Mary Bon | Chair
Our mission is to share knowledge and foster collaborative working within the digital technology and offsite sectors in the South West, signposting work in these fields being done by others.
•To find gaps in knowledge of the digital and offsite sectors and collaborate as project teams to fill them. (Project teams may be ‘only digital’ or ‘only offsite’ or linked).
•To improve our understanding of the challenges and the opportunities for the economic development of these sectors in the region.
•To consider what’s in it for us and society in developing these sectors and to provide business benefits both to participants and readers.
Recognising the synergy between digital and offsite
Digital and Offsite construction needs
•Need for digital transformation to raise productivity and reap the wider societal benefits of it: sustainability, well-being, quality…
•Need for greater uptake of offsite and modular construction of all project sizes to assist in faster, leaner, more collaborative construction processes
There is an increasingly recognised synergy between off-site construction and digital technologies (including BIM tools, processes and behaviours) but knowledge-sharing within and between the two fields needs to improve.
Challenges to offsite construction
• Shorter detailed design periods are critical for offsite construction / DfMA. (Detailed design information has to be released to offsite manufacturing/ DfMA teams much earlier than with in site-based construction and early design freezes deployed to avoid costly changes).
• Need for a flexible supply chain so different suppliers are interchangeable
• Offsite construction health & safety necessary
• Sustainable offsite construction processes important
• Offsite construction quality vital to counter any negative perception of it, and good alignment between site and factory data and information achieved
• Need for greater uptake of offsite construction and development of associated skills to assist in creating faster, leaner, more collaborative construction processes
• Cost and cashflow
How can digital technologies, processes and behaviours respond to offsite construction challenges?
• Why does early release of detailed design information impact offsite construction success? How can this be best achieved digitally?
• What detailed design information is needed by offsite suppliers? In which digital format?
• What digital technologies, processes and behaviours are required by offsite suppliers to improve their health and safety/sustainability/quality?
• How can digital technologies, processes and behaviours facilitate faster offsite construction and assist in developing offsite construction skills?
Digital technology challenges
• Recognition of productivity value, at all levels – government and grassroots
• Need for interoperability so different solutions are interchangeable
• Health & safety aspects need to be considered (in design, manufacture and assembly)
• Quality of information and data exchanged through digital technology vital
• Sustainability (circular economy) of associated hardware important
•Need for greater uptake of digital technology and digital skills to assist in creating faster, more sustainable, more collaborative offsite construction processes and outcomes
• Cost and communication of ROI
How can offsite construction best respond to digital technology, process and behaviour challenges?
• Recognition of productivity value of taking an integrated approach - at all levels
• Integrating health & safety aspects (in design, manufacture and assembly)
• Focussing on the quality of information and data exchanged through use of digital technology, processes and behaviours
• Recognition of sustainability factors (circular economy) when making hardware/equipment choices
• Investing in digital technology and digital skills to create faster, more sustainable, more collaborative offsite construction processes and outcomes