__MAIN_TEXT__
feature-image

Page 1

CONSTRUCTION MANAGER | NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2017 | WWW.CONSTRUCTIONMANAGERMAGAZINE.COM

NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2017 For members of the CIOB

OFFSITE MANUFACTURING

FACTORY SETTINGS

HAS OFFSITE’S TIME FINALLY COME?

constructionmanagermagazine.com 01.Cover.CMNovDec.17.indd 1

17/10/2017 14:08


1 2 3

5

Mapei offers a full spectrum of products for the repair and structural strengthening of concrete construction and infrastructure projects.

0121 508 6970 www.mapei.co.uk

Untitled-1 1

17/10/2017 08:59


CONSTRUCTION MANAGER | NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2017 CONTENTS

11/17

Switchboard +44 (0)20 7490 5595 Editor Will Mann 020 3865 1032 will.m@atompublishing.co.uk Deputy editor James Kenny 020 3865 1031 james.k@atompublishing.co.uk Production editor Sarah Cutforth Art editor Heather Rugeley Community editor Nicky Roger Redesign art director Mark Bergin Advertising manager Dave Smith 0203 865 1029 Key account manager Tom Peardon 0203 865 1030 Credit control Eva Rugeley Managing director Stephen Quirke

In this issue

30

Circulation Net average 30,699 Audit period: July 2016 to June 2017 Subscriptions To subscribe or for enquiries, please contact: Subscription team Tel: 020 7490 5595 Or go online at: https://constructionmanager.isubscribe.co.uk Or write to us at the address below: Construction Manager Published for the Chartered Institute of Building by Atom Publishing, 3 Waterhouse Square, 138 Holborn, London EC1N 2SW Tel: +44 (0)20 7490 5595 firstname@atompublishing.co.uk Editorial advisory board Mark Beard FCIOB, Ann Bentley, Ian Eggers, Peter Caplehorn, Harvey Francis, Professor Jacqui Glass FCIOB, Paul Morrell, James Pellatt, Nick Raynsford, Richard Saxon, Andy von Bradsky, Phil Wade Construction Manager is published monthly by Atom Publishing. The contents of this magazine are copyright. Reproduction in part or in full is forbidden without permission of the editor. The opinions expressed by writers of signed articles (even with pseudonyms) and letters appearing in the magazine are those of their respective authors, and neither the CIOB, Atom Publishing nor Construction Manager is responsible for these opinions or statements. The editor will give careful consideration to material submitted – articles, photographs, drawings and so on – but does not undertake responsibility for damage or their safe return. Printed by The Wyndeham Group. All rights in the magazine, including copyright, content and design, are owned by CIOB and/or Atom Publishing. ISSN 1360 3566

24

18

66

Prelims 04 CMYA winner Margaret Conway 06 Comment: Dr David Hancock 10 Comment: Mark Castle 12 Feedback 14 Chris Blythe

18 30 36 38 66

44 46 48 50

Experts Life after Brexit Third-party challenges Insolvency risk CPD: Open state cavity barriers for rainscreen

54 58 64

Community CIOB Special Interest Groups Wellbeing at work Me and my project

Insight • Onsite Offsite manufacturing special Imperial College Hub Scaffolding safety Data round table The solution: Queen’s College library, Oxford

3

03.CM.NovDec17.Contents.indd 3

17/10/2017 12:58


PRELIMS NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2017 | CONSTRUCTION MANAGER

04-14

Prelims THE LATEST NEWS, PEOPLE AND COMMENT

06 10 12 14

COMMENT: DR DAVID HANCOCK COMMENT: MARK CASTLE CHRIS BLYTHE FEEDBACK

Snapshot

CMYA winner breaks the mould LAST MONTH, MARGARET CONWAY BECAME THE FIRST FEMALE CONSTRUCTION MANAGER OF THE YEAR. SHE TELLS JAMES KENNY ABOUT LEVEL 2 BIM, WHAT SHE LOVES ABOUT HER CAREER, AND HER FUTURE AMBITIONS

The date of 27 September 2017 is likely to be etched on the memory of Margaret Conway for many years to come – after she made history as the first woman to take the Construction Manager of the Year crown. Conway, a project manager at Northern Ireland-based contractor McAleer & Rushe, took the top prize for her work on the £22m Clarendon House scheme, a nine-storey office block for Belfast City Council. The win was particularly notable as this was not only

Conway’s first project management role, it was also the contractor’s first Level 2 BIM scheme. “The challenge with BIM on the project was establishing a suitable approach for McAleer & Rushe and sourcing the appropriate software that would support the way our design and construction teams worked,” Conway says. “Also, our consultants were using different software so it was necessary to convert everything back to IFC [Industry Foundation Classes] format before each data drop.

“As this was a design and build project, BIM also created challenges with our procurement programme. 3D model-based drawings can have a huge impact on the timeline for the production of drawings. “With traditional 2D drawings, procurement packages are produced sequentially. But with BIM you have to wait until the whole model is complete and then most of your  procurement packages are produced at the same time.”

