The Bartlett School of Sustainable Construction


Embracing a Movement for Change - It’s still time to take part in changing the way we build.

2 October 2020

Watch the recordings of the Transforming Construction Network Plus Conference 2020


On September 15th, the Transforming Construction Network Plus hosted its second annual conference: Embracing a Movement for Change. In these unusual times, the event was held online and was joined by more than 200 people from around the world. 

The UK construction sector is on the verge of a fundamental shift. A change, which is already happening, is being further accelerated by industry, academics, and policy-makers all working together to shape a better future. This is hastening the need for really large scale transformation, and presents a timely and significant opportunity to evidence the creative capabilities of the UK construction sector. 

Change can’t happen if the whole construction sector is not working together and collaborating with other experts, so the conference gathered speakers from a broad range of backgrounds from the UK, Europe and the USA. Multiple examples, best practice stories and advice was shared, considering the challenges that we need to face collectively, and there were energetic debates during the panel discussions. On screen, over 200 attendees participated through the day, raising questions and concerns, and tackling some of the most important questions faced by the construction sector. 

Professor Jacqueline Glass, Director of the N+, closed the day with a call to action for everyone, saying: 

‘This is an agenda for all, whether you are a member of the local and general public around a site, whether you are the leader of a business, whether you are a procurement professional or a designer.’

Emphasising the importance of growing the sector in terms of value and encouraging firms to examine their business models, Professor Glass also highlighted some of the key takeaways from the day and underlined that people were at the heart of the event, and should remain at the centre of construction’s future. 

Did you miss the conference?   
Find out more about each session, watch the recordings and explore the valuable resources shared by our speakers: 

Prior to the event, attendees also heard from leading experts; industry, academics and policy-makers, offering their thoughts on the future of the construction sector. These thought-provoking and inspiring videos can be found online, here


Setting the scene: Welcome and keynote presentation 

Introduced by Professor Jacqueline Glass, N+ Principal Investigator and Professor in Construction Management, Vice Dean Research, at The Bartlett Faculty of the Built Environment, University College London, the conference started with a keynote presentation from Professor Paul W. Chan, Professor of Design and Construction Management at TU Delft. Entitled ‘Embracing the (social) movement for change’, Professor Paul W. Chan’s keynote emphasised the importance of people and of social practices in transforming construction.  

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What kind of construction industry do we want?

Chaired by Professor Jacqueline Glass, the first session was joined by:

  • Professor Paul W. Chan, Professor of Design and Construction Management, TU Delft. 
  • Peter Caplehorn, Chief Executive of the Construction Products Association.
  • Professor Stuart Green, Professor of Construction Management, School of the Built Environment, University of Reading.
  • Amanda Long, Chief Executive, Considerate Constructors Scheme.
  • Mark Reynolds, Group Chief Executive, Mace.

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When will digital deliver on its promise?

Chaired by Professor Jennifer Whyte, N+ Co-Investigator and Laing O’Rourke / Royal Academy of Engineering Professor of Systems Integration at Imperial College London, the second session was joined by:

  • Professor Chimay J. Anumba, Professor and Dean of the College of Design, Construction and Planning, University of Florida.
  • Jon Antevy, Co-Founder, e-Builder, Inc.
  • Mark Enzer, CTO, Mott MacDonald and Head of the National Digital Twin programme, CDBB.
  • Professor Annabelle Gawer, Chaired Professor in Digital Economy; Director, Centre of Digital Economy; Head, Department of Digital Economy, Entrepreneurship and Innovation, University of Surrey; Visiting Professor, Oxford Saïd Business School.

From new technologies to platforms and ownership of information, speakers discussed the role of digital technologies in the future of the construction sector and how this is changing the way we create and capture value. 

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How will we create resilient supply chains?

Chaired by Professor Jan Godsell, N+ Co-Investigator and Professor of Operations and Supply Chain Strategy, at WMG, University of Warwick, the last session was joined by:

  • Professor Lisa M. Ellram, University Distinguished Professor and Rees Distinguished Professor of Supply Chain Management, Department of Management, the Farmer School of Business, Miami University.
  • Nigel Ostime, Delivery Director, Hawkins Brown.
  • Sarah Wilkes, Global Solutions Director a.i. | Global Solution Leader, Business Advisory, Arcadis
  • Matt Yeates, Managing Director, Digital Ventures, Tata Steel Europe.

Discussing supply chains and business models, speakers considered the construction sector as an ecosystem and addressed the question of collaboration in the sector. 

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