Reimagining Capital Projects: Podcast Series

Tuning in to the latest industry trends

Welcome to our Reimagining Capital Projects podcast series where we explore how technology and innovation is changing capital projects and the wider infrastructure and real estate industries.

In each episode, our subject matter experts are joined by leading industry experts to discuss how developments in technology can impact your projects and your business.

New episodes appear here regularly, giving you a short, insightful view of the latest industry trends.

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Season 3

Episode 5

Episode 6: Beyond the targets: What type of homes do we need?

March 2021

The UK Government’s ambition is to build 300,000 new homes a year, and one million by the end of this parliament. But there are continued concerns among the public about the affordability of housing across the country, particularly when we begin to see the impact of COVID-19 on employment and income. So if they need to get on and build more affordable housing, shouldn't we also be talking more about the types of homes to be built?

In this episode, host Evie John, from PwC’s housing team, is joined by Lord Barwell, a strategic adviser to PwC, who was a former minister of state for housing and James Bailey, a director in PwC’s Real Assets team who leads our work across the residential market. They discuss how different policy priorities need to be balanced, from quality and safety to net zero and placemaking; and how the Government, builders and developers can come together to deliver the next generation of housing.

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Episode 5

Episode 5: COVID-19 as a disrupter and accelerator of change across the interconnected world of real assets

November 2020

The COVID-19 pandemic; government responses; the environmental, social and corporate governance (ESG) agenda and push towards net zero; and the acceleration of blurring of previously distinct asset classes are all driving significant change. Though real estate is generally still seen as one of the few investments to generate acceptable returns at a time of low or negative interest rates, the uncertainty has shifted priorities and raised questions about the availability of finance, repurposing assets, impact investing and the sector's increasing complexity.

In this episode, Eoin O'Murchu is joined by Gareth Lewis (Director PwC Real Estate Corporate Finance team and ETRE Leader) and Rachel Wallace (PwC Real Assets Restructuring team), to discuss how COVID-19 has impacted the industry and the key trends identified in the recently launched Emerging Trends in Real Estate® Europe report, a joint survey of nearly 1000 experts in 25 European countries by PwC and the Urban Land Institute - now in its 18th edition.

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Episode 4

Episode 4: The impact of ‘Black Swan’ events on programme delivery and the wider supply chain    

July 2020

Major capital projects are experiencing much uncertainty - from delivery timelines to understanding supply chain networks. All due to the challenges created by COVID-19. The scale of the pandemic itself couldn’t have been anticipated. However, examining the lessons learned from COVID-19 and other Black Swan (or unforeseen) events on major works will certainly help us plan better for the future and help us mitigate risk.

Host Eoin O'Murchu is joined by Sean Lynch, Deputy Supply Chain Director for Hinkley Point C, as well as Neil Broadhead, PwC’s Capital Projects and Infrastructure Leader, and Alpesh Shah, a Partner in PwC’s Risk Analytics Practice. Together, they discuss how not to focus on specific Black Swan events, but instead on the critical consequences for which each business and project can plan.

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Episode 3: Benchmarking capital projects for better insights and decision-making

March 2020

The richness of data available on capital projects allows the managers of those projects to benchmark their time, process, quality and spend across the industry. These insights can empower them to anticipate issues, quickly make changes and make better decisions. The question is: how can the data be collected effectively and consistently across the industry while retaining the privacy of its participants?

Host Eoin O'Murchu is joined by Aleister Hellier (Head of Benchmarking for Infrastructure & Projects Authority) and Dan Hirst (from PwC’s Capital Project Services team) to share their capital projects benchmarking expertise and perspectives.

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iTunes Spotify Transistor

Episode 2: Managing project risk through technology innovation

February 2020

Increasingly complex capital projects become more exposed to sophisticated and interrelated risks. The likelihood of project failure can loom large. New technological advances facilitate easier ways to gather and track data to help. You can constantly monitor what will be done, the costs, time and risks involved so all parties are assured of project success.

Host Eoin O'Murchu is joined by PwC colleagues, programme controls expert Camilo Buitrago, and programme assurance specialist Gianmaria Vettese, to discuss how you might assure the quality and consistency of project and programme data through the lifecycle of your programmes.

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Episode 1: Technology: Unlocking value across the Asset lifecycle

October 2019

New technology and innovation promise to drive significant benefit across the asset lifecycle. But successful implementation means navigating challenges from operating silos & data disconnects to scaling across thousands of assets; all whilst recognising the importance of the 'human element'.

Host Eoin O'Murchu is joined by Renato Zandro from SAP and Barry Middleton, a PwC director with a focus on technology and asset management, to discuss the challenges and opportunities in selecting and implementing technology across the asset lifecycle.

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Season 2

Episode 4: How space-as-a-service is changing the real estate sector

May 2019

The real estate market is fundamentally changing and the way people are going to be using spaces and what they are using them for is changing as well.