4

04_05.CMNovDec17_prelims_sc.indd 4

16/10/2017 14:31


CONSTRUCTION MANAGER | NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2017 PRELIMS

“The lump sum main contractor model doesn’t work” Mark Farmer, Cast See offsite manufacturing special, p18-28

Conway has been at McAleer & Rushe since 2010 and had been working as a bid manager before making the step up to lead her first project. She admits she fell into construction by accident but has come to love her career and says she couldn’t imagine doing anything else. “What I like about the industry are the design challenges and coming up with the solutions,” she says. “Also the camaraderie within the industry is fantastic.” She is keen to continue her career at McAleer & Rushe, and is currently working on another office scheme, the new £46m regional hub for HMRC, a 17,600 sq m building. Her future ambitions include more work on hotel projects. Conway is happy to be held up as an inspiration for women in construction, though she is also enthusiastic about encouraging other young people to choose a career in the industry. She has already taken on mentoring roles with Women’s Tec, the largest provider of training for women in non-traditional skills in Northern Ireland. C o nway i s a l s o k e e n to h e l p g row CIOB membership throughout the island of Ireland. “We need to promote the professionalism of the industry and change perceptions about it,” she says. “We are highly educated and work in an interesting and diverse sector. Construction has moved on from the old ‘muddy boots’ stereotypes.”

Quality Commission calls for views on build standards INDUSTRY ASKED TO SUBMIT EVIDENCE ON ISSUES SUCH AS COMPETENCY AND INSPECTION The CIOB is seeking the views of members and the wider industry on the quality of management and leadership in construction. The findings are to be fed to the CIOB Construction Quality Commission, which was formed earlier this year following the Grenfell Tower tragedy and incidents such as the closure of 17 PPP schools in Edinburgh. The commission, headed by immediate past president Paul Nash, will investigate the issue of build quality in the industry, and consider what steps the CIOB and the industry need to take to address issues around management and supervision. It will also help shape the CIOB education framework. It is calling for evidence on issues such as corporate behaviour and education, best practice, qualifications, inspection, competency and value engineering.

Nash: “Grenfell focused attention on poor quality” In a letter to CIOB members Nash said: “The tragic events at Grenfell Tower focused the attention of government, industry and society on the consequences of poor quality in construction. “But it was only the latest in a series of well-publicised cases, which have served to highlight the fact that our industry is failing to consistently deliver the right standards of quality in the buildings and infrastructure that we create. “In the coming year, the commission has agreed to focus on the need to establish and promote a culture of

quality within the construction sector. Central to this is the need to better understand the behaviours, both individual and corporate, that are promoting or preventing the delivery of quality on construction projects, as well as assessing the education landscape. “As professionals we all have a responsibility for the reputation of our industry and, most importantly, the wellbeing of those who use the buildings and the infrastructure that we create. “Your experiences and views matter and will help to shape both the work of the commission and the future of our industry by making recommendations to government and other stakeholders based on evidence.” To submit views visit www.ciob.org/quality and complete the questionnaire. The closing date is Friday 1 December 2017.

New toolkit helps members promote construction to young people The CIOB has launched the Think Construction toolkit, a resource pack which aims to help members encourage young people – aged 14 to 19 – to choose construction as a career. The toolkit follows enquiries and feedback from members looking for resources to help them with school outreach sessions. The content has been shaped by research with young people, to understand their perceptions of the industry, plus input from teachers and

industry advisers. The pack includes planning tools, interactive session suggestions, video case studies, inspiring stories, digital games, Minecraft lessons, presentation templates, plus webinars, vlogs and an Instagram channel. Members keen to work with schools and colleges can volunteer an hour of their time and sign up to the Inspiring the Future initiative. To learn more and download the toolkit visit: www.ciob.org/campaigns/think-construction 5

04_05.CMNovDec17_prelims_sc.indd 5

16/10/2017 14:31


PRELIMS NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2017 | CONSTRUCTION MANAGER

Dr David Hancock

Infrastructure and Projects Authority

Earlier this month I attended UK Construction Week at the NEC in Birmingham, the UK’s largest construction trade show, which showcases the latest in innovation and all the great things that can be achieved by the construction industry. As I was walking around the stands and talking to exhibitors, I was delighted to hear about some of the fantastic initiatives that are currently under way – in particular the increasing appetite to develop more modern methods of construction. We know that methods such as offsite manufacturing can bring speed and efficiency to the way we build, and the government certainly wants to see more of this from the industry. The sector has the expertise and we need to help develop and grow this. We also know that government has a strong role to play in shaping the industry, with over a quarter of construction output from the public sector and central government being the biggest single construction client. Our priority here in the Infrastucture and Projects Authority is to help deliver projects as efficiently as possible, to the highest standard, on time and on budget. But to do this we need to foster more collaborative working and shared understanding across the supply chain. Contracts in plain English In September, I became chair of the NEC Users’ Group so I can help share government perspectives on NEC contracts. In my view, their real value is that they are written in plain English and are designed so they facilitate good project management – from planning, defining legal relationships and procurement, right through to completion and beyond. The Government Construction Board, which I also chair, has recommended that NEC4 should be used where appropriate. Standardising the use of this comprehensive suite of contracts should help to deliver efficiencies across the public sector, and promote behaviours in line with the

