The Challenge 

The Construction Sector Deal has reached its two year mark. This means the Transforming Construction Challenge has now passed the halfway point in its four year programme. Many challenges have come at the sector through this period, yet the investments made to transform construction are thriving. These projects are revolutionising the construction of homes, schools and offices, changing the way we live, work and learn is all set to change for the better. 

The Sector Deal and Transforming Construction Challenge has brought together contractors, supply chain, innovators, government, clients and the research community to accelerate the change the sector was already embracing. It is rapidly overturning a culture, in which the priority was being given to the cheapest solution. Instead, we are all now moving together to deliver greater ‘whole life value’ to society. 

Targets from the outset of the Challenge were: buildings delivered 50% faster, costs reduced by 33%, emissions slashed by half and productivity raised by 15% to close the gap with the rest of the economy. What we are seeing is that project after project is demonstrating exactly this scale of improvements. As the new approaches and technologies are more widely adopted, the Challenge expects even bigger gains to be made. 

The approaches of all the projects invested in are based on the three central challenges of:  
•    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; and  
•    shifting to selling outcomes and maximising ‘whole life value’ of assets.  
Over the next two years, the Challenge will be sharing the successes of the pioneering innovators it has supported to make the case for everyone to shift with confidence.    

More information on the Transforming Construction Challenge can be found on UK Research and Innovation website.

Key Programme Activities

The Challenge has invested up to £170 million, matched by £250 million from industry, to create new construction processes and techniques, such as the development of standardised modular components from which buildings can be manufactured. As part of the programme, two major investments have been awarded to the Construction Innovation Hub and the Active Building Centre. 

The Construction Innovation Hub

The Construction Innovation Hub brings together world-class expertise from the Manufacturing Technology Centre (MTC), BRE 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, and working around the four core themes of Value, Manufacturing, Assurance and Digital, we will change the way buildings and infrastructure are designed, manufactured, integrated and connected within our built environment.

We will be a catalyst for change. We will drive collaboration to develop, commercialise and promote digital and manufacturing technologies for the construction sector. We will help build smarter, greener and more efficient buildings much faster and cheaper than we currently do. 

Research will help us understand how the industry needs to change in terms of skills, product standards, capacity and innovation. This will be combined with an academic programme to create the security-minded frameworks and rules that will underpin the future digital built environment and grow exports for UK know-how.

We will work closely with other initiatives as part of the Government’s Transforming Construction challenge programme. Through collaboration across the sector, we can provide a better-built environment for future generations.

  Twitter      Website

The Active Building Centre 

The Active Building Centre seeks to revolutionise the way the UK designs, constructs and operates buildings by realising the potential for the integration of innovative renewable energy generation and storage technologies, coupled with state-of-the-art digital design.

Our aim is to deliver a pipeline of Active Building demonstrators and projects. We aim to prove the case for a national adoption of Active Buildings, which has the potential to substantially reduce both the operational costs of buildings and their demand on the UK energy infrastructure.

Delivering Active Building Centre 

The Active Building concept was conceived by SPECIFIC Innovation and Knowledge Centre. They designed two demonstration buildings to test and prove technologies and show how they can be connected in one integrated system, working together to generate heat and power for the building.

The success of the Active Building early demonstrators gave rise to the Active Building Centre. We are working closely with government and industry to break down the barriers to mass adoption of Active Buildings across the UK.

We are working with commercial developers and the public sector to deliver a critical mass of Active Buildings and provide the evidence that regulators, policy makers and construction industry need to transform the way buildings are constructed in the UK.

  Twitter      Website

Challenge Highlights  


A 'data toolbox' that can increase productivity through better programme planning and supply chain management.

PLASMA has the potential to transform the productivity of UK construction, improve its slow-moving reputation and allows UK construction to be more competitive in a global market.
The brainchild of Vinci and Skanska, the duo reached out to partners and collaborators they had already worked with to create a blockchain platform that would deliver powerful supply chain and IoT data and insights, in a way that could improve productivity and support best practice in the industry. This smart 'data toolbox' allows planners to 'rehearse' project delivery scenarios, reduces risk and identify supply chain ‘pinch-points', allowing teams to be in the right place, at the right time to deliver their role effectively and efficiently. And it has the potential to improve costs by 25% and timelines by 28% with an overall ambition to increase productivity by 15% by 2025.

Partners: Vinci – Skanska – nPlan – Assentian - BRE

The 'hard hat' that uses holograms to improve build accuracy and productivity, without the need for 2D plans.

UK construction is not known for making technological leaps, but here's one that is revolutionising the industry.
For the first time, HoloSite will allow builders to move forward with certainty that what has been done is correct to the most up-to-date information. It applies Building Information Models (BIM) to 5mm accuracy and removes the need for old fashioned 'paper' 2D plans. Based on a cloud platform, the innovation has already proved that it can halve the time from project inception to completion, reduce project costs by as much as 33%, and improve accuracy by 95% - elevating UK construction to a new level of productivity.

Partners: XYZ Reality - British Standards Institute - TUV SUD - Dragon Innovation - Malcolm Nicholls


For general enquiries about the conference or the N+,
please contact the network team:

  Twitter      Website

© Transforming Construction Network Plus 2020