Majority of new schools and hospitals could be built using a platform approach within ten years

6 March 2020 10:34 - BAM Construct UK Ltd
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(Press release Construction Innovation Hub:) 5 March 2020 - The Construction Innovation Hub has today unveiled the industry players who will take forward its flagship Platform Design programme.

A central plank of the Hub’s four-year Government-backed programme to transform UK construction, Platforms will enable new buildings to be designed and configured using a pre-defined ‘kit of parts’, which are proven to demonstrate greater whole-life value, lower carbon and energy use, better safety and quality and which will improve the overall performance of buildings.  This approach will support government’s ambition to drive innovation and build industrial capability and capacity in businesses throughout the UK to deliver more sustainable buildings in the near future.

The Platform programme will be driven by a collaborative team of integrators comprising some of construction’s biggest players: Skanska, BAM, PCE, MID Group, Kier/Vinci, Mace and Mott MacDonald.

Supported through every step of the programme by manufacturing, building performance and digital specialists from the three partners of the Hub – the MTC, BRE and CDBB, Platform participants will develop and refine their products, technologies or services which will then be installed and widely showcased on a proof-of-concept building, demonstrating how these solutions can be applied across a wide range of UK government projects for vital new buildings like schools, hospitals and prisons.

The wider collaborative team for the Hub’s Platform programme comprises over forty businesses drawn from a range of disciplines, and includes a number of specialist SMEs, who will work alongside the Hub and the integrators, providing design, specialist consultancy services, sub-assembly, components and materials that will be showcased on the proof of concept building.

Speaking at Futurebuild2020, Construction Innovation Hub Programme Director, Keith Waller, said: ‘Our flagship Platform Design programme is a game-changer for construction. With the right blend of expertise and collaboration across Government and industry, we could see a critical mass of new built projects like schools and hospitals constructed using the Platform approach in as little as ten years, driving improved productivity and performance for the sector and better outcomes for the environment and society. The innovative businesses joining us on our journey are the vanguard of transformative change, not just in terms of how we create buildings, but in how those buildings impact on our lives and the environment.’

MMC Programme Director at the Infrastructure and Projects Authority (IPA), Will Varah, said: ‘There is a strong alignment between the IPA’s P-DfMA approach and the Hub’s Platform programme. We look forward to working together to deliver a more sustainable and productive way to meeting our ambitious investment programme.’

  • The Construction Innovation Hub was launched in November 2018 and brings together world-class expertise from the Manufacturing Technology Centre (MTC), BRE (Building Research Establishment) and the Centre for Digital Built Britain (CDBB) to transform the UK construction industry. With £72 million from UK Research and Innovation’s Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund, the Hub aims to change the way buildings and infrastructure are designed, manufactured, integrated and connected within our built environment. constructioninnovationhub.org.uk  
  • Announced in July 2019, the Platform Solution programme aims to bring forward and help develop the best from UK industry. Building on the Infrastructure & Projects Authority’s recent call for evidence on a Proposal for a New Approach to Building, the Hub will follow a Design for Manufacture and Assembly (DfMA) approach, allowing new buildings to be configured from a pre-defined ‘kit of parts’, which are proven to demonstrate greater whole-life value, better safety and quality and which will improve the overall performance of buildings.
  • This in turn follows on from the Budget 2017 announcement that five government departments would adopt a presumption in favour of offsite construction, the 2018 Construction Sector Deal and the IPA’s call for evidence on a platform approach to design for manufacture and assembly (P-DfMA).
  • Intellectual property within individual components will remain protected, but the new interface standards themselves will be open and free to use to ensure that SME’s and innovators have a clear understanding of the standards new products must meet and confidence of a route to market where any IPR within a component remains protected.

Further information on the Platform Design Programme can be found here: https://constructioninnovationhub.org.uk/platform-design-open-call/

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