Comment

The government has a role to play in efficient project delivery STANDARDISING USE OF NEC4 CONTRACTS SHOULD HELP FOSTER A MORE PRODUCTIVE CONSTRUCTION INDUSTRY, SAYS DR DAVID HANCOCK, CONSTRUCTION DIRECTOR AT THE INFRASTRUCTURE AND PROJECTS AUTHORITY

“We need to foster more collaborative working and shared understanding across the supply chain”

principles of the Government Construction Strategy – our plan to increase productivity and get better quality and value for money on all our construction projects. One way we can help drive these changes is by celebrating and rewarding some of t h e ve r y b e s t ex a m p l e s o f e f f i c i e n t construction. This year’s Prime Minister’s Better Public Building Award, which is sponsored by the Infrastructure and Project Authority and the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, specifically recognises publicly funded projects that demonstrate innovative and productive construction, deliver value for money for the taxpayer and bring real change to communities. Better service to the public This year ’s winner, presented by the Minister for Government Resilience and Efficiency, Caroline Nokes, was the New Scotland Yard building on the Victoria Embankment. It has remodelled and extended an existing building for the Metropolitan Police Service’s new headquarters and saw the police returning to one of their former homes, the Curtis Green Building. Crucially, the project was delivered on time and funded from the sale of its former headquarters – so at no extra cost to the taxpayer. It has created an innovative, well designed, fit-for-purpose building. And it is set to deliver savings and efficiencies as well as improve the service provided to the public. There are still some issues the industry needs to address – such as the gender gap, which remains disappointing. Nearly 90%of all employees across the sector are male. I hope we will see progress made in these areas as we continue to drive more efficient and effective delivery of projects all over the country. ● Dr David Hancock is construction director of the Infrastructure and Projects Authority, which reports to the Cabinet Office and HM Treasury.

6

06.CM NovDec17.Comment.hancock_sc.indd 6

16/10/2017 14:35


New ads CM 208_255 template.indd 9

17/10/2017 10:21


20_21.CMOct17.Lloyds.indd 20

19/09/2017 15:34


20_21.CMOct17.Lloyds.indd 21

19/09/2017 15:35


PRELIMS NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2017 | CONSTRUCTION MANAGER

Mark Castle Chair, Build UK and deputy COO, Mace

Comment

Productivity is our priority NEW BUILD UK CHAIRMAN MARK CASTLE ARGUES THAT CONSTRUCTION PRODUCTIVITY MUST IMPROVE IF THE INDUSTRY IS TO MAKE A SUCCESS OF NEW INFRASTRUCTURE PROJECTS – AND BREXIT

“If we don’t start working smarter, there are going to be real consequences, from SME level to Tier 1 contractors”

If you’ve worked in the UK construction sector, you’ll have been hard pressed to have missed that we have a productivity problem. In real terms, we haven’t improved productivity in decades – and we lag painfully behind our European rivals and other UK industries. In the last 10 years, manufacturing output has increased by 50% and by 30% in the service sector – but it hasn’t improved at all in construction. This isn’t because our workers work fewer hours, or because our attitudes aren’t right – it is in part because we’re not adopting new ways of working as quickly as we should. Among the UK’s big industries, we lag behind on innovation, research and development, diversity – we’re at the back of the queue on so many important metrics that could help us improve. It is just not an acceptable position. Our productivity needs to improve if we’re to have a hope of delivering the infrastructure and development we need to keep the UK economy growing sustainably – and indeed to have a hope of making a success of Brexit. As asset values peak and we are still experiencing labour and material cost increases then development appraisals are coming under pressure. As an industry we must find ways of delivering projects quicker and more efficiently, otherwise projects will stall as viability will be questioned. We need to come up with ideas on how to do things differently. Reform of pre-qualification As the new chair of Build UK, I’ve made improving productivity and driving innovation a key component of my agenda – one of my three priorities for the two years I’ll be in post. Since the formation of Build UK in 2015, we’ve already made some significant steps forward in this area, particularly around reforming pre-qualification for procurement. So far, we’ve worked together with representatives from across the industry to agree a set of target outcomes and principles to reform pre-qualification. Beyond just simply improving productivity, our aim is to reduce costs for our

members, improve risk management across the industry and to drive efficiencies and evidence of high standards through the adoption of a new common assessment standard. Over the summer, we carried out “deep dive” research, working with partners and members to evaluate the assessment schemes used across the industry. Using that data we’re beginning to build up a picture of what the Build UK “common assessment standard” could look like. We’re now setting up a steering group and a number of task groups of Build UK members and industry stakeholders to drive its development and eventual adoption. The aim is to reduce the burden of having to meet so many assessment schemes – and to increase the transparency and relevance of pre-qualification assessment. Progress following Farmer’s lead We’ll keep pushing for this – it’s a huge issue that affects so many companies from the top of the supply chain to the bottom, and a careful balancing act to provide the right level of assurance to clients. Working with the rest of the team at Build UK, I know that there are many more incremental improvements that we can make as a sector that collectively will make a really tangible difference to our productivity. Many of these were laid out by the Farmer report last year, and 12 months on it is pleasing to see that we’ve made real progress on some of his recommendations – and that the government chose to support the vast majority of them when it published its official response in July. I want us to take a strategic lead and build a real consensus across the sector about how we can begin to seriously compete on productivity – what can we learn from other industries? We’re faced with the proverbial “burning platform” – if we don’t start working smarter there are going to be real consequences, from SME level to Tier 1 contractors. It’s time to shake off our productivity programme and show that we’re ready to really pull our weight. ● Mark Castle is chair of Build UK and deputy COO for construction at Mace.

