Digital impact at Futurebuild 2020

Futurebuild 2020, digital construction,

Futurebuild 2020 comes to London’s ExCeL from 3-5 March, bringing together hundreds of exhibitors and thousands of visitors from across the built environment sector. BIM Today previews this year’s show, which will have a new focus on digital construction

Futurebuild 2020 is the built environment event where organisations of all sizes can share innovations, engage in new processes and discover proven solutions. With over 27,000 industry professionals set to step through its doors at ExCeL, London, next month, Futurebuild isn’t just yet another construction conference, it has a higher purpose: to be a catalyst for change.

Changing perspectives, influencing behaviours and paving the way for the transformation of the construction industry as a whole so that it can become a beacon of positivity.

People may well soon walk on Mars and insects become part of our daily diet, businesses are becoming less profit-driven and taking leading roles in addressing the climate crisis, robots are commanding overproduction plants and Gen Z is the first wave of true digital natives. Change may be engulfing us, but change is good when we understand its purpose.

And one major change Futurebuild itself has undertaken for 2020 is to create a dedicated digital construction zone: Digital Impact, a place where visitors will become fully immersed in the digital ecosystem of construction. A place where some of the most brilliant minds this industry has to offer will deliver both practical and groundbreaking talks, catering for all levels of understanding on the adoption and implementation of BIM and digital construction methodologies.

As we know, not everyone has as yet bought into the need to embrace a digital built Britain, therefore Digital Impact presents the opportunity for professionals across the supply chain to either dip a toe into this sea-change or throw themselves right in and dive into the delectable debates of digital twins and DfMA.

Futurebuild 2020, digital construction,

Futurebuild 2020 – Day 1

Digital Impact at Futurebuild

Digital Impact at Futurebuild offers two stages of panel debates and presentations delivered by those who are leading the way in the unprecedented movement of the increasing innovations within technology that are driving the future of the digital built environment.

Digital construction specialists, such as Casey Rutland, director of digital at Royal HaskoningDHV and vice-chair of the UK BIM Alliance, Paul Shillcock, managing director of Operam and author of ISO 19650, Katya Veleva, associate BIM strategist at Archilizer and core team member of Women in BIM, and Mark Enzer, chief technical officer at Mott MacDonald and chair of the Centre for Digital Build Britain’s (CDBB) Digital Framework Task Group (to name but a few), will guide visitors through the transformative change we are witnessing, looking at what have been the key drivers for change, the impact this change has had on UK construction and share their predictions for what’s still to come.

The wonders of advancing technologies for construction will be the essence of this part of Futurebuild. It will look back at how the introduction of BIM has allowed us to build safer, smarter and faster, how blockchain has become a new word in our day-to-day vernacular, how AI is now playing an essential role in our lives and how data is driving our “common environments”.

For the two content stages, Centre Stage and Impact Stage, the speakers’ programmes have been carefully curated to allow industry leaders to discuss with their audiences the digital of today and prepare them for the digital of tomorrow.

Centre Stage conference

Jaimie Johnston, head of global systems at Bryden Wood, will open the Centre Stage conference programme on Day 1 reviewing the rapid acceleration of automated design and the work of the Construction Innovation Hub. At the same time, opening on the Impact Stage, Grant Findlay, director of business development at Sir Robert McAlpine, will unveil an exciting new partnership between education and industry that has been created to design and deliver an employer-led digital construction curriculum in further and higher education across the UK.

Digital twins, immersive platforms, radical transformations and ISO 19650 are also on the menu for the Centre Stage for Day 1, while the practicalities of delivering net-zero, cloud-based platforms and the thinking behind the smart are on offer on the Impact Stage.

Stefan Mordue, regional consultancy manager for AECOM and chair of the Centre Stage for Day 1, said: “Digital activity has been the principal driver of change for construction, reshaping our industry and creating a new era.

“We have witnessed progress on a monumental scale in the past few years and this progression has had the most prolific effect – making us hungry for more. Futurebuild has created a conference programme that both informs and educates on what has gone before and what we need to do next to achieve the goal of true universal digital collaboration.”

Day 2

Centre Stage

For Day 2, the Centre Stage delves into a new smart world when PJ Farr, managing director of UK Connect, explores the art of the possible for the IoT and smart technologies. This will be followed by blockchain smart contracts in a panel debate led by Dr Abel Maciel, principal at Design Computation, and a look at how we have become a consumer-driven, digitally enabled smart society from Neil Pennell, head of design innovation and property solutions at Landsec.

Vicki Reynolds, head of digital at i3PT, will be chairing the Centre Stage on Day 2, as well as leading the Women in BIM panel debate on what we can expect from the next five years of construction technology.

She said: “Before we begin the process of digital construction education, we must first understand what are our entry points to digital adoption, what it means to each individual organisation and concentrate on the benefits it will bring. It’s easy to get caught up in the wonders of technology, but it must always come down to, what can digital do to make our lives easier?”

Impact Stage

Over on the Impact Stage, Andrew de Silva, director at David Miller Architects (DMA), will share how DMA applies a unique approach to project management and project design, which is having significantly increased outputs, generating savings and streamlining delivery processes. Meanwhile, John Adams, digital construction strategist at Glider Technology, will ask what do we really know about the capabilities of BIM and are we applying these to our best advantage.

Day 3

On our third and final day, the focus is ‘disrupt or be disrupted?’ David Owens, discipline lead for automated design at Costain, will look at the power of technology and who and what it is influencing. Terry Stocks, information management consultant at CDBB, will lead a panel addressing the barriers to BIM adoption, after which Sam Stacey, challenge director – Transforming Construction at Innovate UK, will share with us the measures the UK government has put in place to leverage change in the digital design and assemble process.

Bringing this monumental programme to a close will be Fleur Dooms, BIM product specialist at Bricsys, with a look into how AI has improved BIM workflows and by the genius of mapping of these two technological breakthroughs from the past decade together, has become an intrinsic part in future-proofing construction in the UK.

There is no doubt that Digital Impact at Futurbuild is offering three days of valuable education and insight into the way we are building, influenced by innovative and technological processes, reshaping our thinking and questioning our understanding of “what is digital construction” and what impact is it having on the way we design and build.

Futurebuild 2020 is taking place from Tuesday 3 to Thursday 5 March at the ExCeL, London. To view the full conference programme and register for FREE tickets visit



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