Construction Scotland Innovation Centre

Event: Build your Business: Construct your Future

BCTG Construct is a consortium of educators, industrialists, and designers who aim to transform the way that construction-based training programmes are delivered in the UK.

BCTG Construct, in association with Circular Glasgow and the Construction Scotland Innovation Centre (CSIC), would like to invite construction employers, large and small, to attend a FREE afternoon information session hosted by Glasgow Chamber of Commerce at the CSIC’s ‘Innovation Factory’ in Hamilton on the afternoon of February 15.

BCTG Construct will be launching a new trade publication on the skills gaps at the supervisory level within the construction industry and providing an overview of the learning programme that is being developed to help construction businesses increase productivity, reduce inefficiencies and close the skills gap by offering supervisors an ‘anytime, anywhere’ learning experience.

Attendees will also hear about how Circular Glasgow can provide businesses with the support, tools, knowledge and access to funding streams necessary to create a business model that is fit for the future. SMEs will have the opportunity to sign up for a comprehensive FREE on site assessment of their business.

CSIC will be offering guided tours of the Innovation Factory, explaining membership options and how they can support innovation within your business.

Finally, City of Glasgow College will be on hand to provide information on how you can access up to £10,000 of training through the Flexible Workforce Development Fund, and to outline the range of support services and curriculum products the College has on offer to help you develop your workforce.

Linzi Shearer, project manager and lead researcher for BCTG construct, said: “We are delighted to be partnering with Circular Glasgow to host this event at the CSIC’s pioneering Innovation Factory. Through research and extensive consultation with industry stakeholders, the BCTG Construct team have sought to understand the key issues facing construction businesses where supervisor training and development are concerned. Findings from the publication we will be launching at the event will be used to inform the development of an innovative co-designed and co-delivered solution to addressing current and future skills gaps within the industry.”

Alison McRae, senior director of Glasgow Chamber of Commerce, said: “We are delighted to be at the implementation stage of Circular Glasgow where we intend to get more construction businesses across the city involved to help them innovate and future-proof their business. Glasgow’s ambition is to position itself as a leading circular city. With construction representing about 50% of all waste arising in Scotland, Circular Glasgow’s programme of practical engagement tools aims to inspire the built environment to embrace new business models designed to impact positively on both their businesses and the economy.”

Jennifer Smart, business relationship manager for the Construction Scotland Innovation Centre, said: “We are delighted to host this event at our recently launched Innovation Factory in Hamilton, near Glasgow. At the CSIC, we are dedicated to promoting innovation and supporting companies that work within the Construction and Built Environment space to deliver transformational change and real economic benefit to Scotland.”

The event will start with a FREE buffet lunch and (optional factory tours) at 12:30, with the session running from 13:30 to 14:45. Tickets are FREE but limited to 50 places and can be booked by visiting the BCTG Construct website.

Minister launches advanced timber products Innovation Challenge

645-645-for-website_acc-manufacturingfloor_v3Rural affairs secretary Fergus Ewing has announced a new Innovation Challenge that will encourage the Scottish timber technologies sector to innovate and develop new products and systems for the construction industry.

Run as an open competition, the Challenge seeks to drive innovation by offering supported access to the facilities and expertise at the Construction Scotland Innovation Centre (CSIC) Innovation Factory.

Speaking at trade body ConFor’s annual conference today, Mr Ewing, said: “Scotland’s forestry and timber sectors have two great assets: a healthy supply of raw materials and a very talented pool of designers, engineers and fabricators.

“This Innovation Challenge aims to capitalise on both of those things. It will give companies the chance to develop and prototype new products and systems to provide  solutions for the construction sector.

“The SG Climate Change plan incorporates a target to increase the amount of Scottish timber utilised in construction. This is an excellent opportunity to develop new products and markets towards achieving this.”

The Challenge is part of the Timber Development Programme’s effort to meet the Climate Change Plan’s target and is backed by Forestry Commission Scotland (FCS) and the Construction Scotland Innovation Centre (CSIC).

Winning projects will share in a total of 80 days of free access to both the Innovation Factory and to technical support.

