Category: Construction

Dark and true and technological is the North: Digitising the region

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At a recent Constructing Excellence breakfast event we held, we were particularly struck by a statistic from a recent McKinsey Global Institute (MGI) study which proposed that in terms of digitisation, the construction industry lags dramatically behind those in other classically undigitalised sectors and in fact ranks only above farming and agriculture. Having been heavily involved in promoting digital construction across the region and beyond we felt that in light of this statistic it was important to explore our impression of where the industry is and specifically where Yorkshire and Humber currently places in order to meet the demands of the future.

Screen shot from MyConsole presentation at Constructing Excellence breakfast event on 26th April 2017.

We at Constructing Excellence Yorkshire and Humber (CEYH), part of the Leeds Beckett University School of Built Environment and Engineering have been running digitally focussed events through our thinkBIM network for over five years now and have overseen a massive growth in digital uptake across the region. Originally set up as a network to promote the advancement of BIM (Building Information Modelling) our remit has broadened to highlight new technologies and digital processes and their current and future uses.

When we started, the events were definitely for the innovators and early adopters, particularly in larger companies with SMEs being a little unsure of dipping their toe in the water; early problems being the choices of software available, balancing the cost of adoption with business needs and lack of clarity in contractual BIM requirements – all issues which we have had to address through events and targeted 1:1 support. As the network has expanded though, so has the industry’s understanding of the benefits of digital adoption, and this along with the publishing of the Digital Built Britain strategy in 2015 has helped to demystify some of the processes and improved knowledge and uptake of digital tools and processes across the region.

Even in these early days of digital adoption we saw how local organisations were at the cutting edge of the technological innovation that was unfolding. Not always on the large and prestigious projects but on smaller schemes like the laser scanning of the Orangery in Wakefield by DLA Design which showed what was possible already. We also witnessed the great work done by BAM at First Direct Arena working with their designers, structural steelworkers and precast concrete manufacturers who collaborated together using coordinated models form each organisation to resolve issues with the design, create and more effective design and improve the outcomes for the site team. By working together the team delivered an innovative and award winning venue for the city of Leeds.

Federated model image submitted by A1L2B, a Carillion Morgan Sindall Joint Venture, as part of their winning entry in CEYH Awards 2015

The region has also seen the digitisation of infrastructure schemes too. The award winning A1 Improvement scheme from Leeming to Barton, a Carillion Morgan Sindall Joint Venture demonstrated many new and innovative ways to use digital data to assist with stakeholder engagement as well as collecting real time digital quality records during the course of the works too. Over at Immingham, Costain used the combined, federated, model of their scheme to accurately and successfully plan a 76 hour possession over Christmas 2015 where the team jacked a 5000 tonne bridge into place under the busiest freight railway line in the UK. All this was achieved by creating a digital programme that was meticulously planned, checked and reviewed by the project team, Highways England and Network Rail.

Solius Group virtual reality demonstration at thinkBIM conference in April 2017

More recently the thinkBIM network has been able to lift the lid on the future with demonstrations of Augmented Realities and Virtual Realities. These technologies are actually starting to become widespread too as more and more businesses start to see ways to use gaming technology for customer engagement, construction rehearsals and health and safety briefings as well as for operations teams to better understand the assets that they are maintaining with a level of efficiency previously unheard of. #itsBIMupNorth not just a hashtag but proof that Yorkshire really is a centre of excellence for the digital delivery of projects.

But the key thing here is not the technology, but the people behind it. As Steve Jobs once said “Technology is nothing. What’s important is that you have a faith in people, that they’re basically good and smart, and if you give them tools, they’ll do wonderful things with them”. From a niche group of technically minded people the thinkBIM network has grown to reflect and support a much wider community focussed on working more efficiently and who adopt a whole lifecycle approach not just procuring data for the physical asset alone. And here-in lies the challenge going forward, ensuring the industry is constantly recruiting and upskilling the individuals and teams who are able to exploit the opportunity technology offers.

