PJ Rudden, former President of Engineers Ireland has been named as Chairman of Innovation and Digital Adoption by the Construction Sector Group (CSG). The CSG was established under the leadership of the Department of Public Expenditure and Reform (DPER) following the launch of Project Ireland 2040 and the National Development Plan in 2018. The role of the CSG is to ensure regular and open dialogue between Government and the construction sector and identify areas for action.
A recent analysis by KPMG and Future Analytics of productivity in the Irish construction sector commissioned by the DPER highlights priority areas for action. The three key themes which emerged as challenges for the industry in the years ahead are (1) the need for investment in innovation and technology, (2) ongoing regulatory reform to assist with achieving competitiveness and sustainability and (3) the need for increased certainty in the pipeline of projects to be delivered under Project Ireland 2040.
According to the recent 2020 CSG ‘Building Innovation’ Report from the DPER, “the Government remains committed to investing public capital expenditure into the development of new social, economic and climate infrastructure. Grasping these opportunities in the face of COVID-19 requires overcoming challenges around capacity.”
A new CSG Innovation group has identified seven actions on innovation and digital adoption including a new Digital Build centre of excellence to be developed under DPER supervision, a new Construction Technology Centre by Enterprise Ireland, a Construction Research Forum by the Construction Industry Federation and other innovations on construction technology and planning application digitisation to help streamline planning permission processes. The Innovation and Digital Adoption Group will be chaired by P J Rudden recent founder of Aengus Consulting, past Director of RPS and past President of Engineers Ireland.
Commenting on his new role Chairman P J Rudden stated: “The challenge ahead is great as our industry recovers from the effects of COVID-19. We in the Group will seek to meet that challenge by developing smarter approaches to construction innovation, new learnings from national and international experience with a highly collaborative approach through architects, engineers, planners, surveyors, contractors, material manufacturers and suppliers.
“A greater culture of innovation and digital adoption through Building Information Modelling (BIM) is already delivering higher efficiencies in the leading firms in recent years. We must now concentrate on inspiring the SMEs and smaller subcontractors to come on board with additional training and upskilling opportunities. We need to gain greater productivity for our industry and that will undoubtedly help to reboot our recovering economy.”
Irish building magazine Media Director Colin Walsh said: PJ Rudden has had an exemplary career, working on projects and initiatives that have shaped the country and the careers of many of the industry’s current leaders. Our industry faces many challenges including encouraging adoption of digital tools and innovations, and challenges with productivity.
“With PJ’s leadership skills and broad experience of the industry, we have the best person chairing Innovation and Digital Adoption within the Construction Sector Group.”