Modern Methods of Construction
MMC has been steadily rising in profile in the UK to the extent that the UK Government has now set up a taskforce to ensure increased use of MMC. This research explores a range of issues related to MMC adoption, exploring barriers and benefits, namely in the residential sector
What is MMC?
MMC stands for Modern Methods of Construction and covers a broad range of construction activity. The MHCLG Joint Industry Working Group on MMC created a definition framework for MMC which includes seven categories spanning from pre-manufacturing to process innovation. These seven categories are:
Pre-manufacturing (3D primary structural systems)
Volumetric construction involving the production of 3D units in controlled factory conditions prior to the final installation
Premanufactured (2D primary structural systems)
Flat panel units produced in a factory environment and assembled on-site to produce 3D structure
Pre-manufactured components (non-systemised primary structure)
Use of a pre-manufactured structural components made of framed or mass engineered timber, cold rolled/hot rolled steel, or pre-cast concrete. Includes load bearing beams, columns, walls, etc.
Pre-manufacturing (non-structural assemblies & sub-assemblies)
Differing pre-manufacturing approaches that include unities non-structural walling systems, roofing finish cassettes, non-load bearing mini volumetric units (pods). Supports the sub-assembly in transit/install phase.
Traditional building product led site labour reduction/productivity improvements
Traditional single building products manufactured in large format, pre-cut variations or with easy jointing features. Reduces the extent of onsite labour required for installation
Site process led labour reduction /productivity /assurance improvements
Approaches utilising innovative site-based construction techniques. Factory standard workface encapsulation measures lean construction techniques, physical and digital worker augmentation, workface robotics, drones, etc.
Source: Modern Methods of Construction: Introducing the MMC Definition Framework
MMC is already widely used in the UK for hotels and student accommodation, but we anticipate its uptake in the residential market is imminent
Traditional vs modular construction
A closer look
Future of housing
How technology could change the housing market
It’s time for the planning system to enter the digital age
Developer: House by Urban Splash
Size: 98 units
Minimum EPC Rating: B
Urban Splash will manufacture 98 of the units off-site. The modular units in this development were completed in half the time it took to complete the traditionally built homes. Both designs were similar in specification and scope.
Developer: Pocket Living
Size: 89 units
Minimum EPC Rating: B
At 87 metres high, Mapleton Crescent was Europe’s tallest residential modular tower when completed in Summer 2018.
When off-site construction is used in larger, taller schemes such as Mapleton Crescent, there is a cost savings over traditional construction.
Developer: Bristol City Council, Bristol Housing Festival, ZED PODS and the YMCA
Size: 11 units
Environmental Impact: Net Zero Carbon
Built using the ‘air rights’ over an existing Council-owed public car park to increase the supply of land and tackle the affordability of new homes
Six new electric vehicle (EV) charging points were introduced into the car park for public use