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Cambridge Centre for Smart Infrastructure and Construction

Transforming infrastructure through smarter information

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Futureproofing workshops

What do we mean by futureproofing infrastructure?

Why should we futureproof?

Infrastructure futureproofing v6 jpeg with black background v8

Illustration: Duncan McFarlane: Expecting the Unexpected - the key to long-term management of infrastructure lies in futureproofing. 

The CSIC Futureproofing of Infrastructure project has two dimensions:

i) Information futureproofing: CSIC is developing strategies for critical information to remain available throughout the whole life cycle of infrastructure.

ii) Infrastructure futureproofing: this encompasses the ability of infrastructure to be resilient to unexpected or uncontrollable events (e.g. those associated with climate change) and also the ability to adapt to required changes in structure and/or operations of the infrastructure in the future (e.g. expansion of capacity, change in usage mode or volumes).

CSIC conducted two workshops around this theme in 2014.

The first Infrastructure Futureproofing Workshop was held at the Institute for Manufacturing (IfM) in Cambridge on 23rd January 2014. This brought together people involved in infrastructure development, management and ownership with expertise in aspects of futureproofing.

Presentations at this first workshop:

Duncan McFarlane, CSIC & IfM

Will McBain, Arup

Kate Avery, Network Rail

Andrew Ellis, Heathrow

Jon May, Lend Lease

For a more detailed account of this workshop, please see the news article here.

The second Infrastructure Futureproofing Workshop was held in Cambridge on 2nd April 2014. It brought together construction engineers, asset managers, and facilities managers to discuss current practices and how futureproofing might be best used within them.

Presentations at the second workshop:

Duncan McFarlane, CSIC & IfM

John Dora, John Dora Consulting 

Andrew Ellis, Heathrow

Keith Waller, Infrastructure UK

Navil Shetty, Atkins

Ajith Parlikad, CSIC & IfM

For a more detailed account of this workshop, please see the news article here.

For further information, please contact Dr Tariq Masood (


Masood, T, McFarlane, DC, Parlikad, AK, Dora, J, Ellis, A, and Schooling, J (2015) Towards the futureproofing of UK infrastructure, submitted to ICE Journal of Infrastructure Asset Management, May 2015.

Masood, T and McFarlane, DC and Parlikad, AKN and Schooling, J (2014) The Role of Futureproofing in the Management of Infrastructural Assets. In: International Symposium for Next Generation Infrastructure, 2014-9-30 to 2014-10-1, Vienna.

Masood, T and Cuthbert, R and McFarlane, DC and Parlikad, AKN (2013) Information futureproofing for large-scale infrastructure. In: 3rd IET Asset Management Conference, 2013-11-27 to 2013-11-28, London.


Infrastructure futureproofing is “the process of making provision for future developments, needs or events that impact on particular infrastructure through its current planning, design, construction or asset management processes (McFarlane et al 2014)”.

Information futureproofing is “the process to ensure that required information is retrievable (reusable) throughout the whole lifecycle of infrastructure assets or product service systems when needed. The key characteristics of information futureproofing may include but not limited to representability, retrievability, reusability and accessibility (Masood et al 2013)”.


Asset management

"Our aim is to put futureproofing on the agenda for every new build and for it to be embedded in asset management practices for existing infrastructure"

Prof Duncan McFarlane, CSIC Asset Management team