How digital ready are you?

As the Centre for Digital Built Britain’s CDBB Week (9-13 September) gets underway, executive director Alexandra Bolton calls for construction to engage with the latest digital developments.

Digital technology is rapidly changing the world in which we live. The Centre for Digital Built Britain (CDBB) is a partnership between the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy (BEIS) and the University of Cambridge.

We are driving a programme of change that is transforming the way we plan, build, maintain and use our social and economic infrastructure, strengthening commercial competitiveness and increasing productivity to improve economic and social outcomes in the UK.

We bring together organisations and people from industry, academia and government. As an open programme, we encourage collaboration across disciplines and sectors – ours is much more than a technical programme.

Our inaugural CDBB Week comprises virtual and in-person events showcasing activities from all the CDBB workstreams. It is an opportunity to experience and engage with the latest developments from the dynamic world of the digital built environment – and leave with actionable insights.

Day one, Monday 9 September, presents CDBB’s Digital Framework Task Group (DFTG) National Digital Twin Day. This is a chance to hear more about the progress of CDBB’s DFTG and to engage with the work emerging from the Digital Twin (DT) Hub, the collaborative learning community for those who own, or are developing, digital twins in the built environment. 

Exploring digital twin development

Shining a light on how digital twin thinking can optimise value from data, improve infrastructure performance and deliver better societal outcomes, this event features innovators and influencers. The afternoon gives an opportunity to mix with digital twin owners and suppliers, and to explore the practicalities of digital twin development with interactive workshops and panel sessions.

Our Transforming Construction Challenge Day will take place on Tuesday 10 September and sees the launch of a new blog highlighting the work of the Construction Innovation Hub and our Transforming Construction Challenge colleagues, including N+ and Active Building Centre, with which we are working to deliver the Construction Sector Deal as part of government’s Industrial Strategy.

On Wednesday 11 September we will launch our online training programme to support international governments with the creation of their national BIM strategies. This training supports partner countries to implement a national digitalisation strategy.

At a garden party celebration later in the day at St Catharine’s College, Cambridge, we will celebrate outputs and key findings from our series of BIM round tables delivered in partnership with the CIOB. These covered academia and training, constructors, consultants, manufacturers, SMEs, asset and facilities management and technology companies, to help understand how BIM is being adopted and inform future work.

CDBB’s Summer Research Showcase, on Thursday 12 September, features a keynote presentation from Paul Clarke, chief technology officer at Ocado, who will explore “Where Physical and Digital Worlds Collide”. There will be further presentations from CDBB’s leadership and quick-fire visual presentations including key findings from CDBB-supported projects.

Our final Digital Day on Friday 13 September will be hosted on our website, Twitter and LinkedIn channels – follow #CDBBWeek2019 to connect with articles, videos, event summaries and news from CDBB Week and beyond.

I hope you will connect with us by attending or engaging with CDBB Week. Digital transformation is happening now. Join us in building a shared vision of the future, using data to improve our natural and built environment to deliver better outcomes for everyone.

Alexandra Bolton is executive director of the Centre for Digital Built Britain. For full details and bookings go to

Image: Daniil Peshkov/

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