CREATING IMPACT IN TIMES OF TRANSFORMATION
With the construction sector set for profound change, Trudi Sully at the Manufacturing Technology Centre (MTC), predicts exciting times ahead with the Construction Innovation Hub set to change the way the industry thinks and performs.
1 I write this article during a time of transition in my own role from Associate Director for Construction and Infrastructure at the MTC to Impact Director for Manufacturing at the Construction Innovation Hub (CIH). My hat change was borne out of demand and necessity during a time when the appetite and support for transformation in the construction sector has never been so great. R&D project work at MTC continues to flourish across the built environment areas in which they are now wellestablished innovation partners. With the announcement of the recent UKRI competition winning projects imminent, I hope to see even more key projects with their industry partners announced. Meanwhile, the CIH’s profile and the ambition to maximise the impact on the sector during this programme has also grown beyond expectation over our first full year in business. Whereas we started this journey as
three organisations – the MTC, BRE and Centre for Digital Build Britain (CDBB) – we have recognised that the CIH’s programme is neither contained within each centre or even within the wider Hub and so we are shifting the balance to reinforce our engagement with government and industry to ensure we deliver the impact we have committed to demonstrate. And hence my new hat! We have also recognised that greater clarity of purpose comes from aligning our programme to four core themes: Value, Manufacturing, Assurance and Digital. From the new work year in April all of our output focused activities will fall within these themes as outlined here: Manufacturing Our Platform Design Programme is central to this theme. This two-year workstream builds on the IPA’s call for evidence on a P-DfMA approach and supports the 2017 Budget announcement of departments
WWW.OFFSITEMAGAZINE.CO.UK | MARCH/APRIL 2020
adopting presumption in favour of offsite as further described in the Transforming Infrastructure Performance report. We are working with over 40 industry partners from Tier 1 contractors to offsite manufacturers and through to supply chain SME’s to develop a prototype platform-based, manufacturing solution for buildings. This will include development of integrated assembly systems, interface standards and rules that enable kits of parts to be designed which can be configured into manufactured buildings. These standards and rules will be published and open to allow others to adopt this approach. This programme is about process standardisation rather than physical standardisation. Therefore this isn’t constrained to creating a particular physical approach, such as a modular solution, (though is still applicable to one), but rather offers a flexibility of approach, with consideration of
Offsite Magazine - Issue 22 (March/April 2020)