Constructing Excellence in Yorkshire and Humber kicked off its new programme for its Autumn series today, attended by some 30 construction professionals from across the Leeds City Region.
Developed by Centre for Knowledge Exchange part of the Leeds Metropolitan University this exciting new programme aims to provide a focus and deliver on the most important and relevant aspects of the construction and property sector. Based on a breakfast seminar slot on the last Wednesday of each month, the series aims to bring construction leaders and practitioners together for networking and collaboration around a themed topic on each occasion.
The series was ably kicked off today with a Design themed seminar which included a presentation on RIBAs new Plan of Work 2013 from John Orrell Group Director of DLA Design in Leeds (and part of the authoring RIBA review group for the Plan of Work) and from Rob Charlton, Chief Executive of _space Architects a look at the opportunities presented to maximise design value through Off Site Construction techniques. John noted that there had been no real change made to the RIBA Plan of Work since its creation in 1963, but with the changes brought in by the use and management of data in the construction process and the drivers noted in the Government Construction Strategy in 2011, updating has been necessary to ensure that the Plan of Work incorporates sustainable design principles, provides a structure to support and embed BIM, allows full team integration yet provides the necessary flexibility needed (particularly around planning and procurement).
Rob presentation noted how the tension between price/value and good design, sometimes gets misinterpreted (to the point where some London Schools cost more than an Acute Hospital), and how standardisation in a fully thought through design can deliver huge savings and fantastic value for money. Much of the thinking in this respect relies on the latest approaches to design and construction processes as well as learning from other industries such as Automotive and Aerospace where there have been huge step changes in design and productivity.
Chaired by Don Ward, CEO of Constructing Excellent who made a great gesture by visiting Leeds for this event from London, the event marks the start of a much needed platform for discussion and views relating to the construction industry, which CE (Y&H) hopes to fulfil with its programme over the coming year.
Each event will seek to bring in support from the various Institutions and professional bodies involved in the sector. The next event on 30th October is themed around the CIOB with a presentation on their Talk Construction initiative from Eddie Tuttle at CIOB HQ and John Eynon CIOB Ambassador and Author of “The Design Manager’s Handbook”. 27th November sees an Civil Engineering themed event focusing on best practice project management with keynote speaker Denise Bower of Leeds University and member of the Construction Industry Strategy Advisory Council.