The year-long project – launching in January to mark our 180th anniversary – will examine radical ways to address construction’s challenges


Building is launching a 12-month project to find solutions to the construction industry’s underlying problems such as poor productivity levels, an ageing workforce and the need to spend more on research and development.

The Building the Future Commission – to mark Building’s 180th anniversary – will kick off in January to look at proposals for change in eight areas; skills and education, energy and net zero, housing and planning, infrastructure, building safety, project delivery, workplace culture and leadership and creating communities.

The commission will run all year with a report published at the end of 2023. This will be drawn up with the help of a panel of commissioners who are leading figures in the worlds of business, policy, research and education.

The commission aims to tap into these innovative ideas, amplify them and be an agent for change

Chloe McCulloch, editorial director

Chloe McCulloch, editorial director of Building, said: “The industry is often its own worst enemy: fragmented supply chains, low take-up of digital innovation and inadequate investment in R&D have all contributed to long-term poor productivity levels for decades.

“And yet we know there are many proactive individuals and world-class companies in this country trying to do things differently and succeeding. The commission aims to tap into these innovative ideas, amplify them and be an agent for change.”

>> Click for more more about the Building the Future Commission

Commissioners signed up so far include Lord Kerslake, former head of the civil service, Richard Steer, chair of Gleeds and Emma-Jane Houghton, commercial director at New Hospitals Programme (see below). More commissioners will be signed up in the coming weeks.

Building the Future will also undertake a countrywide tour of roundtable discussions with experts around the regions as part of a consultation programme in partnership with the regional arms of industry body Constructing Excellence. It will also set up a young person’s advisory panel.

We will also be setting up an ideas hub and we want to hear your views.

Email with ‘The Building Commission’ in the subject line to get in touch. 

Commissioners signed up so far …


  • Emma-Jane Houghton, commercial director, New Hospital Programme
  • Andrew Mellor, partner, PRP
  • Lord Kerslake, former head of civil service
  • Neal Shasore, head of school and chief executive, London School of Architecture
  • Simon Wyatt, sustainability partner, Cundall
  • Richard Steer, chair, Gleeds
  • Katy Dowding, executive vice-president, Skanska
  • Rebecca Rees, partner, Trowers & Hamlins