West Midlands Building Technology Cluster – Cluster Capability

Topics Covered

Background

Cluster Capability to Meet Future Trends

Action Priorities

Background

This article is an extract from a report by West Midlands Building Technology Cluster Research, published May 2002, which details the results of a study commissioned by Advantage West Midlands to outline strategic options to facilitate the future development of the building technologies cluster in the West Midlands region.  Top

Cluster Capability to Meet Future Trends

Key trends and uncertainties identified during the study were categorised into 15 main groups in order to assess their relative impact on the West Midlands building technologies cluster. Each of these were then ranked by an industry stakeholder group as either high, medium or low importance in terms of:

•        Existing cluster capability to meet future uncertainties and trends

•        Priority for industry to address

•        Market demand for change

•        Overall cluster development potential

This provided an assessment of the impact of major trends and uncertainties and trends on the West Midlands buildings technology cluster and a basis for selecting areas for action.    Top

Figure 14. Priority Areas for Action

 

Trends / Uncertainties

Impact on
West Midlands Technologies Cluster

Existing Cluster Capability
 (HML)

Priority for
Industry
(HML)

Market
Demand
(HML)

Overall Cluster Development Potential
(HML)

Reduction of building defects

development of factory production and pre-assembly capacity for modular buildings

L

H

M

H

Reduction of construction times and costs

development of modular construction and site assembly
capability

M

H

H

H

Shortages of skilled labour for on-site construction and
assembly

re-training a multi-skilled workforce for modular construction and assembly skills

M

H

H

H

Reduction of whole life costs for sustainable construction

supply of recycled materials, low energy materials/products, natural materials

M

H

H

H

Reduction of all energy costs for construction and buildings

development of renewable energy technology e.g fuel cells, solar power, energy management systems etc

L

H

M

M

Changes to building and environmental regulations

supply of high performance materials and products

H

H

M

M

Promote 'smart' buildings and infrastructure

development and supply of intelligent  products, pre-assembled components, advanced materials etc

L

M

M

M

Improve health and safety

increasing safety training, industry awareness, construction
automation,

M

H

M

M

Enable supply chain integration to improve competitiveness

integration of specification design, production, build, operation and maintenance activities

M

H

H

H

Improve existing built facilities

development and supply of advanced repair technologies

M

H

H

H

Invest in people

increasing knowledge transfer and learning
(constrction process)

H

H

H

H

Exploit global competitiveness

development of collaborative business frameworks

L

M

M

L

Embrace sustainability

saving energy, reducing waste and lifetime costs

M

H

H

H

Increase investment returns

demonstrating value of built assets, new forms of funding

M

M

M

M

Plan ahead

development of a long term strategy, forecasting and
co-ordinated planning

M

H

M

M

Top

Action Priorities

Priority areas for action were those issues that were judged to be of highest priority for industry and where there is a perceived market demand based on the study results. The existing buildings technology supply sector in the West Midlands was also ranked in terms of its capability to address future trends, where a low ranking indicates a supply chain weakness. The overall cluster development potential indicates the scope for future development of the cluster. This provided the basis for selection of the following high priority areas for action:

•        Reduction of building defects                                                      

•        Reduction of construction times and costs

•        Shortage of skilled labour for on-site construction

•        Reduction of whole life costs for sustainable construction  

•        Promote ‘smart’ buildings and infrastructure

•        Enable supply chain integration to improve competitiveness

•        Invest in people

•        Improve existing built facilities

•        Embrace sustainability                   Top

 

Source: West Midlands Building Technologies Cluster Research

             A Summary of the Results and Recommendations, May 2002

For more information on this source please email [email protected]

Tell Us What You Think

Do you have a review, update or anything you would like to add to this article?

Leave your feedback
Submit