September 26, 2023

Navigating Digital Transformation in Offsite Construction: 5 Key Insights from Our Panel Discussion at Offsite Expo UK

by Charlotte Garrett
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In a dynamic industry like offsite construction, staying at the forefront of innovation is crucial. This week we had the privilege of hosting a panel discussion at the Offsite Expo UK event, where industry leaders came together to explore digital transformation in offsite construction. During this session, attendees participated in a poll, sharing their insights on the challenges and opportunities that present themselves. In this blog post, we will delve into the key insights and results from our panel discussion and poll.

1. Synchronisation of Design Changes Ranks Highest

The poll results left no room for ambiguity—the most pressing challenge in linking design to manufacturing, as indicated by the audience consensus, is the "Synchronisation of Design Changes." It serves as the linchpin that ensures design changes, product information, data, and logic flows seamlessly from the early design phases to the construction stage, thereby significantly influencing project quality, efficiency, and compliance. As the industry continues to advance, the demand for real-time synchronisation has surged, particularly in light of the newly introduced Golden Thread requirements.

In the early design stages, enhancing visibility and standardising the supply chain are pivotal. In the later stages of a project, efficient synchronisation of design changes involves ensuring that all modifications transition seamlessly and accurately into the manufacturing process. Precisely identifying when and where these updates should be implemented within the manufacturing of assets, is a fundamental aspect of quality management.

Innovative digital solutions can enable the bridge between design and manufacturing, guaranteeing not only efficiency and accuracy but also compliance with the manufacturing capabilities, regulations and with the Golden Thread requirements throughout every phase of a project's lifecycle.

2. Standardisation of product data is Key for Digital Catalogues

By establishing common data standards, we enable seamless communication and collaboration throughout the construction lifecycle, enhancing the quality and sustainability of built assets. The "Standardisation of Product Data" proved to be a key challenge, highlighting the role of standardised and structured product information in efficient decision-making and specification processes when integrating a digital catalogue.

Standardised data allows for the comparison of ‘apples-to-apples’, ensuring consistency in key metrics and performance indicators across projects. This comparability enables stakeholders to make informed decisions, benchmark progress, and drive continuous improvement in both the quality and sustainability of our built environment. This standardisation streamlines workflows, reduces errors, and enhances productivity whilst also creating consistency, transparency, interoperability, and a shared commitment to improving our built assets.

3. More Emphasis on Standardised Data Sets

Within the context of a marketplace framework, the emphasis on standardised data sets fosters transparency, efficiency, and reliability. One of the challenges of the industry is a fragmented supply chain, Specifiers find it difficult to find the right solutions for their projects whilst suppliers struggle to be seen. These data sets ensure that product information, specifications, and performance metrics maintain a consistent and accessible structure, facilitating quick and accurate decision-making. Specifiers and buyers can confidently compare offerings, given uniform and reliable data. This standardisation streamlines marketplace operations, making it easier for suppliers to present their products effectively and for buyers to make choices aligned with their project requirements.

4. Design Optimisation is a Priority

The industry's professionals, particularly those engaged in design and construction optimisation, have unequivocally highlighted "Design Optimisation" as the area most in need of digital intervention. Architects, engineers, and construction experts are eager to harness the capabilities of digital tools to enhance resource efficiency and cost-effectiveness in their projects. Design optimisation tools enable the creation of structures that minimise waste, reduce resource consumption, and enhance overall project sustainability. Moreover, these tools streamline the design process, saving valuable time and resources while simultaneously enhancing the quality of the final product. In the dynamic world of offsite construction, where innovation and efficiency are prized, the integration of design optimisation digital tools is a critical step towards achieving excellence in both project outcomes and industry advancement. This emphasises the industry's commitment to continuous improvement and innovation.

5. Regulatory Compliance and Sustainability are Top Priorities

Digital tools that identify and address issues early on, prevent the escalation of costly errors and rework, and enhance the quality of construction projects are required. This proactive approach not only improves compliance with regulations but also aligns with the industry's commitment to sustainable practices. The prioritisation of "Regulatory and Code Compliance Automation" and "Sustainable Material Sourcing and Waste Reduction" underscores the sector's dedication to improving quality through regulations and championing sustainability.


Our recent panel discussion and poll at the Offsite Expo UK event unveiled valuable insights into the industry's evolving needs and priorities. The resounding message from industry leaders is clear—synchronisation, standardisation, optimisation, compliance, and sustainability are the pillars upon which the future of offsite construction rests.