An overview of the government’s challenge to industry and research to transform construction to make buildings more affordable, efficient, safer and healthier.
What is the transforming construction challenge?
This challenge aims to transform the construction sector – enabling it to produce safe, healthy, efficient building using the latest digital manufacturing techniques. This will enable us to meet the UK’s national infrastructure programme target of £650 billion worth of projects by 2025.
The challenge will support industry in adopting technologies and help buildings to be constructed 50% faster, 33% cheaper and with half the lifetime carbon emissions.
Government is looking to industry and researchers to innovate in construction, increase productivity across the UK and open up significant global markets for efficient buildings.
What is the investment?
We will invest up to £170 million, matched by £250 million from industry, to create new construction processes and techniques, such as the development of standardised modular components from which buildings can be manufactured.
What is the opportunity?Opportunities are being made available to UK-based researchers and businesses. Key programme activities include:
Construction innovation hub
We invested £72 million to establish a Construction Innovation Hub (CIH) that will support collaboration in the construction sector.
The Hub consists of a consortium including Manufacturing Technology Centre (MTC), the Buildings Research Establishment (BRE) and the Centre for Digital Built Britain (CDBB) at the University of Cambridge.
The Hub will develop and apply technology used successfully in other industries to construction. For example, using the same modular design platforms as the automotive industry and developing precision manufacturing processes to realise these designs. This will enable the delivery of better performing schools, hospitals, homes and economic infrastructure. It will also drive reductions in waste and energy consumption.
The Hub will develop a better model for construction, one that facilitates innovation and continuous improvement and enables integration of the value chain.
For more information, visit the Construction Innovation Hub.
Active building centre
A new Active Building Centre is being created from a £36 million investment by government and industry.
The centre will look at energy generation, storage and release technologies and ways to commercialise and increase adoption of this infrastructure.
Energy positive schools, offices and homes have already been prototyped at SPECIFIC Innovation Knowledge Centre. The next step is to develop economies of scale and robust supply capability to achieve widespread uptake across the private and public sectors.
Research and development
There will be numerous calls for research and development projects that encourage cross-sector collaboration.
These will include grants to support academic groups in undertaking creative user research and development, as well as business-led projects that streamline processes, create cost efficiencies and improve productivity, quality and performance.
Construction network and community
As part of the challenge we are funding networking events for the construction sector.
The N+ networking will bring together experts from a range of disciplines to tackle the most pressing problems across the digital, energy, construction and manufacturing space. It is led and managed by The Bartlett, UCL’s Faculty of the Built Environment, with co-investigators and staff from Imperial College London and WMG, University of Warwick.
The network will also manage the allocation of small-scale funding. This funding is available for projects which address Transforming Construction Challenge’s core themes
Hiper Pile: driving a revolution in construction techniques
A project supported by the Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund is trialling piling techniques that could cut carbon emissions and bring new benefits to buildings.
One year of Transforming Construction
One year in to the government’s £170m Transforming Construction challenge, we hear from programme director, Sam Stacey.