Embracing digital ways of working will transform how the built environment sector works, giving it the tools to tackle the challenges of tomorrow, including the climate crisis, a new framework developed by the Construction Innovation Hub has found.
Published today (3 November) to coincide with the UN Climate Change Conference 2021 (COP26) taking place in Glasgow, Digital Capabilities: a framework for early career professionals across built environment disciplines sets out what all early career built environment professionals should know about digitally enabled ways of working, allowing them to increase the pace of transformational change in the sector.
Welcoming the Framework Maud Santamaria, Workplace Experience Director at Mace, one of around 150 industry experts, early career professionals and academics involved in developing the new report, said digital technologies hold a huge potential for the built environment sector, enabling companies to accurately measure and evaluate carbon emissions.
Digital forms of work are transforming the sector and will support the pivot to Net Zero. Data is how we look at the carbon footprint of projects and technologies like Building Information Modelling (BIM) help us build a picture of the project across its lifecycle to evaluate its impact. Net Zero is coming across as a particularly important issue for early career professionals. They want to see more work done on carbon emissions and digital tools allows us to capture and analyse these.”
The Framework has been informed by research and insights from a series of workshops with recent graduates and their managers from a range of built environment disciplines, as well as a series of roundtables with academic course leaders, professional institutions and industry representatives.
It is intended to stimulate discussion and action by enabling industry, built environment undergraduate and masters course providers and professional institutions to provide a common language and structure around which all professionals and disciplines can unite to support the development of the digital capabilities the sector needs.
Designed to be used by companies, professional institutions, policy makers, universities and other industry organisations, as well as early career professionals and their managers, the Framework supports the development of digital capabilities at an individual or an organisational level. It has been designed to apply to all early career professionals who join through a variety of routes including those who study relevant bachelors and masters degrees, apprentices and further education routes into the industry.
A core part of the framework is six built environment core digital capabilities that were identified through data analysis and consultation as essential for all built environment disciplines. These are:
Head of Information Management for the Construction Innovation Hub, Henry Fenby-Taylor, said:
The Digital Capabilities Framework is a practical tool designed to articulate the capabilities that are required by early career professionals across a wide range of disciplines now and in the future. If we are to make the construction and infrastructure sectors a top choice for skilled and digitally savvy young people who care about sustainability and the environment then we need to offer interesting, varied and challenging roles where digital capabilities are valued and nurtured. This new framework is a step forward in achieving this transformation.”