The future of construction: progress towards Construction 2025

The joint government and industry strategy Construction 2025 launched in 2013, outlined a series of visions and targets for the construction industry in terms of lowering emissions and increasing value and efficiency. It also presented ideas in the areas of low carbon and green construction, digital engineering, people and skills, balanced economy growth, and leadership.

Meeting the ambitious percentage targets and inspirational vision set out for the industry will require investment in new technologies and research programmes, and the development and support of new construction processes and methods. However, it also provides the industry with an opportunity to be recognised as leaders in innovation and technology, and convey cutting-edge building technologies and new smart, digital construction processes and management to other sectors and the general public.

On 27 April 2015, CIRIA will be hosting an afternoon of presentations and panel discussion challenging speakers and delegates alike to consider the progress made to date in reaching the targets of Construction 2025. The event will also highlight whether enough is being done to ensure uptake of innovative and changing technologies throughout the sector and what the industry can do to drive the change and collaborative practice required.

David Philp, BIM Task Group, and Alan Clucas, Laing O’Rourke, will be addressing the digital future of the built environment in their presentations, focusing on Building Information Modelling (BIM) and Design for Manufacture and Assembly (DFMA). With the continued emergence of new technologies and increasing levels of data used in the construction and maintenance of built assets, the panel will discuss the changing working cultures and everyday business practices to embed and support these innovations, and the value of building digital skills in the sector.

The reduction of carbon emissions during construction and operation of built assets is also high on the agenda for Construction 2025. With a number of initiatives commissioned by the UK Government and the Green Construction Board in recent years, the underlying message is that “reducing carbon, reduces costs”, which is hoped to provide an impetus for change. Tim Chapman, Arup, will lead on this topic and present a number of innovative green technologies and emerging methods of carbon reduction across the industry.

Robert Felstead, ESPRC and event chair Prof John Connaughton, University of Reading, will be providing insight into current research and development across the sector, the role of innovation and how this can be more fully supported by industry investment and collaboration.

Supporting innovation and collaboration in the supply chain with smarter ways to use competition to procure projects is an important step-change for the future of the industry. John Boultwood, Turner & Townsend, will provide his views on procurement models in the UK and elsewhere, moving away from risk aversion practices and valuing ideas from the supply chain. Graeme Shaw, London Underground will discuss using Lean construction methods to support change and innovation across the industry.

The targets of Construction 2025 are varied and challenging, and will require cultural and process changes across businesses. It will also encourage a review of current industry skills and future skill requirements, and new ways of considering and managing risk in relation to supporting the uptake of innovation from the supply chain and researchers. Positive developments and improvements in key areas of the construction sector are paving the way forward to a sustainable and resilient industry.

Join us on 27 April 2015 as industry leaders offer their views and discuss not only the emerging technologies and innovative methods, but the changes needed in everyday business to support this step-change, encourage and value innovation at all levels of the supply chain and build a sustainable and resilient industry.