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Modern methods of construction: who’s doing what? (NF82)

‘Modern methods of construction’ (MMC) is a wide term, embracing a range of offsite manufacturing and onsite techniques that provide alternatives to traditional house building. MMC approaches range from whole homes being constructed from a single factory-built volumetric module through to the use of innovative techniques for laying concrete blockwork onsite.

The increasing level of interest in MMC and confidence that it will play an increasing role are demonstrated within this report’s case studies, from a diverse group of housing developers. Confidence is reflected in the business decisions being made, with survey findings indicating nearly 30% had invested in their own manufacturing facilities and over 25% had invested in their own products or systems. These trailblazers provide valuable insights for others considering the adoption of MMC.

Summary of content

Modern methods of construction: who’s doing what? includes the following

Foreword – by Mark Farmer CEO, Cast Consultancy

Introduction – Context of today’s emerging interest in Modern Methods of Construction (MMC)

Research methodology – Three-stage research programme: desktop research, survey and case studies. Focus on identifying MMC activity among a range of ‘advocate’ developers, including house builders, housing associations, SME developers, institutional investors and local authorities. The study explores engagement with more advanced forms of MMC, in particular volumetric modules, panelised systems, hybrid systems (panelised plus volumetric pods) and onsite MMC.

Survey findings – Explores:

  • Current and future MMC activity: highlighting positive indications of planned expansion in use of MMC.
  • Uptake of offsite systems: volumetric modules and panelised (most common) but also significant use of hybrid systems and onsite MMC methods.
  • Investment in MMC: Proportions investing in research and development, factory manufacturing facilities, or product/building system.
  • Factors driving uptake: high proportions recognising better quality, improved efficiency, accelerated delivery and increased productivity, however skills/labour shortage, sustainability, increased control, reduced capital cost and desire to modernise also significant, along with other drivers.
  • Barriers to investment: indicating significant concerns over procurement and manufacturing capacity, but also issues with the planning and funding.

Case studies – includes 18 case studies from a diverse range of developers. Each case study shows 2017 and 2018 (planned) housing outputs, the proportion delivered by MMC overall and proportions delivered using different MMC approaches. Current and future activity, including investment in facilities and landmark projects, are summarised and illustrated.

Case studies include: Accord, Barratt Developments, Brick by Brick, Brooke Homes, Citu, Click Properties, Crest Nicholson, Home Group, Innerspace Homes, Keepmoat Homes, Midland Heart, Orbit Group, Osco Homes, Pocket Living, Stewart Milne Homes, Swan Housing, TOWN, Urban Splash.

Conclusions

Glossary of terms