PBC Today January 2018


Welcome to the January 2018 edition of PBC Today. In this issue, we sit down with John Hunt of Enterprise Ireland to discuss offsite, digital transformation and the impact of Brexit on construction on both sides of the Irish Sea. We also examine the implications of the Budget for housing and skills, look at how BIM can be used to mitigate risk and improve safety on site, and scrutinise flood protection spending in the UK, plus much more besides. Here’s a selection of what’s on offer:

  1. Exporting innovation: Offsite, digital and the future of Irish construction

PBC Today talks to Enterprise Ireland’s senior strategic adviser for construction, John Hunt, about the role of offsite and in improving efficiency, delivering “wow factor” and tackling the housing crisis.

  1. Budget 2017: Opportunity knocks – but can the construction industry deliver?

Will the New Year bring hearty helpings of opportunity for the construction industry or a skills shortage hangover? David Edwards of Place-Make examines the evidence.

  1. Health & safety on site: Mitigating risk through BIM

BIM’s virtual modelling is emerging as a valuable tool in mitigating risk and promoting safety on site. Kier’s Andy Radley takes a look.

  1. On shaky ground: The Robin Rigg case


A Supreme Court ruling on contractual interpretation serves as a warning to contractors that they need to be careful about the work they agree to do for their clients. Emily Albou, barrister at 2 Temple Gardens, discusses the case.


  1. Budget 2017: Hammond got his sums wrong on skills

Philip Hammond’s Autumn Budget got a warm reception from much of the construction industry – but Tony Howard, training director of the Building Engineering Services Association, says the Chancellor missed an open goal on skills.

  1. In deep water: Is the UK’s flood defence budget being well spent?

Matthew Elliott, director of engineering at WYG, warns that flood defence spending may not deliver the kind of protection we deserve – but only another catastrophe will highlight the shortcoming.

  1. The importance of consistency in planning decisions

Consistency in planning decisions is key – and, as two recent court cases have highlighted, developers may need to be aware of past results when submitting an application, says Amy Truman of law firm DLA Piper.

  1. Why planning is ripe for innovation

Following the West Midlands Urban Tech Summit, Stefan Webb and Dr Joseph Bailey of the Future Cities Catapult talk about the importance of opening up planning data and working with Birmingham City Council to understand the impact of new developments.

  1. Are we placing people with hearing loss at the heart of the design process?

Jean Hewitt, inclusive environments consultant and director at the Centre for Accessible Environments, explores whether the needs of over 12m people with hearing loss in the UK are forgotten about in the design of new buildings and external spaces.

  1. All is not lost: Developing solutions to reduce the impact of flooding in UK properties

Mary Dhonau OBE, chair of the Property Care Association’s Flood Resilience Group, sets out some of the actions that can be taken to reduce the impact of flooding – and why a coordinated approach is vital.


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