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Fostering modernisation in the early phases of development through interdependency

Fostering modernisation in the early phases of development through interdependency
June 13, 2023 2:46 PM
Simon Skoczek
Simon Skoczek, CEO & co-founder of BOOM

The typical development project is stacked with opportunities for implementing modernisation strategies that are wide ranging and lucrative. The most basic and effective should be implemented at an early stage and are hardly that “modern”.

Considering some analysts claim that up to 30% of project cost is sunk on variations, rework and their associated programme impacts, the digitalisation-generated benefits from a cost perspective alone is potentially massive. It begs the question - if one can theoretically improve profits by up to 30% by better coordination, why aren’t more developers and builders modernising more quickly?

The answer to that question has been written about a thousand times over but, from my perspective, it all stems from an absence of a simple and effective environment for stakeholders engagement. But whatever its cause, a failure to fully embrace digitalisation results in this industry lagging well behind most others in terms of its adoption of new technologies and modern ways of working.

Because modernisation doesn’t need to mean AI, design configurators and digital twinning, but can simply represent a more transparent, connected and efficient way of engaging, our focus at BOOM! is on incremental modernisation that everyday makes our users more comfortable and more innovative in their approach and considerations. Confidence in digitalisation grows through small step changes that ultimately lead to bigger changes that we envisage will deliver significant environmental, social and capital value improvements to all phases of property development.

It starts at the “coal face” by recognising the vital role landowners should play in shaping the culture of the industry and minimum performance standards. Landowners are encouraged to engage in a process that allows them to properly understand their development needs and mission. This in turn permits BOOM! to clearly communicate their exact requirements to developers via aDevelopment Profile- a roadmap of the design features, construction processes and delivery philosophy that the landowner would like to see adopted. A roadmap that improves developer efficiency and targeting strategies.

Once an opportunity is published to the platform, developers express their interest in working with a landowner or securing a consented site. At this point step change modernisation involves supporting early stakeholder engagement through a basic form of common data environment or CDE - a hub of transparency and clear communication between project stakeholders.

When you distil it down, property development is all about communication, coordination and transparency. When improved, the design and construction phases will thank you for it, as will the gross development value (GDV), build quality and client satisfaction - this is often where that 30% cost improvement hides!

Our CDE expands on our existing “Organisation” and “Teams” functionality - first-to-market features that support colleague and third-party engagement respectively. The CDE engages AEC subcontractors, suppliers and consultants far earlier in the project workflow, serving as a fantastic starting point for early conversations surrounding modern methods of construction (MMC), environmental performance, scheme and community infrastructure and much much more - the stuff that makes a development a commercial success.

In the medium-term, the CDE will see extensions into local community and prospective homebuyer involvement from early design-development phases through to planning application and beyond - early involvement of the community mitigates NIMBYism through a growing sense of ownership and involvement, and schemes that better reflect community needs and desires. From a homebuyer perspective their involvement maximises a scheme's capacity to respond to their needs and wants, simultaneously increasing the likelihood of early, off-plan sales.

Building a platform complimented by tools and functionality that is supportive of modernisation through networking and communication, cooperation and early engagement is borne of a founding principle at BOOM! - interdependence. We can achieve a great deal more if we elect to work and grow together.