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Workshop Two: Smart Construction

10 February 2020
Reading Time: 2 mins

Held on 18th December 2019

Hosted by 

UKBCSD is planning to submit a comprehensive report to Government that reaches beyond Modern Methods of Construction, by considering three thematic issues, namely Procurement, Skills and Development at pace; exploring how to progress the Sustainable Development and Zero Carbon aspects faced by the MHCLG to ensure housing can play a significant role in delivering the new Statutory Objective for the UK of being carbon neutral by 2050.

Keen to explore the strategic steps and approaches, informed by the development sector, attendees were asked to consider the following:

Smart Development.

What is the best means to support existing and new development including retrofit to reduce long term market pressures (including factors such as Utilities, resi/commercial values, supply, zero carbon etc)? This theme will consider strategic high-level stages that others might align with, to deliver tangible responses (ie how do we stop talking and do!). is there learning from the commercial build experience for residential approaches, viability and whole market approach to addressing existing and new build that expands market pace and enhances quality to avoid race to the bottom by improving building construction and skills?


How best do we raise skills standards of the whole workforce, (including within residential sector retro fit, being key to addressing the 39m homes that will still be in use by 2050?). What are the key steps to doing this with consistent leadership and an approach for the government to back at national level to support Development sector sustainable growth & delivery?

Procurement (or delivery at pace).

There is currently limited knowledge within public sector of how to unlock a more diverse range of efficient construction. The lack of knowledge of construction types & methods, phasing & funding sources, limits the ability of the sector to shape public sector contribution to delivering housing (new and existing/retro) and the commercial development need. What are the challenges for certification? Is there an opportunity to define the role of the public sector in providing market stability in challenging times (Enhanced JVs and proactive market support in releasing more low cost land with share in its build out including enhanced SME engagement etc)?



Workshop attendees agreed to send through any further thoughts on the three questions that were posed:

1. The barriers that need to be addressed
2. The challenges faced and solutions that are available
3. Outcomes and any next steps you would particularly like to see, from UKBCSD and/or the Government.


We are grateful for the contributions of those attending the workshop and to F3GROUP for hosting this event:

Steve Coleman, Director - F3GROUP  (HOST)

Jason Longhurst Chairman - UKBCSD 
Claire Weir, Director - CBRE
Peter Keates, Head of Client & Development Services - Central Bedfordshire Council
Adrian Colwell, Strategic Planning Adviser - UKBCSD
Mark Browning, Director Environment & Sustainability - Jacobs
Lester D’Souza, Development Manager - Engie UK
Chris Carr, Managing Director - Carr & Carr Builders
Steve Rickards, Managing Director - Contexa
David Wright, National Specification Manager - Kingspan Water & Energy
Simon Richards, Head of Sustainability - Sir Robert McAlpine
Alice Hands, Head of Ethical and Sustainable Procurement - Sir Robert McAlpine