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A digital, greener and higher quality construction industry being backed by £36 million government funding


A digital, greener and higher quality construction industry being backed by £36 million government funding
  • £36 million to accelerate the move to a digitally-enabled, platform approach to manufacturing buildings that are better, safer and more energy efficient
  • Funding will improve the whole life performance of buildings, reduce waste and help deliver net-zero homes

Over 28 pioneering projects to construct buildings more quickly and sustainably using state-of-the-art digital technology will receive a slice of £36m Government funding today (21 July).

The projects will develop innovative construction solutions to reduce costs and carbon emissions - not only during the building process and throughout a buildings’ lifecycle.

Business and Industry Minister Nadhim Zahawi said: “Finding groundbreaking new ways to cut waste, emissions and costs will be paramount to maintaining an ambitious and productive construction industry in the UK.

“As we set our sights on green economy recovery, this funding boost will facilitate the design of the homes of the future, delivering cleaner, smarter and more affordable homes across the country.”

Nine ‘demonstrators’ from Bath to Halifax will receive £26 million to run real world projects; trialling cutting-edge techniques to show how improvements in the UK construction sector can be delivered at scale.

Meanwhile, up to £10 million has also been awarded to 19 collaborative research and development projects that will focus on improving productivity and building quality in the UK construction sector.

The funding is being awarded part of UK Research and Innovation’s (UKRI) Transforming Construction challenge, which aims to transform the construction sector by reshaping the way we live, work and learn - accelerating lasting change in UK construction.

Sam Stacey, Challenge Director for the Transforming Construction Challenge at UK Research and Innovation, said:  “All the competition winners have shown a great ambition to push the boundaries and transform UK construction by using truly innovative new techniques.

“These projects will contribute to maximising the advantages for UK industry from the global shift to net-zero - as well as providing benefits for consumers.”

This announcement comes as the Construction Sector Deal – an ambitious partnership between government and industry to transform the sector’s productivity and upskill the workforce - celebrates its two-year anniversary.

The winning ‘demonstrators’ include:

  • Automated Construction Project - 105 Sumner Street (London) - This project will deliver buildings more quickly and cheaply using cutting-edge manufacturing techniques
  • Global Home Pilot Demonstrator (Guildford) - This project will merge manufacturing processes traditionally used in the automotive industry, with integrated smart home technology, to demonstrate the development of ‘smart’, connected homes on a large scale.
  • Seismic II (Halifax) – Building on achievements of SEISMIC I, this project will  improve communications across the supply chain and boost digital ways of working, away from the construction site

Research and Development winners include:

  • FutureProof (Maidstone, South East) - 'FutureProof' is a new business model that will increase access to home ownership by helping to create high-quality, affordable, net zero homes.
  • Building Information Manufacturing (Bath, South West) - This project will implement systems tools so designers can digitally create complex construction items.
  • A new paradigm in managing risk and execution contracts through the use of AI (London) - The solution applies data science and machine learning to thousands of previous construction projects allowing for improved certainty and confidence in planning for future projects.

The government is committed to building homes, tackling the skills crisis, and mending the gap in opportunity and productivity across the UK.

The investment forms part of the government’s strategy to accelerate infrastructure across the UK and promote a green, clean economic recovery as we start to look beyond coronavirus.

Notes to editors

A full list of winners are available below.

See Transforming Construction Demonstrators winners list (PDF)

See Round 2: MMC, Digital and Whole-life Performance list (PDF)

See more about the £350m to fuel green recovery on the Gov.uk website.

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