Transforming construction challenge

Construction crane lowering roof onto house. Credit: AIMCH.

Credit: AIMCH (Advanced Industrialised Methods for the Construction of Homes)

The transforming construction challenge is an integral part of the Construction Sector Deal, aiming to accelerate the shift in construction towards manufacturing and digital processes and a value outcome approach.

We have invested £170 million, matched by £250 million from industry, bringing together contractors, supply chain, innovators, government, clients and the research community.

Property developer Landsec's Sumner Street project in Southwark, London.

Property developer Landsec’s Sumner Street project in Southwark, London. Credit: Landsec.

Our investment is rapidly overturning a system that wasn’t working well for anyone, in which the priority was being given to the cheapest solution. Instead, we are all now working together to deliver greater ‘whole-life value’ to society.

Targets of the challenge from the outset were:

  • projects delivered 50% faster
  • whole life costs reduced by 33%
  • lifetime emissions slashed by half
  • productivity raised by 15%.

What we are seeing is that across our investments the projects are achieving these targets. As the new approaches and technologies are more widely adopted, we expect even bigger gains to be made.

The investments are based on three central challenges:

  • moving to a manufacturing approach – from suppliers right through to site
  • embracing digital technologies to provide assurance, efficiency of projects and performance feedback to design
  • shifting to selling outcomes (what a building does rather than what it is) and maximising whole-life value of assets.

Learn more about the outcomes of the challenge and full details of all investments.

Read more about UKRI business funding opportunities and networking.

Research investments

Rapid school building design with Seismic project. Credit: Seismic Consortium.

Rapid school building design with the Seismic project. Credit: Seismic Consortium.

We invested £72 million to establish a Construction Innovation Hub that supports collaboration in the construction sector, and develops the system needed to realise the government ambition to procure more modern methods of construction.

The hub is delivered by the Manufacturing Technology Centre, the Building Research Establishment and the Centre for Digital Built Britain at the University of Cambridge.

The Transforming Construction Network Plus (N+) mobilises a new movement in the construction community, bringing together experts from a range of disciplines to tackle the most pressing problems across the digital, energy, construction, and manufacturing space.

The Active Building Centre is a £36 million UKRI investment under the UKRI Challenge Fund transforming construction challenge. An ‘active building’ generates and stores its own electricity.

The Active Building Centre consists of:

  • Active Building Centre Ltd., a research and technology organisation that convenes industry, academia and government to deploy active buildings at scale
  • the Active Building Centre Research Partnership, led by the University of Swansea, which mobilises technical and academic experts from 10 academic institutions to develop capabilities and technical know-how to support scale-up and mass deployment of active buildings.

Project case studies

See some examples of projects funded under this challenge:

Last updated: 23 February 2023

This is the website for UKRI: our seven research councils, Research England and Innovate UK.
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