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MODERNISE OR DIE Mark Farmer tells us more about why the offsite industry needs to focus its efforts.


THE CIRCULAR ECONOMY What is offsite’s contribution to a more sustainable built environment?


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REACHING A MODULAR MILESTONE PUBLISHING FOLLOW US ON TWITTER UNDER: Twitter.com/ExploreOffsite ADVERTISING ENQUIRIES PLEASE CONTACT: Julie Richards // T: 01743 290001 E: julie.richards@offsitemagazine.co.uk BACK ISSUES VISIT: www.offsitemagazine.co.uk FRONT COVER X1 The Edge, Liverpool PRINTED ON: PEFC 16-33-576 paper stock by Buxton Press

PUBLISHER: Offsite Magazine is produced and published by Radar Communications: ©Radar Communications Ltd. Radar Communications Ltd, 5 Darwin Court, Oxon Business Park, Shrewsbury, Shropshire. SY3 5AL T: 01743 290001 www.radar-communications.co.uk For offsite enquiries please contact: E: info@offsitemagazine.co.uk DISCLAIMER: The content of Offsite Magazine does not necessarily reflect the views of the editor or publishers and are the views of its contributors and advertisers. The digital edition may include hyperlinks to third-party content, advertising, or websites, provided for the sake of convenience and interest. The publishers accept no legal responsibility for loss arising from information in this publication and do not endorse any advertising or products available from external sources. No part of this publication may be reproduced or stored in a retrieval system without the written consent of the publishers. All rights reserved.

Welcome to 2017 and the latest issue of Offsite. The end of 2016 saw a groundswell of interest in offsite manufacture and delivery – not least from the UK Government – who through Gavin Barwell, Minister for Housing and Planning, has been proactive in revealing massive multibillion funding options to help deliver new housing at the appropriate levels for a changing economic and society demographic. Within the offsite mix, volumetric modular has been highlighted as a vital part in easing this perennial problem. With multi-billion housing investment on the table can offsite deliver volume sufficiently? Mark Farmer has also kindly taken some of his valuable time to give further insights into his thinking on the construction industry, its makeup and where it could be heading. ‘Modernise or Die’ has been discussed, dissected and referenced pretty much everywhere in construction circles in recent months – and certainly throughout this issue it is a common theme. Mark highlights the massive opportunities that the offsite industry has open to them but it is crucial that the offsite sector works together to keep standards of technology and project delivery consistently high. The spotlight on offsite manufacture has never been brighter and the chance to integrate it fully into the mainstream of construction has never been bigger – now is not the time for project errors or poor levels of supply.

Amongst the other key contributors to this issue are the UK Green Building Council (UK-GBC), the Structural Timber Association (STA), British Precast and the Steel Construction Institute (SCI) – Mark Lawson at the SCI in particular, explains how modular construction is in many ways proving to be a perfect example of the construction industry addressing the high-profile pressures of the circular economy and where the ‘asset and resource value of modules’ is maintained over potentially many cycles of use. For many of course, the adoption of offsite is fraught with misunderstanding and potential complications. Dr Robert Hairstans, Head of the Centre for Offsite Construction + Innovative Structures at Edinburgh Napier University, picks out some commonly understood barriers to growth. Finally, we have also featured the Offsite Awards 2016 winners. The second year of the Awards was a huge success and the 2017 event is already taking shape to be bigger and even better. Get your entries ready for 31 March 2017 Many thanks to all our contributors, advertisers and supporters. It is really appreciated…

Gary Ramsay

Consultant Editor Email: gary.ramsay @offsitemagazine.co.uk





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MEDITE SMARTPLY, leading manufacturers of MDF and OSB panel products, has developed an OSB product that could meet the need for a flame-retardant structural material used in timber frame structures – SMARTPLY FR OSB/3.

Mark Farmer tells us more of the ramifications of his Farmer Review for the offsite sector and makes a passionate but balanced call to arms, on how an offsite-led approach to construction can help modernise the construction industry.




The circular economy is an increasingly promoted alternative to our profligate ‘make, use, dispose’ economy. Mark Lawson of the Steel Construction Institute (SCI) illustrates how modular construction is in many ways a perfect example of the circular economy in building practice.


The prefabrication of M&E services plays a key role in offsite delivery. We highlight two successful examples at Wellington Place, Leeds and the Sainsbury Wellcome Centre (SWC) for Neural Circuits and Behaviour at University College London.



10 | Offsite News News and developments from across the UK and International offsite industries and wider construction arena including: the Building Society Association’s new report into offsite, Manchester’s 220-bedroom modular Holiday Inn Express and developments at Hinkley Point C.

26 | Offsite Awards 2016: The Winners A quick review of the 2016 Offsite Awards and the winning projects, people and products.


32 | Breaking Barriers to Better Design Offsite methods have a crucial role to play in the design quality of housing and sustainability. Clare Murray, Head of Sustainability at Levitt Bernstein and UK Green Building Council (UK-GBC) Future Leader alumni reveals how. 36 | Designing the Future A report on the Explore Offsite Futures conference held at the Birmingham NEC in November 2016. 42 | Precast Concrete: Delivering Offsite Benefits with Confidence Andrew Minson, Executive Director MPABritish Precast, provides a Top 10 on how precast concrete can overcome concerns project team members may have on the risks of adopting ‘new technology’. 50 | Getting Onside with Offsite Referring to recent construction reports, Andrew Carpenter, Chief Executive of the Structural Timber Association (STA), outlines how structural timber frame provides a necessary pathway to construction modernisation. 52 | Construction with a Forest & Offsite Ethos The recent multi-award winning Mellor Primary School provided a series of exciting and stimulating new spaces based on the school’s ‘Forest School’ ethos and showcased timber and offsite manufacture at its best. 58 | Overcoming the Barriers to Change Has offsite reached a tipping point to change the way construction is perceived and delivered? Dr Robert Hairstans, Head of Centre for Offsite Construction + Innovative Structures (COCIS) highlights some areas where some work is still required. 66 | Explore Offsite at Ecobuild 2017 As offsite construction continues to make headlines a ground breaking exhibition of offsite construction solutions – the largest of its kind ever seen in the UK – will be part of Ecobuild 2017. 68 | Offsite: the Alien Experience Shaun McCarthy OBE, Chair of the Supply Chain School has been instrumental in the development of the DfMA Overlay to the RIBA Plan of Work and asks – does construction needs a close encounter with manufacture and assembly? 72 | Avoiding the Recruitment Pitfalls According to Jim Roach, Managing Director of specialist recruiter ARV Solutions, there are five things that will make your recruitment process easier and help place the right candidate in the right post.

The NEW Offsite Yearbook – due out in June 2017 – not only brings news, feature articles, company announcements and industry awards into one document but it also focuses on the challenges the industry faces, the opportunity for growth and features new technology innovations coming into the market.

To request a copy of the Yearbook or to feature your products and services, contact us today on 01743 290001 or email info@offsitemagazine.co.uk




TIMBER FRAME STRUCTURES: EXTINGUISHING THE MYTHS Timber frame buildings have had their fair share of the limelight in tabloids over the years, often pictured ablaze topped by outlandish headlines. Yet in the majority of timber frame builds, that projected reality is simply not the case. Little is done to publicise the proper practice, or successes, that this responsibly-regulated industry conforms to while constantly striving to better itself. and fire safety lies with the project architect unless specially provided under contactor design proportion,” comments David Murray, Innovation Manager at MEDITE SMARTPLY. “In a project in which the design is contracted out, the responsibility for structural material choice falls to the design and build contractor who typically appoints a design manager. It is an ever-evolving topic and something that we take very seriously, especially when developing our own technologies.”

1 Timber frame is fully compliant with all building regulations and proven safe in fire as demonstrated by the Building Research Establishment (BRE) and TRADA with the Timber Frame 2000 (TF2000) project. Its qualities include excellent thermal insulation properties, high structural strength and a predictable charring rate, meaning that wood in large sections of buildings can often be used unprotected.


Perhaps one of the most poignant tabloid stories in recent timber fire safety history was the incident in Peckham, London in 2010. It was from this that the Chief Fire Officers Association (CFOA) demanded ‘urgent’ action be taken to make timber frame building sites safer, which of course led to questions around responsibility. “According to the Structural Timber Association (STA) in a standard design tender contractor build process, the structural material specification


At the time of the Peckham incident, MEDITE SMARTPLY, leading manufacturers of MDF and OSB panel products, was developing an OSB product that could meet the need for a flame-retardant structural material used in timber frame structures. Key to its design was its ability to fit the most demanding structural applications, such as wall sheathing, flooring and roofing, while also resisting ignition from flame and slowing down early stage fire growth in the event of arson. The product, SMARTPLY FR OSB/3, underwent years of research and development before coming to fruition in 2014. The timing was very important as in the same year the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) wrote an open letter to the timber frame industry, in association with the STA, stating that those making design and procurement decisions that significantly affect fire risk should consider and reduce said risk during the construction design phase.

COVER STORY MEDITE SMARTPLY SMARTPLY FR OSB/3 was developed to support the HSE and STA’s move to create a safer timber frame industry. It is one of the few panel products in the flame-retardant category that can be said to be truly CE certified and CPR compliant as David Murray explains: “All FR panels that MEDITE SMARTPLY produce from our manufacturing plants in Waterford and Clonmel, Ireland are CE certified. Our flame-retardant OSB/3 panels are manufactured with Zeroignition® technology during production whereas many other OSB and plywood panels used in the industry are post-treated, leading to visual and structural degradation and invalidation of the CE mark, even though it often remains visible.”

2 Murray, a member of the Wood Protection Association (WPA) FR technical committee and who previously worked for TRADA as a timber frame technical consultant adds: “The topic of CE mark validation is a really important issue that is rarely noted or fully understood by the end consumer. It is a complex issue, but we try to make it as simple as possible for specifiers and consumers by ensuring our products are manufactured to the highest quality and fit for their intended permanent use in construction. There are many companies who cut corners to make their life easier or cut costs by ignoring the law, but such behaviour is reckless and illegal, and can have very serious consequences for the building owner. “Products, which have a CE mark applied prior to treatment, must have a new Declaration of Performance (DoP) issued after treatment to declare the improved reaction to fire classification, but also to declare that the structural properties have not been destroyed by the pressure treatment process. This must involve sampling, testing and certification all carried out by an independent Notified Body.

“SMARTPLY FR OSB/3 is truly unique as it is manufactured and CE Marked ex-works in accordance with the harmonised standard EN 13986 to demonstrate suitability for structural use in permanent constructions, and is therefore fully compliant with the Construction Products Regulation (CPR) and EU law.” The WPA, the independent UK centre of excellence for wood protection technical and quality developments, has also published a document on Flame Retardant Specification and CE marking, and is pushing its proper practice campaign to UK government. “In recent years, many site-applied coatings and post-treated products have appeared in the UK with DoP, CE Mark Construction Products Regulations compliance claims and application choices that make them appear an attractive alternative to inline FR factory production processes,” says Steve Young, Director at the WPA. However, it is absolutely essential that fitness for purpose is verified prior to the use of any FR treatment purporting to offer extensive fire protection performance. That’s because such products are intended to be brush or spray-applied on a building site or are superficially applied with little or no factory control. Often there is no real external verification of quality control or evidence of fire performance specific to the type, size and installation configuration of the timber elements for which long-term fire protection is required.” The challenge faced by designers to find panel products that comply with both fire and structural requirements is a difficult one. There are many new products hitting the market that are unproven. In June 2012, a magazine article entitled ‘OSB vs MgO’ pitted both products against each other and seemed to give timber frame designers more choice. However, although MgO panels can undoubtedly solve the issue of flame spread, there are other important design considerations that cannot be ignored, such as racking strength, moisture resistance, and corrosion of fixings. A report published recently by the Technical University of Denmark shows that, due to the chemical composition of these panels, corrosion of fixtures and fittings is occurring in completed buildings. The damages

to said fittings are caused by the fact that MgO boards absorb moisture from the outside air, especially in periods with high outdoor humidity (90-100% RH) and form water drops on the surfaces, which is a real issue for the typical housing environment. The drops contain a high amount of soluble chloride ions, which appear on the surfaces of the boards and can run down to adjacent structures spreading the issue further afield. As a result, metal fixtures fastened to, or through, the MgO and siding boards may corrode within a few years, the report outlines. SMARTPLY FR OSB/3 on the other hand can be fixed in the same way as standard OSB/3 using standard galvanised framing nails suitable for service class 2 conditions. “The FR OSB/3 product that we’ve developed is also more lightweight and easier to cut than mineral based panels, adds David Murray. “In fact, it can be treated exactly the same as standard structural OSB/3 with the added benefit of ‘built-in’ flame retardancy. It is less dusty when cut, does not crack when fixings are inserted or shatter on impact during construction, but perhaps more importantly in today’s industry climate it does not contain any added formaldehyde. Furthermore, the Zeroignition® technology is non-toxic water-based green chemistry, which contributes to an overall healthier environment and assists those that are servicing areas and industries with strict regulations concerning indoor air quality (IAQ). “When it comes to the sustainability and traceability of our products we have an enviable guaranteed supply of FSC-certified timber sourced from our own forests in Ireland, which removes the risk of illegal timber – another issue that is sweeping through our industry currently. It’s our goal to continue instilling faith in the timber industry and bringing to the forefront the benefits and versatility of the product with continuous customer beneficial innovation, such as SMARTPLY FR OSB/3.” For more information visit: www.smartply.com/products/fr-buildosb3

Images: 01. X1 The Edge, Liverpool 02. SMARTPLY FR OSB/3




A BIG SHOP WINDOW BUT HOW DO YOU GET PEOPLE BUYING? At the recent Explore Offsite Futures event, Mark Farmer spoke of the ramifications of his Farmer Review for the offsite sector and made a passionate but balanced call to arms, on how an offsiteled approach to construction can help modernise the construction industry. The stakes are high here. Unlike in previous reports and reviews into the failings of our industry, my assertion is not that modernisation would be good and beneficial for our industry, it is that we now have no choice. Change is now an absolute imperative if we are to overcome the workforce shrinkage issues that I predict for the UK and that Japan for instance is now grappling with. In the most aged developed economy in the world they now have a crisis which threatens their ability to deliver critical built assets. It is fast becoming a major political issue, exacerbated by the hosting of the 2020 Olympics. Actions being taken are a reaction to a problem that has insidiously been developing rather than being planned for as an industrial strategy ahead of an impending demographic ‘bow wave’ of exiting productive workers. In the UK, we now have the added complication of Brexit, which Japan doesn’t have, so I make the point very clearly again that is the central basis of ‘Modernise or Die’ – that government, the construction industry and the clients that rely on it, should all very carefully consider the risks of future workforce decline.


