The overarching aim of our research in this area is to help construction professionals improve both the efficiency of the delivery process and the quality and sustainability of the built environment.
The built environment is fundamental to shaping our cities and regions and plays a pivotal role in achieving a wealthier, fairer, healthier and safer society. The provision of well-designed, functional and energy-efficient buildings is now an essential pre-requisite within today's society. The construction process is complex, as it requires collaboration of multiple organisations and specialists over the whole life cycle of the built asset. It is influenced by client requirements and expectations, government policies and regulations, the development of new technologies, economic and social trends, as well as the demands of sustainable development. The aim of Construction Management and Innovation research is to come up with new solutions to address these challenges facing the construction sector.
The expertise of our research team spans a wide range of areas, including management, procurement, ICT applications, sustainability, training and skills, construction materials, and building technology. They carry out industry relevant research in the following six themes:
- Construction Project Management
- ICT in Construction
- People and Organisation
- Sustainability, Building Resilience & Climate Change
- Megaproject Management
Controlled and Immersive Environment (CIE) to support construction training.
Apprenticeships are at the heart of the government skills policy and are regarded as a plausible route for youth employment particularly in the construction industry which is a key contributor to the economy. Training in construction trades such as painting and decorating, roofing, and bricklaying, has not yet benefited from the latest developments in information and communication technologies.
This project thus aims to develop a ‘Controlled Immersive Environment' (CIE) for supporting construction trade apprenticeship training. The CIE is both a controlled and immersive environment which uses state-of-the-art sensing and information technologies in the context of training for construction trade occupations. Within the CIE, trainees perform actual tasks like they currently do in college laboratories, but the environment enables the objective and comprehensive control of both the delivery and output of the apprentice's work. Simultaneously, the CIE immerses the apprentice within virtual and varying environments, enabling simulation of work conditions closed to those experienced in real construction sites.
The CIE has the potential to enhance the training experience of construction workers, thereby contributing to better performance in terms of health and safety practice, and productivity. The CIE, which is unique in Europe and beyond, is developed as a pilot project in collaboration with ConstructionSkills.