Sustainable Living research project
The government’s 2017 housing white paper is critical of the construction industry - just as a major piece of research looking into materials choice in the construction industry supply chain gets underway.
Against the background of a severe housing shortage, falling numbers of new-build housing units and a skills shortage in the house-building sector, it accuses the industry of being 'slow to modernise and make use of more efficient and faster ways of building'.
 Doing things differently
The tone of the white paper - that the housebuilding industry is reluctant to embrace change - echoes that of the Farmer Review of the UK construction labour model 'Modernise or die'. It also reflects Farmer's assertion of the need for more offsite construction of innovative building products:
"What do we need to do to get the industry to do things differently – to change its practices towards those that result in greater productivity, more innovative construction practices, products and materials, and the sustainability of both the industry and the built environment that results from its endeavours?"
 Searching for the right solution
Among other things, this involves in-depth interviews with a sample of key industry stakeholders (including civil engineers, Tier 1 contractors, architects, clients, materials specifiers and end-users).
It also involves a large-scale, quantitative survey of such stakeholders and a focus group to consider the research findings. Readers of this blog are encouraged to participate in the project's interviews, survey and focus group.
 Influencing material choices in the supply chain
Chiming with many of Farmer's core recommendation principles, these include: finance, custom and practice, knowledge/training, regulatory compliance, communication, and client specification. (This is not an exhaustive list, and people are welcome to suggest other factors that have a bearing on materials choices.)
 Aim of the UH-Tarmac Sustainable Living research project
The aim of the UH-Tarmac sustainable living research project, Supporting innovation and best practice in the materials supply chain: Communicating and learning with suppliers and end-users, is to shed light on the barriers to the greater use of innovative, sustainable building materials, by exploring in-depth both the nature of the barriers themselves and the relative significance of each of them in influencing purchasing decisions.
The 3-year, £150,000 research project aims to explore and understand purchasing decision-making processes and contexts in the construction industry supply chain, and the impact of these on the demand for sustainable building products.
 How can I get involved?
The anticipated project outputs include a detailed report on purchasing decision-making in the construction industry supply chain, and briefing notes for industry stakeholders in respect of how to overcome the multiple prima facie barriers to innovation and modernisation that the research will address.
 Related articles on Designing Buildings Wiki
Featured articles and news
CEOs and high-level executives explain who they expect to be the most successful players in the future of construction.
What are package contracts and how are they broken down? Find out in our introductory article.
Identifying sustainable shoreline protection solutions in the face of rising sea levels and storms in the US.
Budget documents state modern methods of construction will be favoured for public infrastructure schemes from 2019.
A walk-through exhibition of an emergency humanitarian shelter is officially opened at BRE's Innovation Park.
How to work safely on a construction site during winter.
Housing is the big winner in Chancellor Philip Hammond's Autumn Budget.
The winner of our BSRIA competition, Tomorrow's challenges in today's buildings, is.... Bob Hendrikx. A big thank you to everyone that took part.
Committee of MPs accuses government of dealing billpayers a 'bad hand' over the guaranteed power price.
In 1992, the Joint Fire Code was first published. What influence does it still have on construction sites today?
"Companies will have to adapt or go out of business" - how are virtual reality and big data disrupting digital construction?
International Well Building Institute and BRE collaborate on multiple levels to advance human health through better buildings.
"The industry has tried moving away from prescriptivism to focus on performance, but maybe that’s no longer working".