Highlights from DCW Connect fringe series 2021

DCW connect fringe, Digital construction week

Last month Digital Construction Week hosted DCW Connect fringe series, a free virtual event for the construction industry that featured a five-week campaign of online activity focused on innovation and technology in the built environment

“With Digital Construction Week moving to November, we didn’t want to let the original May dates of the live event pass without marking them,” said portfolio director Ollie Hughes.

“So last month we brought our audience a campaign of virtual content to help them stay up-to-date with the latest from the industry as we get back to building.”

Digital Construction Week partnered with the Construction Innovation Hub and Centre for Digital Built Britain on a series of webinars, which took place throughout May. The virtual event also featured a schedule of curated content from Digital Construction Week’s exhibitors and supporters, including 3D Repo, 4PS, Enscape, Fit for Work, Kubla Software, Morta Technology, Procore, Revizto, This is Change and Women in BIM. The sessions covered themes including digitalisation and behavioural change, sustainability, international BIM, digital twins and much more.

In case you missed it, here’s a look back at some of the highlights from the event.

Construction Innovation Hub

First up, David Philp, digital impact director for Construction Innovation Hub, and Henry Fenby-Taylor, head of information management for Centre for Digital Built Britain, took to the virtual stage in the webinar Digitalisation & the Golden Thread. They introduced the Hub and its integrated projects of golden thread, Value Toolkit and Platform for Construction.

The Construction Innovation Hub was launched back in 2018, funded by UK Research & Innovation, to support innovation in the UK built environment. It brings together expertise from the Manufacturing Technology Centre (MTC), the Building Research Establishment (BRE) and the Cambridge University Centre for Digital Built Britain (CDBB).

David Philp discussed the Hub’s current initiatives, which include supporting the development of the golden thread of information needed to instil trust and confidence across the built environment. The Value Toolkit aims to ensure clients and industry can select products and solutions that deliver against their value drivers. The Platform for Construction programme is developing a platform construction system consisting of a standardised kit of parts to deliver social infrastructure buildings.

Visibility of performance

Procore hosted a panel discussion, Visibility of Performance: The Building Blocks for Smarter Construction, chaired by Stephanie Whittaker, senior marketing and communications manager at BAM Construct UK and work group lead for foresighting for ENCORD. In this webinar, a panel of experts including Rob Frank, customer experience director at BW: Workplace Experts; Brid Mullane, CDE administrative manager at Conack Construction; and Brandon Oliveri-O’Connor, director of EMEA for Procore, discussed visibility of performance.

Visibility of performance is the ability to access and use insights in real-time to gain visibility of an entire construction lifecycle and overall business performance. The panel explained how they’ve transformed their businesses through better data insights and demonstrated successful strategies for using data to make better decisions.

Digitalisation, skills and collaboration

In the second webinar with the Construction Innovation Hub, Digitalisation & Skills and Capabilities, Sarah Hayes, outreach lead for the National Digital Twin programme, and Nicola Pearson, head of skills and knowledge exchange for the Centre for Digital Built Britain, discussed the work their organisations are doing to grow digital capabilities across the full range of built environment disciplines.

Sarah Hayes discussed the package of support that the National Digital Twin programme, enabled by the Construction Innovation Hub, has developed for organisations and individuals looking to retain or upskill for a new career path.

The Centre for Digital Built Britain has also developed the Graduate Digital Capabilities Framework with the support of the Design Council, which Nicola Pearson spoke on. It identifies and sets out a plan to address the digital skills gap for built environment graduates.

Later in the month, Digitalisation on the International Stage: UK & US Collaborating to Improve the Built Environment, hosted in partnership with the Construction Innovation Hub, featured a panel of speakers from the Centre for Digital Built Britain and the National Institute of Building Sciences. The session focused on the ongoing collaboration between the United Kingdom and United States to improve built environment outcomes through international alignment of BIM (ISO19650 suite of standards), and growing opportunities for the public and private sectors.

Overcoming risks in construction

In Overcoming Risks in Construction, Richard Vernon from 4PS demonstrated how moving to the cloud can be the difference between profit and loss

In this time of crisis, access to accurate and up-to-date business reports is more important than ever for construction companies to help them make informed decisions for the future of their operations. This is the key to carefully control costs, review predicted margins and forecast short- to mid- and long-term financial risks due to Covid-19. These are important in everyday operation, but even more so in times of uncertainty. In an industry with razor-thin margins, moving to the cloud could be the difference between gaining a competitive advantage or being left behind.

4PS’s end-to-end integrated cloud software enables construction companies to have their business processes fully integrated in the cloud. This gives complete real-time visibility on projects and business performance, helping companies to better tackle the challenges of ‘the new normal’.

Communication and collaboration within BIM

Kaj Burival, applications engineer, and Norbert Gräser, application engineer team leader from Enscape, hosted Communication and Collaboration within BIM: Using the Next Generation of Visualisation Technology.

Communication and collaboration with stakeholders and team members are the core aspects of the “BIM method”. They demonstrated how Enscape can be a game-changer for communication workflows, creating an immersive virtual reality environment that makes collaboration simple.

Enscape’s plug-in for Revit, Archicad, Vectorworks, Sketchup and Rhino uses real-time rendering technology to turn BIM models into 3D experiences, without leaving the BIM authoring tool. Features on show included using BCF tagging while exploring the building and producing high-quality perspectives, flythroughs and even standalone executables to share with clients.

Watch on demand

If you missed out on watching the sessions live, there’s no need to worry. The webinars are now available to watch on demand on Digital Construction Week’s website.

You can find them by visiting www.digitalconstructionweek.com/dcw-connect-on-demand.

Digital Construction Week is back this November

Digital Construction Week is the UK’s leading exhibition for innovation and technology in the built environment. It returns – live and in-person – on 24-25 November 2021 at ExCeL London.

For more information and to register your interest in attending, please visit www.digitalconstructionweek.com.



Ollie Hughes

Portfolio director

Digital Construction Week

Tel: +44 (0)1273 645 110


Twitter: @DigiConWeek

LinkedIn: Digital Construction Week


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