Written by Kate Perrin, Marketing Director at AMA Research & Barbour ABI
Here at AMA Research & Barbour ABI we get a unique, unparalleled view of the construction universe in the UK.
At Barbour ABI, we know of every project, and our research team – the largest UK-based team in the industry – track it meticulously and add tonnes of value as we go. We get to know the plans, stage, proposed timeline, value, materials and much more. We make it our business to know the design teams, clients, consultants, installers, developers, specifiers and contractors working on every project.
But our knowledge of the industry doesn’t stop there. Our flagship digital product directory and expert market research arm means that we know building material product manufacturers inside and out too – we track the trends for product development and innovation, and AMA Research uses this data to help manufacturers to ‘see and build the future’. This means we get to know what really makes construction businesses tick, what the shape of their year looks like, their marketing plans and the things that are important to them.
It’s this 360-degree view of the UK construction industry that has inspired us to publish a content calendar for 2021. Here are 12 themes that you have told us are important to you. It’s not an exhaustive list – there are only 12 months in a year! – but we hope that by working in partnership with expert consultants and companies in our space we will publish free articles, blog posts and white papers that you will find useful and thought-provoking. Below is an overview of the topics we are going to cover in 2021, however you can view our full editorial calendar PDF here for a more in depth look.
In 2020 we started our #REBUILDINGTOGETHER movement. Much of this was about producing and publishing free to air content of value high and wide. We figured that we could use our position as market leader to arm construction companies with the most up to date insights, analysis, forecasts and tips, and that this would support their bounce back journey as we all navigate these turbulent waters together.
So, if you or your company has something thought-leading to say on any of these themes, please do get in touch at [email protected] . We are keen to share our community of 90,000+ followers/subscribers to help propel a strong bounce back for all of our customers as well as the wider industry.
January – Proptech and the ‘office 2.0’
‘Smart building’ technology is revolutionising how buildings are designed, delivered and operated with client efficiency requirements changing the playing field. On top of this, 2020 has proved that many aspects of business can be carried out remotely. Accordingly, this month’s focus aims to gather views from those designing and delivering commercial projects to get the inside track on how the office market is being disrupted.
February – Mental Health and Wellbeing
A topic swept under the carpet until recent times, construction is now beginning to face its responsibilities in this area and is starting to open up and talk about how it should be looking after its workforce. In February, we will examine best practice and look at what companies have been doing to help keep employees stay mentally fit and healthy.
March – Onsite Innovation
This is an industry that must overcome challenges on a daily basis. With necessity being the mother of invention, many solutions see the employment of new methods and techniques, or equipment and materials being used in new and interesting ways. To throw some light on real coalface innovation, will uncover some of the brilliant solutions that the sector produces.
April – Training and Recruitment
The long lamented industry skills gap doesn’t look like closing anytime soon, not least with the UK contending with an uncertain post-EU future that is impacting the availability of skilled labour. None-the-less the industry expends significant energy and resource to attract and retain people. In such an environment, April’s content focus will examine some of these initiatives to uncover beacons of success and their hard-won lessons.
May – Green Technology
The climate crisis is demonstrating that green technology must become increasingly embedded within how populations live, work and travel. This month’s focus will take a sounding from industry experts who will play lead roles in master-planning and the design and redesign of our built environment.
June – Women in Construction
While construction constantly grapples with a chronic skills gap, there are businesses tackling this issue head on and are committing to challenging targets for gender parity. With this in mind, June’s focus will provide the oxygen of publicity for those organisations that are blazing an inspirational trail for others to follow.
July – The Brexit effect: Products and Materials
It’s six months since the UK left the EU and as the nation enters H2 we consider the state of the industry in terms of supply chain reformation, product availability and how this has affected input costs.
August – Renewable Energy
With the progressive phasing out of fossil fuels, renewables are set to become increasingly important within the UK’s energy mix. Our renewable energy focus will assess likely scenarios for green energy and what this might mean for the designers, constructors and maintainers of the UK’s generation infrastructure.
September – Health and Safety
With annual construction deaths still stubbornly remaining far too high at around 40 per year, this focus will be on new initiatives that are set to make a difference by protecting operatives.
October – Low Carbon Construction
Increasingly referred to as the most important issue in construction, the next few decades are likely to define the success of climate change mitigation and the industry has a major role to play. This month we will also consider the impact of new emissions constraints on construction, share success stories and look at what supply chains can really do to make a difference.
November – Offsite and Modular Building
November 2017 saw the government announce a ‘presumption in favour of offsite’, with departments overseeing defence, education, health and social care, justice and transport expected to prefer bids incorporating it. Given this uncertainty, will take a look at the playing field and take a sounding on current thinking, emerging methodologies and how these are liable to influence the sector.
December – Technology: Manufacturers
While digital construction is often the first conversation when it comes to modernising construction, manufacturers are making huge strides that are reshaping both how projects are delivered and how assets perform. This focus will reveal some of the most exciting new entrants in the fields of smart equipment, products and materials and take a look at how they may make for a more efficient industry and built environment.