The £3 million CSIC, located at Hamilton International Technology Park in Lanarkshire, offers the construction industry 30,000 sq. ft. of workshop space filled with state-of-the-art production and prototyping equipment and technology.

The building also provides a range of collaboration and training facilities to allow organisations in the private, public and academic sectors to share knowledge and information.

For more information and an application pack for the Advanced Timber Products Innovation Challenge, contact the Construction Scotland Innovation Centre.

Blog: New Innovation Factory can help industry do things better

Chris Shaw

Chris Shaw

Chris Shaw, associate development director of regeneration company Urban Splash, provides his view on Construction Scotland Innovation Centre’s newly launched Innovation Factory.

Just yesterday, I had the pleasure of addressing a huge room full of Scottish construction professionals. But this wasn’t any old room – it was Construction Scotland Innovation Centre’s new Innovation Factory, a massive workshop which from today onwards, will be home to a whole bunch of state-of-the-art construction and manufacturing equipment that anyone in the construction industry can use.

It’s unlike anything else in the UK, so as an Englishman who is passionate about innovation in construction, I’m a little bit jealous.

I’d been invited north of the border by the Construction Scotland Innovation Centre to talk at the launch of their Innovation Factory about my experiences with Urban Splash, the award winning regeneration company I work for in Manchester on developments around England.

Urban Splash was set up by two friends, architect Jonathan Falkingham MBE, and entrepreneur Tom Bloxham MBE, back in 1993. At the time they had no grand plans other than wanting to bring all the many empty buildings that were lying around in Liverpool and Manchester back into use.

What really set Urban Splash apart from other developers was that it based its investment decisions on what it thought would be future trends, rather than responding to historic ones. This was a very unusual approach in an industry which is traditionally very conservative and cautious. When we started developing in city centres, people thought nobody would want to live in Manchester or Liverpool city centre – it was seen as very radical.

But our approach was a success; Urban Splash has undertaken more than 60 regeneration projects, invested over a billion pounds in regeneration and created over 5,000 new homes, 2 million sq ft of work space, and thousands of jobs.

The £2 million Innovation Centre was launched yesterday with a major industry event

The £2 million Innovation Centre was launched yesterday with a major industry event

Being bold and innovative is where we share many similarities with the Innovation Centre team. They are passionate about getting Scottish construction businesses to look to the future and do things better. In the Innovation Factory, they have an amazing facility that’s open to anyone who wants to use it to prototype and develop new products, processes, systems and solutions. As well as all the latest equipment, they have people to show you how to use it, and collaboration and training facilities to allow organisations to share knowledge and up-skill the next generation of talent.

A particular area of focus for CSIC since it launched in 2014 has been offsite manufacturing. I believe that offsite is a game-changer when it comes to tackling the current housing shortage. Scotland alone needs to deliver 50,000 new affordable homes and an estimated 75,000 private homes over the next few years. Offsite fabrication and modularisation can really speed up housebuilding, because while the building components are being manufactured in a factory, onsite preparation can be going on at the same time. Using a controlled offsite environment can reduce the impact of adverse weather conditions on the project, reducing costs while also improving safety.

Many people think modular housing means that we’ll soon all be living in bland identikit shoeboxes. However, with manufacturers taking a 21st Century approach to mass customisation, as the car industry has, nothing could be further from the truth. This is one area we are really investing in at Urban Splash. Our “House” project aims to combine the cost benefits of modular construction with the flexibility offered by architect-designed properties. Customers have the power to design and determine the layout of their home, which is then made in a factory, and transported as a pre-assembled module to site where it is craned into position. Our maiden scheme in New Islington in Manchester is sold out, and we now also have developments at Irwell Riverside in Salford and Smith’s Dock North Shields, with plans for Scotland in the near future.

CSIC has also been supporting a consortium of Scotland’s offsite manufacturers for some time, which is making real progress in terms of allowing these businesses to collaborate and improve Scotland’s offsite proposition.

