LIVE Programme

Shaping the UK's Future Built Environment

As the UK prepares for Brexit, the built environment has a huge role to play in ensuring the economy’s future competitiveness: from city development, to energy provision and transport connectivity, to creating the schools, colleges and universities that will deliver future talent to the workforce.

At the same time, the construction sector itself must rapidly evolve. The industry is under pressure to increase productivity through digital techniques and pre-manufacture, in order to meet demand and reduce reliance on labour. This pressure has increased dramatically following the vote to leave the EU. Likely restrictions on movement of labour will add to the existing shortfall of workers, with the industry already needing to recruit a predicted 400,000 workers a year for the next five years to meet demand.

So the industry needs to both embed more efficient ways of working, and attract a new generation of workers to the sector, if it is to fulfil its potential in building Britain’s future economy.

The main stream of the Building Live conference will focus on the major areas of demand in the UK’s built environment, and how these are being impacted by the current economic and political climate. It will give business leaders a deeper insight into the challenges faced and opportunities on offer, and provide a platform for high level debate over how the industry can help the UK as a whole create a built environment that works for this and future generations.

The conference, now in its third year, brings the detailed analysis of Building’s journalism onto a live stage, and provides an opportunity to debate the industry’s most pressing issues with some of its most experienced business leaders.

This conference stream will explore:

  • How the vote to leave the European Union and new political leadership in the UK is affecting demand for, and delivery of, construction projects

  • How the industry can best help stem the housing crisis

  • The outlook for the commercial sector as Brexit negotiations develop

  • How construction can meet its productivity challenge

  • How the industry can deliver schools and universities that are fit for the future

  • The opportunities and challenges involved in delivering the UK’s infrastructure mega-projects

  • How powerful regional authorities plan to deliver their visions for the built environment

LIVE Programme 2017

9:20 am - 9:45 am

Keynote Speaker

9:20 am - 9:30 am



9:30 am - 10:00 am

Keynote Interview


10:00 am - 10:45 am

Housing: It’s the UK’s biggest crisis – so are we making progress?

The industry needs to build an estimated 200,000 homes a year to meet demand, around 70,000 more than the current average. Meanwhile, an affordability crisis has seen the average price of first time homes rise by 12% over the past year. In response, the industry is investing in offsite technologies and private rented accommodation, while... Read more »



11:00 am - 11:15 am


11:15 am - 12:30 pm

Commercial: The development landscape after the Brexit vote



12:30 pm - 1:00 pm

Construction’s productivity challenge: Big idea pitches

The government-commissioned Farmer review has laid down the challenge to the industry to “modernise or die”. Construction’s productivity growth lags far behind that of other sectors, and the legacy of under-investment in technology and training is reaching a critical point with the industry forecast to see a 20-25% decline in available labour over the next... Read more »


1:00 pm - 2:00 pm


2:00 pm - 2:45 pm

Education: Building schools and universities that are fit for the future

Education clients at all levels are facing the challenge of developing estates that are fit for purpose today, and can also meet evolving educational needs – in an era of constrained spending. In the schools sector, an extra 880,000 places will be needed in England over the next decade, according to population projections, while there... Read more »



  • View full profile for Mike ClarkMike Clark Director of Estates and FM, Brighton University; - Chair, Association of University Directors of Estates
  • Stephen Beechey Group Strategy Director & Managing Director Government Affairs - Wates Group
  • Mike Green Director, Capital - Education Funding Agency
  • View full profile for Anna DaviesAnna Davies Associate Director and Architect - David Miller Architects
  • View full profile for Jonathan StewartJonathan Stewart Main Board Director - Gleeds


2:45 pm - 3:30 pm

Infrastructure: Opportunity and challenge on the UK’s big ticket schemes

The infrastructure sector is forecast to grow by almost 30% to 2019, as work ramps up on big ticket schemes such as HS2 and a new generation of nuclear power stations. But with competition for skills and resource, how can these schemes be delivered most effectively? And how can we best finance and deliver the... Read more »



3:30 pm - 4:00 pm


4:00 pm - 4:45 pm

Cities: Investing for growth

The increasing devolution of powers to regional authorities and elected mayors offers a huge opportunity for regionally-led city development and regeneration, at a time when the UK government is looking to rebalance the economy across the country. What are the development priorities for the UK’s regional cities, and what are investors looking for in regional... Read more »



  • View full profile for John BettyJohn Betty Strategic Director Economic Growth and Development - Cornwall County Council
  • View full profile for Jackie SadekJackie Sadek Founder and Chief Executive - UK Regeneration
  • Peter Hogg Head of Government and Municipals, City Executive London - Arcadis

4:45 pm - 5:30 pm

The big debate: Life without EU – How can construction make a success of Brexit?

Brexit negotiations are now well underway, with the UK on course to leave the EU in 2019. But with 12% of UK construction workers from overseas, the majority from the EU, how can the industry secure the right government backing to avoid a cliff-edge over skills, and give certainty over materials delivery? And longer-term, how... Read more »



  • View full profile for Ann BentleyAnn Bentley Global Practice Director - RLB and Construction Leadership Council
  • Richard Threlfall UK Sector Head for Infrastructure, Building and Construction - KPMG
  • View full profile for Alistair WatsonAlistair Watson Head, Planning and Environment team - Taylor Wessing