21st century infrastructure

Simon Murray, a founding member of acumen7, and a private consultant and Non-Executive Director of East West Rail Ltd, spoke about the challenges and opportunities that lie ahead as we invest in 21st century infrastructure. He illustrated the changes to the ways in which government and the private sector will need to work together to ensure the UK gains maximum possible benefit from the investments. Infrastructure is becoming integrated, giving opportunities for the future, however Simon queried whether there is a more effective method of transforming infrastructure for it to be fit for the challenges and opportunities in a rapidly changing world.

For more information on Highways England, visit: https://www.gov.uk/government/organisations/highways-england

 

Transforming construction

Sam Stacey, Challenge Director – Transforming Construction, gave a detailed overview of the UKRI’s plans to lead transformation at scale to acumen7 members. With a £170 million research and innovation investment, matched by £250 million from industry, the ambition is to create new construction processes and techniques for building manufacture in the UK. Sam gave an overview of the defined value and platform approach, proven platform methods and shifted public procurement, a laid out in the Government’s Construction Playbook published in December 2020.

For more information on the UKRI, visit: UKRI – UK Research and Innovation

Preservation of embodied carbon in the built environment

Some fascinating insights from acumen7 Member and MD of C-Probe Systems Graeme Jones, including the fact that 70% of infrastructure damage is due to corrosion, with the tragedies of the condo collapse in Florida and the bridge in Genoa two stark examples of why the issue can’t be ignored. C-Probe has the technology to automate, streamline and improve the way we buy and warrant, build and manage buildings and infrastructure on a low carbon, sustainable basis. It’s time to think differently in terms of decarbonisation for whole life by repurposing industrial wastes, securing embodied carbon and ensuring sustainability with futureproofing.

For more information on C-Probe Systems, visit: https://www.c-probe.co.uk/

A new landscape…?

acumen7 Member and Founding Partner of Akerlof, Jamie Hillier, has been engaging with the network to look at shifting the dial in construction. Jamie mapped out the solutions and issues in construction reports right through from 1944’s ‘Placing and Management of Building Contracts’ report all the way up to the Government’s ‘Construction Playbooks’ produced in 2020. Jamie pointed out that the Playbooks should be applauded as a vision for change, but the next most vital step is putting it all into practice and for that, behaviours need to change. The industry must do the right thing – not just the wrong thing better and acumen7 will look at ways to support this progress.

For more information on Akerlof, visit: https://akerlof.co.uk/

Future Transport Systems

The University of Cambridge’s Director of Research in Transitional Energy Strategies, Professor John Miles, gave a fascinating overview of future transport systems and posed the question: “Are we brave enough to re-think the future?” and covered the use of Affordable Very Rapid Transit vehicles, such as high-speed luxury coaches with autonomous controls that can run in dedicated high occupancy lanes, Hyperloop systems and small hole underground transport systems – the same scale as the Glasgow subway, which is the smallest underground transport system in the world.

For more information on John, visit: John Miles | Department of Engineering (cam.ac.uk)

Solving the problem of on-street charging

Urban Electric’s Co-Founder Oli Freeling-Wilkinson explained their aim to build the world’s largest urban on-street electric vehicle charging network. Their innovative design reduces the streetscape impact and also maintains accessibility of pavements for pedestrians, through the use of dual socket ‘pop-up’ charge-points. Customers can locate and operate the charge-points by using Urban Electric’s app, a standard Type 2 charging cable and a payment card. As well as explaining the background to the programme, Oli also highlighted their work around ongoing maintenance and further development in order to future-proof the technology.

For more information, visit: What we offer (urbanelectric.london)