The UK still has time to act here, but the urgent need is to review not just what traditional skilled resources and training structures we need in the future, but also to fundamentally reassess how we deliver more productively with less resources by challenging normal design practices, procurement and value chains and delivery approaches. The 10 symptoms of failure that I identify in my review should not be news to anyone, but I would distil these issues down to a simple hypothesis - the level of delivery risk (i.e. lack of predictability of outcome) which clients are being exposed to on construction projects is effectively directly proportional to four things: • Level of design uniqueness/lack of standardisation • The number of hierarchical transactional interfaces within the value chain (i.e. how vertically integrated) • The overall level of site-based labour and management required to deliver • The number of organisational delivery interfaces on site. Fundamentally, the modernisation discussion should start with the embracing of Design for Manufacture & Assembly (DfMA) principles.


1 Whether this is coupled with use of offsite solutions or not is for further consideration and does not need to be a condition of this approach. The point is that DfMA has higher productivity benefits for both traditional sitebased working as well as offsite. Why, for instance, does the residential sector, have to be so often fixated on re-inventing designs for kitchens, bathrooms, plant rooms and risers and for there to be little if any consistency from unit to unit. This client brief/ design discipline model is a quick win which I think lays the groundwork for a more detailed assessment of offsite or modular solutions. Some clients and their sales agents may protest that individuality and bespoke design is key to residential product market alignment. I would question that assumption when it comes down to some of the core components and dimensioning protocols. One of the outcomes of the publication of my review, alongside the emerging support from government for modular housing, has been an extraordinary uplift in media interest in offsite manufacturing. Unfortunately, the term ‘prefab’ with all the negative connotations that it brings, continues to prevail but I think there is now enough talk about precision engineering and high quality to start to change both the industry and wider public perceptions.


What this brings into play though is a crucial challenge that I laid down to the audience at Explore Offsite Futures. With much increased attention being focused on offsite solutions, it is critical that every opportunity being both planned and physically delivered at the moment is executed as though it is an exemplar case study project. The wider industry is looking on at the moment to see whether offsite is the solution to all our industry’s woes. The shop window is clearly there, but it also represents a risk that bad publicity from a major project technical failure, commercial dispute or solvency issue will play out in full view and will derail confidence. All these issues occur every day in the traditional construction sector but unfortunately, detractors of a ‘modern’ approach, perhaps with vested interest, will seize on this happening with offsite. There is a need to quickly create a strong body of current evidence which builds the benefits case for clients choosing offsite solutions. At the moment, the scepticism that exists in many quarters is led by parties that feel using an offsite solution is an unproven risk and compares unfavourably on a side-by-side basis to traditional alternatives. These statements are often influenced by poor historical experiences (some valid) or hearsay, but they are common and are the reality of the client, consultant and contractor-led barriers to the offsite market being able to scale up. These perceptions will only really be dispelled by a showcase of completed projects where cost, time and quality benefits have been accurately recorded and can be used in anger with clients, advisors, and importantly, their funders. The offsite sector, in this respect, needs to collaborate to present itself more as a powerful collective with direct influence on clients and advisors with the ambition of becoming ‘mainstream’, rather than just a set of individual businesses marketing in isolation.

2 The issues of collaboration and funders brings me on to my last point – the opportunity for the offsite industry to work together to come up with a common and interchangeable design and manufacture protocol. That is one which enables products and components from a host of different offsite technology providers to be easily substituted for one another and the interface points between different technologies to be defined and standardised. A recent major volumetric project I have been involved with has clearly brought home the client and funder nervousness about committing to an offsite solution which is wholly unique in terms of its composition and interfaces. The concern over the provider becoming insolvent part way through a project created great debate about the downsides of having wholly unique product solutions that do not share characteristics with other systems. The inability to effectively complete a scheme part-build or the fear of inability to execute maintenance/ alterations downstream if the original constructor is no longer trading, are perpetuated by countless insolvencies in what is a financially fragile sector.

Although I have called on government to directly support pre-manufacturing and to create the right demand climate for the offsite sector to better thrive, there is also some ‘self-help’ that can be applied. There is a need for the sector to drop any barriers to collaboration driven by concerns over competitive advantage and IP and to have a productive discussion about how commonality can create more market opportunity than uniqueness. I am aware that current work is being done in this crucial area by Loughborough University and I suspect there may have been other past initiatives on this. I think it would be a massive step forward for this approach to be ‘hard wired’ into the offsite industry as soon as possible to enable it to overcome the stigma that is holding back large-scale take up by clients and funders.

The opportunity has never been greater in my opinion, but we need to quickly build an offsite sector that is clearly delivering what clients and their influencers want in terms of cost, time, quality and risk profile. Modernise or Die: The Farmer Review of the UK construction labour model is available here: www.offsitehub.co.uk/info-centre/ industry-reports For more information visit: www.cast-consultancy.com Images: 01. Modernise or Die has many far-reaching recommendations for the construction industry 02. Modular methods can deliver huge benefits. Courtesy Portakabin



OFFSITE NEWS BSA Push Offsite Methods

SES Picks Up M&E Packages

SES Engineering Services, part of the Wates Group, has picked up two substantial M&E packages in central London together worth more than £30 million. SES has been appointed to deliver mechanical, electrical and plumbing (MEP) services on Argent’s 12-storey S2 office building for Google, which is part of the King’s Cross regeneration. It has also secured an £18.6 million MEP contract on Barts Square Phase One, a £110 million residential development by Helical next to St Bart’s Hospital in Farringdon.

The Building Society Association (BSA) published a progressive housing report: ‘Laying the Foundations for Modern Methods of Construction’ in November. The report explores how important the addition of offsite construction can be for the UK housing industry including housebuilders, mortgage lenders, surveyors and general insurers. It also examines how at scale offsite offers one way of easing the UK’s housing crisis – primarily caused by a lack of housing supply. Utilising offsite construction methods offers a way of providing well designed, high quality, affordable homes at a faster rate than is currently possible. The report’s ten recommendations include: • Government has the chance to nurture this small but growing industry by leading the way on its own developments, such as Northstowe near Cambridge and act as the catalyst to bring the housing industry together to allow innovative building technologies to reach critical mass • The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors should produce guidance for its members through its Valuation Professional Standards. This specifies the standard approach that valuers should take when providing a valuation for mortgage purposes • To help valuers and lenders understand the multiple different systems available, terminology and systems should be standardised and more information provided through an online hub • A programme is needed to improve the image of these modern properties: robust, visually impressive and cheaper to run than their traditionally built counterparts – today’s offsite offerings are a world apart from the flimsy prefabs of post-war Britain


Speaking at the publication launch, Dick Jenkins, BSA Chairman said: “We have to explore radical solutions to solve the housing crisis. To get there we rely on Government to lead the way and break the cycle in relation to new construction technologies. At present supply is so low that lenders can’t routinely lend on these properties because they don’t fully understand the risks, and builders won’t build more of this type of home because mortgage lending is in limited supply as is home insurance. For the sake of consumers, these types of building technology must become as conventional and mainstream as brick and block has been for the past 100 years. If we do this it could be a game-changer.” Richard Bacon MP, Chairman, All Party Parliamentary Group on Self-Build, Custom and Community Housebuilding and Placemaking added: “The introduction of offsite construction using the latest technology will make a big difference. This area has seen huge changes in recent years. Bespoke houses which cost almost nothing to heat and that are made-to-measure for each customer, configured on a laptop and then delivered within weeks – erected on serviced plots with the broadband, water, electricity and gas already in place – are a reality now, but not yet at scale.” The BSA represents all 44 UK building societies and two credit unions. Building societies have total assets of over £359 billion and, together with their subsidiaries, hold residential mortgages of over £277 billion – 21% of the total outstanding in the UK.

Carillion is the main contractor for both projects. With logistics a key consideration in city centres, offsite construction is playing a key role in both projects. SES was previously Shepherd Engineering Services until its acquisition by Wates in 2015. Wates said that the two contract awards represented a major milestone for SES’ London and south-east operation. It attributed the King’s Cross win to SES’ digital engineering expertise, responding to the client’s requirement for building information modelling (BIM). With a 38 week programme set to complete in December 2017, SES will use its offsite manufacturing facility SES Prism to deliver 22 risers and a CHW roof plantroom. Offsite manufacturing techniques at SES Prism will also be used on the Barts Square project to design and install service cupboards for each apartment. These installations include a KNX power distribution system to allow residents to remotely control technology throughout the apartment, a heat interface unit, a heat recovery unit, cooling interface unit, underfloor heating manifolds, BT Home Hub and space for a washing machine. These units will be built offsite, in the SES Prism factory. SES regional director Tim Cunningham said: “This is a truly exciting time for our London and South East operation and the growth of our business is down to our teams’ exemplary work and innovative offsite approach. Our SES Prism facility is at the forefront of M&E installations, meaning we can offer the most effective solutions to even the most technically complex projects, adding real value to our clients so we’re delighted to be able to demonstrate this again on both these schemes.”

Source: www.bsa.org.uk


Source: www.ses-ltd.co.uk

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OFFSITE NEWS Modular Hotel Begins at Trafford City

Work has started onsite on Manchester’s 220bedroom Holiday Inn Express, which is constructed from purpose-built steel shipping containers complete with fully factory finished interior fixtures and fittings, all of which are installed before being delivered to site.

incorporate full height windows are fully finished internally and Quality Approved before leaving the factory. The external envelope is applied once the modules are in place, using prefinished rainscreen cladding and single ply roofing systems.

Chapman Taylor were appointed to develop the detailed design and are now working with main contractor Bowmer & Kirkland to deliver the project onsite.

“We are pleased to continue to expand our expertise in offsite design and construction methods which offer exciting new building solutions for the future,” said Chapman Taylor Director, Andy Carroll. The project, a Joint Venture between Topland, Marick and Mill Lane Estates, is the first of its kind in the North West. Chapman Taylor have also received a lot of interest surrounding their trademarked Umbrellahaus®.

Working collaboratively with other specialist consultants, Chapman Taylor developed a fully co-ordinated BIM model to inform the detailed design and enable the offsite works to commence, in line with the ambitious programme that sees the project completed in less than 12 months. The modules are individually stacked on top of the podium structure, meaning all 220 guest rooms are installed within a 2-4 week period. Each module comprises two fully-furnished ensuite rooms, separated by a section of circulation corridor, complete with all building services. The rooms, which

Developed in response to the UK’s growing housing crisis, Umbrellahaus® is a sustainable, affordable, offsite housing model that can be constructed at scale and speed to provide much needed high quality housing for the private rental market within our towns and cities. Source: www.chapmantaylor.com

Willerby Special Projects Rebrands Willerby Special Projects, which manufactures offsite modular buildings for the leisure and housing sectors, is set to become Willerby Innovations as it continues to strengthen its core product ranges and develop its bespoke service. Its three core brands – Willerby Lifestyle, Willerby Bespoke and Willerby Housing – all build on the strength of the Willerby Holiday Homes brand. Willerby Lifestyle – Willerby’s standard range of offsite accommodation modules has been specifically designed to suit the leisure sector. Meanwhile, Willerby Housing – Willerby’s standard range of offsite affordable housing modules ranges from singlestorey bungalows to four-bedroom houses and can be constructed to Passivhaus standard if required. Manufactured from Willerby Innovations’ specialist manufacturing facility in Hull, all modules are fullyfurnished as well as being fully compliant with building regulations and TRADA-certified. Kirsten Bolton, Marketing Director at Willerby Innovations said: “As Willerby Special Projects has evolved over the last seven years, it became clear that customers needed a greater differentiation between the distinct elements of the business. As we continue to expand our range of leisure and housing products, while also delivering ever more bespoke projects to clients looking for something completely different, this change will give us the opportunity to simplify our vast product offering, without compromise.” Source: www.willerbyinnovations.com



OFFSITE NEWS Modular Cubed Ready for Business Determined to be more than just a concrete installation company, Modular Design is offering structural design and project management to interested partners. Through their structural design service, their engineers are able to produce full structural calculations and CAD drawings for any submitted project. For those interested in groundworks, they are providing a wide range of site surveying, earthworks, reinforced concrete foundations, and concrete footings. They are capable of designing the foundation, preparing the site, pouring reinforced concrete slabs, erecting steel frames, and combined it all with their precast experience and knowledge.

Modular Cubed, a groundworks contractor and specialist in construction, groundwork and civils projects have officially opened and launched their operation. The UK’s newest groundworks contractor will provide structural design, project management, groundwork, precast installation, transportation, and logistics services to all partnered clients.

Equipped with expertise of installing precast concrete products, Modular Cubed will be able to save clients time and money through offsite manufactured precast concrete products. The firm plans to work with some of the UK’s leading precast manufacturers and will put their precast installation to work by offering a wide range of services from pre-stressed wall panels to modular retaining wall systems. Additional precast installation services available through them include procurement, project management, joint sealing, RAMs, crane installation, and concrete repairs.

