Innovation or bust - the accelerated evolution of the construction industry
The need for the construction industry to innovate and embrace new technologies was discussed at a very popular half day event on 11 January 2012 that explored how the pressure to improve cost efficiency and sustainability is driving innovation at a pace not seen since the industrial revolution. 'Innovation in Construction' examined the innovative capacity of the construction industry to influence its long-term competitiveness and looked at the importance of new technologies and processes, research and development, as well as other key drivers behind the accelerated evolution of the construction industry.
Organised by the Institution of Civil Engineers (ICE), the University of Cambridge's Centre for Smart Infrastructure and Construction (funded by the EPSRC and the Technology Strategy Board) and the Royal Academy of Engineering, the oversubscribed event addressed the issue from a number of perspectives, with presentations from construction companies, academics, and the Chief Construction Advisor to the UK Government, Paul Morrell. Senior academics from the University of Cambridge (Professor Robert Mair, Professor Kenichi Soga, and Professor Duncan McFarlane) examined the applications and developments in sensor technologies and data management tools for construction, plus industrial engineering in smart infrastructure.
The event featured presentations and Q&A sessions with prominent representatives of Costain and BRE about innovative infrastructure and innovation through sustainability. Bill Hewlett, Technical Director of Costain, called for radical and market-changing innovation in the construction industry to cut the cost of transport, power and water for consumers, while Ray O'Rourke KBE HonFREng, Chairman and Chief Executive of Laing O'Rourke, presented the company's Design for Manufacture and Assembly (DfMA) strategy. He also highlighted the importance of passing R&D innovation lessons learnt on individual projects, on to the rest of the industry.
The following presentations from the event are available to download:
The event is a recorded lecture on the ICE website, where you can listen to some of the presentations while viewing the slides, and view footage of the University of Cambridge professors giving their presentations.
Read the Cambridge University Engineering Department's new item about the event on Engineering's website by clicking here.