Edmonton gathering attracts 300 to discover offsite construction synergies
Canadian Design and Construction Report staff writer
The 2015 Modular and Offsite Construction (MOC) Summit and first International Conference on the Industrialization of Construction (ICIC) took place May 19-21 at the Shaw Conference Centre in Edmonton.
Dr. Mohamed Al-Hussein, associate professor, Construction Engineering and Management at the University of Alberta, says combining the third MOC Summit and first ICIC conference created synergies between theory and practice by linking industry with academia. “We wanted to promote modular and offsite construction to the global community and provide a venue for knowledge exchange of modular and offsite construction practices and technologies from across the world,” he said.
Al-Hussein said the event also debunked some of the negative stigma associated with modular and offsite construction and addressed other obstacles inhibiting its wider implementation. “It helped establish new research partnerships between industry and academia, and between international parties.”
The conference/summit attracted 300 delegates representing 16 countries. Industry sectors represented included modular manufacturers, architects, engineers, suppliers, contractors, developers and real estate professionals, software providers and those in research and development.
“CEOs, COOs, directors, vice presidents and presidents accounted for 35 per cent of those in attendance,” Al-Hussein said. “Twenty-three per cent were academics and researchers; 22 per cent were managers, project leads and coordinators; and 13 per cent were estimators, technologists and engineers.”
Other delegates included sales representatives, marketing professionals and government.
Al-Hussein says he was impressed with the tremendous international response, especially for the first year of the international and academic component. He also said he was impressed by the fruitful conversations.
“One innovation for this year’s MOC Summit and ICIC was the addition of a World Café component in the parallel sessions, which gave an opportunity for listeners to engage with speakers in an informal and more personal context following their presentations.”
Academic papers have been compiled, Al-Hussein said, in the event’s formal proceedings, and select papers will be published in a special Automation in Construction journal issue.
There were factory tours of Landmark Building Solutions and All Weather Windows and the MOC Charity Golf Invitational at Lewis Estates Golf Course.
The event is scheduled to run again in Edmonton in 2016.