The new precast company is also offering transportation and logistics to clients. They have a reported extensive access to a UK logistics network including their very own crane and Moffett vehicles. Modular Design plans to accept any kind of custom request or project that may only require one or two of their available services. Types of projects they consider include agricultural construction, energy and utilities, retaining walls, site security and modular buildings. Source: www.modularcubed.co.uk

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OFFSITE NEWS University of Cumbria Gets SIPS Accommodation

Offsite construction techniques have helped deliver a new student accommodation development in Cumbria. Keepmoat used offsite manufacturing to build housing for 71 University of Cumbria students living in Ambleside. To minimise disruption for locals, Keepmoat used structural insulated panels (SIPs) to cut onsite labour, improve safety and reduce waste. With the scheme being located in a Lake District National Park Authority (LDNPA) conservation area, the building firm held discussions with the LDNPA and English Heritage. Keepmoat ensured materials were chosen that complemented the Ambleside Conservation Area and the existing buildings on campus. Keepmoat’s Area Director for the North West, Frank Mondino, said: “We’re delighted to have delivered a project, which stretches far beyond constructing the student housing. The offsite method enabled us to keep local disruption to a minimum. Additionally, the SIPs panels provided a cost effective, environmentally

Multi-million investment for McAvoy Group The McAvoy Group is investing nearly £10million to consolidate its position as one of the leading offsite modular construction companies in the UK and aim to double turnover to £100m by 2020. The multi-million pound investment over the next four years will enable the company to grow its Permanent Modular Construction Division, replenish its Hire Division stock and invest in new IT infrastructure as well as creating 38 new roles. The McAvoy Group currently employs 170 people and has offices in the UK and Ireland. Eugene Lynch, Managing Director of the McAvoy Group, said: “This investment is focused on growing our Permanent Modular Construction Division and consolidating the company as a key player in the UK market. The new roles are in design, contract and cost management positions and we plan to recruit a


Chinese to Build Six UK Offsite Housing Factories

friendly and labour saving alternative to traditional methods, enabling us to source local products and provide employment and training opportunities for local subcontractors – something which is incredibly important to us. Our industry is in the midst of a skills crisis and so schemes like this serve well to expose trainees and apprentices to these methods.” The University of Cumbria’s chief operating officer, Janet Whitworth, added: “We are delighted with our new student accommodation delivered by Keepmoat. Keepmoat stepped in during January 2016 to help us deliver this project with extremely tight deadlines as we needed the rooms ready for students arriving in October. I am pleased to say that the experience of working with Keepmoat and the innovative SIPs solution has been hugely positive, and in spite of Storm Desmond we were ready for the students arriving.“ Source: www.keepmoat.com

further 14 jobs as well as graduates and apprentices roles over the next 12 months. We have been successfully operating as a principal contractor in recent years and this strategic development is aimed at replicating our success in the education sector within other sectors.” With support from Invest NI’s Skills Growth Programme, the company is undertaking a leadership and talent management programme which will ensure that its senior staff are equipped with the skills they need to deliver against the company’s growth targets. In 2015 McAvoy turned over £46.5m, a 30% rise on the previous year’s £35.5m. Pre-tax profits more than doubles to £1.1 million. The company recently handed over an £18million project for Goresbrook School in Dagenham, London and is currently working on a £20million project for Lynch Hill School in Slough – one of the UK’s largest ever offsite modular constructed Secondary Schools. Source: www.mcavoygroup.com


A giant Chinese construction firm is teaming up with a UK housing association to deliver 25,000 prefabricated homes over the next five years. The Government has helped to broker the £2.5 billion deal that will see the China National Building Material Company build six offsite factories around the UK. It has formed a joint venture with housing association Your Housing Group and renewable energy specialist WElink. The partners are currently looking at factory sites in Scotland, South Wales, North East, North West, Yorkshire/North Midlands, and in the South and South West. Five pilot schemes are set to deliver a total of 2,000 homes in 2017, with production ramping up to 25,000 homes per year by 2022. The first scheme, in Liverpool, is expected to receive planning permission in January. The joint venture aims to introduce a modular housing type, based on designs pioneered by Spanish specialist Barcelona Housing Systems, to transform the pace of the delivery of new homes in the UK. Barcelona Housing Systems mixes light-gauge steel frames with energy efficient composite materials to produce a panel-based system. This uses precision produced steel frames and modern composite materials to deliver developments that are low carbon and energy efficient in both their construction and in their operation. International Trade Minister, Greg Hands MP, said: “This is a clear endorsement of the UK’s attractiveness as a place for inward investment. This announcement has the potential to benefit local communities across the country, creating jobs, boosting local economies and creating homes. The Department for International Trade has worked closely with the consortium to highlight the strengths of the UK and played a fundamental role in bringing together the partners in this exciting joint venture.” Stephen Haigh, UK CEO of the new joint venture, said: “Our announcement is very much about identifying new opportunities and assisting Government and other housing associations to achieve their housing aspirations as announced in the recent Autumn Statement, such as the £2.3 billion infrastructure fund. Ajmal Rahman, Chairman of WElink Group, added: “This joint venture will give a significant kickstart to delivering the new homes people need across the UK which includes helping to address fuel poverty issues through our incorporated solar and energy efficient design – meaning our developments can be at least 75% off-grid. Furthermore, British produced light gauge steel framing will help keep our carbon footprint to a minimum.” Source: www.barcelonahousingsystems.com

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OFFSITE NEWS Kingspan Colour Coding Aids Assembly

Portakabin Scoops Business Award

Kingspan Steel Building Solutions has introduced colour coding to its steel framing systems to simplify site installation for contractors. All studs and tracks are now colour-coded according to their gauge, with the colours matching those used in Kingspan’s drawings. For example, when Kingspan Infinity software or the company’s engineers determine that a stud or track needs to be supplied in 2mm gauge steel, the design drawings will confirm the stud or track gauge in red ink. A lintel in 1.8mm gauge will be shown in blue ink. In turn the stud or track supplied to site will be inkjet marked with the same colour, enabling contractors to identify it quickly for installation in the correct location. Kingspan says that the new system makes it easier to understand openings, parapets and other detailing, and easier to locate and install different sections when working with design drawings. Phil Jasper, Business Unit Director at Kingspan Steel Building Solutions, said: “We’re committed to continuously improving our products, and ensuring our customers get the full benefit of working with Kingspan. This new coding is a simple but effective way for us to support contractors onsite, and make it easier than ever before for them to use Kingspan steel framing systems.”

Portakabin has been named UK Private Business of the Year at the sixth annual UK Private Business Awards in London. The UK Private Business Awards, sponsored by PwC, recognise and celebrate the successes and importance of private business to the UK economy. Portakabin is one of the market leaders in the design and manufacture of modular buildings and advanced offsite construction solutions and has delivered more than 50 million square feet of building space in the last 50 years. The Group employs over 1,700 people and has operations in seven countries across Europe, with its head office based in York. Portakabin provides buildings for organisations of every size, in any sector, from small independent businesses to large organisations and in both public and private sectors.

Stud and track colour coding key: • 1.2mm gauge studs and tracks – marked in BLACK ink • 1.6mm gauge studs and tracks – marked in GREEN ink • 1.8mm gauge studs and tracks – marked in BLUE ink • 2.0mm gauge studs and tracks – marked in RED ink. Source: www.kingspanpanels.co.uk/news/ ksbs-colour-coded-tracks-studs/


Brian Henderson, Partner and UK Private Business Awards’ Leader at PwC, said: “Many congratulations to Portakabin for winning the flagship Private Business of the Year award. The Group has a fantastic heritage and has a long-standing pivotal role in both the UK construction industry and in British manufacturing. It continues to be the pioneer in modular buildings and in breaking new ground with the speed, scale, complexity, efficiency and sustainability of its offsite solutions. “The UK Private Business Awards recognise achievements and the important contribution that entrepreneurs and private businesses make to their communities and the UK economy. The finalists were


selected from over a thousand entries from private businesses across the UK and reflect the increasing diversity in the business landscape.” Derek Carter, Chief Executive of Portakabin added: “We are absolutely delighted to receive such important national recognition for this fantastic business and for our colleagues across the UK. The award celebrates the hard work, talent and commitment of all our employees, and the Shepherd family who have supported the business for more than 50 years. “We are proud that Portakabin is such an iconic brand and market leader: that our financial performance remains strong, and that we continue to deliver buildings in some of the most challenging situations with teamwork, integrity and unrivalled reliability. Portakabin has a long history of innovation since it was launched in 1961 with its first portable building. We have exciting and ambitious plans in place to take the company to the next level, whilst making a significant contribution to the communities in which we live and work.” Pictured left to right are: Brian Henderson, Partner, PwC. Stephanie Hyde, Executive Board Member and Head of Regions, PwC. Derek Carter, Chief Executive of Portakabin (winner) and Nina Hossain, Awards Presenter Source: www.portakabin-group.co.uk

OFFSITE NEWS Premier Modular Set for Mammoth Nuclear Project

Premier Modular recently announced its appointment as the contractor providing a series of modular building complexes at Hinkley Point C in Somerset, following EDF Energy’s Final Investment Decision. The complex will deliver offices and site welfare facilities required for the construction phase of the new nuclear power station. The 38,000 sqm of office space – the largest modular project awarded in the UK – will house all the management and technical personnel required during the construction stage of this much needed

continued to work closely with EDF Energy to ensure that delivery of the complex can proceed as soon as the Final Investment Decision has been made. Hinkley Point C will provide reliable, low carbon electricity to meet 7% of UK demand.

new nuclear power plant. Part of the buildings will be converted after the construction cycle to remain as high quality offices for the permanent site. Almost 1,000 steel framed modules are being constructed offsite at Premier’s state-of- the-art manufacturing facility in East Yorkshire, before being transported to the Hinkley Point C site for final assembly and fitting out – a process that will take only 16 months from manufacture to hand over. Since Premier’s appointment as a preferred bidder for this contract back in July 2015, Premier has

EDF Energy envisages an estimated 25,000 job opportunities will be created over the construction of the new power station, including up to 1,000 apprenticeships. It is also Premier’s intention to contract work, where practical, to companies local to the Hinkley Point C site, where it is anticipated that approximately 35% of the work will be completed. David Harris, Divisional Director at Premier said: “This project is one of the most significant modular projects in history and will really put modular construction on the map. We foresee that this project is not only important for Premier but will also be of significant benefit to the local economies in Yorkshire and Somerset in terms of both sub-contractor and supplier opportunities required to support this major construction project. Premier will resource this project with the full scope of skills required to deliver the scheme to the excellent standard and quality of product that we and EDF Energy expect and we anticipate taking on a number of apprentices throughout the delivery of the scheme.” Source: www.premiermodular.co.uk

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OFFSITE NEWS Pocket Get Modular Moving Higher

UK’s First Modular Build to Rent Scheme Agreed to help solve London’s housing crisis. Factory built modular homes are quicker to build than conventional buildings and result in significantly less disruption to local residents – with 60% fewer trucks coming to sites and 90% less waste. To increase the number of modular developments constructed we need to find ways to support SME builders who are able to respond to local need and build 100 to 200 homes at a time.” Wandsworth Council leader Ravi Govindia, visiting the site for ground breaking, said: “I’m delighted Pocket’s first Wandsworth-based housing development is now under way. These compact starter homes are a superb innovation and offer a new affordable housing option in the heart of Wandsworth town centre. I’m sure they will be a popular choice with local residents and we hope to see more schemes like this developed in the years ahead.”

Work has begun in London on what is claimed to be Europe’s tallest modular residential tower. Factorybuilt modules will be stacked to 26 storeys to provide 89 flats at Mapleton Crescent in Wandsworth. The modular tower is part of the council’s affordable housing scheme and it is expected to be completed by summer 2018. The developer is Pocket Living, which specialises in low-cost housing using modular construction techniques with the units supplied by Vision Modular with main contractor for the project Donban Contracting UK. Speaking about the £39.8 million project, Pocket Chief Executive Marc Vlessing said: “If we’re able to scale up modular construction it has the potential

Lakesmere Report Pre-tax Profit Using Offsite Lakesmere Group’s offsite construction products and in-house manufacturing capabilities have boosted pre-tax profit in its latest results. The contractor posted a 45% increase in pre-tax profit to £3.5 million for the year ending 31 January 2016, from £2.4 million the previous year. Group turnover has risen to £118.5 million for the period, from £95.6 million the year before, while its net assets have grown to £8 million from £5.5 million. Lakesmere said the growth was due to an increase in demand for its in-house manufacturing and offsite construction products. The group has expanded its McMullen Facades’ factory, based in Northern Ireland,


Pocket Living also recently finished its work on the £5.2 million Mountearl Gardens project in Streatham Hill. Designed by HKR Architects, it comprises 29 one-bedroom apartments, three two-bedroom apartments and a wheelchair accessible unit. The modules were completely finished internally in the factory with some minor finishing once onsite. They were delivered complete with windows, doors, insulation, plumbing, and wiring and ducting and slotted into place as final services were connected onsite. Sarah Davies, Head of Project Management at Pocket Living, said: “We’re already working on our next schemes which are both challenging in that they are geographically located near railway tracks in London, we’re using similar modules across all our projects but they are assembled differently for each scheme as is required.” Source: www.pocketliving.com

to a larger premise in the region. McMullen Facades is a specialist facade business, which provides full design, fabrication and installation of aluminium curtain wall and window systems for medium and large-scale building projects. Lakesmere has also invested in a new manufacturing facility in China to target Hong Kong and wider southeast Asia markets. In the UK, growth has also been driven by work in the high-rise residential market as well as contracts across the commercial, education and transport infrastructure sectors. Lakesmere Group chief executive officer Ted McMullen said the company would push offsite manufacturing in roofing, cladding and unitised facades, where possible. Source: www.lakesmere.com