Embracing offsite is just one of the many ways CSIC can help your organisation. So if you’re in the UK and you’re involved in construction, come and see the amazing Innovation Factory. I can’t tell you how much the founders of Urban Splash wish there had been a facility like this back in the 1990s. But it’s here now – so use it!

Construction ‘Innovation Factory’ launches with major industry event

CSIC SiteHundreds of delegates were among the first to see Construction Scotland Innovation Centre’s pioneering new £2 million Innovation Factory as it launched today with a major industry event.

Located at Hamilton International Technology Park in South Lanarkshire and supported by Scottish Funding Council and Scottish Enterprise, the factory will allow anyone in the construction industry to access 35,000 sq. ft. of workshop space fitted out with state-of-the-art production and prototyping equipment and technology.

Construction businesses of all sizes can use the facility to test and develop new products, processes, systems and solutions, from early stage ideas through to commercial realisation. The building will also provide a range of collaboration and training facilities to allow organisations in the private, public and academic sectors to share knowledge and information.

The workshop space and equipment will also be used for training purposes, allowing the industry to attract and develop fresh talent and build new skills using the latest virtual reality and drone technology, automated manufacturing equipment and advanced robotics as part of a move towards greater productivity.

Today’s launch event brought together over 300 construction professionals for a series of industry-leading speakers, interactive workshops and demonstrations, all taking place within the new Innovation Factory itself.

Keynote speakers include:

  • Andrew Wolstenholme OBE,CEO of Crossrail and co-chair UK Construction Leadership Council
  • David Philp, Global BIM/IM consultancy director, AECOM, and chair of the Scottish BIM Delivery Group
  • Chris Shaw,associate development director of renowned regeneration company Urban Splash

Delegates will also attend a series of “Hack Workshops”, exploring topics such as “What if construction adopted a more entrepreneurial mindset?” and “What if schools taught the skills your workforce needs?”

CSIC SiteStephen Good, chief executive of Construction Scotland Innovation Centre, said: “Opening the Innovation Factory today is a proud moment for the CSIC team, one that we have been working hard towards since we launched the Innovation Centre nearly three years ago. I’ve watched this facility grow from the seed of an industry idea into reality, and it is brilliant to see it open its doors today to so many enthusiastic people. The relevance of the facility has already been confirmed with companies registering their interest in using it months before we were even ready to open.

“Today’s event, which is taking place within the workshop space itself, is a fantastic showcase for the facility and industry’s desire to collaborate and create opportunities for the future. Demand was so high that we ran out of tickets weeks ago and we know that once the delegates see what’s on offer here, they will be out there telling their colleagues and partners across the Scottish construction industry all about it.”

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said: “The opening of CSIC’s Innovation Factory, the only facility of its kind in the UK, will offer businesses across the country access to cutting edge technology and a state-of-the-art facility.

“Of course, it’s not just companies who can take advantage of the Innovation Factory. Housing associations, councils, Transport Scotland and the NHS have all worked with the Innovation Centre since it was established in 2014.

“We want to see more collaboration in the future, across the public and private sector, and I would encourage everyone to get involved and make the most of the Innovation Factory.”

Andrew Wolstenholme OBE said: “As chief executive one of the biggest infrastructure projects ever undertaken in the UK, it is my belief that this country needs to become smarter and better at delivering construction. We need to improve our productivity to deliver better, more certain outcomes by using digital technologies and increasing the proportion of offsite manufacturing. That’s why I’m delighted to be at today’s launch of CSIC’s wonderful Innovation Factory, which will be focusing on areas like offsite and digitisation, to help Scotland’s construction businesses drive a much-needed transformation in our industry.”

David Philp added: “These are exciting times for the construction industry, with the dynamics and behaviours of both client and supply chain organisations becoming more collaborative, technologically advanced and outcome-based.  A momentum is building in the convergence of these themes, unlocking a new wave of innovation in an ever modernised sector.

“The SFT Building Information Modelling (BIM) Delivery Group is supporting the Scottish Government in meeting its objectives for a move towards a digital built environment, with BIM featuring as a key part for the future of the Scottish construction industry.