10

10.CM NovDec17.Comment_sc.indd 10

16/10/2017 14:39


PRELIMS NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2017 | CONSTRUCTION MANAGER

Below left: Leena Begum’s PPE clothing Below right: Work starts on Big Ben

WWW.PARLIAMENT.UK

Feedback A selection of readers’ comments about news and issues in the industry from www.constructionmanagermagazine.com CM 18/09 Let’s raise a glass to the clerk of works Roger Blackmore-Squires

At last someone else is talking sense. Thank you, Chris Fadoju. We have all suffered the client whose eyes glaze over at insistence on quality and correction with consequences to programme - the client who penny-pinches at every opportunity and then twists the specification when he sees the poor outcome. At site level I have always found fellow contractors and building personnel to eventually accept that getting the job accurate and right on quality pays dividends in the end. A shoddy job receives, and rightly deserves, contempt from us all.

Robert W Brooker MCIOB

Finally the pigeons have come home to roost. Chris Fadoju and Pellings have seen the light and are doing and saying what should have been the norm since the 1980s – when design, construct and supervise under the main contractor’s roof became the norm, with subsequent failures in quality control due to unqualified people being employed, and the main

impetus being to increase profit with a lack of any quality control. The sooner the industry reverts to the “client, architect and/or engineer, clerk of works” system, the better for all concerned.

Stephen Jones

An excellent article and some good constructive comments. I have been a member of the Institute of Clerks of Works (ICWCI) for 30 years and am a Fellow. I have seen a lot of changes in this time and as usual things go in cycle. I have come to the conclusion that the only way to improve quality standards in the industry is for the government to make it a requirement for the role of a qualified clerk of works, or similar person, to be a contractual condition in all construction-related contracts, like clause 12 in the old JCT 80. This will put the onus on all clients – public or private – to allow the cost of ensuring that quality and good workmanship is delivered.

CM 09/10 Burka-friendly PPE Con

Surely employers, while they must provide suitable PPE, must ensure that their duty of care doesn’t create further hazards. Loose clothing such as this around machinery is an accident waiting to happen. That said congratulations to Leena Begum for the idea and effort to follow it through. But from a safety perspective, this protective clothing has the potential to cause serious harm.

Gaye Boyle

Safety must be paramount, this loose clothing poses an absolute danger on any site, regardless of religious belief, the wearer would be exposed to many high end risks.

CM 02/10 Big Ben contract cost climbs to £61m Kenneth G. Ferguson, OBE, FRICS

Thank goodness that people are facing up to the challenges of the restoration of the Houses of Parliament and Buckingham Palace. Both buildings are iconic and both have serious deficiencies that must be addressed fully and comprehensively. There must be no shortcuts in the quality of the work, which means costs can only go up because the requirement of the stone repairs can only be fully assessed once the scaffolding is erected and the fabric examined in detail. What is very important is that the employer of the contractors on both buildings are kept fully informed of all cost variations, with detailed explanation of the variations, which must be made public. Good luck to everybody involved.

Trevor Barfoot

If this was a project being carried out for a private enterprise, heads would roll at this level of incompetence in the tendering process, but as the taxpayer foots the bill they all get away with it. It will be very interesting to see the true costs at the end of the contract. I bet this will be substantially higher than £61m and probably up around £100m.

For more comments and updates on issues and events in the industry, updated daily with the latest news, go to

www.constructionmanagermagazine.com

12

12CM.NovDec17.prelim.feedback_sc.indd 12

16/10/2017 14:45


welcomeadv.it

BREAK THE RULES

V20 is the brand-new model designed by Generac ® Tower Light, the European leader In the manufacturing of mobile lighting towers. Features such as a low fuel consumption engine combined with environmentally friendly LED floodlights allow the lighting tower to run for more than 160 hours without refueling; a very compact and robust shape joined to the innovative “wing-shaped” doors guarantee low transport costs and quick and easy service and maintenance. Be different.

www.towerlight.com | gmp.srl@generac.com


PRELIMS NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2017 | CONSTRUCTION MANAGER

Chris Blythe

Chief executive CIOB

Comment

Taking a stand against sloppy standards

Above: Replacing defective bolts on the City of London’s Cheesegrater building involved extra time and expense

At the beginning of October, the Office for National Statistics reported that national productivity had fallen in the last quarter and the Office for Budget Responsibility has slashed the predicted productivity growth ahead of the budget. That the construction sector was one of the chief components of the reduction is no surprise. Most commentators agree that the lack of any meaningful increases in productivity has been a feature for at least a generation. Plenty of anecdotes underwrite this. At the weekend, I was at Redhill Aerodrome where a new building was struggling to be built. A couple of young flying instructors told me they had been offered £100 a day to work on the job because the builder could not get workers. Thankfully they declined the offer, preferring to work on something they know about. Of course productivity would be so much better if there were enough skilled workers – along with enough competent supervision – to get the job right first time.