Essential Living, a developer and operator of homes for rent, has agreed a £60 million loan facility for Britain’s first modular build to rent scheme in Greenwich. The four-year club deal, funded equally by Royal Bank of Scotland (RBS) and HSBC will finance the development of Creekside Wharf, designed by Assael Architecture. The 249-homes will include a block designed exclusively for families, with innovative buggy storage, noise insulation and an onsite crèche. A quarter of the apartments will be discounted to accommodate low-income households designated by the local council. Discount market rent (DMR) homes will be priced from 55 per cent of market rent and blended in with the market-rented apartments. This will be the first housing development to include DMR apartments, which are now set to be rolled out more widely under plans announced by the mayor of London. At 23 storeys, Creekside Wharf will be one of the tallest residential buildings to be constructed using offsite methods. Robert Hill, Finance Director at Essential Living, said: “An increasing diverse debt market has enabled us to secure highly competitive terms. But the combination of delivering both DMR housing and a project built using offsite methods has required some innovative thinking on the part of RBS and HSBC, for which we are extremely grateful.” Chiara Zuccon, Head of Private Rented Sector at RBS, added: “We’re committed to supporting the UK’s housing agenda and building homes that are purpose built for rent has an important role to play in increasing and diversifying the country’s housing supply. We believe Creekside Wharf, with its provision of affordable housing and its innovative use of modular construction, will be another standout scheme that will greatly enhance the local community and provide much needed rental housing at a range of price-points.” Creekside Wharf is due to complete in 2017. Source: www.essentialliving.uk.com

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Challenges facing the Social Housing Sector Of all the potential shocks to the UK economy that loomed in the aftermath of Britain’s June 23 vote to leave the EU, few seemed as dramatic as the impact on the housing market. Four months on, catastrophe seems at least to have been deferred, however focus and concern still looms regarding the lack of Social Housing available. Steve Hardy, JMD of offsite specialists Sidey tells us that offsite construction is absolutely the way forward in delivering cost effective, long term thermally efficient, and quick to deliver dwellings for future generations. “It has been well documented by the Scottish Government and the SFHA (Scottish Federation of Housing Associations) that Scotland desperately needs more affordable homes in order to solve its current housing crisis, and although there has been a commitment to delivering at least 50,000 new affordable homes, backed by more than £3 billion, over the lifetime of this parliament, there are other factors impacting on the sector’s ability to deliver increased numbers of affordable housing. The key issues include economic uncertainty surrounding Brexit, planning availability of affordable land and access to skilled workers.

Offsite Construction is the Solution “The solution to some of these problems has to lie in the growth of offsite construction. Costs are now no more than when building through standard construction methods, but the two huge pluses are the delivery of better buildings by design, and delivery on time”. “There is a growing lobby of government agencies, procurement organisations, and individual housing associations all reviewing whether they should directly invest into, or partner with offsite manufacturing factories; they are recognising that the housing crisis which the country faces is being exacerbated by a basic failure in the construction sector – an inability to deliver on time”. “Offsite is well and truly proven as a construction option and it is the way forward for the Social Housing sector wanting to build better quality homes; cost effectively, and most importantly sure to be delivered on time”.

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OFFSITE NEWS Arbroath Hotel Looks to Offsite to the elements. The building process is also far quicker than on a traditional site, benefitting the local neighbourhood. In addition by using structural insulated timber panels to construct the modules we are able to achieve exceptional levels of insulation and noise reduction in our builds. We are delighted with the progress of the development and are looking forward to welcoming the first residents in the spring of next year.”

Work has begun on a development of modular flats on the site of the old Inverpark Hotel in Arbroath. The process of constructing ‘modules’ complete with everything from electrics to plumbing at a factory away from the main development site has been identified by the Scottish Government as an important, cost-effective approach to addressing the housing shortage and improving the sector in terms of efficiency, quality and sustainability.

The modules are constructed using structural insulated timber (SIP) panels, making them strong and energy efficient. They are currently being constructed in McCallan Homes’ production facility in Dunfermline and will then be transported to Arbroath where the services are connected and the modules bolted together with the final exterior finish completed. Iain Allan, Director of McCallan Homes, said: “There are many significant benefits to building properties using offsite construction. Modules are built in a controlled environment, helping to ensure a high quality build that uses materials that are not exposed

Roddy Maxwell, Property Director at Wardhaugh Property, the company responsible for marketing the development, added: “This is a really exciting development on a well-known site in Arbroath. The method of constructing offsite allows for a safer build, less wasted materials, a lower carbon footprint and, most importantly, no corners can be cut. The flats that will come onto the market in the spring of 2017 will be of a very high quality.” The site of the old Inverpark Hotel, just off Millgate Loan, is being developed by McCallan Homes Ltd and will consist of a range of 12 two-bedroomed flats. Source: www.scottishconstructionnow.com

REGENERATION, RESTORATION & GROWTH – RETHINKING THE ABANDONED, DISMISSED AND MISUSED The news recently has been dominated by the need to expand: build more houses, villages and towns and extend the infrastructure to support these new homes, some utilise existing brownfield but many will take up new greenfield sites. It is true that this has to happen but are we making best use of the spaces we already have? Premier Modular is a forward thinking company, striving for constant improvement and innovation, achieved through their open and transparent working practice where all ideas are welcome. These strengths mean that when they collaborate on a project, they look beyond the building itself to create a cohesion with the surroundings and ultimately provide something that is socially, economically and environmentally sustainable. Over the last few years they have worked on several projects where ‘Regeneration’ has been key:


Urban Regeneration in New Islington, formerly considered one of the worst places to live in Manchester. The aim, to create the best place to live and work. Premier completed the new Free School in Aug 2016, meeting the overall objectives of the masterplan, to be inspiring, innovative and fresh. The building is visually stunning with unique features such as oversailing feature entrance, outdoor 1st floor classroom plus bird and bat boxes including a Restart habitat.

Space Regeneration at University College London, providing a twostorey roof top extension positioned on John Dodgson House, an existing 50’s built sandstone faced building located opposite St Pancras Station. The extension provides additional student bedrooms in an area where space is very limited and land value makes many projects economically unviable. This space saving solution provided 55 bedrooms with ensuite bathrooms plus shared living spaces.

Building Regeneration in the International Quarter London. With an abundance of green space and fresh air, all workplace design must have employee wellbeing at its heart. The project was to transform an old school building over 10 years old into a state-of-the-art welfare facility and project office. A bespoke viewing deck provided the finishing touch to this modern, spacious and inspirational accommodation.

Sustainability is about developments that meet the needs of the present without compromising the future, can we be doing more to release the potential value of our space? David Harris, Divisional Director, Premier Modular Ltd will be exploring this further in his Offsite Masterclass at Ecobuild Explore Offsite on 7th March.


For more information visit: www.premiermodular.co.uk

OFFSITE NEWS Bespoke Bathroom Pods for Battersea Power Station High quality prefabricated bathroom pods from German manufacturer DEBA are playing a major part in the ongoing development of the iconic Grade II-listed Battersea Power Station. For the 1,242 bathrooms needed for Battersea Power Station’s Phase 1, collaboration between Swiss bathroom specialists Laufen and DEBA has seen the prefabricated units fully furnished with a variety of topquality customised built-in bathroom components and standard products. Each of these pods arrive onsite ready for quick installation in 96 configurations.

equipped for future developments in terms of mass customisation.” Ilker Hussein, Laufen’s Commercial Director and Head of the Company’s Global Projects Team, added: “Good product solutions have a legacy impact on others down the road. We faced a challenge at Battersea, a project that involved 700 shower trays, with 19 different dimensions. We were able to do this in a very aesthetic and cost-effective way.” Source: www.deba.de

Marc Viardot, Laufen’s Director of Marketing and Products said: “We are offering projects like Battersea something completely different – a solution that covers all possibilities. We’re learning more and more with every project. We take an open-minded approach in an effort to help our partners find the right solution. Efficiency is not only function and size, but also aesthetics, proportions and quality. The solutions we offer give us many opportunities to improve the intelligence of the organisation and the flexibility of our operation. Another benefit is the motivation we get from these projects – to be more

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Largest Mass Timber Building in USA Opens

Shipping Containers Make Modular Studio 6 Hotel Ladacor’s Advanced Modular System™ building technology was used to make one of the largest and tallest shipping container-based modular hotels in North America, with the opening of the Studio 6 Extended Stay Hotel in Bruderheim, Alberta. “We are very proud to be selected to participate in this project as module supplier and general contractor,” said Rhys Kane, Ladacor Director of Business Development. “We have incorporated a very high degree of modularisation to make the project more efficient, including full four-story height modular elevators and stairwells and a modular roof.” Boris Javorski, Partner in the hotel ownership, added: “The Ladacor modular building technology offered a durable steel building with a fast-track construction schedule at a competitive turn-key price. The end product is of excellent quality and the building is indistinguishable from conventional construction.

The seven-story, 220,000 square feet T3 office building in Minneapolis’s North Loop district has become the tallest modern timber building in the USA. Designed by Michael Green Architecture and the DLR Group, the T3—which stands for Timber, Technology, Transit—features nail-laminated timber (NLT) clad in weathering steel. The NLT panels were combined with a spruce glulam post-and-beam frame and a concrete slab. Most of the wood used came from the Pacific Northwest region, sustainably harvested after being killed by the mountain pine beetle, and all of the wood was certified under the Sustainable Forestry Initiative (SFI) guidelines. While the building resembles the nearby historic warehouses in the district, its efficient structural system is about one-fifth the weight of a similarly sized concrete building, according to StructureCraft, which worked on the project. Leaving the interiors bare also eliminated costly coverings. (Image ©Ema Peter) Source: www.t3northloop.com


It’s incredible that repurposed shipping containers can be re-modelled in such a way to meet stringent hotel design brand standards. It’s a testament to the ingenuity of the Ladacor technology.” The new hotel offers 63-rooms all with kitchenettes, a lounge area, fitness room and large meeting room. Source: www.ladacor.com

Estonia Solar Powered Modular Home Launched

homes are modular and can be connected to create a larger living space.

For those with a penchant for modern minimalism and endless travel, Estonian design collective Kodasema have created KODA, a tiny prefabricated home that can move with its homeowners. The movable home prototype is designed with off-grid capabilities and can be disassembled and prepped for relocation in as little as four hours.

KODA maximizes its 25 square metre footprint with an open-plan living area bathed in the natural light that pours through a glazed front facade. The full-height glazing is slightly set back to make room for a built-in terrace and to shield the interior from harsh solar gain. The kitchen, bathroom, and loft bedroom are located near the rear of the home for more privacy and are lit by LEDs at night. Rooftop solar panels power the KODA unit and are capable of generating more energy than the home needs. While the prefabricated home was designed with water, sewage, and electricity hook-ups, it can also be used off the grid for short periods of time. A built-in IT system also enables the home to learn from and adjust to its different surroundings.

Made primarily of concrete, the portable KODA prototype is constructed with factory-made components selected for their strength and energy efficient properties. Its sturdy structure allows the tiny home to be assembled on different surfaces without the need for foundations. Quadruple glazing and vacuum-insulated concrete walls minimize energy demands and help maintain a comfortable internal temperature. All finishing materials are non-toxic. The


Source: www.kodasema.com/en/

INTERNATIONAL NEWS South Africa Building ‘fly over’ Homes to Solve Housing Challenge

Port Elizabeth property developer Johann Dreyer and his team at Direct Group Africa have identified the space above suburban homes as prime real estate. “We know that most municipalities are faced with the challenge of providing services, schools, clinics, libraries and other facilities to communities whose homes are stretching farther and farther into the veld. Residents also suffer because they are being housed far away from centres of employment, hospitals and established schools,” he says. One solution is to use modern building materials to build ‘fly over’ homes – which effectively add a second storey to an existing house, but are totally separate. The technology is a modular building system consisting of steel-framed expanded polystyrene panels that has been developed over the past 10 years by the Direct Group for the African market. The concept of ‘fly over’ homes came when the Direct Group was looking for suitable land on which to build in the townships around Port Elizabeth, where the company is based. The housing package is aimed at families wanting to provide safe and comfortable homes to grown children, parents or grandparents. Source: www.bizcommunity.com

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$11.4m Contract Establishes Prefabricated Construction Factory

Timber Trailblazer for Taiwan Taiwan’s first-ever cross laminated timber (CLT) building has risen in Taichung’s concrete jungle—an impressive feat of engineering given the island’s hot and humid climate. Local firm Origin Architects & Planners designed the wooden high-rise as the headquarters of WoodTek, a Taiwanese firm that promotes wood as a renewable building material. Shaped like an upside-down staircase, the striking headquarters has fuelled interest among local firms in using CLT as an alternative to concrete and steel.

A contract worth $11.4 million has been announced for the establishment of a prefabricated construction factory. It was signed in the presence of President Mohammad Ashraf Ghani. The Minister of Urban Development and Housing Syed Sadat Mansoor Naderi signed the contract with the head of a Turkish construction firm in ARG Presidential Palace.