Let us know your thoughts of where the industry is and where it needs to be and where you see the future of digital technologies for construction.

 

CEYH Excellence Breakfast Series -25th January 2017

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Skills Excellence: Closing the Gap – join us on 25th May 2016 for our next CEYH breakfast event

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Building Futures Sponsored by Wates

The skills shortage in construction has been widely reported by much of our media and with good reason. It has been predicted that the industry will create around 190,000 new jobs by the end of 2018 but there is a growing fear that there will not be the talent within the country to fill them. The construction industry is one of leading pillars of the UK economy and therefore lack of required skills could have a huge impact on our economic recovery.

At our breakfast event at the end of May we will hear from Futureworks Yorkshire, one of the organisations who are trying to tackle this deficit. Julie Deeley, Operations Manager, will be giving examples of how they work with construction companies, local organisations and communities across Yorkshire to offer increased apprenticeships and work experience opportunities.

We will also hear from Angie Eardley, Regional Community Investment Advisor and Richard Vause, Project Manager both from Wates Group who will give practical examples of the positive steps Wates are taking on their projects/sites to encourage new entrants into our industry.

Find out how you and your organisation can do more at this FREE breakfast event. Booking via the link below.

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To get involved join us at Gosschalks Solicitors

Queens Gardens, Dock Street, Hull, East Yorkshire, HU1 3DZ

09:30-10:30 (registration from 09:00)

Click here to book your FREE place!

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#CEYH2016 Awards: Proud to be different!

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As I write this post we are now just under five days to go until we close for this year’s Constructing Excellence in Yorkshire and Humber awards and we are very excited to see what you have all been up to in the last 12 months. We are really heartened by the response of local companies so far and can’t wait to get stuck into the judging process and organising the rest of the evening. There is still time to get your entries in – follow the links below or visit our dedicated awards page here

Not just your average awards ceremony

Here at the CKE, we take the responsibility of providing the best possible platform to showcase your projects, organisations and individuals extremely seriously, which is why you will never see us run the same event twice! Just like our entrants we aim for our awards ceremony to represent the common themes of our awards in being innovative, collaborative and dynamic.

For instance, at last year’s awards we were the only region to run a selfie competition, which was so successful that it was adopted at the nationals. Not just an excuse to take silly pictures (although that is always welcome), the selfie competition helped to raise the profile of the awards across social media giving extra coverage to the companies involved. We will be running it again this year so don’t forget to bring those phones and snap away!

If you are still undecided, here are just three more reasons why our awards are different and how your business will benefit from being involved,

  • Our dynamic team are all from construction/engineering backgrounds. With over twenty years combined industry experience, we know how to sell what the industry does best
  • Our awards are an experience as well as a ceremony. Every year the team try to do something different on the night itself to ensure the event is memorable for all the right reasons and is a real reward for the individuals and teams who take part. With this year’s Swinging from the Rooftops theme, this year is no exception! We have a number of surprises planned for you on the night – we can’t wait for you to see them!
  • Our added value with our relationships to the National Constructing Excellence network, Yorkshire and Humber Constructing Excellence Club, Leeds Beckett University, Leeds Sustainability Institute and our thinkBIM, Green Vision networks. Going forward there will be plenty of opportunities for our entrants to showcase their work at our breakfast and twilight seminars, our half day conferences and through site visits.

How to enter

Fully inclusive and completely free to enter, we welcome submissions from any organisations, companies &/or project teams involved in delivering building & civil engineering projects in our region over the last 12 months. With 13 categories to choose from we are sure there is one for you! The closing date for entries is 29th April 2016 and all the forms can be downloaded from the links below.

Achiever of the Year

BIM Project of the Year

Client of the Year

Health and Safety

Heritage

Innovation

Integration & Collaborative Working

Leadership & People Development

Project of the Year

SME of the Year

Sustainability

Value

Young Achiever of the Year

We look forward to reading your entries!

With thanks to our sponsors

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