“The Innovation Factory is a fantastic facility which will play a huge part in helping Scotland’s construction organisations to innovate, collaborate, learn and adopt high-value advanced manufacturing processes. Having the factory open is a massive boost for the industry.”

Scottish construction ‘innovation factory’ set to open

ACC-ManufacturingFloor_v3Construction Scotland Innovation Centre is to officially launch its pioneering Innovation Factory at an industry event next month.

The £3 million centre, located at Hamilton International Technology Park in Lanarkshire, will allow anyone within the construction industry to access 30,000 sq. ft. of workshop space filled with state-of-the-art production and prototyping equipment and technology.

Construction businesses of all sizes can use the facility to test and develop new products, processes, systems and solutions, from early stage ideas through to full commercialisation. The building will also provide a range of collaboration and training facilities to allow organisations in the private, public and academic sectors to share knowledge and information.

The launch event on September 11 will bring together hundreds of professionals who are interested in the future of construction for a series of industry-leading speakers, interactive workshops and demonstrations.

Keynote speakers include Andrew Wolstenholme OBE, CEO of Crossrail and co-chair UK Construction Leadership Council, and Tom Bloxham MBE, chairman and co-founder of Urban Splash.

Delegates can also attend a series of ‘Hack Workshops’, exploring topics such as “What if construction adopted a more entrepreneurial mindset?” and “What if schools taught the skills your workforce needs?” 

Workshop leaders will include Jim Duffy MBE, co-founder of Entrepreneurial Spark and author of Create Special.

Stephen Good, chief executive of Construction Scotland Innovation Centre, said: “The Innovation Factory is something that the team here at CSIC has been working towards since we launched in October 2014. It will provide a dynamic environment, away from the conventional building site, where the Scottish construction industry can innovate, take risks, explore and learn in a safe and supported environment.

“We have seen a steady increase in construction innovation over the past few years, and I hope that this new facility will inspire even more people within the industry to think outside the box.

“The calibre of speakers at our launch event is testament to the importance of the Innovation Factory in accelerating innovation within the industry.”

Those wishing to attend the free event should register at www.cs-ic.org/events as soon as possible to guarantee their place.

Construction Scotland Innovation Centre prepares to launch new facility for industry

ACC-ManufacturingFloor_v3The Construction Scotland Innovation Centre (CSIC) is gearing up for a productive 2017 as it prepares to open the doors to its new innovation and collaboration facility to construction companies across Scotland.

The Scottish construction sector employs 170,000 people – 10 per cent of all Scottish jobs – across 31,000 businesses. The new CSIC premises at Hamilton International Technology Park in Lanarkshire will be open to any of those people and businesses to use, and is designed to help them to innovate, collaborate and learn.

The refurbishment and fit-out of the new facility will begin in early January and will be undertaken by principal contractor akp Scotland. The project will involve alterations and refurbishment to form new two-storey offices, alterations to the warehouse area, and services installations relating to the warehouse plant equipment and machinery. Completion is scheduled for spring 2017, and the facility will formally open its doors to industry in summer 2017.

ACC_Office_v1Funded by CSIC, the Scottish Funding Council and Scottish Enterprise, the new industry-led facility will deliver 30,000 sq. ft. of workshop space housing state-of-the-art construction and manufacturing equipment, complete with a 5 tonne overhead gantry crane for heavy lifting.

This equipment will allow construction businesses of all sizes to prototype and develop new products, processes, systems and solutions, from early stage ideas through to full commercialisation.

The workshop space and equipment will also be used for training purposes, allowing the industry to attract and develop fresh talent and build new skills using the latest virtual reality and drone technology, automated manufacturing equipment and advanced robotics as part of a move towards greater productivity, through adoption of digital and industrial processes.

ACC-Training Suite_v1The facility’s office space will be fitted out to cater for training delivery, events, seminars, meetings and hackathons, where partners are encouraged to work together to tackle key challenges in short, intensive workshop sessions. A suite in one of the seminar spaces will be equipped with the latest hardware and software to allow companies to prepare for impending BIM Level 2 compliance requirements in a live, interactive environment.

