TIES Living Lab

Transport Infrastructure Efficiency Strategy (TIES) Living Lab is a transformative collaboration of 25 partners together with Government, i3P and the Construction Innovation Hub that will use data, technology and Modern Methods of Construction within live transport infrastructure projects to deliver significant value-adding benefits across the transport infrastructure sector.

Over the next few years, the construction sector will witness a wave of infrastructure projects (£60 billion of spend each year over the next decade) and groundwork will be undertaken to set future financial settlements. The pace of this growth, and the size of this opportunity, demands a construction sector that is the best in the world.

To maximise the opportunities to drive

efficiency savings across the delivery of the transport infrastructure pipeline, the TIES Living Lab has been established, bringing together key UK Transport

Client groups, Suppliers and academic experts to build capability within delivery, innovation and managing construction risk.

Image supplied by Hawkins/Brown

The UK has had a modest track record of infrastructure delivery with some programmes completed late; over budget; failing to secure the benefits expected; or cancelled after a significant investment. With the increasing challenge and complexity of the government’s pipeline of major projects, the capacity to deliver is being stretched. The estimation of cost and schedule can be improved and major projects and programmes are tending to avoid innovation risk.

These attitudes to uncertainty and risk are deeply engrained and cultural, with inconsistencies across Departments and ALBs. Together, they create barriers to the greater uptake of Modern Methods of Construction and driving productivity.

TIES Living Lab offers a strategic, scalable and sector wide approach with Government, Client Groups, Suppliers and Academia working in partnership. To overcome these challenges, the Living Lab works in collaboration with i3P and the CIH to tackle the systemic issues that still obstruct the use, integration and adoption of innovations that could drive productivity and wider social benefits through major construction schemes. It will be a catalyst for cultural change, shifting focus within infrastructure delivery decision-making from the costs of construction to an understanding of its whole life value.

Professor Lord Robert Mair, Cambridge University, Chair of the DFT Science Advisory Council and Member Transport Research & Innovation Board:

“This demonstrator is a transformative collaboration. It uses data, technology and Modern Methods of Construction within live transport infrastructure projects to showcase the value of data visualisation through

real-time data control rooms and demonstrates where we can drive even greater productivity and efficiency through innovation transfer. By implementing advanced construction and engineering techniques on live projects, we will deliver significantly better outcomes for society and provide the evidence needed to scale how we drive productivity across the transport infrastructure sector.”

NSAR is the Lead Partner, with responsibility for the Programme Management of TIES Living Lab, and will be

looking closely at the data produced to understand the impact on people and skills and how skills can be an enabler in realising the desired outcomes.

The project is funded via a grant from Innovate UK through the Transforming Construction programme plus contributions from the Department for Transport, HS2, Transport for London and Highways England.

Its members are: NSAR, Bryden Wood Technology, Costain, Office for National Statistics, Whole Life Consultants, Accelar, Network Rail, Kier Construction, Akerlof, X-Treme Systems, Expedition Engineering, Walker Construction, Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors, Strategic Rail Consultants, The Manufacturing Technology Centre, Social Profit Calculator, Powercube (Part of the Mavin Group), Department for Transport, HS2, Transport for London, Highways England, East West Railway, University of Dundee, University of the West of England and the University of Leeds. Programme Management is provided by Limberger Associates Ltd under contract to NSAR.

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