White Frog, Pollard Thomas Edwards, Intenttech, Leeds Beckett University and the University of Hertfordshire receive Innovate UK funding to develop ADAGE, an innovative Design for Manufacture and Assembly (DfMA) solution

White Frog has partnered with Pollard Thomas Edwards (PTE), Intenttech, Leeds Beckett University and the University of Hertfordshire to create Automatic DfMA Design Generator (ADAGE), an Internet of Things tool to instil adoption of DfMA by building designers.

DfMA offers improvements in cost, quality, construction safety and productivity, compared to traditional construction methods, but currently less than 5% of designers are employing the approach.

The project aims to encourage wider adoption by architects and designers of DfMA, by developing a BIM software plugin ‘ADAGE’ that automatically generates DfMA concept designs based on key parameters from a project brief, such as material choice or building use.

The research team have received £0.5m in public funding from Innovate UK, part of the national funding agency UK Research and Innovation. The team will develop the automated DfMA solution over a nine-month period, with the project to be shared with the wider industry in late 2021.

The proposed plugin will use Internet of Things, Blockchain Technology, cloud computing, artificial intelligence algorithms (AIA) and big data analytics.

Peter Routledge, Managing Director of White Frog and ADAGE Project Lead, said ‘We’re excited to partner with PTE, Intenttech, Leeds Beckett and Hertfordshire University to develop a solution which will benefit the industry as a whole; clients, designers, contractors and product manufacturers. This new automated software tool is yet another step forward in driving construction efficiencies through the use of DfMA.’


Roger Holdsworth, Partner at PTE, said ‘PTE is delighted to be a part of this cutting-edge research. The wider adoption of DfMA is key to making construction more efficient and more sustainable and addressing the UK’s housing crisis. ADAGE will tackle the practical challenges faced by architects and designers on DfMA projects and develop new ways of working for the wider industry.’


Dr Hafiz Alaka, the Director of Big Data Technologies and Innovation Lab at University of Hertfordshire, said ‘the construction industry is inefficient and has a poor productivity which has cost UK economy £140billion (including tax) over 20years; the digital revolution of big data, artificial intelligence and other contemporary technologies to improve efficiency and effectiveness is here to stay and ADAGE is exploring these technologies to reduce building design time drastically.’

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