Last edited 29 May 2018

Knowledge gap survey responses

Introduction

The construction knowledge gap is the difference between the easy-to-access, practical knowledge that practitioners want, and the sometimes difficult-to-use, difficult-to-find, 'academic' knowledge that the industry creates. You can find out more about the construction knowledge gap here.

On 9 May 2018, twenty industry representatives met at the offices of BuroHappold in London to discuss the problems posed by the construction knowledge gap and to consider whether there was support for tackling these problems collaboratively. You can read more about the event here.

Between 15 and 21 May, a short survey was posted online to gather feedback about the topics discussed and to help determine the way forward.

Survey monkey horizontal.png

Survey responses


47 people took part in the survey; 14 attendees from the 9 May event, 6 people who had been invited but were unable to attend and 27 people who had not been invited but had subsequently expressed an interest in the subject.


93% of the respondents believed that tackling the construction knowledge gap is very important or extremely important for the industry.


74% believed that tackling the construction knowledge gap is very important or extremely important for their own organisation.


The relative support for a range of possible solutions to the construction knowledge gap (discussed at the 9 May meeting) was:

Idea Weighted score
Identify important subject areas and collaboratively develop new, accessible, practical knowledge. 59
Undertake a trial, re-purposing some existing knowledge to make it more accessible and practical. 56
Develop standard industry templates and guidelines for the preparation or commissioning of knowledge. 44
Carry out more research to better understand the problem. 43
Create a custom search engine that searches only pre-vetted industry websites. 36

These results seemed to be at odds with the discussions that took place during the 9 May event and with the comments posted by respondents to the survey, all of which strongly support the creation of a custom search engine for the industry.

For this reason, the analysis was repeated, but this time only including responses from the attendees at the 9 May meeting. This produced a very different picture, with equal support for the top three ideas.

Idea Weighted score
Create a custom search engine that searches only pre-vetted industry websites. 14
Undertake a trial, re-purposing some existing knowledge to make it more accessible and practical. 14
Identify important subject areas and collaboratively develop new, accessible, practical knowledge. 14
Carry out more research to better understand the problem. 11
Develop standard industry templates and guidelines for the preparation or commissioning of knowledge. 7

Other ideas that were proposed included:

  • Offering practitioners more flexible access to study subjects from across the industry as and when required.
  • Developing a common knowledge taxonomy similar to CI/SfB.
  • Sharing industry resources and platforms to avoid duplication.
  • Creating industry journals that provide useful, practical guidance rather than industry commentary and pictures of buildings.
  • Developing an i3P model for the wider construction industry.
  • Creating practical video tutorials and trade-specific training and apprenticeships schemes.
  • Developing procurement methods that support knowledge sharing.

19 of the respondents to the survey would like to be part of a task group to tackle the construction knowledge gap.

4 respondents would be prepared to commit resources to tackle the construction knowledge gap.


Closing comments from respondents were generally supportive of the initiative, with repeated calls for greater collaboration across the industry.

A number of respondents asked for more information about the role of the proposed task group and the time commitment this would require, so they could discuss involvement with their respective organisations.


Next steps

We will now prepare a draft proposal for the industry task group, setting out its role, how often it will meet and how its activities will be structured. This will be circulated for comment, and then the first meeting of the task group arranged.

In the meantime, if you have any questions or ideas, please email [email protected].