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Designing Buildings Wiki News

Construction Knowledge Framework Data – Critical Information Gap

4 Oct 2017

News from Designing Buildings Wiki

How can tomorrow’s challenges be met by today’s buildings?

Designing Buildings Wiki, the construction industry knowledge base, has joined forces with BSRIA to launch a new competition looking for fresh and innovative ideas in response to the question:

How can tomorrow’s challenges be met by today’s buildings?

The competition, which is open to students and professionals from all disciplines, is seeking original ideas for design solutions to the future trends that will affect the built environment. It asks the question; how can buildings be designed today to ensure they are resilient to the changes they will face tomorrow?

Ideas could relate to:

• Urbanisation and demographics.
• Climate change.
• Digital technologies.
• Energy and efficiency.
• Health and wellbeing.
• And more…

We are looking for ideas, so they don’t have to be long answers, but answers should be made up of two parts:
• Identify a significant future challenge.
• Offer a design solution for how that challenge could be tackled in today’s buildings.

The winner will receive £500 worth of BSRIA membership, training or publications, and along with 4 runners-up, will be featured in BSRIA’s Delta T magazine and on Designing Buildings Wiki.

Designing Buildings Wiki co-founder, architect Dr Gregor Harvie said:

“We already know many of challenges that will confront us in the next few decades, and the buildings we are designing now will have to face those challenges. So it is crucial we consider what design features we should be including in buildings now to ensure they have long-term resilience. This competition is an opportunity to put forward innovative, inspiring and even controversial ideas to help start the debate.”

The closing date for the competition is 2nd November 2017. Winners will be announced during the week commencing 20th November. Find out more on the competition page:

Website: BSRIA and Designing Buildings Wiki Competition

Or email Michael Brooks at: [email protected]


BSRIA is an ISO 9001 Registered test, instruments, research and consultancy organisation, providing specialist services in construction and building services.

BSRIA’s mission is ‘to make buildings better…’ by enabling ‘…the building services and construction industries and their clients to enhance the value of the built environment, by improving the quality of their products and services, the efficiency of their provision and the effectiveness of their operation.’

21 Sep 2017
Big data exposes a widening construction knowledge gap

Analysis of 6 million pieces of data has revealed that the knowledge framework underpinning the construction industry is no longer fit for purpose. Practitioners do not have easy access to critical knowledge, and so it is inevitable that mistakes will be made.

please click on image for comparison gif:
what the construction industry write and read about

Designing Buildings Wiki, the construction industry knowledge base, has undertaken the first ever comprehensive mapping of construction industry knowledge. The startling results have been published today in a major new report ‘Fit for purpose? Big data reveals the construction knowledge gap’.

The report includes a series of remarkable visual maps giving never-before-seen insights into how construction knowledge works and where it fails.

what the construction industry write about

The key findings of the report are:
• The industry is lacking the strategic leadership needed to coordinate the creation and dissemination of knowledge.
• The emergence of the internet has fundamentally changed the way practitioners access knowledge, but the industry has not kept up.
• Knowledge that is difficult to understand, buried in long documents or locked behind pay walls will not be used – even if it is critically important.
• Practitioners need accessible, practical, easy-to-use guidance to help them carry out everyday activities.

In the wake of the Edinburgh schools defects and the fallout from the Grenfell Tower tragedy, the report suggests the industry needs to get organised and stop leaving the dissemination of knowledge to chance – or more mistakes will be made.

what the construction industry read about

Designing Buildings Wiki chairman, David Trench CBE FCIOB said:

“A lot of construction knowledge published at the moment is niche research aimed at making the top performing 1% of the industry better. But it is leaving the other 99% to fend for themselves. It is well established that construction performance in the UK lags behind other industries and other countries, this report gives some clues about why this is and what could be done to turn things around.”

Mark Farmer, CEO of Cast Consultancy and author of ‘Modernise or Die’ said:

“The concept of open data networks and the increasing democratisation of data and knowledge were concepts I explicitly referenced in my recent review of the construction industry ‘Modernise or Die’. The findings of this report reaffirm that current knowledge and innovation is not being captured in a way that is broadly and strategically accessible to enable industry at large to benefit. Knowledge & data ‘silos’ are a feature of our industry and we clearly need to break these open through more collaborative forums and platforms that have greater reach into the mainstream of our industry.

“The assertion that much academic work is not influencing industry’s improvement is one that I identify with and we need a step up in the vetting of what research is commissioned that has sufficient applied value for the wider industry rather than specialist interest groups that does not necessarily make it relevant or scalable.”

Andrew Morris, Senior Partner at Rogers Stirk Harbour and Partners said:

“The likely impact of Brexit on the construction industry means it is vitally important to encourage the continued sharing of information and ideas, and ensure there are coordinated programmes of education and research. This timely report offers a number of strategic recommendations that can steer knowledge creation and promote the dissemination of knowledge to help the industry maintain its performance and improve its openness through a period of unprecedented change.”

Julia Evans, BSRIA CEO, said:

“The way information is accessed is changing so the way we disseminate information will need to change. Disseminating information is only part of the story, original authoritative content needs to be produced to ensure the industry continues to develop and deliver the sustainable buildings required now and in the future. There is a need to add value to information including primary research by providing the ‘what does it mean to me?’ angle.

“It is especially interesting to see the report suggests tackling the construction industry as a whole, rather than piecemeal, with strategic leadership to ensure that duplication of effort is avoided and gaps are plugged.”

Nathan Baker, ICE’s Director of Engineering Knowledge, said:

“Digital transformation is affecting every part of construction and it is important that the institutions work with industry and government to ensure that we adapt. Knowledge sharing and collaboration in particular will be vital in overcoming the challenges confronting the industry. This report provides fascinating insights to help steer our collective response to the new risks and opportunities we face, ensuring people at all points in their career have access to the right knowledge.”

About Designing Buildings Wiki

Designing Buildings Wiki is the construction industry knowledge base. It was created in 2012 by architect Dr Gregor Harvie and project manager David Trench CBE FCIOB to make cross-discipline construction knowledge available to everyone for free. It now includes more than 5,000 articles and is used by 3.5 million people a year, making it one of the most popular construction industry websites.

Designing Buildings Wiki is supported by; The Institution of Civil Engineers, Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners, The Chartered Institute of Building, The Institute of Historic Buildings Conservation, U and I Group PLC, BRE Trust, BSRIA and The Chartered Institute of Architectural Technologists.

About the launch

The report will be launched on 21 September at the offices of Rogers Stirk Harbour and Partners in The Leadenhall Building. The event will include an introduction by Mark Farmer, author of ‘Modernise or Die’ which suggested the industry faces ‘inexorable decline’ unless longstanding problems are addressed. In particular, it highlighted the sector’s dysfunctional training model, its lack of innovation and collaboration, and its non-existent research and development (R&D) culture.

Designing Buildings Wiki News images / information received 200917

Location: London, UK

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