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The Construction Innovation Hub and BE-ST - supporting impactful transformation

Built Environment – Smarter Transformation (BE-ST) and the Construction Innovation Hub (The Hub) are innovation partners supporting each other to transform the built environment. 

Formerly Construction Scotland Innovation Centre (CSIC), BE-ST is the launchpad to a zero-carbon built environment. Sustainability was always one of BE-ST’s core strands of work, but earlier this year the organisation decided it had to be the foundation. And so, achieving a zero-carbon built environment became the organisation’s laser focus.

In a similar way to the Hub, BE-ST acts as the connector between industry, academia, the public sector, basically anyone involved in the built environment. BE-ST has worked with and alongside the Hub as part of network of key stakeholders such as the Construction Leadership Council, Innovate UK and the UK Green Building Council to help modernise the sector.

BE-ST has been able bring specialist technical support to the Hubs work through its Innovation Campus – the UK construction industry’s first dedicated digital manufacturing prototyping and future skills centre of excellence. The hub has helped to connect BE-ST at a national level to widen the impact of its work.

Below are examples of the type of outputs BE-ST and the Hub have worked on together.

The Value Toolkit

BE-ST was one of a wide range of partners from industry, academia and government, who provided input to how value is defined, and how it can be measured, and helped to give the sector access to that.

Digital Capabilities Framework

BE-ST’s future skills and learning experts provided input to a study which set out a Digital Capabilities Framework for early career professionals in built environment disciplines. The study was aimed at capturing what they need to know, and be able to do, to work digitally after the first two years in their profession.

Advanced Industrialised Methods for the Construction of Homes (AIMCH)

Barratt Plc and partners using new modern methods of construction (MMC) processes on a live build

BE-ST worked closely alongside the Hub delivery partner the Manufacturing Technology Centre (MTC) in a three-year housing innovation project set up and delivered by leading industry and academic partners and funded by Innovate UK. Its goal has been to tackle challenges in the housing sector using industrialised housing techniques like digital working, standardisation, low carbon and offsite construction and advanced manufacturing to transform how we deliver homes across the UK.

BE-ST’s Innovation Campus in Scotland has been delivery partner to key Hub stakeholder the Manufacturing Technology Centre.

The Gen Zero prototype showcased at COP26

BE-ST’s world-class facility has worked on a number R&D projects, particularly around the use of homegrown timber in construction, made possible by specialist equipment and processes only available at BE-ST. An example is Gen Zero a zero carbon classroom kit of parts created for the Department for Education which is set to transform schools across England.

Stephen Good, BE-ST CEO, says:

To meet the urgency of the climate crisis we need to see impact, at scale, and fast. But that can’t be done in silos. We can only achieve transformation across the built environment if key stakeholders across the UK and wider work together. Working with the Construction Innovation Hub as a key stakeholder has been one such example of the kind of impactful collaboration needed to facilitate that change.

The legacy is a range of scalable solutions which are accelerating change needed in the sector. The future needs to see this supercharged if we are to meet 2050 zero carbon targets and create a productive, fair and resilient built environment for generations to come.”

BE_ST’s Stephen Good speaks at the Hub’s legacy event in Edinburgh: