The Government is backing greater use of digital manufacturing processes to deliver its £600bn investment in the UK’s roads, hospitals and schools over the next 10 years.
In its newly published ‘National Infrastructure and Construction Pipeline’, the Government has published the scale of public and private investment expected by 2028.
The pipeline includes schemes confirmed by Chancellor Philip Hammond in his Autumn Budget; such as the £28bn national roads fund, and other flagship projects such as East West Rail, upgrading the M6 to a smart motorway and the world’s largest offshore wind development, Hornsea Project One.
In an effort to ensure these projects are built to maximum efficiency, the Government is urging for greater use of more modern methods of construction.
The Government confirmed its commitment to offsite construction on publicly funded projects and has issued a call for views on the best way to encourage more firms to adopt it. It set out plans to promote a standardisation approach to building infrastructure, which it has called a Platform Approach to Design for Manufacture and Assembly (P-DfMA).
According to data, the construction sector makes a significant contribution to the UK economy, but its productivity is unconvincing in comparison to other sectors, including manufacturing. The Government believes that applying modern manufacturing approaches on building projects will boost productivity and reduce waste by up to 90%.
Robert Jenrick, Exchequer Secretary to the Treasury, 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.”
He added: “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.”
Tony Meggs, chief executive of the Infrastructure and Projects Authority added: “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.”
He continued: “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.”