Europe Road Trip: Talking UK Construction with Microdesk

Last month, members of the BuiltWorlds team weaved their way through Europe. Between sightseeing and putting down countless plates of fish and chips, they explored the exciting players, companies, and projects that are innovating the built industry across the Atlantic.

At the London Smart Cities Meet-Up, Lukasz Adamik, the director of consulting services at Microdesk, moderated a panel exploring big data’s growing role in city design and smart infrastructure. Following the panel, BuiltWorlds’ own Nick Durham and Isabel Singer sat down with Adamik to discuss Microdesk’s work in the United Kingdom and how the country’s approach to construction differs from the United States.

Microdesk is a technology consulting firm that provides guidance to construction companies using digital platforms and software to conduct business. They are heavily involved with all sorts of projects and help companies to achieve success in a variety of fields, including planning, design, construction, operations, and maintenance.

“Our overall goal is to translate the latest digital technology into business as usual,” Adamik said. “We make sure people feel more comfortable using [these technologies] on a daily basis.”

In his position at Microdesk, Adamik has a unique view of the construction industry and how companies actually go about building structures. He noted that there are some distinguishing characteristics between the ways companies in the U.K. and U.S. tackle construction projects. According to him, both the U.K.’s government and construction companies approach building projects with a “top-down approach,” which encourages professionals to look at “the entire lifecycle” of a project.

“We are trying to take a structured approach and look at the entire lifecycle of the asset,” he said.

The U.K. government plays a huge role in this view through its regulation of the industry.

“The U.K. mandates that all members of the project team are still responsible for the performance of the building for the next three to five years after the completion of the building,” Adamik continued.

Measures like this have profound ripples in the country’s built community. Not only does this ensure that disasters like the Grenfell Tower Fire in 2017 are fewer and further between, but it also encourages the adoption of vital technologies in construction projects and promotes a more holistic way of viewing a project.

“That kind of makes people look at the bigger picture,” Adamik said. “You start thinking with the end in mind rather than just a specific task.”

The BuiltWorlds Europe Road Trip was a resounding success. To learn more about Isabel and Nick’s trip and read their insights, check out their daily journals and watch the BuiltWorlds website for more videos and posts.

This article was brought to you in partnership with Microdesk. To learn more about them, visit their website.