William Newton – Property Week
Connectivity key to UK’s future
As many UK workers currently sit at home and try to virtually recreate their work environment, politicians and businesses need to ask how we remain a world-leading country and economy after Brexit and the impact of Covid-19.
Digital infrastructure needs to be at the heart of this debate as wired and wireless technologies, products and services will underpin the future of the economy, and it’s crucial the UK is prepared for it.
The internet has driven much of our personal and professional lives, and will increasingly continue to do so in the current climate, with a huge majority of the country working from home. Never before have we been so reliant on an effective digital infrastructure to allow us to video-call, chat and download files from our work servers. This brings into sharp focus the importance of good connectivity as businesses rely on this to remain operational.
Full Fat Fibre
It’s unsurprising that connectivity came to the fore of Boris Johnson’s legislative agenda with his policy to bring full-fibre broadband to every home in the UK by 2025 and £5bn worth of investment to help reach its 2025 target announced in the Budget this month.
Avoid !5% Time Waste
According to a recent survey of 1,000 SMEs, the average worker could waste up to 72 minutes daily because of unreliable internet connections and tech issues. Implementing the digital infrastructure to deliver full-fibre broadband will help increase productivity and retain the UK’s position as a world-leading digital economy. But will the government’s new digital infrastructure programme achieve its ambitions, and what will it mean for the property industry?
Preparing for 5
Achieving the 2025 full-fibre target will be a big step forward for the UK on its road to a tech-driven economy. Becoming a world leader requires more than full fibre alone as 5G networks for the next generation of mobile connectivity will also need to be prepared for.
What’s more, the current policy programme is focused on improving access for rural consumers who suffer from poor connectivity. But it’s not only rural areas that need support; many urban areas also suffer from poor connectivity – Southwark Council was required to put in place a Digital Infrastructure Strategy in order to tackle broadband speeds as low as 0.26Mbps in Rotherhithe.
Most employees are simply unable to work at all without the internet. Connectivity in rural areas needs addressing and improving, but this should not be at the expense of urban, high-density environments.
So how can the property industry stay ahead of the curve on connectivity? Landlords will need to design their digital infrastructure to ensure that not only today’s but tomorrow’s needs are met. A collaborative approach from all stakeholders – mobile operators, internet service providers and government – is necessary to meet the 2025 target.
Delivering highly energy efficient and environmentally sustainable Beautiful Buildings is only part of our remit. Working closely with all stakeholders we also aim to integrate TIoT (The Internet of Things) into our thoughts, designs and processes. This way we’re always on the look out for ways to help you make your like a little easier and your days more productive and profitable.
We’ve spent years getting good at what we do. creating them to satisfy all types of design, so can help you, your buyers or tenants, adapting our business innovations and developments to your projects . This really means engaging with your whole team to deliver on time and within budget. It requires a systematic, solution driven approach which brings discipline to the process, sharing information and communications. Applying DfMA (Design for Manufacture & Assembly) defines the process of taking these to the next level; a welcome change in the overall approach to project management and development – and to those who just ‘talk about it’!
Partnering for Progress
All of this entails a shift in thinking to that already practiced by established ‘Off-Site’ MMC manufacturers. It can be quickly and easily incorporated into procedures and processes of building and development. Better still, you can make partnering arrangements with such manufacturers to gain all round benefits.
Greater Speed, Accuracy, Quality and Lower Costs
Greater collaborative ‘partnering’ between architects, builders and manufacturers will deliver these. The greater speed, accuracy and quality that can result from manufacturing components in a dry, controlled factory environment, together with the ability tom incorporate (yet to be invented) ‘Smart Ware’ gives home builders perhaps the only way of achieving this, together with improved on-site build quality AND controlling costs.
While resistance to the change to DfMA has been the norm, the wish of most UK Builders to deliver excellent customer service and top notch homes is now driving an increasing number to choose Off-Site for their developments. Also, as ‘OffSite Hub” note, architects and designers are moving toward DfMA, something we have been encouraging for over 20 years. The emergence of LA Developers will only speed up this process.
Easy Timber Frame
To assist them in doing so our “Easy Timber Frame “ now offers standard size modular timber frame elements for them to use as a design base, cutting down on technical design and engineering to produce win-win results. This virtually provides any housebuilder or architect with their own bespoke design factory facility.