Located in Taichung’s Xitun District near the highspeed train rail, the WoodTek headquarters is an eyecatching landmark and symbol of progress in Taiwan’s

The signing ceremony was also attended by a number of other ministers and lawmakers of the lower house of the parliament – Wolesi Jirga. According to a statement by the Ministry of Urban Development and Housing, the cost for the establishment of the factory will be around $11.4 million and will be paid from the government resources. The statement further added that the factory will become operational in the next 12 months. The factory will pave the way for the production of around 300,000 cubic meters of prefabricated construction materials for the schools, hospitals, universities, affordable housing units, and other public properties. It also added that the prefabricated construction materials will help reduce the construction cost by almost $274 per metre with the materials to be manufactured in two to four months. According to the ministry, the current construction cost per metre is currently around $350 where non-standard materials are used for the construction against the standard norms, specifically in schools which are built over a period of nine to twelve months. The prefabricated construction factory will mainly focus on governmental infrastructures, including schools and hospitals. Source: www.khaama.com



adoption of green architecture. Much of Taiwan’s medium and high-rise architecture is made from steel-reinforced concrete to withstand seismic activity. WoodTek and Origin use the timber headquarters to show off the resilience of the prefabricated CLT panels. Protecting the timber building from moisture damage was crucial due to Taiwan’s sub-tropical climate. The architects added a pressure-equalised rain screen system to prevent wind-driven water from entering the building. The first floor is elevated atop a concrete base to remove the wood from soil moisture and potential attacks from termites. The use of prefabricated panels for both the walls and flooring allowed for a speedy construction time of just 20 days. Source: www.eqcanada.com/projects/ woodtek-headquarter-taiwan


GLOBAL OFFSITE CONSTRUCTION INDUSTRY TO FOCUS ON THE UK The Offsite Construction Summit will take place in London on 13 and 14 June 2017. The Summit will host speakers from around the globe and showcase international best-practice in offsite construction and manufacturing technology. The Offsite Construction Summit will bring to life some of the most inspirational and ground breaking offsite projects from around the world and profile some of the largest offsite manufacturing facility investments. Covering a range of vertical markets over the two-day programme, the case study-focused presentations will showcase design, engineering, project management, manufacturing investment and technological developments across a range of offsite manufactured systems and material types. These will include: light gauge steel frame, precast concrete, structural timber, pods, volumetric modular, MEP and hybrid solutions. With 20 speakers, including a number from the UK, the range and scale of projects being presented at the Offsite Construction Summit will be truly inspirational. Speakers include clients, architects, engineers, manufacturers, project managers and academics that have been directly involved in designing and delivering some of the world’s largest and most innovative projects across a range of vertical markets, including: private residential and institutional housing, student accommodation, education, healthcare and a range of infrastructure projects. Delegates will have the opportunity to interact with speakers during panel Q&A sessions, structured networking sessions and the evening drinks reception. Knowledge sharing and knowledge transfer is a prime objective with the potential to identify

collaboration opportunities. The Offsite Construction Summit will be supported by an exhibition of offsite manufactured technologies, components, design and software systems, permitting delegates to collate information on a wide range of solutions. These will be co-located with the 2017 Offsite Construction Awards which will take place on the evening of 13 June, when the winners will be announced. The Awards will celebrate the best in UK-based offsite manufacturing and construction activity across 12 categories – and a new ‘International Project of the Year’ category will be added for the first time. Entries for the 2017 Offsite Construction Awards must be submitted by 31 March 2017. Another milestone at the Offsite Construction Summit will be the launch of the first Offsite Yearbook – a new annual publication that will not only bring news, feature articles, company announcements and industry awards into one document, but also focus on the challenges the industry faces, the opportunity for growth and showcase new technology innovations coming into the market. Visit: www.offsiteyearbook.co.uk to register your interest in receiving a hard copy of the Offsite Yearbook. Tickets for the Offsite Construction Summit will be on sale from the beginning of March, when the speaker line-up will be announced at a launch event to be held during Explore Offsite at Ecobuild on 07 March. To pre-register for your Summit ticket and to receive

the Early-Bird Discount of 20% on ticket prices please email your details to: earlybird@offsitesummit.co.uk Tickets for the 2017 Offsite Construction Awards will need to be purchased separately but Summit delegates will quality for a 25% reduction in ticket prices for the awards ceremony. To claim this discount a member of the events team will give you a discount code. Full details of the 2017 Offsite Construction Awards can be viewed at: www.offsiteawards.co.uk If you are interested in exhibition or sponsorship opportunities for the Offsite Construction Summit or the Offsite Construction Awards please email your enquiry to:


For further details on the Offsite Construction Summit speaker line up keep an eye on announcements via the www.offsitehub.co.uk Or visit Explore Offsite at Ecobuild – www.ecobuild.co.uk/exploreoffsite and collect your information pack. Finally, if you would like to be considered for delivering a presentation at the Offsite Construction Summit please email info@offsitehub.co.uk with details of the project/innovation/ subject matter that you would like to cover.




THE 2016 WINNING PROJECTS, PEOPLE & PRODUCTS After a superb launch event in 2015, more than 250 leaders and innovators gathered to celebrate offsite construction at the 2016 Offsite Awards. The Awards took place on the 18 October at the NEC, Birmingham and were presented on the main stage at UK Construction Week. Showcasing innovation, celebrating best practice and recognising overall expertise in offsite construction, the awards featured a shortlist of exceptional landmark projects, influential people and material and manufacturing excellence. With over 160 entries packed full of pioneering projects, innovative products and inspirational people – the 2016 Offsite Award judges had the onerous job of shortlisting entries.

Awards Host, and Head of the Judging Panel, Darren Richards of Cogent Consulting said: “I have been overwhelmed with the breadth and quality of entries received in the second year of the awards. It is great to see the sector growing so rapidly and to witness so many boundaries being surpassed by these inspiring and innovation projects. The depth of expertise across all categories was impressive and the exceptional number of entries is proof of how offsite construction is not just for one off niche developments. The entries clearly demonstrate the upturn in the industry and the Offsite Construction Awards are now regarded as a highlight of the annual construction events calendar.”

The full list of 2016 Award winners were:

• Best Use of Concrete

Atkins as part of the Priority School Building Programme (PSBP) • Best Use of Steel

EOS Facades for the Sir David Attenborough Building • Best Use of Steel

Fusion Building Systems for its innovative Light Gauge Steel Building System • Best Use of Timber

Cygnum Timber Frame for the Enterprise Centre at the University Of East Anglia • Best Hybrid Construction Project

B & K Structures & Engenuiti for the University of Essex Business School • Best Use of Volumetric Technology

Vision Modular Systems for Chapter Living Lewisham • Housing Project of the Year

Urban Splash for its hoUSe system • Commercial/Retail Project of the Year

Arup for Pinewood Studios • Public Sector Project of the Year

WSP Parsons Brinckerhoff for Alder Hey Children’s Hospital • Product Innovation Award

Willmott Dixon & Scape Group for Sunesis™ • Offsite Professional of the Year

HTA Design LLP


Images: 01. Darren Richards - Managing Director of Cogent Consulting hosting the 2016 Offsite Awards 02. B&K Structures & Engenuiti, University of Essex Business School

• Best Use MEP Prefabrication

SES Engineering Services for 5&6 Wellington Place • Winner of Winners

B&K Structures & Engenuiti for the University of Essex Business School

A full list of finalists can be viewed at: www.offsiteawards.co.uk





The prestigious ‘Winner of Winners’ Award, was awarded to the highest scoring entry across all categories and was presented to B&K Structures and Engenuiti for their Essex Business School project at the University of Essex.



Atkins as part of the Priority School Building Programme (PSBP) The Priority School Building Programme (PSBP) addresses the needs of schools most in need of urgent repair. Laing O’Rourke (LOR) were selected by the Education Funding Agency (EFA) to fund, design, deliver and maintain the seven secondary schools in its Yorkshire Priority Schools batch. Laing O’Rourke joined with Atkins to form an innovative construction and design team. A component-based solution was created, recognising that a school can be expressed as a number of standardised spaces constructed of repeatable components. Over 8,100 pupils will benefit from the programme, as they’ll be taught in new, purposebuilt buildings.



EOS Facades for the Sir David Attenborough Building A major refurbishment and renovation of an iconic landmark in the heart of Cambridge – the building formerly known as the Arup Tower, is the result of a collaboration between the University of Cambridge & the Museum of Zoology. The Sir David Attenborough Building, as it is now known, reinvigorates this iconic building. The driving force behind this £58 million facelift is the Cambridge Conservation Initiative, a strategic collaboration founded in 2007 between Cambridge University and nine bio-diversity conservation organisations.



Fusion Building Systems for its innovative Light Gauge Steel Building System Fusion’s Light Gauge Steel building system, with its unique and patented, pre-insulated external wall system has an extensive track record, ranging from townhouses selling for over £5 million, to 1,000 bed student accommodation across 50 blocks, to 500 beds in a single nine storey block. A recently completed project for Barratt Developments, in Angmering, West comprises only nine very straightforward semi-detached and terraced houses and was notable for the process that lay behind it and most importantly where it may ultimately lead.



Cygnum Timber Frame for the Enterprise Centre at the University Of East Anglia Exploding the myth that British timber sources aren’t suited to structural uses in buildings, the Centre’s timber frame is constructed substantially of Corsican pine that grew just 30 miles away in Thetford Forest. The BREEAM Outstanding building is a highly sustainable building: its timber structure is expressed in the building’s architecture and the timber and other low impact natural materials dominate the building’s exterior and interior. The cutting-edge low-impact building is one of the UK’s largest certified Passivhaus buildings.



OFFSITE AWARDS 2016 BEST HYBRID CONSTRUCTION PROJECT AND WINNER OF WINNERS B&K Structures & Engenuiti for the University of Essex Business School


Designed with BDP, the new School comprises of a curved three storey building, a geodesic single storey lecture theatre and winter garden, all of which were constructed from PEFCcertified glulam columns, glulam floor beams, wall cassettes and CLT floor deck with ETFE used on the winter garden roof. The key driver for the project was to create the first zero carbon business school in the UK – a building aimed to reflect the university’s vision for growth, excellence and sustainability. The facilities were designed to provide students, staff and business partners with innovative spaces in a collaborative environment – focused around a winter garden in an Eden Project style dome.



Vision Modular Systems for Chapter Living Lewisham Chapter Living, Lewisham consists of 2 x 11 storey blocks above a podium level that has delivered a 611 bed student accommodation project using volumetric modular construction based on the Vision Modular System. The modules were fully fitted out in the factory and were installed using a tower crane at a rate delivering 2 floors per week – 600m2. The modules provided a fully weathered unit allowing internal and external works to proceed in parallel. The building has achieved a BREEAM Excellent rating and post completion acoustic testing has shown rooms with 5dB above building regulations.



Urban Splash for its hoUSe system hoUSe is a pioneering newbuild, flexible property that can be configured according to buyers’ preference, budget and lifestyle. Appointing RIBA-registered studio, shedkm to design a housing concept unlike any other, the first hoUSes were then constructed offsite by SIG Building Systems as a series of volumetric timber-framed shells that are delivered to site complete and only require a ‘zip-up’ process and connection of services. The timberbased construction is relatively lightweight, therefore reducing the size of foundations. Customers get the front door, back door, garden, parking space and all the amenities that you would expect from a newbuild house – but with the added architect-designed, flexible, Urban Splash elements added in.



Arup for Pinewood Studios Arup - in partnership with manufacturer Rubner Holzbau and B & K Structures – designed, manufactured and installed a full facade and roof package for five new sound stages at Pinewood Studios – part of the first phase of the expansion and development programme for the studios. The Pinewood challenge was to deliver the film stages and associated infrastructure in one year to exacting acoustic standards required for film production on a tight budget. Offsite prefabrication of the timber wall and roof cassettes reduced the typical programme for constructing a stage by 30%, due to halving the envelope installation time.

PUBLIC SECTOR PROJECT OF THE YEAR WSP Parsons Brinckerhoff for Alder Hey Children’s Hospital Alder Hey Children’s Hospital is the only hospital in a park in Europe, and sets a new benchmark for the delivery of modern healthcare for children. The purpose-built, £250m development is one of the most ambitious medical construction projects ever undertaken in the UK, and Laing O’Rourke’s fastest ever hospital build. This sustainable, world-class hospital for children and young people treats 275,000 patients every year and features 16 digitally enhanced operating theatres and 270 beds. The new 45,000m2 building replaces the Victorian facility next door which will now be demolished, recycled and transformed back into parkland.




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Willmott Dixon & Scape Group for Sunesis™ Sunesis™ is a JV between Scape Group and Willmott Dixon. Sunesis is not a specific form of construction, flatpack or portable cabin type building. SunesisTM is the synergy of a variety of understood building systems, integrated into construction designs to capitalise on the attributes of each, to produce the best offsite solution for a customer’s individual education requirements. Developed to industry standard BIM Level 2 - all Sunesis designs have been engineered to represent an optimum point between efficiency, cost in use and design. This concept delivers new schools for a fixed price with absolute certainty of specification and programme.



HTA Design LLP HTA Design LLP is a highly successful design consultancy to the residential sector, in existence for 47 years and committed to the use of offsite manufacturing in our projects. For over a decade they have built up a portfolio of projects that are prefabricated offsite, award winning and include high quality and sustainable homes. This combination gives us an industry leading competence in this field, and we have seen our business in this area growing year on year. They have completed a wide range of project types using modular construction including a hotel, affordable homes, private rental homes and 1300 student homes.



SES Engineering Services for 5&6 Wellington Place Work on the delivery of M&E services at 6 Wellington Place began in April 2015 and took a total of 10 months, with works on 5 Wellington Place commencing in November 2015. Without the benefit of SES’ market-leading offsite technology, estimates of the timeframe would have been significantly longer by 16 weeks. The modules were delivered onsite and installed across all five storeys at 5 Wellington Place and across three storeys at the fivestorey 6 Wellington Place by a team of six operatives making it one of the biggest offsite challenges in Yorkshire.


2017 AWARDS There has already been a large amount of attention focused on 2017 Awards, which will be returning in June. Keep up to date with everything happening on the Awards and the 2017 Judging Panel at: www.offsiteawards.co.uk







Pinnacle is the leading global total solution provider of steel framing technology ! Pinnacle researches and develops world’s most advanced robotic machines for steel framing industry. Pinnacle provides BIM, 3D Modelling, Detailing, Calculation, Revit Compatible, CAM NC Capable software package to its clients from all over the world.

