The NBS Construction Leaders’ Summit

In a busy month for events, NBS’s October 2020 Construction Leaders’ Summit has a stellar roster of keynote and supporting speakers.

NBS logoNBS is one of the UK’s leading construction information services businesses, capturing information from construction product manufacturers for use by designers and specifiers, and also managing the Uniclass classification system. It has also monitored the expanding use of building information modelling (BIM) through an annual survey (2018 post; the 10th edition of the survey was completed earlier this year), has surveyed AEC technology adoption trends, including those for ‘extranets’ or ‘CDEs’ (Feb 2019 post), and is pushing to put its data and cloud-based tools at the heart of digital transformation (2 Sep 2020NBS Chorus, Uniclass and CDEs).

Construction Leaders’ Summit

On 13 and 14 October 2020, NBS is hosting a Construction Leaders’ Summit – and this is perhaps a conference that (in contrast to some others) genuinely justifies the use of the word ‘Summit’. It has a stellar roster of keynote and supporting speakers, including a UK government minister, a former chief construction advisor, major figures involved in the modernisation and digitisation of the construction industry, and an eminent architect who once led Autodesk’s BIM developments:

  • Nadhim Zahawi MP, Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Industry, will talk about construction and political change, and how it will influence future policy.
  • Dame Judith Hackitt will cover the Draft Building Safety Bill, the upcoming regulatory changes, including the much discussed ‘Golden Thread of building information’, and discuss the impact they will have on the industry.
  • A decade ago, Paul Morrell was appointed the UK Government’s first Chief Construction Adviser with a brief to champion a more coordinated approach to affordable, sustainable construction (Nov 2009: An open letter to the new Chief Construction Adviser), and he did much to kickstart the UK BIM revolution from 2011 onwards
  • Mark FarmerMark Farmer, right, conducted the 2016 Farmer Review, an independent government review of the UK’s construction labour model entitled ‘Modernise or Die’. Also a co-chair of Constructing Excellence, in 2019 he was appointed as the government’s champion for Modern Methods of Construction in house-building.
  • Architect Phil Bernstein is also a technologist and educator. Formerly Vice President at Autodesk, he set the company’s future vision and strategy for BIM technology.

Countering pandemic and recession

NBS says:

“The double-whammy of a pandemic and a recession has made 2020 one of the most challenging and disrupted years in living memory. But the bright spot, in an otherwise battered economy, is construction, which forms a major part of the UK government’s “Build Back Better” campaign. In July, Britain’s construction industry grew at its fastest rate in almost five years, as business picked up after the coronavirus-related shutdown. However, existing challenges persist as the sector re-establishes itself, stymying progress, particularly digital adoption, or lack of. While COVID-19 has quickened the pace of technological uptake and integration in a host of industries, UK construction still lags behind the curve. A move to digital transformation, driven by legislation and a new focus on safety, will become key priorities in a post-pandemic world if the industry wants to keep up pace with the changed business landscape.”

For those looking for discipline-specific sessions, the second day will be split into two streams, one for specifiers and the other for manufacturers – but both looking at the future of the industry.

NBS Richard WaterhouseRichard Waterhouse, NBS’s chief strategy officer says:

“There’s no doubt the COVID-19 pandemic has quickened the pace of digital adoption. Currently, the construction industry lags behind the technological curve and large pockets of the sector are playing catch-up. While there are many players taking full advantage of the benefits of digital, there’s still some way to go. We wanted to curate an event which brings together the latest thinking and brightest and best minds to look at the construction ecosystem and the opportunities technology offers to build a better world.”

Taking place on the mornings (9.00 am to 1.00 pm BST) of 13 and 14 OCtober), the Construction Leaders’ Summit is online and free to attend. To register and for more details – click here.

Construction Leaders' Summit

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