Construction is one of the largest sectors in the UK producing a huge 7% towards the UKs GDP. The construction industry continues to thrive based on traditional construction however new innovations and modernisations continue to be discussed. As we find ourselves finding more freedom from lockdowns and the pandemic, it’s become evident where concerns are within the construction industry. During the pandemic the construction industry unfortunately grinded to a halt for a period, stopping the construction of thousands of projects especially across the housing sector. For developers this means there are projects to catch up on, such as completing existing projects, delivering forecasted housing projects and more. Due to this a modernised construction methodology in modern methods of construction (MMC) is being discussed as the solution. This innovative process of construction is being discussed recently due to its number of benefits such as:
- Having a faster build programme then traditional construction
- Improved cost efficiencies against traditional construction
- A considerable reduction in building materials and wastage.
Modern methods of construction, which has been adopted slowly across the construction industry over the last 15 years, seems to be in a position more so now to play a more prominent role, where there is focus on catching up with projects and still keeping business efficiencies towards targets.
Why is Modern Methods of Construction becoming more important?
There are plans and forecasts which both the government, developers and other stakeholders would like to catch up with after construction was halted during the pandemic. The situation is being looked at and an obvious answer to catching up with construction is the use of Modern Methods of Construction. Over the years MMC, which is positioned to be a more innovative way of construction, has been halted by various issues and positively, these have been addressed, laying out a path for it to be more widely adopted, especially now that it’s needed to solve a problem. Some of the concerns around modern methods of construction that have been resolved include:
- A lack of Modern methods of construction specialists
- British based manufacturing
- Continuous Adoption.
These drawbacks have been barriers to progress, but solutions to these has opened up a new stream of confidence in MMC.
Why did these issues create a barrier for adoption?
A lack of modern methods of construction specialists
The speed at which MMC was adopted was slower than most anticipated due to the lack of specialists and knowledge available in the industry. Businesses weren’t willing to venture into a new type of construction without having more details, case studies and experts available to support. However, this issue has continued to be addressed. Construction and Property consultants such as Henry Riley now provide modern methods of construction consultancy services. Where there is a lack of knowledge, they’re willing to provide that support across construction projects. If you don’t have the expertise within your own company then bringing in an expert to a project is a great element of support, which is continuing to prove beneficial.
With businesses like Henry Riley providing much needed expertise the adoption of MMC is becoming more of a reality. Developers are understanding they don’t need to walk into MMC projects blind and specialists are becoming more widely available.
British based manufacturing
The construction industry being such a large sector within the UK is also down to the industry thriving from home grown manufacturing facilities. As MMC is a newer, modernised method of construction, most of the manufacturing process used to happen oversees and was imported in. This process simply meant adopting MMC would mean taking resources, opportunities and part of the UK GDP abroad, affecting UK based businesses who focus on traditional construction.
This barrier which had halted development and adoption lead to the introduction of UK MMC manufacturing. Even more positively, Europe’s largest MMC facility is now based in the UK as of 2020. This not only resolved one of the largest barriers but also created a wealth of opportunity for the UK to export to other countries. As MMC adoption increases it’s likely there will be more and more facilities being introduced to the UK.
The continuous adoption of MMC has always been a problem however with huge issues like experts being available and manufacturing now available in the UK, this will allow the greater uptake of MMC. This should see the new process and methodology of construction to keep moving forward especially during a time where it could be the answer to a potential long-term issue.
Modern methods of construction are in a great position to keep moving forward. Where huge barriers have been removed, this had led to a newfound confidence in adoption of MMC – projects are now being proposed and considered with MMC in mind. Will there be an increase in MMC activity? Most likely, the industry is certainly heading in that direction especially as MMC is lined up to help resolve current concerns across the construction industry.