Nplus logoBackground: The Transforming Construction Network Plus (N+) is one of the investments in the Transforming Construction Challenge  - the UK government’s challenge to the construction industry and research communities  to make buildings more affordable, efficient, safer and healthier.

The N+ is funded by UK Research and Innovation (UKRI), an investment supported by the Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund (ISCF), and by Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC).The overall aim of these investments is to transform the way the construction and built environment sector operates. 

The N+ will address a future in which the UK designs, constructs and operates buildings by realising the potential for integrating advanced off- and on-site manufacturing with state-of-the-art digital design and energy generation and storage technologies.

The purpose of the Network Plus (N+) is to create a new community of researchers and a body of knowledge to inform future construction policy and practice. The N+ will bring academics together, with industry and policy representatives, through networking activities (e.g., workshops and conferences) and skills-building events.

The N+ will also provide funding for research projects that aim to address some of the biggest problems currently facing the construction industry. The N+ aims to distribute £1m of funding through small project calls over the next two years.

 Team: The N+ is led and managed by The Bartlett, UCL’s Faculty of the Built Environment, with co-investigators and staff from Imperial College London and WMG, University of Warwick.

 Aim and objectives: The N+ focuses on four main objectives:

 Objective 1- Knowledge: to inform new R&D models and government policy that link digital, construction, manufacturing and energy to improve productivity (Work Packages 2, 4, 5);

  • Objective 2- Community building: to advance collaborations through knowledge exchange and debate, beyond what is currently possible (Work Packages 1, 3, 4, 5);
  • Objective 3- Business models: to produce user-informed, practical resources that accelerate pathways to manufacture and delivery (Work Packages 2, 3);
  • Objective 4- Investment and legacy: to de-risk and increase construction sector business R&D spend and enable new R&D collaborations that outlive the grant (Work Packages 4, 5).

 Research programme: The team at Imperial College London has responsibility across the whole research programme, taking a lead on WP2 (joint with UCL team).

WP2 aims to develop a dialogue with users to enable sense-making at the intersection of digital, construction and energy and inform future policy relating to construction at organisational, sector and regional scales.

WP2 contributes to meeting the objectives 1- Knowledgeand 3- Business Models. The main activities aim to identify transformational levers for the industry to improve productivity; producenew research outcomes linking digital, construction, manufacturing and energy; and engage a broad representation of organizations, including SMEs.

 Expected outcomes and impacts: WP2 will generate new ideas, and novel business and policy practices to better understand and address the challenges of the construction transformation.

 Project period: 11/2018-11/2020

 WP2- Research Team:

Imperial College London:Professor Jennifer Whyte, Dr Luigi Mosca,

University College London: Professor Andrew Davies, Dr Kell Jones.