Productivity Unlocked: UBI

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April 5, 2024

Starting with the Why?

At UBI, our mission statement is to solve the building stock cost, productivity and energy crisis. Our solution is 97% more energy efficient, 90%+ cheaper and drives an 81% improvement in productivity.  

Setting the scene

The UK and Europe is facing an existential productivity crisis trading off an aging population with industries that still require significant labour input for bespoke, one off outputs that are expensive and time consuming. Broadly, productivity has been on the rise in service, technology and manufacturing sectors where investment and innovation has provided significant efficiencies which in turn are making these power houses of the UK economy. 

A sector in need of change

When it comes to the physical infrastructure and building stock that forms the backbone of the economy, there is a disparity to these matured sectors where investment in new ways of working that are driven by data and learnt from these more productive sectors is not prioritised. 

According to the ONS report on Productivity in the Construction Industry, UK: 2021, the construction sector’s productivity has stayed stagnant where specifically, output per hour worked for the construction of buildings has decreased by over 32% since 2002 levels. 

There is an opportunity to unlock significant growth in the sector by harnessing Modern Methods of Construction and data driven ways of working that will surpass the current outdated processes and fill the void of an aging workforce where the capacity to build, maintain and operate critical national infrastructure is decreasing. 

Let’s learn from others

The sector is in need of revolution, not evolution, and learning from sectors such as automotive and aerospace who have undergone huge changes to make them more productive and in turn, more profitable is the way forward. 

UB Infrastructure has combined the efficiency of the manufacturing sector with an industry in need of change to make the step changes needed to regain growth in construction productivity and unlock a sleeping giant to the UKs and more widely, global economies.

UBI’s precision engineered retrofit or new build solution has proven that this is possible. Using standardised, offsite manufacturing processes that are designed for operative ease of assembly, UBI has recognised a 93.5% time saving in construction of railway lineside buildings with a 90%+ cost reduction for the system that is produced. 

Proving the impact

This is not theory. It has been done. 

At Willesden Depot in Central London, the UBI Shell solution, an exoskeleton for an existing lineside railway building, has been installed where these efficiency savings have been confirmed and in some instances, exceeded.

The building took 4 days to design, 10 days to manufacture and 3 days to install with significant opportunities identified to refine this further. No cranes, RRVs, line blocks or isolations were required and the building is guaranteed for 60 years, 57 years longer than the existing building that needed to be protected as water was leaking in, contacting High Voltage equipment.

Given these figures, the productivity improvement recognised is 81% where number of operatives, cost, days on site and output are taken into account, this is significant.

Providing an opportunity

For investors and asset owners, public and private, drastic differences in outputs from budgets can be achieved as shown by the twenty UBI buildings that can be completed for the price of one industry standard, benchmarked building that is built by traditional methods. Life is significantly prolonged and building stock is modernised rapidly.

For contractors, workforce capacity is unlocked with a lower skill base required to assemble the “flat pack” buildings. A more productive workforce means margin improvement and given the scale of the challenge with UK building stock alone, that workforce will be productive for many years to come.

For the public, value for money is increased and a more safe, secure, energy efficient built environment is there to serve their needs. The impact alone on the National Infrastructure Pipeline of publicly funded government projects is significant, to the tune of 10s of billions, which in turn is an opportunity for boosting GDP.

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