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Case Study

The Forge – Shaping the future

Platform Programme

 A ‘Platform approach in action

Landsec, one of the UK’s largest commercial property development and investment companies, has always been at the leading edge of tech-led design. Their ambition is to use innovation to deliver buildings faster, better, safer, greener, and more cost-effectively. This meant taking a tech-led approach at their flagship office development, The Forge, and conceiving the building as a product constructed from a ‘kit of parts’.

As a result, they chose the platform approach, developed by architect and Design for Manufacture and Assembly (DfMA) specialist Bryden Wood, and described by the Infrastructure and Projects Authority (IPA) in 2018 as ‘the design, procurement and construction of built assets use a defined set of standardised and interoperable components. These components should be designed to be manufactured efficiently at scale using repeatable processes.’

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In 2019 Landsec and Bryden Wood partnered with product prototype and development company Easi-Space to begin an R&D collaboration supported by UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) and its partner organisation Innovate UK.

This collaboration would take the traditional office design and reconceive it using a tech enabled, platform (P-DfMA) ‘kit of parts’ approach. The Forge was selected by UKRI as a Demonstrator project for the industry and received Transforming Construction Challenge funding.

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Although this design was initially developed for the Forge project, the intent was to use repeatable processes and components which could be used for future Landsec projects (encoding the design in digital tools) and by the wider industry (open sourcing all learnings via UKRI).

You have one of the UK’s largest companies, working with one of the UK’s smallest companies, and one of its most innovative design organisations, who have come together to produce something that, we hope, will start to change the way future buildings are designed, delivered and constructed.”

Neil Pennell, Head of Design Innovation and Property Solutions, Landsec.

The Forge is a landmark moment. With the Government platforms mandate imminent, we are seeing how the future of construction can and will be transformed.”

Jaimie Johnston MBE, Bryden Wood

Government have continued to support and encourage the development of platform approaches, with the aim to mandate the approach outlined in the IPA’s Transforming Infrastructure Performance: Roadmap to 2030. As a result, The Forge became a trailblazer project; taking this approach from theory to practice and sharing learning that could benefit industry by increasing ease of adoption.

The forge

Having proved its value through the initial R&D prototype collaboration, The Forge became the world’s first major commercial building to be designed and built using a platforms approach to design for manufacture and assembly (P-DfMA) and is due to complete this year. The design includes two new-build office buildings, set around a publicly accessible internal courtyard, in total comprising c. 139,000 sq. ft. of office space, with nine storeys, a reception and basement areas.

Read the full Forge case study here.

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