The level of rework that happens must be killing our productivity: everything from replacing bolts on the Cheesegrater building in the City of London to rectifying defective walls in Scottish schools, to replacing a roof on a block of flats in Gants Hill, to replacing a washbasin and tiles in a new apartment’s bathroom. The consequences of not getting it right can be far reaching. The defective walls at Oxgangs School in Edinburgh could have so nearly killed children but for luck and timing. But, beyond that, it led to defects being discovered in another 80-odd schools. Perhaps with margins and time so tight, and the level of supervision and inspection quite low, skimping on workmanship is seen as a calculated risk worth taking. But by not getting it right first time, a significant proportion of time is spent on rectification and means we produce less for more. What has not helped either in the quest for improved productivity are the additional layers of administration that arise from the

LAURIE NEVAY

THE LEVEL OF REWORK REQUIRED ON CONSTRUCTION PROJECTS HAS A DAMAGING EFFECT ON THE INDUSTRY’S PRODUCTIVITY – WE NEED A CHANGE OF MINDSET

number of levels of subcontracting that takes place. On a big site these days, you might be lucky to come across 3% of people actually on the payroll of the main contractor. That perhaps is why on a national basis, our productivity is falling. More people are in employment than ever, but incomes are low. You set this against the plea from British industry, including construction, that we need to ensure continued access to a supply of cheap European labour after Brexit – despite the fact that this represents a failure by company leaders to invest in their businesses for the long term and work for long-term gains rather than short-term profit. The CIOB is inviting evidence from across the industry on the barriers to quality (see p5) and you are urged to submit your thoughts. If we could only get things right first time then the time spent in doing things twice, three times – even four times – could be put to better use. There might even be some people available to finish off the building at Redhill who know what they are doing. ●

14

14.CM NovDec17.Comment.Blythe_sc.indd 14

16/10/2017 14:49


No one knows your business like you.

So we take the time to get to know you.

It’s good business sense.

Call today for an expert appointment on

0800 9122721

Swinton Business is a trading division of Swinton Group Limited, registered in England and Wales, registered number 756681 whose registered office is at: Embankment West Tower, 101 Cathedral Approach, Salford, M3 7FB. Calls are recorded for training and quality purposes. Authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority.


16_17.ad.CMNovDec17.indd 16

17/10/2017 09:40

ED

FO R

NO W

AN D

SO LU TI ON DE SI S GN

ED

DE SI GN

W E

W E

KN OW

KN OW

SU CC ES S

LI ES

IN

SO LU TI ON S

DE SI GN ED

W E

KN OW

SU CC ES S

W EK NO W

SU TH FO CC LI FO ES ES E R TO R S NO DE IN N M L O O IE W TH SU SU T RR WE W S A S A E CC OW KN IN OL ND RF IL AN ES UT T O A TO H S W I C E D LI ON M SU DE ES E OR TO S CC TA W IN W DE RO M I EK A E L TH S S W T O I S NO GN E D ER S L R O W IE RO ED ET S M SU LUT AI IN FO AN W IO L CC R TH NS ES NO A F E S GE RO D DE W LI ES ESI T AN M M A G IL IN E D NE SO SH NT TO TH D LU M FO ED OW TI OR W R ET ON RO N E E A S OW K I R L W EE DE S P AN SI T W GN O D AT TO DO ED ER M FO M OR W OV R R N NO IN OW PO W G W E U AN R K D W W S EE TO E E W KN P KE M E OR OW W EP KN R A W OW O S T AT UC W E SU ER R W CE CC E M M SS KE OV ES O W L E IE IN V S EK P IN S LI W G NO IN ES S AT G OL W ER T IN FR UT HE SU M TH O I DE CC OV ON M E ES TA SH IN DE S S I D G OW L LI ES ES ER IG IN NE S TO TH D FO ED DO R W ET NO NP AI W L OU RS

IO NS

SO LU T

Water Management Railway Station | Birmingham


NO W

W NP OU RS

TA IL

RETAIL, RAIL AND RAIN New Street station’s remarkable concourse is enclosed by a giant light-filled atrium and amazing new station façade. Above it is a transformed Grand Central shopping centre and alongside it an impressive new public square. Touched by over 72 million travellers a year the redevelopment has dramatically enhanced passenger experience and, by connecting directly with the Midland Metro tram, has radically improved city-wide accessibility. It is a transport hub fit for the 21st century. The development of the station and its surrounds is an amazing example of excellent collaboration. ACO’s water management products, used extensively throughout – for the entrances and the public square to the tram rail itself – have been designed to help overcome numerous design challenges whilst maintaining the highest aesthetic quality. We worked in the engineering to make the journey smoother. We know the difference it makes. WWW.ACO.CO.UK

