The 2020 McKinsey report on “The next normal in construction” states; “Annual productivity growth over the past 20 years was only a third of total economy averages. Risk aversion and fragmentation as well as difficulties in attracting digital talent slow down innovation. Digitalization is lower than in nearly any other industry. Profitability is low, at around 5 percent EBIT margin, despite high risks and many insolvencies. Customer satisfaction is hampered by regular time and budget overruns and lengthy claims procedures.” 

If we can use new technologies and processes; or gain insights from the huge volumes of data that we collect, we have the opportunity to deliver HS2 in a more time efficient manner than traditional methods might allow. 

Challenge Topics

1. How can we make every minute on site count?

2. How can we leverage digital solutions to improve our productivity during design and construction?

3. How do we design elements of HS2 for more efficient delivery and replication? 



The construction of HS2 is the single largest infrastructure project ever undertaken by the UK construction industry. The full HS2 route network will include:

•  At peak construction, 30,000 jobs will be needed to design and build HS2, including at least 2,000                              apprenticeships.
•  This will translate to approximately 6,000,000 working hours per month.​

Therefore we are looking for digital capability that can provide both marginal gain and transformational change in the right areas.

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) states: The construction sector provides 2.3mil jobs which accounts for 6.5% of the UK's total jobs. The UK economy produces of £31.50 GVA* per hour worked. Construction produces £25.50 of GVA per hour worked. (*GVA is a widely used measure of the value of goods or services produced by a sector or industry.)

In the World Economic Forum rankings the UK ranks 27th for quality of infrastructure. The Construction
sector output in the UK is currently worth over 100bn a year which equates to 6% of the UK’s total economic
output. The adoption of existing and widely available technology alone such as BIM, digital solutions and
collaboration tools could boost global construction productivity enormously.


We believe some of our biggest opportunity areas sit within;

  • Improving decision making though better data

  • Improving efficiency and effectiveness through better communication

  • Improving outputs and outcomes by optimising construction operations

  • Improving value by optimising design

  • Improving value by optimising technical specifications

Your application should;

•   Deliver an Economic benefit to the Build Baseline of the programme.
•   Build a legacy of knowledge, expertise and new commercial opportunities for the UK as we develop HS2.

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