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17 This long-term view provides greater supply chain resilience because it is able to recruit and train to meet future demand. Strong leadership at the top of these organisation projects is important to continue with the challenge of further improvement from one project to another. Emerging trends towards a low carbon and sustainable industry Tim Chapman, Director of Infrastructure Design, Arup, provided insights into the numerous targets, gaps in knowledge, confusion of terms, and ongoing research areas relating to these Since 1976, the variety of terms used to refer to carbon in infrastructure assets and buildings has caused confusion. As such, it is necessary to be clear on the nomenclature if the industry wants to make a big difference and meet the 80 per cent carbon reduction target by 2050. OpCarb and UseCarb are generally the most impacting contributions, but most importantly, is a need to look at the bigger picture. One clear system is needed to measure the whole life carbon that can be applied to all the sectors and a coherent routemap to drive the change in the whole economy. This routemap should recognise the infrastructure as the basis for the development and should encourage active steps in the power, transport and buildings sectors. By developing a single coherent national strategy, the UK would become an example for other nations to follow and would increase the technology and services that are exported and, as a result, this would improve its economy. Lean thinking for construction Graeme Shaw, Business Process Improvement Leader, Transport for London, presented a strong argument for the move to Lean construction management as the solution to meeting these targets The targets set out in the construction strategy are considered stretching by most industry commentators and, in private, many have doubts that they will be achieved. Lean is a term that is familiar to many in the industry. Lean is about a way of thinking, applying common sense approaches to work planning, logistics, communication and empowerment. Most construction organisations, whether they think so or not, are employing some form of Lean approach by simply applying common sense and good communication. The solution to problems or the key to unlocking productivity improvements often lie with frontline staff and operatives. Top down improvements often fail by not understand or overlooking important facets of the work actually being done. Further techniques encouraged by Lean were collaborative planning, which provides the team with a visible means of seeing how the various stages of work relate to each other and the criticality or otherwise of handovers between teams. The role of research and innovation within the Construction 2025 strategy Robert Singleton Escofet, Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) provided an overview of the current research landscape in engineering in the UK and discussed the role of the EPSRC within the UK research and innovation framework The Construction 2025 strategy considers research and innovations a key part of delivering the ambitious targets, with an emphasis on improving research and skills to deliver these, and a specific actions outlined (Chapter 3.6). The EPSRC plays an important part of the UK research and innovation framework, along with Innovate UK, various ‘catapult’ centres of research and innovation, the Energy Technology Institute and universities. The EPSRC Strategic Plan 2015 outlines its activities for the next five years, considering how discovery-driven research can be integrated with localised delivery of innovation and exploitation of ideas. There are a number of major research programmes currently underway in the UK that aim to address specific construction industry challenges and to increase impact of research. To further inform and develop this funding portfolio, the Construction Leadership Council, responsible for delivery of the Construction 2025 strategy, are currently developing an innovation strategy that will align a broad research agenda with the targets and actions of the strategy. This strategy will focus on smart infrastructure and buildings, new business models, industrialisation of construction processes, and improving use and performance of existing stock. This industry led innovation strategy has the potential to question and address what the construction sector wants from the research agenda, what are the challenges and barriers currently, and align the innovation strategy closely with EPSRC strategy and funded programmes to strengthen the translation process and mechanisms. CIRIA Civil Infrastructure Client Group This group facilitates cross-sector dialogue, addressing challenges faced by industry in delivering new, and maintaining existing, infrastructure. To find out more visit www.ciria.org/ci. Client organisations wishing to get involved should email: owen.jenkins@ciria.org. or tel: +44 (0) 20 7549 3300


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