16_17.ad.CMNovDec17.indd 17

17/10/2017 09:41


INSIGHT• ONSITE NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2017 | CONSTRUCTION MANAGER

18-42

Insight • onsite TAKING AN IN-DEPTH LOOK AT CURRENT ISSUES AND PROJECTS

HAS OFFSITE’S TIME FINALLY COME? OFFSITE MANUFACTURING HAS LONG BEEN CHAMPIONED AS A CURE FOR MANY OF CONSTRUCTION’S ILLS. WITH GOVERNMENT BACKING, NEW PLAYERS MOVING INTO THE SECTOR, AND A POST-BREXIT SKILLS CRISIS LOOMING – HAS ITS MOMENT ARRIVED? BY WILL MANN

OFFSITE SPECIAL 18 SECTOR OVERVIEW 24 SCHOOLS BY SUNESIS 26 HINKLEY POINT HOTEL

30 IMPERIAL COLLEGE HUB 36 SCAFFOLDING SAFETY 38 DATA ROUND TABLE

A year ago, offsite manufacturing was espoused by Modernise or Die, the report by Cast consultancy chief executive officer Mark Farmer, as a potential panacea for many of construction’s ills. We have been here before, of course. The Egan report of almost two decades ago wanted the industry to adopt the factory processes of the car industry, and former deputy prime minister John Prescott was a keen cheerleader before he, New Labour and the offsite agenda were blown asunder by the 2008 financial crash. Are things different now? Farmer, whose report was mostly endorsed by the government in the summer, believes so. “There seems to have been a shift in sentiment,” he says. “There is increased awareness of the resourcing issues the industry faces. People realise we are on a burning platform.” The last couple of years has seen new entrants to the offsite market (see box, p20), such as Legal & General and the China National Building Material Company (CNBM), while established construction players like Mace and Aecom are working on huge factories in east London. The elephant in the room is Laing O’Rourke, arguably a trailblazer for the offsite sector among main contractors. The firm ran into problems on some of its design for manufacture and assembly (DfMA) contracts, which it blamed on the recession-era slowdown

in public spending, and subsequently postponed the planned expansion of its Derbyshire manufacturing plant. “The level of investment required for offsite factories is not for the fainthearted,” says Farmer. “At present there is a predictabilitycontinuity gap, which makes offsite companies nervous about investing,” says Dennis Seal, sector lead for housing at trade body Buildoffsite. “A key enabler is how the market organises itself,” says Farmer. “Demand aggregation can give greater certainty of supply. The government has a role to play here.” Could that mean, for instance, local authorities joining together to provide “offtake agreements” – a common practice in manufacturing – for delivery of the promised new wave of council housebuilding? “It would be difficult for the government to intervene there,” answers Farmer. “But social housing should be a big supporter of offsite manufacturing. Where there’s central grant funding for social housing, the government could stipulate that there must be an offsite solution. “Traditionally construction is a very cyclical market. To encourage offsite manufacturing, there needs to be a longer line of sight. Procurement needs to be programmatic rather than project by project.”

18

18_22.CM.NovDec17.Offsitemanu_sc.indd 18

16/10/2017 15:10


INSIGHT• ONSITE NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2017 | CONSTRUCTION MANAGER

“Having a design code and accreditation will provide standards that the offsite manufacturing supply chain can align with that”

Farmer notes that the Greater London Assembly has made a statement of intent, in Nicky Gavron’s Designed, Sealed, Delivered report last August, which called on the mayor to use his influence to promote the technology, suggesting a framework for offsite providers and a kitemark scheme. “The mayor can shape not just how many homes are built, but how they are built,” Farmer points out. “The kitemark is also an important recommendation. Having a design code and accreditation will provide standards that the offsite manufacturing supply chain can align with that.” “There is a cottage industry of small players at the moment, providing bespoke products. Some of their differentiators are due to IP. But for the sector to mature, there needs to be more commonality.” “It’s important not to reinvent the wheel every time,” agrees Seal. “Clients have a role here too. They need to think of the Henry Ford Model T analogy when they’re procuring – the more they alter the product, the more money it will cost them.” The offsite market currently comprises a diverse range of companies. At one end, volumetric providers deliver fully fitted-out modules or whole buildings, with 80% or more of the project build taking place in the factory. And then there are other players who provide

pre-assembled components – precast beams, light gauge steel, floor cassettes, M&E modules, kitchen pods and much more – which are put together by main contractors on site. It is this latter methodology that Mace has adopted at East Village in Stratford, London, where it is constructing two residential towers 30 and 26 storeys tall. The firm is using a “jump” factory on site to assemble

the components for the build, with the whole floorplate of the project encased in a giant “marquee” structure. The top of the marquee is supported by gantry cranes which are used to lift components to the working deck. “We are bringing together all the offsite innovations we have used on other projects,” explains project director Shaun Tate. “The structure is 98% precast, and we have bathroom pods, utility cupboards, horizontal risers, cladding, fit out elements – all these components are made off site and then assembled here.” The marquee protects against the wet and windy “micro climate” of Stratford, Tate explains, particularly the risk of downtime if cranes are winded off. Mace sees its approach at East Village as challenging preconceptions that offsite manufacturing creates “identikit” buildings. “There is significant