The facility will also include a construction incubator where start-ups and very small businesses can collaborate with industry, academic and public sector partners around innovation projects.

New dedicated staff from the Innovation Centre’s sister organisation, the Construction Scotland Industry Leadership Group, will soon be joining the CSIC team at the new facility, creating a formidable one-stop-shop for the industry around collaboration, innovation and leadership.
Businesses can access the flexible services, facilities, training and equipment through either being part of a collaborative project, pay-as-you-go, membership or open access models, with a variety of benefits tiered to each option.

ACC-IncubationSuite_v1Stephen Good, chief executive of Construction Scotland Innovation Centre, said: “We are really excited about the potential offered by this new innovation facility for industry. Our delivery team are extremely busy getting everything ready to launch this resource to industry in the summer.  It will provide a dynamic environment, away from the conventional building site, where the Scottish construction industry can innovate, take risks, explore and learn, safe in the knowledge that the activity here is protected from the perceived risks of innovating on live construction sites.

“Since we launched in October 2014, CSIC has made fantastic progress, helping 42 innovative projects get off the ground so far, and we hope that having this new facility at their disposal will inspire even more people within the construction industry to get innovating.”

Martin Rowley, joint managing director of akp, said: “We look forward to working with Anderson Bell Christie, Armour, Currie & Brown and Scott Bennett in completing this project for CSIC. Having completed tenant and landlord works within this building a number of years ago, we have acquired knowledge of the building layout and an in depth understanding of the services and existing M & E, which we feel will prove invaluable to the delivery of the project.”

CSIC’s move to Hamilton International Technology Park was brokered by Knight Frank, acting on behalf of Conygar Investment Company.

The Innovation Centre will occupy a total of 34,866 sq. ft. in the recently-refurbished Watt Place as part of a 10-year lease.

Sarah Addis, senior surveyor at Knight Frank, added: “CSIC’s move to Watt Place highlights the level of demand in the market for modern, well-located industrial units.  The property delivers the ideal combination of high-quality warehouse and office facilities, which in today’s market is difficult to find.

“The Innovation Centre will join companies such as Scottish Power, Babcock, First Direct and First Engineering at Watt Place, demonstrating that businesses are looking to areas outside of Glasgow’s core to meet their needs. The University of the West of Scotland has also announced the development of a state-of-the-art campus at the complex, bringing further investment to the area.”

Blog: The Great Productivity Challenge

Stephen Good

Stephen Good

Stephen Good, chief executive of the Construction Scotland Innovation Centre, challenges the sector to be more adventurous to avoid standing still.

We may still be living in rather uncertain times in the Scottish construction industry, but if I could offer one piece of advice to a business looking to secure its future it would be this – whatever you’re thinking of doing, think bigger. Be open to change and embrace new opportunities, because doing things the way you’ve always done them is the biggest risk to the future sustainability of your business.

It doesn’t matter whether you are a start-up SME or an established major contractor, the message is relevant. Every business interested in its future must make the decision between standing still and progressing. History is littered with examples of businesses that failed to progress and paid the ultimate price. Nimble, dynamic businesses that think and act in an efficient, lean manner tend to be more resilient.

There’s a widely held perception that the Scottish construction industry’s productivity is poor and it’s true that there is a widening gap between the productivity of the Scottish economy as a whole and that of the construction industry. Demonstrating this, construction sector productivity has declined since 2008, remaining significantly below 2008 for GVA per construction worker.

However, even very small improvements in productivity can drive significant gains for the Scottish economy, and impact on both the cost to the client and bottom line profit. That’s why it’s so important that we as an industry make improving our productivity a priority.

The industry has a range of unique characteristics that create some challenges for increasing productivity. It is a diverse and fragmented sector that ranges from one-man-bands to major contractors, from suppliers to architects. There are so many different processes, including planning, financing, design, procurement construction, operations and demolition, and your average project will bring together a huge range of different businesses to deliver a solution.

A particular challenge is the fact that construction clients are often not the project’s end user or customer, which places the focus on short-term costs rather than lifetime value. The industry also suffers from some negative perceptions and this makes it difficult to attract and retain skilled workers and graduates. It is continually failing to convince women, for example, that it can offer them rewarding career prospects. As long as this remains the case, the industry is missing out on a huge untapped pool of talented future leaders.