Tel. +33 607175880 / a.coelho@pinnacleLGS.com / www.pinnacleLGS.com


BREAKING BARRIERS TO BETTER DESIGN It is no coincidence that a number of housing schemes are being built using offsite construction, whether using component parts, pods, structurally insulated panels (SIPS) or bespoke insitu concrete systems. These modular and offsite ways of improving the built environment are beginning to reduce build costs and construction times while minimising pressure on the shortage of skilled workforces. The potential for high quality results, combined with improved built performance, is a real advantage, but there are also a number of sustainability benefits to be explored.

1 Offsite methods have a crucial role to play in the design quality of housing and across the wider sustainability agenda. Clare Murray, Head of Sustainability at Levitt Bernstein and UK Green Building Council (UK-GBC) Future Leader alumni reveals how. 32


Often sustainability is seen as a battle between reducing carbon emissions and project cost, however, offsite construction is one of the few examples where both can be achieved in harmony. While the fundamental layout design of homes will remain broadly the same, whether built traditionally or not, the quality of the result is where offsite construction comes into its own, with improved thermal performance and assurance of high airtightness levels. Another sustainability advantage is the increased use of timber, such as cross laminated timber (CLT) and SIPS. These options provide the industry with robust renewable and low carbon materials capable of accelerating sustainable design. In addition to this, there is huge potential for construction waste reduction, reduced embodied carbon and the use of cradle-tocradle materials, which are notoriously difficult to monitor and track on site. For years the industry has persevered with the collection of Green Guide Ratings, environmental management and timber certifications for each material used – this is before even looking at the embodied carbon, lifecycle assessments and volatile organic compounds (VOCs). It is fair to say that design teams have high aspirations for sustainable sourcing of materials but lack the resources and available data to track materials sufficiently.

UK GREEN BUILDING COUNCIL This is where factory construction has the capability to closely select and control material provenance and certification from large sheet materials down to small components. In this respect, offsite construction presents a wealth of untapped potential for optimising the construction process to achieve resource efficiency, indoor air quality targets and the use of locally sourced materials.

As the industry develops, it is these global aspects that will be brought to the forefront of the sustainability agenda to encourage progress that has been previously difficult to make. Where do we need to be cautious? For the environmental design of homes it is important that offsite methods, such as volumetric modular systems, remain as flexible as possible and are used in a responsible way. There is a clear cost and time saving to be had on repetitive modular runs, but we must take account of the need for variance in environmental design response.

Although take-up can be a slow process, as with any industry change, due in part by lack of experience, the industry will grow as upfront costs begin to fall. Tender returns for projects, unless guided by clients or design teams to specifically seek offsite methods, often result in a lucky dip of traditional construction methods with the occasional surprise offsite construction technique. The hope as the industry progresses is that clients and design teams will be faced with a healthy mixture of construction technologies appropriate for the building types being tendered. The huge automated factories popping up across the country by companies who have invested in the long term production of offsite methods should go a long way to accelerate this process.

Orientation, site location and context play a huge part in design and therefore how comfortable and enjoyable homes are. A one size fits all solution to façade design and home layout goes against good environmental design, leading to excess solar heat gain and loss, among other considerations like views, privacy or choice. Of course, as long as these issues are considered early on and we adapt the modules to fit design, rather than designs to fit modules.

What does the future hold? There is a clear pressure on the speed of housing delivery to keep up with the demand, but the question for the industry is how best to resolve this. We are seeing positive steps towards improving education and upskilling around offsite construction methods. The recently announced strategic partnership between the Supply Chain Sustainability School and the UK-GBC is an important move, as they work together to raise awareness and embed sustainability right across the supply chain. Through elements such as UK-GBC’s growing focus on innovation, and the School’s recently published Design for Manufacture and Assembly (DfMA) overlay for the RIBA Plan of Work, we can foster a much deeper understanding across the industry of the benefits and practicalities of offsite construction and other innovative approaches. 

As with any construction type the result is only as good as the workmanship and products used. Offsite methods have a distinct advantage in this respect, but it will only take a few bad experiences to make the industry cautious. The advantage for offsite currently is that the onsite methods are experiencing skills shortages, which can cause a drop in the build quality and speed of construction.

It is likely that a mix of construction methods will always provide the most choice, including both traditional and ‘modern’ methods. However, offsite construction has the greatest potential to achieve the wider sustainability goals for using appropriate materials and reducing waste simultaneously. For more information visit: www.ukgbc.org www.levittbernstein.co.uk



3 This rooftop extension provides an additional 49 new postgraduate study bedrooms to an existing hall of residence for University College London. An offsite volumetric modular construction was used to keep construction time to a minimum and works were completed within one academic year. Each bedroom was fitted out in the factory with an ensuite bathroom pod, desk, wardrobe and light fittings. Once in position, the units were clad with glazed facades, designed to create a layered appearance and use natural and artificial light to animate the built elevations. Images: 01. Modules can be easily craned into position with huge project time savings ©Levitt Bernstein 02-03. John Dodgson House, Camden, London ©Jack Hobhouse




BBA GETS BIM READY With 50 years of unrivalled expertise in building and construction certification, the British Board of Agrément (BBA) has launched a new BIM-related initiative meaning that they can now certify that a BIM object reflects its real life counterpart. The BBA is one of the UK’s leading notified bodies offering approval, certification and test services to manufacturers of products and systems supplying the construction industry and is leading the way in setting new standards for BIM model use, with some much-needed, positive implications within the industry as a whole. Over the last ten years or so, the building and construction industry, like virtually everybody else, has been enjoying all the technical advancements of a digital age. A big part of that has been the introduction of BIM and the considerable benefits to architects and specifiers of the virtual world that has been created to make product selection infinitely quicker and easier. Manufacturers, too, see the advantages of placing their products in BIM models for easy selection. Their customers, who they may never even meet, select one of their window frames for instance, check the detail on the BIM object information spec and, if it’s what they want – Bob’s your uncle. The trouble is, Bob isn’t always your uncle. Sometimes he’s not even remotely related to what you really want. That’s when the specifier/ architect becomes frustrated, and with good reason, because having sought out the pre-selected BIM object, they discover the window frame is the wrong size, so they need to begin the whole process all over again. 34

This is where the BBA have spotted an opportunity to be of assistance. Our latest offer provides BBA/BIM object Verification and Approval, meaning that if a specifier spots a BIM object they want, and it has a BBA Approved tag on it, they know the information spec will be correct and the product will be exactly what they want. This saves time and eradicates the possibilities of frustration. Moreover, the manufacturer who wants its product to be chosen over the competition can rest easy, knowing he’s got a BBA logo on his BIM object to signify its validation with regard to detail. BBA/BIM Approval eradicates a frustrating issue that has been spoiling an otherwise successful and highly useful development in modern building technology. It’s the kind of thing the BBA are experts at pulling off, with over 50 years’ experience in product certification and a reputation for getting it right every time, matching the spec on BIM products against their real life counterpart is going to be right up our virtual street. Many years ago, who would have thought that many essential parts of a building, including structural framework can be prefabricated in a quality controlled factory environment, then delivered to the site for erection or installation? Of course, it would lead to mayhem if those items turned out to be the wrong thing entirely, especially


if the product is new to market and hasn’t been properly tested. So someone needs to make sure that all the products being constructed offsite are fit for purpose, and that person should be an industry expert. For half a century BBA have been testing, assessing and providing Agrement Certificates for products in the building and construction industry, and our experience in this field is second to none. These certificates are widely read and respected by industry decision-makers wishing to select innovative products that have been thoroughly assessed by the BBA. Our assessors have years of experience in evaluating offsite construction and we are currently assessing many new systems. Of course, our main consideration has to be Building Regulations as set out for England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland, but we go much further than that. We want to make sure that a system is not only waterproof, warm and structurally sound; it has to be durable, too. No-one wants to buy a system with a short-life expectancy, so we seek to ensure that it will last for an appropriate period of time. Our assessments are not simply desk exercises. We carry out and supervise testing and go out to the factory to check that the system specification is properly documented and controlled. We want to make sure that the specification we approve is capable of being produced consistently. We also go out on site to see units being offloaded and installed. What may seem simple in a dry office or factory can be a different story on a building site. The data from our testing, factory inspections and site surveillance is then combined to allow us to make a judgement that the requirements of Building Regulations and other statutory or non-statutory documents can be achieved by the system. The BBA makes sure new developments are rigorously monitored, so that the people who use them can do so in the happy knowledge that they are safe and fit for purpose. For more information on BBA and the BBA BIM object certification for manufacturers visit: www.bbacerts.co.uk

A site for sore eyes

Looking at the advantages of BBA Certification As you well know, major construction work on building sites involves a huge amount of product and materials checking, not least to make sure everything meets the exacting requirements of building regulations. This can be stressful at the best of times and a helping hand is always welcome. That’s why more and more people are coming to the BBA for off-site certification of their products. For many years now, our work in the offsite construction sector has brought peace of mind to hundreds of architects and manufacturers alike. BBA Agrément Certificates are widely read and respected by industry decision-makers who want to select innovative products that have been thoroughly assessed by the BBA. Our assessors have decades of experience in evaluating Offsite Construction, and we are currently assessing many new systems, adding to the many already approved including insulated concrete formwork, SIPs and framed systems. Of course, our main focus is on the requirements of Building Regulations — not just in England and Wales, but also in Scotland and Northern Ireland. But we go much further than that. We want to ensure that a system is not only waterproof, warm and structurally sound; it has to be durable, too. No-one wants to buy a system with a short life expectancy, so we seek to ensure that it will last for an appropriate period of time.

Neither are our assessments simply desk exercises. As well as testing, we go out to the factory to check system documentation and control, making sure that the specification we approve is capable of being produced consistently. We also go out on site to see units being offloaded and installed. That’s because we know that what may seem simple when explained in a dry office or factory can turn out to be very different on a building site. Once we have gathered data from testing, factory inspections and site surveillance, we consider how we can use it to establish that the requirements of Building Regulations and other statutory or non-statutory documents have been met. BBA Agrément Certificates are regarded as quite simply the best assurances you can get for your off-site products. With BBA’s 50 years of unrivalled expertise in building and construction certification, it’s easy to see why. clientservices@bba.star.co.uk www.bbacerts.co.uk 01923 665300




Is offsite on the brink of becoming a ‘brand’? Certainly it is gaining traction with success underpinned by new technology and the ‘circular economy’ to provide cleaner, cost-effective sustainable and efficient construction. Explore Offsite Futures held at the Birmingham NEC in November 2016 covered all of this and the changing attitude to factory manufacture. Explore Offsite Futures was hailed as a great success by the 250 construction clients, architects, engineers and contractors, who attended the conference. The professionals gathered to share their views on how offsite construction technology could play a vital role in the future of the construction industry and was the fourth and final 2016 instalment in the series – with the previous events focusing on a range of vertical markets.


One of the many highlights of the day was keynote speaker Tom Bloxham MBE, Chairman of Urban Splash, who expressed great support for offsite manufacture and construction. When creating Urban Splash Tom Bloxham emphasised the power of creating a brand and explained that ‘offsite’ could be on the way to being a solid brand name – one that promotes architectural concerns at one end and technological advances and systemisation at the other.


Tom was speaking on behalf of Urban Splash and believes that modular construction can improve the quality of housing everywhere. “Offsite construction is the future,” said Tom. “It will change the way we build our homes going forward. Urban Splash wants to work with partners to produce modular homes and, ultimately, we want offsite manufacture to dominate the way we build our homes and in turn, generate 70-80% of our business turnover going forward. Modular construction can really help quality and bring building costs down and make the world a slightly better place.”

EXPLORE OFFSITE FUTURES The afternoon keynote speaker was Mark Farmer, CEO of Cast Consultancy who spoke passionately about his recent government commissioned report ‘Modernise or Die: The review of the UK construction labour model.’ Discussing the report, Mark outlined that in order for the offsite sector to become a mature market – producing in excess of 50,000 residential units per year – it needs be characterised by a diverse supply market, have major private investment in order to capitalise, and support research and development. “The traditional industry has fallen over,” he said. “It has become completely dysfunctional and the issues within the industry are seriously impacting every part of the supply chain. For more on Mark Farmer’s thoughts – see page 8 Organisations including Aecom, Chapman Taylor, Skanska, CoBuilder, One Creative Environments, Carillion Building and representatives from Heathrow Airport provided a wide range of perspectives from different sectors with all speakers hailing offsite construction as a key way of addressing the current construction skills shortages whilst achieving rapid progression across the built environment.

Tim Houghton, Programme Director, Airport Resilience Development at Heathrow Airport, provided a client viewpoint, explaining how offsite can also be used as a temporary solution to assist with construction work, as well as a permanent solution especially through the use of toilet pods – where everything is plug and play – and modular units for hold baggage screening and flight connections centres of particular note. Although airports continue to be dominated as architectural statements as structures, there is no reason why much of the interior layouts cannot be modular-based. Tim said: “There are thousands of opportunities for offsite to be utilised at an airport, I believe everything within an airport can be modular. There is nothing inside that cannot be manufactured offsite.”

A busy and successful day had one overarching theme and one that all speakers were in mutual agreement: the offsite sector is at a genuine tipping point of success and has never been talked about so much. Mark Farmer summarised this saying: “There is a lot of talk but ultimately we all need to be out there doing our best. This is a long haul but I do believe we are at an interesting point where everyone in the offsite industry can influence and change things. Offsite is in the shop window – a public failure is not an option.”

The day concluded with B & K Structures, FP McCann, Fusion Build, Elements Europe, BCM, Portakabin and Lakesmere, taking part in a series of quick fire, 10-minute soap box sessions where they pitched their technology contributions and ways they are investing within the offsite industry and creating products and systems they believe are the future of the industry.