ILLUSTRATION: MICHAL BEDNARSKI

Mark Farmer, Cast

19

18_22.CM.NovDec17.Offsitemanu_sc.indd 19

16/10/2017 15:10


repetition here, but our approach respects the base design of the architect and the servicing strategy,” says Tate. “We don’t tell clients ‘you need to change this or that’. “This means that, for example, we don’t need to have columns at every 3.5m. Here, even though the frame is almost entirely precast, we have a structural grid with spans up to 9m. With a fully modular approach, because we have to transport modules by road, that wouldn’t be possible.” Tate says the approach puts greater focus on early design coordination. “We have 50mm diameter square holes in precast sections which pipes run through to connect service modules,” he says. “So we have to be very accurate. But with BIM, we can rehearse this in a digital environment.” For site workers, Tate says Mace has provided familiarisation – rather than training – for the new approach. “Construction has historically been about different trades operating in silos, whereas in the factory environment, people have to work together more, and be efficient at their stage of the process, otherwise the assembly line slows down,” he says. Mace has made a substantial investment at East Village, and while Tate is

Offsite disruptors

Companies changing the rules of construction

reluctant to say how much, he says the firm is on a “learning curve” and expects to feel commercial benefits when it takes the principles to other projects. “I don’t think the scale of project is an issue, it’s more of a change of mindset,” he adds. At the modular end of the offsite spectrum, Vision Modular has pushed use of volumetric construction to new levels – or rather, heights. l The China National Building Material Company (CNBM) has formed a joint venture with Your Housing Group and renewable energy specialist WElink, and is developing six offsite factories around the UK, with a target of 25,000 homes per year by 2022. l Legal & General’s modular housing factory near

Above: Mace is using an onsite factory at its East Village project in Stratford, London

Leeds is to roll out its first units next summer, and will be capable of supplying 3,000 homes a year. l Mace is building two residential towers 30 and 26 storeys tall in Stratford, east London, using a “jump” factory, where offsite-manufactured components are assembled on site under a giant “marquee”.

The Bedford-based modular outfit worked with its developer/contractor partner Tide Construction on the tallest volumetric building constructed in Europe to date – the 90m-high Apex Tower in Wembley, built from 679 modules – and the pair recently submitted plans for what would be the world’s tallest, a 42-storey scheme in Croydon which would require almost 1,500 modules. Managing director Kieran White believes above 50 storeys is possible, but says “we are learning from each scheme we do”. Speed of assembly is one of Vision’s main selling points. Large schemes such as Apex Tower begin detailed design six months before delivery of first modules to site. Vision manufactures modules at a rate of 40 a week, and can install at 60 a week, meaning a large “stockpile” of units is needed to achieve maximum programme efficiency. “At Wembley, we had 200 ready before work started on site,” says White. The modules themselves are steel framed with concrete floors, so Vision is effectively “building the structure”, as White put it. The modules are connected around a central concrete core, which provides lateral stability, and cladding is fixed on afterwards.

l Vision Modular and its partner Tide Construction have submitted plans for the world’s tallest volumetric building, a 42-storey scheme in Croydon (pictured left).

l Ilke Homes is a new modular housing business, formed by housing contractor Keepmoat and modular specialist Elliott Group, which aims to deliver 750 homes a year.

l Aecom is working with The Silvertown Partnership to deliver up to 3,000 homes at the Royal Docks in east London using a modular factory.

l Essential Living has appointed modular specialist Elements Europe to deliver a 23-storey residential block in Greenwich.

PHOTO BY FRANK DA SILVA

INSIGHT• ONSITE NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2017 | CONSTRUCTION MANAGER

20

18_22.CM.NovDec17.Offsitemanu_sc.indd 20

17/10/2017 15:38


New ads CM 208_255 template.indd 9

16/10/2017 10:34


INSIGHT• ONSITE NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2017 | CONSTRUCTION MANAGER

CM readers’ panel’s views on offsite manufacturing

“With our projects, the delivery has to be bang on time. This is where the supply chain needs some education” Kieran White, Vision Modular

