Mandate and Government Influence on Digital Transformation

Session synopsis

Construction industry is one of the most important barometers for growth, development and economic stimulation. In most countries, it is largely supported by governments and this makes is susceptible to policies and legislation that affect public-funded projects. Unfortunately, the industry is one of the least digitised globally, due to cultural and institutional bottlenecks, as well as the complex and temporary nature of construction partnerships which conspire to prevent the adoption of innovative ways of being more effective and minimizing waste. It is a very risk averse industry, and even as other industries have evolved, construction lags behind in digital transformation of its supply chain and project phases. This is why some governments in Europe have felt the need to intervene, to compel the stakeholders to hasten their adoption of the digital process, such as implementation of Building Information Modelling (BIM). An example of government intervention is the BIM Mandate of the UK, which as initiated in 2011 with a five year transitionary and preparatory period culminating in April 2016, after which all government projects were to be procured using a minimum of BIM Level 2 maturity. Is this approach successful and is it replicable in other countries starting their journeys in digital transformation in construction? Is it common to hear calls for ‘mandating BIM’ but the socio-technical circumstances which make such approach possible in one country (e.g. in Europe) may be absent in another (e.g. in Africa). Nevertheless, the role of governments in driving digital transformation is critical but how to make a success of it when dealing with an industry mostly run by private construction organisations is another matter.

Why should people attend?

About 50% of stakeholders in the AEC industry of most countries are ‘Laggards’ when it comes to adopting new innovations. This means most of its participants would prefer to do business-as-usual (BAU) then seek new ways of solving problems and running their organisations. However this tendency for laggardness is actually the default predisposition of humans, who are naturally inclined to resist change when confronted with the ‘new’ ideas, irrespective of proven benefits derivable from such system and processes. This behaviour follows the ‘Newtonian’ law of motion. Although enforcing policies and laws may seem to deliver change, organisations will adopt such new process simply to remain in business. This can be explained by ‘Loss Aversion Theory’. This session will provide attendees with unique critical perspectives and insights on how to implement sustainable digital transformation of the construction industry. I will compare and contrast government mandates with other forms of non-forced compliance. Participants will be exposed to case studies and strategies and derive valuable understanding or how they can help their local industries to adopt a positive and rewarding attitude towards change. In summary, the session will serve as an invaluable head start for decision makers, influencers, change agents, catalysts and Government authorities who seek an overhaul of traditional methods for more efficient digital approaches to getting value for money with sustainable digital transformation of their construction industries.




  • Zulfikar A. Adamu
    Zulfikar A. Adamu
    Associate Professor - London South Bank University

    Starting out as an Architect (BTech & MTech) before moving into Architectural Engineering (MSc) and settling for a PhD (Civil & Building Engineering), my expertise revolves around leveraging computing and data driven tools and processes to enable digital transformation in architecture, construction and engineering (AEC) industries. In research and practice, this includes: Building Information Modelling (BIM) and Digital Engineering where my focus has been on: Autodesk’s BIM360 ecosystem and the underlying Forge API for managing workflows and multiple data streams; integrating BIM with GIS systems through data-driven processes as well as developing ETL workflows from multiple data sources.

    I have experience with computational modelling and simulation of buildings (DynamoBIM, computational fluid dynamics, dynamic thermal modelling and digital twinning/connected BIM).

    In addition I am a Unity3D certified serious game developer (VR and AR) through which I am developing VR-based training games for health and safety, fire evacuation and bespoke workflows for project monitoring.

    I thrive on seeking innovative ways of making data and digital technologies improve productivity for design and construction as well as delivering optimum value for clients and end users. This includes upskilling, training and development of bespoke workflows and solutions for a fast-changing industry.


Oct 30 2020

Event types