As Building celebrates its 175-year anniversary, we launch the most significant and comprehensive editorial campaign in the publication’s history

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This week we launch our “Your Future” agenda: building on 175 years’ of expertise, we will spend the next 18 months exploring how the construction industry will look in the future, by mapping the challenges as well as the unprecedented changes affecting the sector right now.

All aspects of the built environment are facing seismic disruption. In just the last few months, a series of events that are already having profound effects on our industry have developed at an astonishing pace. From the regulatory review after the Grenfell fire to the widespread fallout from Carillion, one of the largest corporate failures in history, the full impacts of these hopefully one-off events are not yet fully known. But even as we try to take stock, the wider context around our industry is also changing, and faster every year. In the last decade, from top to bottom, people in the industry have struggled to adapt to the fast-moving factors that affect the way they design, procure, build and engineer. From the technological and digital innovations sweeping through the construction process to the impacts of terrorism, global sustainability issues, population growth, and economic and political volatility – the one thing we can be certain of is uncertainty. 

These changes are profound and their consequences are only going to escalate over time. They will disrupt the way delivery teams interact, engage and collaborate from their drawing boards right the way through to the engineering feats, digital and technical delivery. And the roles of the professions are coming under the spotlight, too, at a time when they are asked to be even more accountable – in the way various factions in this complex sector procure, transact and pay each other and also to how national and local government works with an industry that is being ever more closely eyed by fierce regulatory watchdogs. 

And finally, there is you. The people who deliver it all. First of all, there’s not enough of you out there to deliver what’s required over the coming years. There’s a challenge of delivery but also of leadership. And closely linked is the fact that the way you live, work, behave and communicate is changing faster than at any other period in history. Social and cultural trends are magnified more now than ever before through social media and a new generation of workers who are challenging the status quo with new sets of values and needs. But, fundamentally, the occupiers and end-users that you build for are also changing – and everyone must change to suit.    

So, our aim over the next year and a half is to help you simplify this picture and navigate through the challenges the future will bring. We’re going to engage with you to look ahead and understand the landscape to help inform your choices, and ask how you want this industry – and the structures we build – to look in 25 years’ time. To look at the issues, the professions and the challenges everyone faces – together. 

Building Your Future will: 

Examine the key issues and give you the latest facts and commentary through a series of special features

Discuss and debate possible solutions through question time events and round tables

Look back in time using our 175-year archive to evaluate the lessons from history to plot a path in the future

Examine the professions: what is the future of architecture, quantity surveying, contracting and specialist contracting and consulting roles?

Bring it all together: in November, at our Building Live event, we will debate the key issues and showcase best practice with panel discussions and keynote speeches

Celebrate: finally … at the end of the year we’ll celebrate our industry’s most innovative and successful figures at the Building Awards 

Things to watch out for in 2018/19

Focus on sectors

In a series of features, comment and reader contributions, we will examine the future of: housing, infrastructure, building performance, occupiers, people, regulation, law and procurement, design, sustainability

Focus on professions

In a series of features, comment and reader contributions, we will examine the future of: contracting, architects, QSs, engineering, specialists 

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Get involved

This is all about your future working practices and we want to hear about your careers, colleagues and businesses. We will be rolling out lots of editorial opportunities aimed at getting you involved, but to get us started, ways to participate in the debate include:

Building Your Future: Changemakers

Is there someone in your organisation that has introduced innovations, who seems to understand where your profession is going? Would you like to see more people like them in the industry? Nominate your colleague as a “Changemaker”, and they could be profiled in the pages of Building magazine. Simply send their name, job title, a photo of them, and up to 500 words on what makes them innovative to [email protected]

Building Your Future: Trailblazers

What buildings from the last 175 years were futuristic in their time, or marked a change in how the industry built? Tell us what structures were trailblazers, and what we can learn from them for our future projects. Email [email protected]

Thought for Tomorrow

What would you like the built environment – or the sector that creates it – to be like in 25 years’ time? And what’s the one change that might get us there? Send us 250 words with the answers to these questions to [email protected], with Building Your Future in the subject line

In the skip!

What single thing would you consign to the skip of history? Attitudes, tech, policies, practices: if you hate it, we want to know about it! Use the hashtag #Building175 and #InTheSkip to tweet us what doesn’t deserve to survive the next 25 years