With Vision’s processes being largely factory based, supply chain and logistics management is far more critical compared to in-situ construction. “On a traditional project, a delivery of 100 doors can arrive within a fairly loose time frame,” White says. “With our projects, the delivery has to be bang on time. This is where the construction supply chain needs some education. In the car industry, suppliers tend to group locally around the manufacturer. I’m not saying our suppliers need to relocate, but they need to adjust their way of working.” Vision also has different requirements of its workers, who are from a mixture of manufacturing and construction backgrounds. “What we look for is flexibility, rather than trade specialists – people who can do plumbing one day, then kitchens another day,” says White. His factory employs 180 on its factory floor, producing 2,000 modules a year – effectively 1,000 one-bed apartments – and White plans to expand in 2018, with the long-term aim to take annual production capacity to 4,000 modules. It is a significant capital investment in its factory, and means large overheads. “We have a lot of repeat business now, which provides predictability,” says White. “Offtake agreements are an aspiration.” Vision expects a planning decision on the Croydon reaction by the end

of the year, and White says the local authority has made positive sounds due to the limited disruption caused by the build methodology. “This is becoming a common reaction from planning authorities,” he says. “We take clients and planners around live projects to demonstrate the approach. Clients are becoming more mature, appreciative of a different way of working, and I see no resistance from architects.” For modular players such as Vision, who can deliver such a high proportion of a project in a factory, they will increasingly be capable of “acting as Tier 1 contractors on large, mostly standardised schemes”, says Seal. That change is in the air is evidenced by the “disruptors”, such as L&G and CNBM, which have entered the market recently, Farmer notes. “Foreign companies with offsite expertise will be eyeing the UK sector because there is a supportive government, a shortage of housing and the barriers to entry are relatively low,” he says. “That represents a threat to the UK domestic market. But it can be seen as healthy competition. “This is a real challenge to the UK’s traditional ‘lump sum’ main contractor model. It doesn’t work. Look at the big financial hits most of the big names have taken recently.” Meanwhile, as the offsite sector grows, Buildoffsite is working with the Construction Leadership Council to capture information on the market. “It has historically been hard to measure the offsite sector in terms of size and performance,” says Seal. “We have relied on pilot schemes. We want to work out an annual measurement of the size of sector, broken down by specialism, which will help us plan future workflow.” ●

Joshua Waterman Senior project manager, Turner & Townsend

Clients are considering using offsite manufacturing more often, but to drive this further, the supply chain needs to widen, for example, service risers is a very narrow market. Clients are put off because of lack of competitive tendering opportunities and a fear of being driven down the route of a particular product or supplier.

Mark Coates Head of sales, Construct Project Management

We are working with companies such as Urban Splash, and their primary goals are product flexibility and customer choice, higher quality products and more efficient programme. All these goals should be achievable through offsite manufacturing if volume kicks in – but can’t be achieved through a site build that is open to the elements.

Brian Impey Director, Acorn Multi Academy Trust

Construction is a very conservative industry, and contractors are not known to be great innovators. Outside housebuilding, I do not see the industry getting into the business of manufacturing construction solutions; they will wait for their supply chain to take that initiative.

Peter Egan Director, EGStructures

Today’s houses are plagued with quality issues, a need for speedy builds, and suffer from low-skilled tradesmen. I would love to see an improvement in trade skills, and offsite manufacturing is the key to addressing this.

John Adams Director, BIM Strategy

Procurement is a major stumbling block to adoption, as those with expertise aren’t involved early enough to identify suitable projects. Early contractor involvement, integrated project insurance, and focus on quality at tender stage will encourage uptake.

22

18_22.CM.NovDec17.Offsitemanu_sc.indd 22

16/10/2017 15:10


CONSTRUCTION MANAGER | NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2017 | WWW.CONSTRUCTIONMANAGERMAGAZINE.COM

NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2017 For members of the CIOB

OFFSITE MANUFACTURING

FACTORY SETTINGS

HAS OFFSITE’S TIME FINALLY COME?

constructionmanagermagazine.com 01.Cover.CMNovDec.17.indd 1

17/10/2017 14:08

You've reached the end of this sample

subscribe now to see the full issue A new look for the UK’s widest-read construction magazine.

The new look subscription package

Construction Manager magazine has a new look and we are introducing a NEW subscription package for professionals outside the CIOB. Be amongst the first to recommend a subscription to the UK’s largest circulation magazine for construction professionals. And don’t miss our launch offer – saving 50% OFF the regular rate.

l 1 0 print issues a year delivered to your home of office l Totally new website l New mobile site l Subscribe for as little as £21 l FREE daily e-newsletters covering sector news, jobs, BIM and more l FREE access to the library of construction CPD l FREE unrestricted online access to all CIOB content websites l FREE access to specialist construction research and reports l FREE supplements, focussing on the forces shaping the construction sector

Previously delivered exclusively to 30,000+ members of the Chartered Institute of Building, Construction Manager magazine will now bring its brand of award-winning, insightful journalism to a whole new audience of construction professionals. Guiding professionals through the challenges and opportunities of the sector. With news, views, analysis, detailed technical articles, interviews, BIM and jobs, CM Magazine comprises the most detailed array of data and content in the UK market. (This offer does not affect existing CIOB members subscription as part of their CIOB membership) Yours sincerely, Denise Chevin Editor

Click here to SAVE 50% OFF the RRP or forward to a colleague https://constructionmanager.isubscribe.co.uk

00.SUBS PAGE.indd 3

Order today

Save 50% with this launch offer

17/10/2017 16:35

Profile for Construction Manager

Construction Manager November/December 2017  

Build Construction CIOB

Construction Manager November/December 2017  

Build Construction CIOB

Advertisement

Recommendations could not be loaded

Recommendations could not be loaded

Recommendations could not be loaded

Recommendations could not be loaded