Dale Sinclair, Director of Technical Practice at Aecom, discussed the challenges of design for manufacture (DfMA) and gave a brief summary of the RIBA Plan of Works DfMA overlay document. Dale said: “Traditional construction is hardwired into our DNA but we need to change the way we bridge the gap between design and construction. We need to see a 50% reduction in conception to delivery. A recurring theme throughout the day, was the use of digital innovation and BIM to assist with the growth of the offsite industry. Nick Tune, CEO of CoBuilder, discussed how to ‘set your data free’ and without recognising the importance of data, the industry will be unable to achieve its maximum potential. The way forward in a global marketplace with data structured and shared on many different platforms is that needs to a global language. It is not just about BIM and 3D modelling but about the information, properties and data behind those objects being shared on a platform everyone can access, understand and share.

3 Images: 01. Audience at NEC Birmingham Explore Offsite Futures 02. Mark Farmer – CEO of Cast Consultancy 03. Tom Bloxham MBE – Chairman of Urban Splash

Keep up to date with the 2017 series of Explore Offsite events at: www.exploreoffsite.co.uk







1 With light gauge steel at the heart of the project, Enderby Wharf is transforming London’s Greenwich skyline and has been described as a ‘frontier development’. Enderby Wharf makes up a significant part of the regeneration of the historic Greenwich area of London. The overall scheme involves a redevelopment of the site to provide a jetty for a cruise liner terminal, a 251 bedroom hotel with a restaurant and conference facilities, a skills and training academy, crèche and gym, communal units, tourist and leisure facilities, as well as 700 houses and public realm works. The project is a joint venture between main contactors – Barratt Homes and Morgan Stanley Real Estate – who are working on the residential aspect of the scheme, while Morgan Stanley are also working with West Properties on the cruise liner terminal. Light gauge steel offers significant improvements in design capability and as an offsite manufactured solution, it is not adversely affected by severe weather – delivering both cost and programme certainty.


The site is based in an ideal position in Greenwich with west-facing views to the City and Canary Wharf, providing over 200 metres of river frontage. The residential development comprises one, two and three-bedroom apartments and penthouses, priced from around £425,000 up to £800,000. Apartments included in the later phases feature at least one balcony or terrace – providing both lighting and space, as well as views of either Greenwich, Canary Wharf or towards The O2 Arena. The River Thames runs right past the build – giving some apartments a fantastic waterfront views. The development is the first of its kind in the area and is a key aspect of the overall redevelopment of Greenwich. As the project is a large residential development, the key driver for the build was speed of construction to ultimately achieve a faster return on investment. Following planning permission, community engagement was carried out by communications consultancy, HardHat, throughout the construction process. This involved construction liaison meetings with local residents, distribution of news bulletins updating local community on site progress, as well as the creation of a dedicated community hotline and email address answering resident queries and concerns.


3 EOS Facades provided standard infill SFS, across several large blocks of the high-rise development. Challenges during construction included meeting the insulation requirements and the robustness of the envelope specification. These challenges were overcome by adapting the section sizes and an engineered solution was developed to meet the specification detailing. Installer Stanmore, received extensive training in the EOS systems to enable them to detail and design the works. Due to the company’s long-standing relationship with Stanmore and supply chain agreements, EOS were able to achieve manufacturing lead times of less than five days. Maximising offsite technology, the rapid build programme offered the developer a faster return on investment, as apartments were finished, sold and ready for occupation, earlier than could be achieved using traditional construction methods. For more information visit: www.eos-facades.co.uk

Images: 01. Enderby Wharf. Courtesy EOS Facades 02-03. Light gauge steel framing systems deliver optimum offsite performance. Courtesy EOS Facades



As pioneers of light gauge steel construction, EOS Facades specialise in the design, manufacture and supply of a wide range of steel sections for panelised or volumetric offsite solutions The combination of strength, durability and precision engineering enables innovative solutions and optimises value engineering, resulting in reduced cost and superior quality. The EOS range of sections and systems ensure there is a product solution to suit most offsite and SFS requirements. If you have a project in mind then why not challenge EOS Facades to help value engineer the most efficient solution for you?

T: 01325 303030 E: enquiries@eosuk.org www.eos-facades.co.uk





EOS Facades


MODULAR CONSTRUCTION AND THE CIRCULAR ECONOMY The circular economy is an increasingly promoted alternative to our profligate ‘make, use, dispose’ economy. Mark Lawson of the Steel Construction Institute (SCI) illustrates how modular construction is in many ways a perfect example of the circular economy in building practice, as the asset and resource value of the modules is maintained over potentially many cycles of use. The circular economy is based on a paradigm that resources are kept in use for as long as possible, the maximum value is extracted from them during their use, and then they are re-used at the end of each service life cycle. In the modern urban world, there are also demands for buildings of relatively short-term use for which ‘design for de-construction and re-use’ is part of their initial design concept. Some common examples of where whole buildings or parts of buildings may have to be disassembled, moved and re-used are: • Schools with short-term demands, where future re-modelling of the school and even later moving of buildings on the same site is facilitated by use of modular classrooms, toilet and specialist blocks. • Universities, which have demands for student accommodation often on-campus, where future re-planning of the campus may require that these buildings have to be demounted and reassembled at some time. This was the thinking behind one of the first modular buildings at Manchester’s Royal School of Music which was designed to be fully demountable. 40

• Hospitals, particularly in urban areas, where there is urgent need for specialist facilities which require that existing medical buildings are extended using modules. This meets today’s needs but gives the health trust time to make decisions about building new facilities in the medium term that may also include the same modules with their specialist medical equipment. • Car parks and developments next to railway stations or on disused/ brownfield land that often use modular components such as stairs and lifts and may support lowrise modular units for residential use at podium level. These sites may have medium-term planning approval but may well subject to a longer term strategic planning requirement, and so maintaining the asset value of the buildings whilst meeting today’s needs is important. • Buildings for short-term use, for example during major renovation of urban areas, or creation of semipermanent ‘villages’ for long-term construction projects, such as that announced recently for Hinckley Point.


Modular construction has many advantages and some factors that must be considered in design in terms of multiple cycles of uses. Modules are generally lightweight depending on their form of construction, and they weigh as little as 200 kg/m2 floor area (5 Tonnes for a typical 25m² module). A 35 or 50 Tonne mobile crane may be required for installation and demounting, depending on the boom for radius of lifting (20 m is typical). Where modules are manufactured as room-sized units, such as in hotels and student residences, their long sides act as load-bearing walls. Where modules are required to create larger spaces, they are manufactured with corner posts and edge beams. Transportation generally requires that modules are less than 4.2m in width although they can be as long as 12 to 15m long depending on local access to the site. Modules are connected generally at their corners, and for ease of demounting, these connections should be bolted and accessible from outside the modules. This also applies to the lifting points. Other features of modular construction that enhance the circular economy argument are; reducing waste and disposal costs, improving productivity; delivering a more competitive economy; reducing demand for scarce resources; reducing environmental impacts in both construction and demolition. The materials used in modules also have a long life as the modules are weather protected during transport and installation, so no drying out and shrinkage or cracking occurs over time. Furthermore, the build standard is high and any defects are picked up by the QA process and corrected before delivery. Facades can be in the form of ‘rain screen’ cladding that is attached via sub-frame to the modules. The modules are also very airtight and highly insulated so perform well thermally and acoustically. Specialist equipment can be built in and tested before delivery, which is especially important in the medical sector.

STEEL In the modern urban world, there are also demands for buildings of relatively short-term use for which ‘design for de-construction and re-use’ is part of their initial design concept.

1 The economics of design for demounting and reassembly of semipermanent modular buildings is also interesting and should be investigated if the concept of multiple cycles of use is to be developed further. It might be expected that there is a small cost premium on the original design and construction of the building to facilitate demounting, for example, by use of pre-fabricated cladding and accessible service installations. Furthermore each cycle of use also adds a further cost in demounting, transport, storage and re-building. A key factor is whether the land is provided ‘free’ or for a small rent in the medium-term, given that the land will return to the owner in the longer term (often a local authority or University or heath trust). The additional costs of demounting and rebuilding in the second and further cycles of use can be factored into the business and value model. The following additional costs in demountable buildings are only personal estimates, and address semipermanent buildings rather than hire buildings which are a quite separate existing market. It might be expected that the cost of each further cycle of use of a semi-permanent demountable residential building after the initial construction may be broken down into the following broad areas:


It would also be sensible to build-in some form of on-site power generation and water recycling as part of the design concept in order to reduce the impact on local services. The rapid demounting and reassembly system also limits local disruption during the building process, which is an increasingly important issue if planning approvals are to be speeded up. An average installation rate of six modules per day can be achieved and so a 50-unit development may also take only three to four weeks to complete, depending on access to services and the site clearance and preparation that may be required.


Cost of features built in to facilitate prefabrication, demounting and re-use

+1 to 3%

Cost in demounting and short term storage

+5 to 6%

Transport costs between sites (some delay between site availability)

+2 x 2%

Re-assembly on new site, assuming some site clearance/ preparation

+6 to 9%

Refurbishment costs of modules between cycles

+3 to 5 %

Additional foundations, landscaping and service installation per cycle

+6 to 8%

Estimated total cost per cycle of use after construction

+ 25 to 35%

Given that as-built costs of a permanent residential building may be about £1500/m² floor area, it follows that the cost of each further cycle of use may be £400 to 500/m². In many urban areas, land costs are similar to or higher than build costs, and so it follows that if the land is provide free or at a small ground rent, three cycles of use of a demountable but semipermanent building are within the cost profile of a permanent residential building in which the land is purchased as part of the development. Further ‘economy of scale’ in manufacture of multiple similar demountable buildings will further reduce their costs significantly.

2 The circular economy arguments for offsite construction systems in general are compelling and it would be useful to gain more information on the opportunities for demountable semi-permanent buildings and their economic or business drivers. For more information visit: www.steel-sci.com Email feedback comments to Mark Lawson at: m.lawson@steel-sci.com Images: 01. The Royal Northern College of Music, Manchester was designed to be fully demountable using room-sized modules 02. Y-Cube semi-permanent modular building is based on a three-storey assembly of modular units with deck access in which all the components are designed to the prefabricated, easily assembled, demounted, moved and reassembled.





PRECAST CONCRETE: DELIVERING OFFSITE BENEFITS WITH CONFIDENCE So you want to choose offsite construction? Knowing that project team members are wary of the risks of being early adopters of new technology and being exposed to new suppliers? Andrew Minson, Executive Director MPA-British Precast, provides a Top 10 on how precast concrete can overcomes these concerns. Product Standards: Precast concrete has long established standards for products through BSI and many of these are harmonised across Europe through CEN. Therefore many precast products are CE marked as normal practice. This enables designers and project teams to specify their offsite products with greater confidence. This also equips contractors with the information to receive offsite products with the right quality and performance parameters. Design Codes: The Eurocode suite of design codes by CEN with UK national Annexes by BSI have now replaced the British codes which have been withdrawn and are no longer maintained. Designers 42

can use these Eurocodes with offsite precast products because the precast product standards and design codes have been developed simultaneously with the purpose of being consistent with each other. A Robust Supply Chain: The membership of British Precast is extensive with many members producing a wide range of products. This provides project teams and contractors with a competitive supply chain. This is beneficial at tender stage and reassuring so that the project is not reliant on any one possible supplier. Precast concrete is a local product. The majority of precast used in the UK is made in the UK.


This reduces the risk to exchange rate fluctuation, transport problems, communication problems and difficulties in inspecting products prior to leaving the factory. A Responsible Supply Chain: Society in general is familiar with the concept of fairtrade. Responsible sourcing is the equivalent term used within the construction sector. British Precast members provide responsibly sourced products. With the BRE BES 6001 scheme, the British Precast Charters for Sustainability and Health and Safety all of which operate under UK employment laws, our clients can fully address risk by choosing from the British Precast supply chain.

Delivering efficiency and competitive advantage for offsite manufacturing businesses We develop and improve: • Business strategies • Product & service portfolios • Manufacturing operations • Supply-chain integration • Business processes • Management systems • Marketing strategies • Sales routes to market

Do you want to be more efficient, more competitive and more profitable?

Call us on 01743 290001, email us at info@cogent-consulting.co.uk or visit our website at www.cogent-consulting.co.uk


2 Durability/Robustness During Construction: Is there a better material for ease of transport and delivery to a building site than concrete when it comes to being durable and robust? It does not require the same protection from weather and impacts as lightweight solutions do. Longevity During Operation: The same precast concrete properties of durability and robustness also deliver a low maintenance long lasting offsite solution reducing risks during operation and of client concern over the enduring value of the asset. Fire Resistance During Construction: timber frame can solutions pose higher risks. The timber industry to their credit has introduced extensive measures to be adopted by clients, designers and manufacturers to try and address these risks. The Health & Safety Executive (HSE) advises that there is a duty of care to reduce risk through design. This can most effectively be done by choosing concrete and avoiding unnecessary fire load. Some local authorities are trying to introduce information plates for buildings which are timber framed. The choice of precast concrete offsite solutions reduces fire risks and those of clients and helps them meet their legal CDM requirements.


Overheating Resilience: The Zero Carbon Hub may have been wound up in 2016, but their warnings to government of the risks of overheating should be heeded. Responsible developers and informed building owners such as housing associations are increasingly aware of the major risk of future overheating. With the right design the inherent thermal mass of precast concrete is ideally suited to absorb heat to reduce peak temperatures. This overheating risk is recognised in the building regulations and the benefit of thermal mass accounted for in the associated SAP calculation tool. Long Lead-in: Offsite solutions have the disadvantage of requiring a longer lead in period. During this lead in period, onsite in-situ concrete works can be carried out: for example, foundations and the ground floor. Insitu concrete and precast concrete can be designed and constructed together seamlessly – same design codes, same material properties and same jointing principals Non-repetitive Elements: With precast concrete offsite solutions, the one-offs can be cost effectively created with onsite in-situ concrete. For example, an entrance in an accommodation block or a foyer in a commercial premises may not be suitable for factory production but can be cast onsite as precast elements are installed elsewhere on the project.


