Has Transforming Construction transformed construction?

The Transforming Construction Challenge has been judged a success, following a formal evaluation of the government’s public-private initiative.

The evaluation, conducted by BMG and Frontier Economics, found that the challenge “played an important role in the development of greater and better-quality collaboration across the industry”.

It found the challenge was instrumental in increasing research and development funding among engaged firms.

The evaluation identified a number of early signs of improvement in terms of build time, construction costs and labour hours as a result of the challenge’s influence.

It also found that the adoption of Transforming Construction Challenge concepts was likely to continue to bring about environmental performance benefits to a number of areas, including energy consumption, waste production and carbon dioxide emissions.

Alongside the evaluation report, the initiative has published a brochure that provides brief case studies of more than 50 Transforming Construction Challenge-backed projects, including the Mace/3D Repo mission control room, Landsec’s kit of parts Forge office building, and the Vinci/Skanska/BRE/nPlan digital planning and supply chain management tool.

Innovate UK CEO Indro Murkejee said: “In just four years, the Transforming Construction Challenge has established genuine system change and meaningful impact. I would like to thank all of those who delivered this challenge, in particular the visionary leaders in government and industry who have committed to change.”

Looking ahead, Sam Stacey, challenge director, Transforming Construction at UK Research and Innovation, said: “The next objective is to scale these solutions further and that’s where everyone – clients, contractors, consultants or suppliers – can all play an important role. Disruptive technology and innovation have already proven themselves in the automotive industry in recent years, and there’s no reason why construction could not follow the same path with the right engagement and behavioural change.”

Dr Mike Pitts, deputy challenge director, Transforming Construction at UK Research and Innovation, said in a video accompanying the announcement of the review: “We call on the sector to publicly commit to platform systems, data-driven processes and net zero innovation. Embedding the impact of this unprecedented collaboration between government and industry will place construction as the exemplar in building back greener and better.”

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