Construction Scotland Innovation Centre recently marked its second anniversary by co-hosting a conference, alongside Construction Scotland, which was attended by more than 300 leading industry figures. One of the day’s key themes was improving productivity. CSIC and its partners have put an immediate focus on increasing industry awareness of the benefits of improved productivity, and we are supporting the delivery of a series of events to help companies achieve this.

Areas that have the potential to significantly advance construction efficiency include the widespread use of digital construction and BIM, effective performance measurement, greater use of smart construction techniques like modularisation and off-site fabrication, and improved job-site efficiency through more effective use of technology, people, processes, materials, equipment and data. Appropriate procurement policies and practices that support collaboration and timely planning would also make a huge difference.

CSIC is 100 per cent focused on supporting business innovation and collaboration and I strongly believe that these are two of the biggest keys to improved productivity.  Across our 13 Scottish university partners, we have a wealth of expertise and transferable research around productivity challenges faced by other industries. It would be remiss of the construction industry not to tap into that expertise.

An example is industry’s Offsite Hub, where nine of the most advanced offsite manufacturers in Scotland have recognised that there’s a huge market in the south of England that they are well placed to deliver solutions to. Rather than each of them trying to do it themselves, they are pulling together in a coordinated approach to tackle key issues, including how they grow the skills that will allow them to expand their capacity into wider UK markets, and ultimately offer a value proposition underpinned by efficient productivity.

Given that the construction sector has often been perceived as risk averse, traditional and conservative, one challenge for CSIC is to encourage firms from opposite ends of the innovation scale to work together. To inspire businesses to share information, we’ve introduced experts from out with construction, like the pharmaceutical industry, into workshops to share their experience of the benefits that working together on common problems can bring. We are here to invest in innovative new projects, and often these deliver greatest impact when the businesses work together, sharing ideas, knowledge, challenges and rewards. Collaboration is key.

There is a whole section of society, not just in the construction industry, that finds the word ‘innovation’ a bit scary and they associate it with risk and cost, the same way people wrongly believe improving productivity means working harder for longer. Our message is that the risk really lies in doing nothing. We’re not here to help you take risks that will make a business fail; we’re here to challenge and support businesses to do things better – and ultimately drive more profit.

To find out more about the Profit through Productivity programme, visit www.cs-ic.org/productivity

The next free event in the Profit through Productivity programme is:

Business Breakfast – ‘Engaging in Change and Developing a Culture of Continuous Improvement’ 

Aimed at business leaders and managers who are looking to introduce a culture of change within the business. Understand how to create the conditions to engage the workforce, identify opportunities to ‘do things better’ and deliver process improvements to benefit the business.

Date: 9th December 2016

Venue: Hampden National Football Centre

Book here.

Scottish construction conference to focus on innovation, productivity and growth

construction stockOver 400 of the Scottish construction industry’s key influencers and decision makers are set to gather today to discuss burning topics such as productivity, innovation, procurement and digitisation.

Hosted by BBC journalist David Henderson, the Construction Scotland and Innovation Centre Conference and Industry Showcase at the Hilton Hotel in Glasgow will be the largest construction conference in Scotland and is a key date for all industry leaders, senior practitioners, clients and stakeholders of Scotland’s construction industry.

Speakers will include Jamie Hepburn MSP, minister for employability and trainingJim McColl OBE, founder, chairman and CEO of Clyde Blowers, who will share his insights on growth through change and innovation, and Michael Dall, lead construction economist at Barbour ABI, a provider of construction intelligence, who will discuss future prospects for the industry.

Interactive workshops will tackle topical issues including delivering the Scottish Government’s target of 50,000 new homes, and rethinking public procurement.

Ken Gillespie, MD of Galliford Try and a member of Construction Scotland’s Industry Leadership Group, will chair one of the day’s key sessions focusing on building profit and productivity. The session will also feature Ian Ballentine, executive procurement director at Heathrow Airport; John Forster, chairman of Forster Group, and Lynsey Lennon, performance team leader – Alliance Management at Scottish Water.

