Visit to Pioneering Project ‘The Forge’

Constructing Excellence

On Wednesday 19th October Constructing Excellence members enjoyed an interesting and informative visit to The Forge to discuss the tools and techniques used in this innovative project.

We learned how the platform approach was utilised and discussed both the triumphs and challenges that were faced over the course of the build. We were lucky enough to attend a presentation detailing the project as well as a tour of ‘block A’ to better understand the materials, systems and processes in place. We were also able to discover more about specific digital resources that were trialled and how the teams had been working to reduce their carbon footprint.

The project is a true embodiment of the Constructing Excellence principles and we hope it represents a step change for our industry.  Much of what we learned maps directly onto our theme groups as detailed below:

Procurement Constructing Excellence

This project was procured using a construction management contract. Given the levels of innovation and the importance of the specialists and sub-contractors it was necessary for the client to get close to the supply chain.   This required strong client leadership, which was certainly evident from Landsec and a change in culture from much of the supply chain.  The M&E suppliers in particular embraced the move away from a hierarchical environment, enabling specialists and manufacturers to bring their best ideas and innovation to the project.

Manufacturing & Technology Constructing Excellence

Obviously, as a PDfMA project, this was a brilliant example of MMC and the advantages of platforms. From the health and safety benefits of avoiding working at height to the logistical benefits of minimising deliveries to a tight central London site, the project had it all! One thing that did stand out was the use of prototyping and trialling solutions ahead of deployment to refine solutions and maximise on-site productivity.

Digital Constructing Excellence

Given the manufacturing approach most of the clash detections, etc. were dealt with ahead of working on site, so the team were able to focus on unleashing the real potential of digital. One of the big challenges was building trust within the supply chain, for example using Converge to monitor concrete curing, alongside traditional approaches. On future projects the team and their supply chain partners will use this technology, including its predictive capacity to optimise programme times.

Performance Measurement  Constructing Excellence

The level of measurement and data analysis was outstanding! The team worked with a team of researchers at Cambridge University to drill into the data and crucially use that insight to understand where changes could be made to improve productivity. The granular analysis of the data shows where and how productivity can be improved.

Net Zero  Constructing Excellence

Net Zero was a key driver of the project, the client and the project team. From the minimisation of waste on site, to low carbon concrete to the use of heat pumps, the project demonstrates how important a pDfMA approach is to achieving our Net Zero ambitions.

Collaboration Constructing Excellence

Collaboration was critical to this project. No one organisation can deliver this level of innovation without collaboration and trust.  That message was re-inforced by the entire team seeing the benefits of incentivising decision-making based on what was best for the project as well as early supply chain involvement.

Constructing Excellence


The Constructing Excellence team would like to say a huge thank you to our hosts at Sir Robert McAlpine and Landsec for the fantastic visit and another thank you to all the members who attended. We will be continuing to plan exciting events such as this so please do get in touch to find out more!