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BRE emphasises its support for Construction 2025

Published by , Assistant Editor
World Cement,

Construction 2025 is the joint strategy from government and industry for the future of the UK construction sector. It sets out challenging industry targets, including 50% reduction in trade gap, 33% lower costs, 50% lower emissions and 50% faster delivery.

In collaboration with public and private industry partners, BRE takes seriously its obligations to contribute to meet the Construction 2025 targets through its leadership role and directly by the solutions and services its develops for industry.

Simon Cross, BRE Construction Sector Business Lead and a Member of the Construction Leadership Council (CLC) and Chair of one of its Innovation in Buildings workstreams, says: “As we move inexorably towards 2025, construction, over the past 20 years, productivity increase has been negligible (1%) compared to many other comparable industries. It has become the laggard as other sectors have forged ahead.

“The consequences for construction are shrinking contractor margins, a lack of investment in R&D and a skills deficit to other industries that have or are perceived to be more progressive or attractive. I’m calling for all of us in the sector to work collaboratively and at pace to meet our challenges and the Construction 2025 Strategy targets.” Cross has outlined the following 10 factors that provide a provocation for us together to act upon our immediate and future needs, to meet the Construction 2025 Strategy targets and to create greater resilience in the sector:

  1. The construction industry has the potential to be 20-40% more efficient which would significantly increase operating margins, provide R&D capital, and develop sector resilience.
  2. Skills and training are essential to meet the immediate workforce challenges of Brexit and adaptation to an increasingly technologically driven workplace, including on construction sites.
  3. Digital technology, including BIM, needs to be embraced because it improves measurability of economic, environmental and social indicators which provide the evidence to improve performance.
  4. Offsite and advanced industrialised manufacturing adaptation is vital for the sector to attract talent, improve efficiencies, expedite build times, enhance environmental performance and increase operating margins.
  5. Changes in construction company business models are essential to embrace the potential of digitisation and industrialisation.
  6. Disruption should be welcomed as it will move the industry forward, make it more attractive to a graduate and skilled workforce, and ultimately make the sector more resilient.
  7. Knowledge transfer from other progressive sectors e.g. automotive and aerospace should be fostered to accelerate learning and implementation of advanced industrial manufacturing – the sector benefits, UK Plc benefits.
  8. Foreign Direct Investment (FDI), through the cultivation and exploitation of knowledge partnerships and via the initiation of practical applications (where gaps are identified), needs to be strengthened.
  9. Export markets are increasingly critical as we transition to Brexit, so the sector must maximize the opportunity of its positive international reputation for delivering high performance standards, underpinned by an evidence first approach.
  10. Clusters of Excellence should be encouraged to stimulate the innovations the sector requires to meet its productivity challenges. Critically, they need to be developed at scale, aligned with Construction 2025 Strategy targets, and have measurable outcomes.

Cross says: “Construction can no longer continue its business as usual approach. Together, we must adapt to offsite and advanced industrialised manufacturing, embrace digital technology and up-skill our workforce. We practically must work together at pace and with pragmatic ambition to meet our present challenges and future needs, and in doing so become a more resilient industry.”

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