The new Profit through Productivity initiative to help Scottish construction businesses boost their profits by improving their productivity and efficiency will also be launched today at the event. The new scheme is a collaboration between Construction Scotland Innovation Centre (CSIC), Scottish Enterprise, Scottish Manufacturing Advisory Service, Zero Waste Scotland and Skills Development Scotland.

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon and Bill McBride, chair of CSIC trying out some virtual reality goggles at the last Construction Scotland conference in 2014

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon and Bill McBride, chair of CSIC trying out some virtual reality goggles at the last Construction Scotland conference in 2014

Jamie Hepburn MSP, minister for employability and training, said: “The construction industry is a core sector of the Scottish economy, providing infrastructure to businesses across all sectors.  The Scottish Government fully appreciates the importance of the industry to the Scottish economy as a whole and to the all the people who are employed by the sector.  We have a strong commitment to continue to work together with Construction Scotland to grow our construction industry and achieve the best results for Scotland.”

Ed Monaghan, chair of Construction Scotland Industry Leadership Group, and chief executive of Mactaggart & Mickel Group, said: “Today is going to be a fantastic opportunity for hundreds of construction professionals to share ideas, hear some good business advice and hopefully be inspired by what can be possible if we look to the future and embrace change. It’s true that the construction industry faces some challenges, but I am confident that we can tackle them head-on by improving our efficiency, effectiveness, and by looking at new ways to do things. I hope today can be a starting point for a bright new future for the industry.”

Stephen Good, chief executive of Construction Scotland Innovation Centre, said: “Our last conference in 2014 saw the launch of the Construction Scotland Innovation Centre, and since then we have made fantastic progress, helping 33 innovative projects get off the ground so far. I’m looking forward to sharing some of the highlights with today’s audience, and hopefully inspiring even more people to get in touch with us with their ideas.”

Jim McColl OBE, founder, chairman and CEO of Clyde Blowers, said: “Construction is a really important part of our economy which impacts both directly and indirectly on all of us. I look forward to sharing some of the techniques and approaches we have used within a number of our businesses which have resulted in significant improvement in profitability.”

Free BIM training programme to be launched at industry conference

BIM stockThe Construction Scotland Innovation Centre (CSIC) is set to launch a free training and awareness programme to help Scottish construction businesses prepare for the impending implementation of Building Information Modelling (BIM) Level 2.

Delivered by CSIC and supported by Scottish Enterprise, Scottish Futures Trust, BIM Regions Scotland and Hub, the programme of workshops and events will begin in October 2016 and will be aimed at construction professionals right across the industry, including designers, clients, facility managers, manufacturers and suppliers.

Full details of how to register your interest in the events will be launched at Construction Scotland and CSIC’s joint conference and industry showcase on September 13 at the Hilton Hotel in Glasgow. The event, which will be the largest construction conference in Scotland, will bring together hundreds of the industry’s key influencers and decision makers from construction businesses of all sizes.

Adrian Shilliday, technical director and BIM Leader at Galliford Try, will chair one of the key workshops at the conference which will focus on preparing for BIM and unveil details of how the industry is leading in the awareness, adoption & implementation of BIM Level 2. The session will also feature Ryan Tennyson, co-chair of the BIM Scottish Suppliers Group and Bruce Newlands, head of technical operations at CSIC.

Bruce Newlands said: “BIM will be adopted, where appropriate, in projects across the public sector by April 2017. BIM will support the creation of a more efficient built environment that is more sustainable, and with more intelligent infrastructure fit for the 21st century. The April 2017 implementation date for the public sector is fast approaching, but there is still a lot of confusion in the construction industry about what exactly BIM is, what Level 2 means and what they need to do to prepare.

“That’s where this programme comes in.  Beginning with the basics, we plan to lead you methodically through the steps your business will need to take to be ready for BIM Level 2 and beyond, and give you all the guidance and information you need. As well as this extensive programme of free events there will also be an online hub and a free online advice service to help you answer any specific questions and point you to the right information.”

