Projects worth £600 billion in the pipeline as government gets Britain building

Government publishes 2018 National Infrastructure and Construction Pipeline and Call for Evidence on Offsite Construction

750m River Great Ouse viaduct bridge
750m River Great Ouse viaduct bridge, A14 Cambridge to Huntingdon improvement road scheme. Parts of these bridges were developed in a factory, meaning they were built more efficiently than if traditional methods of construction had been used.

• Construction pipeline forecasts £600 billion of infrastructure investment over next decade
• Ministers want more projects to be delivered using digital manufacturing techniques
• Call for evidence launched on offsite building

A massive £600 billion investment in our roads, hospitals and schools over the next ten years has been set out today, alongside proposals to harness modern technologies to build infrastructure in the most effective way.

The Government’s National Infrastructure and Construction Pipeline reveals the vast scale of public and private investment underway and expected by 2028. It includes schemes announced by Chancellor Philip Hammond in his recent Budget, like the £28 billion national roads fund, as well as other flagship projects like East West Rail, upgrading the M6 to a smart motorway and Hornsea Project One – the largest offshore wind farm in the world.

To ensure maximum efficiency in building these projects ministers are encouraging greater use of more modern approaches to construction. This includes the manufacturing of components in factories using the latest digital technology before being sent for assembly on construction sites. The Government has committed to increasing use of these methods in public-funded projects and today asks for views on how to encourage greater use of these cutting-edge techniques.

Despite significant contributions to the UK economy, the construction sector’s productivity is weak compared to other sectors like manufacturing. Applying modern manufacturing approaches to building projects can boost productivity and reduce waste by as much as 90 per cent. For example, a school that typically takes a year to build could be completed in just over four months.

This manufacturing technique has already been used to great success in several projects, including the A14 Cambridge to Huntingdon improvement scheme. Parts of these bridges were developed in a factory, meaning they were built more efficiently than if traditional methods of construction had been used.

The Exchequer Secretary to the Treasury, Robert Jenrick said:

“We are committed to renewing our infrastructure to drive economic growth in all parts of the United Kingdom. Over the course of this Parliament, investment in economic infrastructure will reach the highest sustained levels in over 40 years.

“And as the pace of technological change accelerates, we are stepping up our commitment to digital infrastructure, use of data to drive greater productivity and embrace new methods of construction.

“With £600bn of investment over the next decade, including the largest ever investment in our strategic road network, we are taking the long term action required to raise productivity and ensure the economy is fit for the future.”

Chief Executive of the Infrastructure and Projects Authority, Tony Meggs said:

“Government is the largest client for infrastructure projects so has an important role in using its purchasing power to drive improved productivity in their delivery.

“We recognise there is significant momentum within the sector to scale up the adoption of more modern and innovative practices and it is the role of the IPA to help coordinate this approach across new infrastructure projects.

“We would like to hear from a range of industry experts on government’s proposals for a Platform Approach to Design for Manufacture and Assembly.”

Chief Executive of Highways England, Jim O’Sullivan said:

“At Highways England we recognise the productivity and efficiency challenges that the U.K. construction industry is facing. In recent years we have encouraged more computer-led design, automation, and pre-assembly across all of our construction activities. As well as driving productivity and efficiency, it improves worker safety and reduces delays and frustration for road users passing through our works.

“We will adopt ever increasing levels of automation and off-site construction on road improvement schemes and smart motorways in our next five year road investment programme.”

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