constructing Excellence, an independent movement dedicated to improving the industry, is revealing a new strategy that aims to accelerate the digital and offsite revolution (including AI, factory production, BIM and open data) in the construction sector. Constructing Excellence co-chair Mark Farmer, author of the acclaimed Modernise or Die report, has long campaigned for a drastic sector shift to adopt more modern methods of construction to alleviate skills shortages, improve productivity and delivery, and greatly enhance the performance and quality of new homes and buildings.

Major industries, such as automotive, food processing and agriculture have all evolved over time and embraced new ways of working including supply chains, lean, and digital, however, construction is still adapting to these new ways of working. To drive the industry forward, Constructing Excellence is looking to work with leading edge organisations to address the sector’s urgent need to modernise.

The key objective for 2018, is the enabling of new delivery models to be adopted across the sector:
1. Increased standardisation and pre-manufactured content
2. Digitally enabled integrated teams working collaboratively with long-term relationships and aligned commercial arrangements
3. A client-led transformation by procuring for outcomes and long-term performance of assets.

Mark Farmer, co-chair of Constructing Excellence, commented: “We see 2018 as the year when Constructing Excellence shifts gear and turns words into action. Our goal is to positively disrupt industry delivery processes to transform performance throughout the sector.

“The agenda for change is clear, the necessity and drivers are well understood and now it is time for practical change in boardrooms and on projects, which is crucial if we’re to bring industry practices into the digital age and create a brighter future for the sector.”
One of the key drivers of attracting and engaging with young people in the industry is Constructing Excellence’s Generation for Change (G4C) network, which is at the forefront of the sector’s transformation to the digital age.

Commenting on the role of G4C in shaping the future of the industry, Robin Lapish G4C co-chair and Supply Chain Manager at HS2, commented: “As the only truly cross-industry, independent young professional movement, we exist to champion change and drive the transformation of our industry. Young people in this sector are the future, so we’re looking at laying the groundwork now to help build an industry that is world-leading – world-leading because it is collaborative, inclusive, sustainable and innovative; delivering excellenceas a habit.”

Whilst the construction industry is not as far evolved as other key sectors in terms of modernisation, there is change happening at base level. A recent report by by Bim+ predicted that the use of Virtual Reality (VR) and Augmented Reality (AR) among Computer Aided Design (CAD) users will increase 140% over the next five years. Some businesses are also exploring ways in which to use robotics in day to day construction. Already spray concrete robots are in use on Crossrail, and Skanska are implementing robotic construction units to carry out tasks on site, whilst factory-built homes are becoming more prominent, especially in the affordable housing sector.

Drones are also being used by Building Control, monitoring through aerial inspections, providing time and cost saving benefits, whilst and the recent completion of the first 3D printed concrete house shows that 3D technology in the construction market is a reality.

Digitisation of the construction industry is the theme of the 2017 Constructing Excellence conference, ‘The Fourth Industrial Revolution – Towards Industry 4.0’, taking place at the Tower of London on Tuesday 12th December.

Don Ward, Constructing Excellence CEO, will set out at the national conference the movement’s renewed vision to enable new delivery models that improve performance.

Don commented: “Our upcoming conference gives us a fantastic opportunity to set out our goals to members and the wider industry. We are all well-versed in the demand for new homes and it is clear that traditional brick and block methods simply cannot achieve the output required. Therefore, we want to identify and put into practice the modern methods of construction and standardisation that will significantly cut construction times, improve safety, quality, productivity and sustainability, are cost- effective and can match the volume required.

“We need to learn from other sectors and develop new delivery models and new skills that will see the next generation work from a platform that can take our industry even further forward.”


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Notes to editors
Constructing Excellence was established in 2003 when the government-funded Construction Best Practice Programme and Rethinking Construction merged. It is funded and governed by corporate members across the sector from clients, construction companies, consultants and product manufacturers. It also has a thriving regional network of regional partners and local clubs.

Phil Wilbraham, Mark Farmer and David Whysall became the co-chairs of Constructing Excellence in June 2017. Don Ward has been chief executive since 2008. In August 2016 Constructing Excellence became part of the BRE Trust group of companies.


BRE is an international, multi-disciplinary, building science organisation with a mission to improve buildings and infrastructure through research and knowledge generation and their application. We are owned by a charity called the BRE Trust, which delivers one of the largest programmes of built environment education and research for the public good. BRE develops solutions and standards to meet industry challenges.