Host Eoin Ó Murchú is joined by Antony Slumbers, a real estate software and PropTech strategist, and Gareth Lewis, a digital consultant within PwC’s capital projects team, to discuss the real estate sector, specifically some of the emerging trends in the market and how the sector as a whole is adopting and preparing to capitalise on them.

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iTunes Transcript

Episode 3: What's the point in BIM?

February 2019

Building Information Modelling (BIM) seems to have an image problem. As a process for creating and managing digital information on a construction project across the project lifecycle, it enables those who interact with the asset to optimise their actions, resulting in a greater whole life value for the asset. So, why is it so misunderstood?

Host Eoin Ó Murchú is joined by Jon Kerbey, BIM Director at HS2 and Andrew Walker, a digital consultant within PwC’s capital projects team, to discuss the benefits of BIM, including efficiency savings.

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iTunes Transcript

Episode 2: When is a bike not a bike?

January 2019

Cycle hire and public bike share schemes are thriving in many towns and cities across the globe. The bikes and their infrastructure are a valuable source of data, that can help identify faster and safer routes, reduce costs for maintenance and provide seamless customer journeys.

In our latest podcast, host Eoin Ó Murchú is joined by Philip Ellis, Co-founder and CEO of Beryl and Kirsty Gladwyn, a Transport Consultant at PwC and previously operational director for the London cycle hire scheme, to talk about how technology and data analytics is positively disrupting urban transport.

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 iTunes  Spotify Transcript

Episode 1: Turning data into insight and insight into action

November 2018

Data insights are having an ever more important role in real estate and infrastructure. Utilising and understanding a wide variety of data sources - such as mobile, credit card and travel data - can directly impact the planning and management of your assets.

In our latest podcast, host Eoin Ó Murchú is joined by Gary Martin, Head of Strategy and Operations, Central London Portfolio for The Crown Estate and Megan Higgins, Director of Customer & Retail Analytics at PwC. Together they discuss the value that data insights can bring to real estate and how analysing data on Bond Street, London helped the New West End Company plan for the future.

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iTunes Spotify Transcript

Season 1

Episode 6: Harnessing the power of Artificial Intelligence

April 2018

When it comes to digital disruption, Artificial Intelligence (AI) is arguably one of the biggest game changers for Capital Projects. With its ability to analyse data and detect even the most subtle of patterns, it has the power to revolutionise traditional approaches to the planning, management and delivery of capital projects. But what exactly is AI and what steps do our clients need to take to reap the benefits? 

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Episode 5: Capturing Value - The Bigger Picture

March 2018

In our rapidly changing world, with a globalised population and finite resources, the expectations placed on businesses about the role they should play in society has shifted amongst stakeholders. To stay ahead, understanding the value of wider societal impacts is key. But how can our clients attribute value to the traditionally "intangible" aspects (environment, community etc.) of their projects? Discover the importance of seeing "the bigger picture" and find out how innovation and smarter decision making methods can enable long term delivery success.

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Episode 4: Unlocking the potential of Blockchain

January 2018

Blockchain is a revolutionary technology that has the ability to transform business; speeding up interactions, reducing operational costs and providing a secure, trusted transaction history. Providing a fixed record of the past, blockchain offers an opportunity to realise greater industry trust, transparency and collaboration. Join Darya Bahram of the Construction Blockchain Consortium and PwC Digital Consultants Eoin Ó Murchú and Matt Saunders, as they explore how the construction industry could unlock the potential of blockchain, enabling innovation such as SMART contracts and cryptocurrency, to disrupt industry standard contract and payment models.

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Episode 3: The Digital Opportunity

December 2017

Capital projects and the wider infrastructure and real estate sectors traditionally have low margins of return (as little as 2%). However, data insight and digital enablement may offer the opportunity to radically change the landscape. Featuring Anthony Buckley-Thorp from tech start-up, formerly of Google X, who are looking at innovative ways to exploit the ever increasing data available within the capital projects space, this episode looks at the industry's attitude towards digitisation and the key challenges it faces in the UK and further afield.

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Episode 2: The Internet of Things

November 2017

The Internet of Things is coming to Capital Projects. Joined by Alex King from GE Digital, we explore the impact and direct benefits asset connectivity is bringing to the capital project sector. We discuss the unlikely benefits IoT has brought to agriculture, retail and manufacturing and share some insight as to how IoT will impact future capital projects.  

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Episode 1: Construction Disruption

October 2017

In this episode we consider the influence of construction technology disruption and how innovation can displace established market practices. How can the industry adapt to new business models? Are we adequately addressing the current industry gaps to meet future business challenges?

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Contact us

Alpesh Shah

Alpesh Shah

Risk Analytics Commercial & Government Market Leader, Partner, PwC United Kingdom

Tel: +44 (0)7956 664804

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