Energy Synergy™ is our response to addressing the risk of the ‘performance gap’, the potential gap between the energy performance of a building at design stage, and its actual performance in-use.
Through our Energy Synergy™ process we calculate a building project’s projected energy usage at design stage, and then monitor and manage energy performance once the building has been built and operated, identifying areas for potential -improvement, and feeding lessons learned into our future projects.
We believe that we are the only UK contractor to be taking a structured approach to energy efficiency at this scale, and early indications are that Energy Synergy™ helps our customers make energy and cost savings of between 5-15%. In 2020, we embedded Energy Synergy™ as a standard process, which will see it mandated on all new projects from 2021.
Willmott Dixon Community Solar Energy
In 2020 we developed our innovative Willmott Dixon Community Solar Energy offer. It provides an opportunity for customers to benefit from the environmental and economic benefits of solar photovoltaic (PV) renewable energy generation, without having to invest directly themselves. The model sees a Community Energy Group owning and operating the PV system, with renewable energy being supplied to the building owner at a market-competitive cost.
In 2020 we developed Collida, Willmott Dixon’s integrated construction platform. The Collida platform uses cutting-edge technology to provide customers with greater ownership of the design, procurement, delivery and maintenance of their buildings. All Collida products offer excellent environmental performance through achieving net zero carbon in operation, being designed to meet future climate scenarios, optimising life-cycle value and incorporating our EnergySynergy™ process.
In 2020, our IT team made great progress in keeping the business operating effectively by enabling us to work remotely. The entire company now has access to Microsoft 365 including Teams videoconferencing software, and 80% of our people have received a new laptop or have had their existing device upgraded.
We improved digital connectivity on our sites, increasing the number of sites with the best possible connection by 30% in 2020.
Remote working has also seen our travel and expenses reduce by more than £4m across the whole business in 2020. On average, the business now makes around 20,000 Teams calls a month.
We have held the Cyber Essentials Plus accreditation for the past three years. The accreditation ensures all our IT systems are secure. In 2021, we are seeking to achieve the ISO27001 certification, which ensures we have a risk management system in place. With more of our people working from home, we have taken steps to improve cybersecurity, launching a multi-factor authentication process and educating our people through learning sessions. Our IT training videos have been viewed over 1.5k times.
As a product-focused business, we are committed to moving forward with new ideas and ways of working that solve our customers, our industry’s, and our own challenges.
In 2019, we heightened our focus on offsite construction, launching an internal guide to raise awareness and technical understanding across our people. Our Construction division has committed to deliver 70% minimum Pre-Manufactured Value across its project portfolio by 2025, with our new Collida products delivering this same standard from 2021.
The Yellow Book
Our internal Yellow Book continues to be updated to provide our people, designers, customers and supply chain partners with clear, informed guidance and mandatory design and product choices. In 2020, our Yellow Book had over 25,000 individual visits. The positive impact of the Yellow Book is evidenced by the quality of our end-product and a reduction in the cost of rectifying errors.
In 2020 we continued to trial 4D planning which integrates our 3D models and project programmes. This is enabling us to better visualise our construction intentions and their interdependency with time. We trialled both 3D and 4D visualisations with our customers, our site teams and our supply chain partners, to help improve the quality of our end-product, health and safety and increase productivity. Our ambition is to make such approaches our new norm.