NBS Industry Summit on the digital revolution

NBS Industry Summit on the digital revolution

At the recent NBS Construction Product Leaders’ Summit, the focus was firmly on how digital construction information can revolutionise the sector by boosting building safety and improving overall quality.

Dame Judith Hackitt, Chair of the Transition Board to establish the new Building Safety Regulator, sounded a clarion call to the industry, making it clear construction materials manufacturers must improve their standards, processes and digital toolkit. She said: “Product testing, marketing, labelling and approval processes are flawed, unreliable and behind the times.”

Robust regulation

Judith expressed her frustration with the lack of progress since the Grenfell Fire and underlined that forthcoming regulation would be robust and lead to a radical change in culture and processes. As a result, it will directly impact the construction product materials supply chain. Manufacturers will have to provide data and performance accreditation, use standardised systems and take a more collaborative approach, including adopting a transparent attitude to data sharing. Digital will be the norm, so the sector can expect to see less substitution, and ‘value engineering’ will move from being about cost reduction to focus on quality. Product stewardship will lie at the heart of this new approach.

Judith concluded: “This is a once in a generation opportunity to leave the race to the bottom behind and change industry practice for good.”

Richard Waterhouse, CEO, NBS, said: “It is clear manufacturers, specifiers and construction firms must act now and get their houses in order, otherwise they will not be able to do business. Very soon, digital will be as essential to a build as bricks and mortar are today.”

He added: “Digital drives up standards, reduces mistakes and saves costs. Information is key at every step of the way and this starts with the materials manufacturers and their product information. There’s a move to consistency and a more structured approach, and manufacturers must seize this opportunity. That way, specifiers can make better decisions based on up-to-date, verifiable product information.”

In conclusion, Richard added, “Let’s take this opportunity to build a safer construction industry.”


NBS Source

NBS previewed NBS Source which goes live in Q2 2020. This is a digital platform embedding standardised construction product information, using data from thousands of manufacturers, in the places specifiers need, across the project timeline.

NBS Source claims it will help the construction industry make better-informed product decisions, and give manufacturers a highly targeted route to market for their products, helping them grow as well as comply. This will ensure manufacturers meet the drive for high-quality digital product data, and support specifiers in making the right choices for their projects.

Due to the underpinning technology, NBS Source will reportedly -enable manufacturers more efficiently manage product information, thus overcoming data challenges, via bulk uploads and offering enhanced self-service data management tools. NBS Source will also provide a digital platform for better connecting specifiers and manufacturers whereby they can communicate directly on specifications, providing the product information support specifiers are asking for.

Other keynote speakers included Blockchain and change expert Jonathan Macdonald, along with Bank of England monetary policy committee member Michael Saunders, who discussed the latest economic projections and the outlook for interest rates. Further contributions were heard from the industry including John Carpenter, Associate at Allies and Morrison, Graham Brierley, Head of Digital Engineering, Laing O’Rourke and Fiona Fletcher-Smith, Group Development and Sales, L&Q Group.

Related posts