He added: “Any business worried or confused about BIM should join us at the conference, come along to our Preparing for BIM workshop and find out how to register to keep up to date with the forthcoming free training opportunities.”

The Construction Scotland and Innovation Centre Conference and Industry Showcase will be hosted by BBC Reporting Scotland’s David Henderson, and speakers will include Jamie Hepburn MSP, minister for employability and training, and Jim McColl OBE who will share his insights on growth through change and innovation. Michael Dall, lead construction economist at Barbour ABI, will also discuss future prospects for the industry.

Registration and attendance at the event is free. Workshop spaces are limited and are filling up fast, so register at www.cs-ic.org/2016event as soon as possible to guarantee a place.

Productivity programme to boost profits to be launched at industry conference

Construction stock 1 credit Scottish Enterprise

Image courtesy of Scottish Enterprise

Construction Scotland is set to launch a new initiative to help Scottish construction businesses boost their profits by improving their productivity and efficiency.

A collaboration between Construction Scotland Innovation Centre (CSIC), Scottish Enterprise, Scottish Manufacturing Advisory Service, Zero Waste Scotland and Skills Development Scotland, the Profit Through Productivity programme of workshops, activities and events will start in October 2016 and will cover topics from manufacturing and operations efficiency to organisational development and leadership. Companies will be able to select elements from this bespoke programme that are relevant to their individual business.­

Full details of the new scheme will be unveiled at Construction Scotland and CSIC’s joint conference and industry showcase on Wednesday 13 September at the Hilton Hotel in Glasgow. The event, which will be the largest construction conference in Scotland, will bring together hundreds of the industry’s key influencers and decision makers from construction businesses of all sizes.

The event will feature a thought provoking, informative and interesting range of talks, collaborative discussions and interactive exhibits to encourage Scotland’s construction businesses, clients and stakeholders to improve their competitiveness, embrace change and innovate to capitalise on the industry’s world renowned strengths and deliver further growth.

Ken Gillespie, MD of Galliford Try and a member of Construction Scotland’s Industry Leadership Group, will chair one of the key sessions at the conference focusing on building profit and productivity. The session will also feature Ian Ballentine, executive procurement director at Heathrow Airport, John Forster, chairman of Forster GroupLynsey Lennon, performance team leader – alliance management at Scottish Water.

Delegates will also learn about differentiating through innovation, digitisation and BIM (building information modelling), and will also be able to learn about the progress of Construction Scotland and the Innovation Centre and their exciting plans for the future.

Workshops will feature many topical issues including delivering the Scottish Government’s target of 50,000 new homes and rethinking public procurement. Additionally, new forms of support to help construction businesses seize new opportunities will be announced at the conference.

The event will be hosted by BBC Reporting Scotland’s David Henderson, and speakers will include Jim McColl OBE who will share his insights on growth through change and innovation. Michael Dall, lead construction economist at Barbour ABI will also discuss future prospects for the industry.

Stephen Good, chief executive of Construction Scotland Innovation Centre, said: “These may be rather uncertain times for the construction industry, but the best thing a business can do to secure its future is to have a positive attitude, look ahead and think about how it can do things differently and more efficiently. Our event will share tips and tricks on how to be more productive, and improve profitability, and it doesn’t matter whether you are a very small company or a major contractor, these messages are crucial to absolutely everyone.”

Ed Monaghan, chair of Construction Scotland, said: “The construction sector is such a vital part of our economy here in Scotland that it is in everyone’s best interests for it to thrive. If you work in the construction industry, you will know the challenges we face. Continual improvement is the name of the game in terms of efficiency, effectiveness, and ultimately improved profitability.

“Construction Scotland’s Profit through Productivity initiative is here to help you and your business do just that. I’d urge everyone in the construction industry to get along to the Conference to not only find out all about this programme and how they can get involved with it, but also learn from some top industry experts and network with hundreds of construction peers.”

Registration and attendance at the event is free. Workshop spaces are limited and are filling up fast, so register at www.cs-ic.org/2016event as soon as possible to guarantee a place.