PBC Today May 2020


Welcome to PBC Today May 2020. In this edition, produced under lockdown conditions, we examine the impact of the coronavirus pandemic on the construction industry, from contract issues and handling site shutdowns to looking ahead to how the sector can contribute to the recovery, hopefully sooner rather than later.

Elsewhere, Eddie Tuttle of the Chartered Institute of Building discusses the Real Face of Construction report, which gauges the true extent of the industry’s economic, social and environmental impact.

Our latest readers’ survey examines the thorny issue of HS2, asking it if with represents a transformational infrastructure opportunity for the UK – or a waste of money.

We also hear from Rebecca De Cicco about Women in BIM’s new Mentoring Scheme, Nigel Hewitson and Ben Stansfield of Gowling WLG examine the government’s proposed planning reforms, and take a look at the methodology for quantifying the benefits of offsite construction from CIRIA and the Laing O’Rourke Centre for Construction Engineering and Technology, University of Cambridge.

There’s much more besides – and a new look design to boot. Here’s a selection of what is on offer in the PBC Today May 2020 edition:

  1. Covid-19: Can we build our way out of this?

In the post-pandemic period, can the construction industry become a catalyst for economic recovery? David Edwards of Place-Make believes it can.

  1. What the government needs to do to avoid another housebuilding collapse

With a deeply entrenched housing crisis, building rates must make a stronger recovery post-coronavirus than after the 2008 economic crash. Joseph Daniels, founder of offsite eco-developer Project Etopia, says the modular and SME sectors stand ready, but they will need government support to avoid another “lost decade”.

  1. HS2: Transformational infrastructure investment or waste of money?

PBC Today’s latest reader survey took on the thorny issue of HS2 – and the results made for some fascinating reading.

  1. Gauging the true impact of construction

The Real Face of Construction 2020 report from the Chartered Institute of Building reflects the true value of the industry in economic, social and environmental terms – and sets a course for addressing some of the sector’s key issues.

  1. Planning reform: 10 takeaways from Planning for the Future

10 things you need to know about the government’s latest plans for planning from Nigel Hewitson and Ben Stansfield of Gowling WLG.

  1. Women in BIM launches Mentoring Scheme

Women in BIM’s new Mentoring Scheme aims to improve gender equality in the built environment by nurturing the skills of women in construction and infrastructure roles around the world.

  1. State of the Nation review: Performance evaluation of new housing

In a major study funded by the Building Performance Network, Professor Rajat Gupta and Matt Greg of Oxford Brookes University have conducted a comprehensive review of key studies on new housing performance and Building Performance Evaluation methods.

  1. Methodology for quantifying the benefits of offsite construction

CIRIA and the Laing O’Rourke Centre for Construction Engineering and Technology, University of Cambridge, have launched a new guidance framework to unlock evidence-based assessments of offsite construction and data driven decision-making for the industry. The guide urges the construction industry to unify project performance monitoring by applying a consistent methodology.

  1. Covid-19 and construction contracts

With the Covid-19 crisis bringing many building projects to a standstill, Alex Rayner, head of construction and engineering at law firm Sintons, examines the potential contractual options that exist if work has to stop for a period of time.

  1. Built to last? Building Regulations and improving fire resiliency

When it comes to fire risk, we mustn’t confuse regulatory compliance with property resilience, says Tom Roche, Senior Consultant for International Codes and Standards at FM Global.


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