PBC Today August 2019

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In PBC Today August 2019, we examine the true cost of addressing the crisis in social housing supply, look at why councils are returning to housebuilding and ask if the planning system is holding back new forms of construction

National Housing Federation head of policy James Prestwich discusses new modelling that suggests the government would have to spend £146bn over the next 10 years to meet the demand for social housing. Vast expense or investment in essential infrastructure?

Professor Janice Morphet of University College London looks at the resurgence in council housebuilding, which has reached levels not seen since the 1990s, and asks how it is being achieved – and what can be done to support more development.

Elsewhere, PBC Today sits down with Sam Stacey to talk about the Transforming Construction challenge, the progress so far and the future for precision manufacturing, BIM and offsite.

There’s much more besides, from digital twins creating smarter infrastructure for cities and a project to develop revolutionary “Living Buildings” that generate their own energy and recycle their own waste to gauging the true value of construction, reforming building safety and the “timebomb” facing accessible housing.

Here’s a selection of what’s in store:

  1. The true cost of ending the housing crisis

New modelling from the National Housing Federation reveals the government needs to spend around £146bn over the next 10 years to deliver the homes the UK needs. It is a huge sum but, says head of policy James Prestwich, social housing is crucial infrastructure and investing in it will benefit the wider economy.

  1. Why are councils returning to direct delivery of housing?

Local authorities are providing housing again on a scale not seen since the early 1990s. Why is this, how is it being achieved and what could be done to support councils more as they focus on housing provision? Professor Janice Morphet of University College London discusses new research looking at these questions.

  1. Transforming Construction: Driving innovation

Sam Stacey, challenge director, UKRI Transforming Construction, talks to PBC Today about why he took on the role, the key aims of the Transforming Construction Challenge and the future of precision manufacturing and offsite construction.

  1. AIMCH: How digital and offsite construction can transform housebuilding

Advanced Industrialised Methods for the Construction of Homes (AIMCH) is a pioneering project that puts collaboration, digital working and large-scale offsite manufacturing at the heart of tackling the housing crisis. Stewart Dalgarno, director of product development at Stewart Milne Timber Systems, explains how it works.

  1. Modern Methods of Construction: Good foundations or built up too much?

Ian Atkinson and Ryan Lavers of law firm Womble Bond Dickinson examine the rise of Modern Methods of Construction and whether they are having the impact predicted.

  1. Gauging the true value of the construction industry

A new series of reports from the Chartered Institute of Building will examine the true value of the construction industry to the economy and wider society. Director of policy, research and public affairs Eddie Tuttle discusses the importance of sector and the first study, which looks at the industry in Scotland.

  1. Building a safer future: Proposals for reforming the building safety regulatory system

Ahead of the second anniversary of the Grenfell Tower fire, the government published a consultation to create a radically new building and fire safety system that puts residents’ safety at its heart.

  1. The looming accessible homes crisis

It’s no secret that the UK has an ageing population who will have changing and possibly more complex needs as they get older. Yet when it comes to housing, the provision of even basic accessibility features is woefully low. After publishing its recent forecast of accessible housing, Habinteg Housing Association argues we cannot afford to ignore the issue any longer.

  1. A world-first research hub to create Living Buildings

Experts from Northumbria and Newcastle Universities will develop new technologies to revolutionise how buildings are constructed and how they operate.

  1. Building smarter cities with digital twins

PBC Today talks to Robert Mankowski, vice-president of digital cities at Bentley Systems, about how digital twins can help to plan, design, build and operate smarter infrastructure.

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