PBC Today November 2019


With 2020 just around the corner, PBC Today November 2019 looks to the future

As part of the PBC Today November edition, Construction Innovation Hub programme director Keith Waller sets out the journey to creating a “kit of parts” to deliver better buildings, while Alexandra Bolton of the Centre for Digital Built Britain looks at the first-ever CDBB Week and the road to a National Digital Twin.

Meanwhile, the RTPI’s James Harris and Stefan Webb of the Connected Places Catapult set put a manifesto for a digital planning system, while Caroline Gumble of the CIOB discusses its efforts to cement quality at the top of the construction agenda.

Elsewhere, David Edwards of Place-Make examines the future of high streets and town centres in an age of online retail, Dan Doran of BREEAM discusses the issue of embodied carbon in construction and Phil Hall of the Association of Accounting Technicians looks at HMRC’s decision to delay major changes to reverse charge VAT.

There’s much more besides covering planning and development, offsite, BIM and building control.

Here’s a selection of what’s on offer:

  1. Building a better future for construction

The Construction Innovation Hub, which launched last November, is a government-backed programme to bring wholesale, long-lasting change to the sector. Programme director Keith Waller sets out the challenge – and how it is being met.

  1. The journey towards the National Digital Twin and a digital built Britain

Alexandra Bolton, executive director at the Centre for Digital Built Britain, reflects on the first-ever CDBB Week and calls for collaboration on the road towards the National Digital Twin.

  1. The Offsite Construction Survey: Fit for the future?

Offsite and modular construction have been tipped as game-changers for the construction industry, offering a plethora of advantages to address skills shortages, sustainability challenges and the need to ramp up production. Is offsite the future?

  1. A digital planning manifesto

James Harris, policy and networks manager at the Royal Town Planning Institute, and Stefan Webb, director of digitising planning at the Connected Places Catapult, discuss their collaboration looking at how the planning system to can adopt new technologies to improve efficiency and free up planners to plan.

  1. Embodied carbon: How much longer can we say “too difficult”?

Dan Doran, principal consultant at BREEAM, discusses embodied carbon in construction. He examines what action the industry should be taking now to avoid overshooting the ‘carbon budget’, and the role of lifecycle assessment in measuring and reducing embodied carbon.

  1. Virtual Reality is not just a game when it comes to occupational safety

Can VR revolutionise health and safety training by allowing workers to deal with potentially life-threatening scenarios without being put in any danger – or is there a risk that being viewed as a “game” will diminish its impact? Dr Tess Roper of the University of Nottingham discusses a study in partnership with the Institution of Occupational Safety & Health that explores these issues.

  1. VAT reverse charge delay: What does it mean for construction?

The introduction of the domestic VAT reverse charge for building and construction services has been delayed by a year. Phil Hall of the Association of Accounting Technicians takes a look at what this means for construction firms – and why the issue shouldn’t be kicked into the long grass.

  1. Can AI transform the way we estimate construction projects?

Anil Sawhney and Alan Muse of RICS look at how artificial intelligence could transform the way we estimate the cost of construction projects.

  1. The legal section: UK Guidance Framework for ISO 19650

May Winfield, Simon Lewis and Andrew Croft explore aspects of the legal section of the UK Guidance Framework for ISO 19650.

  1. The Construction Industry Brexit Survey

How confident are you about the outlook for the British construction industry post-Brexit? That was the question we posed to our readers over the course of August and we received hundreds of responses from people working across the architecture, engineering and construction sectors.


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