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Tag Archive: defining the need

  1. ‘Defining the Need’ – A conclusion and a look ahead to the future

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    ‘Defining the Need’ has demonstrated an objective approach to understanding the needs of the public sector estate. It also highlighted the need to harmonise and digitise demand across new build programmes. This piece is a conclusion of our ‘Defining the Need’ series and provides a look into the future to see how it can provide a long-term solution.

    The results of the cross-departmental pipeline analysis showed that the top three most common spaces were circulation, storage and bathrooms. Constituting around 30% of the entire government’s estate. This shows that there’s a huge opportunity for the government to harmonise pipelines and implement a platform system solution. A standardised, repeatable platform construction system that ultimately meets the needs of multiple departments would provide the public sector with a quicker, better quality building solution.

    This report, combined with the government’s Construction Playbook, would give departments an opportunity to focus on building spaces that improve departments or communities and provide the greatest value.

    A standardised approach to building doesn’t need to compromise on quality or flexibility. At Thurston’s we’re able to provide high quality modular and portable buildings for every sector. Utilising a standardised approach, we’re able to meet individual client requirements and create a bespoke building while reducing delivery speed, improving sustainability and improving quality.

    Based on the data analysed and collected, the Platform team have been able to start developing their platform strategy that meets the needs of the customer. Looking ahead, the Hub’s project team plans to build a Rulebook with defined rules and standards detailing how technologies and components can be integrated. It also plans to build a Value Proposition which will define the characteristics, differentiation, cost-structure and life cycle of the platform and a Kit of Parts. The Kit of Parts will comprise the components of the platform highlighting how it can be varied within certain constraints. Finally the team will also progress with resources to support adoption, called Enablers. 

    A platform construction system solution provides new ways of working that may require changes to the ways that organisations are structured. Not every organisation will be able to implement a platform strategy without making significant changes, which is why the project team will build a set of processes and standards to help. The overall success of a platform system approach will rely on clarity of roles, responsibilities and processes, as well as the kit of parts.

    The processes and standards developed by the Platform Design Programme (PDP) will be made openly available and in 2022, demonstrate how they can be applied in practice. The PDP will use the concept training building and work undertaken at the Manufacturing Technology Centre in Coventry as a showcase to show organisations how they can implement a platform construction system along with the benefits.

    The PDP can also offer opportunities to the wider market. The full report, due to be published in winter, will demonstrate the potential for platform construction systems and how it could potentially be applied to other industries within both the public and private sector. Enabling others to procure, develop and apply platforms to develop better, faster and greener outcomes.

  2. ‘Defining the Need’ – What are the key insights and how will they provide a solution?

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    Following on from our last piece covering the Platform Design Programme, this week we’re looking at the key insights found from analysis of the five-year £50 billion forward pipeline from the Department for Education (DfE), Department for Health and Social Care (DHSC), Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG), Ministry of Justice (MoJ) and the Ministry of Defence (MoD). 

    ‘Defining the Need’, the initial project phase, conducted data analysis on this pipeline to capture customer needs, objectives and trends to develop and inform their platform strategy. It also identified areas of commonality and difference across the cross-departmental pipeline to see which characteristics of the platform systems can be applied to the public sector estate. 

    Of the £50 billion new build pipeline, the Hub found that at least £35 billion worth of projects could be created using a platform system. It also saw that more than 50% of space types, hallways, bathrooms and storage, aren’t sector specific and could be delivered with a standard platform solution for efficiency and productivity. 

    38% of the spaces within the new build pipeline will be for the Residential sector, presenting an opportunity for the private sector. If the proposed platform system demonstrates that it can build beautiful, sustainable and better quality homes then it could potentially be used to deliver, not just homes, but student accommodation, hospitals and hotels. 

    Another key finding was that buildings need to be highly adaptive so they can be repurposed across the required 60-year service life. The government is also committed to bringing a reduction in emissions to net zero by 2050. This means that all new buildings, especially those within the pipeline, need to align with this commitment and make sure that they’re sustainable.

    If you take a look at companies like Thurston’s across the UK, this is what we’re already doing. We’re continuously innovating to be able to deliver sustainable buildings for a variety of sectors at a reduced whole-life cost and reduced speed. Our buildings are also adaptable. Whichever sector you’re in, if you need an office or are delivering a hotel, our buildings are able to be adapted, repurposed and moved. 

    During the open call for evidence at the beginning of 2019, the Institution of Civil Engineers said, “In order to encourage the adoption and implementation of the P-DfMA approach, each relevant government department must first examine its own technical standards. Having a consistent and streamlined set of standards and components in this way would enable the market to respond more effectively, particularly if the industry is brought into the process early.”

    Aligning all of these trends and insights is important and an important step in innovating the Construction industry. The work demonstrates how the government can harmonise, digitise and rationalise demand in line with the policies in the Construction Playbook.

    The next and final part in the series concludes the findings and looks ahead to the future to see how the platform design solution can be implemented to improve efficiency and productivity in the construction industry.

    Want to catch up on the other pieces in our series? Head back to our Updates page to find the last two pieces in time for next week.


  3. ‘Defining the Need’ – What is the Platform Design Programme?

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    The Construction Innovation Hub is collaborating with government and industry across four key themes of Value, Manufacturing, Digital and Assurance. The Hubs’ work supports the Construction Leadership Council’s strategy and the Roadmap to Recovery. A core element of the Hub’s programme, the Platform Design Programme (PDP) embodies all of the challenges of building design, while having to work with multiple departments and suppliers, to provide standardisation without compromising on flexibility and performance. 

    Funded through the UKRI’s Transforming Construction Challenge, the Hub aims to create better outcomes for the future by driving the adoption of manufacturing and digital approaches to improve the delivery and performance of infrastructure and create buildings that are fit for the future.

    Applying systems engineering and manufacturing techniques, the team is looking to develop a selection of processes, rules and standards to create a market for buildings made from platform construction systems. 

    Following these new processes, the Hub will develop, prototype and test this open platform construction system to highlight the benefits it will bring to the construction sector. 

    The new system will be implemented at scales across a pan-government pipeline of projects and programmes and look to reduce cost, delivery time and lifetime carbon emissions. It also looks to boost productivity and increase the asset whole-life value and offer an opportunity to integrate active renewable energy systems. It will also be able to be used flexibly to create beautiful, well-designed buildings that are fit for the future. 

    Analysis of initial data, combined with stakeholder interviews with clients and end users has identified a clear opportunity for platform design within the construction sector. There are companies across the UK manufacturing this way but the uptake has been slow across various sectors. Of the £50 billion pipeline analysed, around £35 billion has been identified as being able to be delivered in whole, or in part, through a platform solution. 

    The next part in our series will look at this analysis and its key insights to see why the ‘Defining the Need’ report is recommending a move to platform systems.