3 PCE delivered a multi-functional building for Volkswagen over five floors delivering areas for a showroom, service centre, offices and car parking (7300m2) to a busy congested London site. They worked with main contractor Longcross to win the project with an alternative tender by proposing a precast solution. This solution utilised innovative GT slabs, box units for stair/ lift cores, removed a central row of columns, reduced lorry loads, reduced operatives on site, incorporated architectural circular white columns and delivered the project earlier. Furthermore, 3-D modelling during design and tight production control avoided clashes and erection delays. The project is a credit to PCE and their precast manufacturer suppliers, British Precast members: FP McCann, Evans Concrete, Banagher Precast and Ebor Concrete. For more information visit: www.britishprecast.org Images: 01. Burntwood School has an impressive precast façade 02. Mint Hotel (now Double Tree) used offsite panels with windows pre-installed 03. Volkswagen Car Showroom Service Centre by PCE Limited

Precast Architectural & Structural Solutions fpmccann.co.uk/architectural-structural | sales@fpmccann.co.uk At FP McCann, we believe in working with you as a partner from the start, which means offering our expertise in designing and manufacturing rooms to suit every individual project. Far from being an off-the-shelf solution, our architectural and structural solutions are made-to-measure, whilst maintaining our design philosophies and standard details. Our precast concrete crosswall construction is a fast and convenient way to produce multi-unit structures such as hotels, education, student, secure and health accommodation, private and social housing in a fraction of the time of traditionally built structures.

Alma Park Road Grantham Lincolnshire NG31 9SE

Tel. 01476 562277

King’s Lane Byley Middlewich Cheshire CW10 9NB

Tel. 01606 843500

Precast Concrete Off-Site Solutions


PRECAST FOR PERFECTION As part of the 2016 Inside Offsite factory tour programme, precast concrete specialists FP McCann opened up its Byley manufacturing facility to showcase its key offsite technology and explain the ways precast concrete is contributing to a more efficient and effective built environment.

1 In 2015, FP McCann strengthened its structural and architectural precast concrete arm with the acquisition of Buchan Concrete Products, strengthening FP McCann’s role as one of the UK’s leading construction materials and civil engineering companies. Its Byley site is now an important facet of its modular building network, generating a range of offsite products including its successful insulated precast sandwich panels. Since absorbing Buchan Concrete Products, FP McCann has become a key operator in the design, manufacture and installation of many precast products including internal walls, floors and ceilings panels. With further capital investment in new machinery at both Byley and the Grantham operations planned, this is set to boost production levels and increase its structural precast building capacity, as both works seek to become even more automated and provide building elements for the pivotal education, hotels, apartments and custodial markets. 46

At the heart of the Byley operation are the architectural precast concrete insulated sandwich panels. These are clad either with a brick-facing or are acid-etched to bespoke design specification. Other architectural precast concrete products complementing the sandwich panels include lintels, columns, facades, soffits and balconies. The insulated precast sandwich panels provide a ready-made external envelope with a variety of finishes. This eliminates many of the pitfalls associated with traditional building methods utilising ‘traditional’ techniques and employing siteintensive wet trades. The panels comprise an outer leaf of precast concrete, an insulating layer and a structural inner leaf of plain grey concrete that is power floated to a smooth internal finish. The external skin is connected to this and supported by the internal skin using proprietary plastic ties – these have a low thermal conductivity that eliminates potential cold bridging.


2 The thickness of the insulation can be modified in order to accommodate any required U-value. The shape, thickness and size of the concrete can also be made to meet the requirements of any project specifics and client requirements. In keeping with all offsite methods, insulated sandwich panels can be used to reduce erection periods by weeks and generally improve onsite safety. The ability to fit various facades, windows and insulation during manufacture also reduces the need for numerous followon trades and crucially often eliminates the need for scaffolding. The beauty of the precast systems is that the main load bearing structure is complete within weeks and protected from the weather. Also in production is the precast crosswall structural system. This comprises of a series of concrete panels that form the entire building envelope with internal, structural loadbearing and partition walls, external walls and floor slabs. The external walls can consist of just the inner leaf

INSIDE OFFSITE – FP MCCANN Images: 01-02. Precast panels have openings ‘cast in’ ready to house a range of products 03-04. A range of different finishes can be applied to insulated sandwich panels 05. Precast products ready for loading and transportation 06. The Byley site is central to FP McCann’s precast range




Thermal Mass – thermal mass is concrete’s ability to absorb and hold heat and to release it in a controlled way, thus smoothing out the temperature variations within the building over a 24-hour cycle and throughout the year. This thermal stability provides a more consistent internal environment and can reduce energy costs. Acoustic Performance – precast concrete has excellent acoustic performance. It has the inherent mass, stiffness and damping properties necessary to effectively reduce the transmission of both airborne and impact sound. Concrete has one of the highest damping properties of any structural material.

4 concrete finish or include the insulated precast sandwich panels. Precast in vertical battery moulds, the wall panels can have openings for a range of fittings pre-cut and ‘cast in’ inside the factory, such as openings for smoke detectors – known to be an important fitting for prison schemes. Underfloor heating can also be factory-installed, then pressure-tested in the factory to ensure a reliable defect-free system. Window and door openings are pre-formed in the panels and service conduit channels can be added prior to installation showcasing the benefits of offsite thinking. The Byley works is producing approximately 12-14 panels a day with 6-8 insulated sandwich panels a day. If planned for vertical construction the precast panels are always lifted vertically in the factory and stored vertically – likewise if meant for a final horizontal position. The panels are then cured for 28 days before final loading, transportation and installation. “We do believe offsite is the way forward,” says FP McCann’s

6 Neil Magner. “Looking to the future, the hotel sector is really growing and we are seeing the insulated sandwich panels going into higher buildings. The exterior finishes are constantly evolving and with the windows factory-installed, it means we can deliver an efficient scaffold-free build. This is especially important with city centre projects where tight space requirements and tight timescales are often the case. These problems can both be solved using offsite methods.”

The use of FP McCann’s precast concrete system can be seen across a range of successful projects including the 330-bedroom Motel One in Manchester and present projects going through production at Byley include Keele University, a 453-bedroom student accommodation project being delivered by main contractor Seddon Construction.

Flood Resilient – with excellent flood resilience, precast concrete maintains its structural integrity. Its density resists water penetration, reducing the impact of a flood on the fabric of the building and provides building owners and insurance companies with reduced repair time and associated costs repairing flood damage. Fire Resistance – precast concrete is non-combustible. It does not add any fuel to a fire, help it to spread or produce any smoke or toxic gases. The risk of fire during and following construction is reduced and if fire occurs, the effects are likely to be less significant in terms of repair/replacement. Durability – precast concrete offers exceptional durability and long life in any structure. Concrete structures built over 100 years ago are still in active service today. Robustness – the use of precast concrete creates a robust structure that reduces the risk of damage to finishes and gives a sense of security not necessarily felt in a lightweight building. Couple this with the reduced use of plasterboard to create a living space, it can keep repair and maintenance costs down. Speedy Construction – offsite construction methods ensure buildings can be erected quickly, even in adverse weather conditions, drastically reducing construction time and associated costs and providing quicker return on investment.

For more information visit: www.fpmccann.co.uk www.insideoffsite.co.uk




RAPID FLOORING: RAPID CONSTRUCTION Combining the best of thermal insulation, concrete technology and offsite thinking, the Spantherm flooring system combines offsite efficiency with energy efficiency to great effect.

1 The discussion around skills shortages, build quality and site efficiency have been front and central to the offsite debate for several years now. However, as more and more plots must now comply with the increased demands of the Part L 2013 Building Regulations it creates an opportunity for the manufacturers of offsite products to showcase their energy efficient benefits. This is where products such as the Spantherm insulated concrete flooring system can deliver real solutions for the designer and builder alike. Designing and building energy efficiency homes capable of achieving the latest regulations can be a complex process but installing an offsite manufactured high performance insulated ground floor is always a good start. The Spantherm thermally efficient floor system is remarkable not just for its ability to deliver improvements within SAP but also because it delivers the benefits of offsite construction.

2 Offsite Installation When assessing any Part L-compliant solution, builders need to consider its impact on the overall build process and factor in any relevant cost issues associated with its use. It is during this costing process that builders appreciate the benefits of the factorybuilt unit’s rapid build features. A typical Spantherm floor is fitted onsite in less than two hours with minimal labour and achieves full structural capability with 72 hours, whilst activity could commence on perimeter walls within 24 hours. Many builders will opt to sub-contract this via a groundworker or may engage us directly in a full supply and fit deal. This represents a programme saving of around one week plus reduced installation labour when compared to other insulated flooring systems which rely on a combination on individual concrete components, insulation boards and poured surfaces.

Images: 01-03. Insulated concrete flooring systems can deliver real benefits for the designer and builder



3 Energy Efficiency Spantherm’s structural reinforced concrete structure has been designed in a way to minimise the thermal bridges at the wall to floor junctions. The unit’s high performance EPS insulation effectively reduces heat loss and both these features are essential for compliance with Part L’s flooring energy performance targets. By introducing Spantherm and its Psi-value and U-value to their energy consultant, builders will be able to evaluate the positive impact made within SAP. It is this excellent thermal efficiency created by the design of the product which gives the builder that good start to their total SAP calculation and is the very basis of a ‘Fabric First’ approach, which seeks to reduce the reliance on the use of expensive addon sustainable technologies in new homes.

While the increasing need for compliance with Part L 2013 adds complexity for the builder the good news is that offsite products like Spantherm have been specifically designed to not only meet those regulations but also simplify their build. For more information visit: www.creaghconcrete.com


GETTING ONSIDE WITH OFFSITE Referring to recent construction reports, Andrew Carpenter, Chief Executive of the Structural Timber Association (STA), outlines how structural timber frame provides a necessary pathway to modernisation for developers, contractors, architects and local authorities.

many people are led to believe and this perception needs to change, starting in the housing market.” In a further warning of the implications of not acting on these recommendations Mark Farmer states: “Unless we find some way of promoting innovation in construction and making the work less labour-intensive and more attractive to new entrants, there’s a very real danger of the construction sector going into an inexorable decline over the next few years.” As such, the structural timber frame sector is prepared for the widespread and necessary evolution in build methods. What Mark Farmer calls ‘premanufacture’ is not a recent or leftfield concept to those within the structural timber frame industry. Automated factory based manufacturing, which has been invested in to a significant level for a substantial time period, enables the sector to deliver buildings in a more cost-effective, productive and timely manner, when compared to other ‘traditional’ build methods and materials.

1 Emphasised by its subtitle – Modernise or Die – the Farmer Review did not paint the construction industry in the best light. Although it did not make for easy reading, the report itself should serve as an industry-wide wakeup call and may even mark a seminal moment for the UK construction sector. Holding no punches, the report described with clarity the severity of the challenge facing the industry at present, shining a light on many prevalent issues. Those with the willingness and gumption to face its stark reality will welcome its findings. The report, commissioned on request of the Government, found that the construction industry’s out-dated and flawed training models, aversion to 50

innovation and collaboration as well as the lack of investment in research and development was severely affecting its productivity, pool of skilled workers and ultimately its ability to deliver much needed housing. The remedy to these ills according to the report’s author and chief executive of Cast, Mark Farmer, is readily apparent: “With digital technology advancements pushing ahead in almost every other industry, the time has come for action. If you buy a new car, you expect it to have been built in a factory to exacting standards, to be delivered on time, to an agreed price and to a predetermined quality. There are more similarities between manufacturing and construction than


Prefabricated structural timber frame can be monitored at every stage of its construction and is not reliant on a multitude of other trades and factors. Allowing specific project and architectural demands to be met more easily, factory-based manufacturing moves reliance from onsite tradespeople to facilities with precision-engineered machinery. Working in a controlled, factory-based environment also safeguards the safety of employees. Prefabrication doesn’t carry the same height risks as construction carried out onsite and is not weather reliant. This is a huge benefit given the UK’s changeable climate. These factors can only help to improve the often-maligned reputation of the industry – another barrier to growth that the Farmer Review identifies. Young professionals and potential apprentices are much more likely to be attracted to an industry that is aligned with cutting-edge technology and has their welfare at the core of operating processes.

TIMBER Central to the report is a call for the continued development of skills and education. The aim is to provide attractive opportunities for school leavers, university graduates and those seeking further ‘on the job’ training by offering a diverse, rewarding and varied career path. This is a realistic goal due to the nature of offsite manufacture, which offers a significantly quicker route into construction and also provides an almost immediate solution to the skills shortage when compared to several years of training required for onsite trades. A tangible solution to the barriers the construction industry faces, those within the offsite sector should be poised for further growth and supply chain engagement.

2 Additionally, the structural timber frame sector has significant scope for growth: with the capacity to double its output if, and when required, due to a consistent strive for best practice. Steadily increasing its housing market share, up 10% since 2004, structural timber frame can be a key element in the industry’s drive to modernise – constructing buildings in a quicker, more productive and effective manner. In fact, the trend for the increasing use of timber is not isolated solely to the housing market but evidenced throughout nearly every sub-sector. For example, cross-laminated timber (CLT) is fast disrupting the established duopoly of steel and concrete in many construction markets, including low-rise commercial buildings. As a build material, CLT is energy efficient, lightweight, offers a quicker speed of build, and its excellent sustainable credentials means using it can help developers and end clients achieve better BREEAM ratings. CLT is manufactured in panels that have an odd number of softwood plank layers laid on top of each other at right angles. These panels are then glued together under pressure before the layers of timber are bonded perpendicularly to one another. It is this process of cross-lamination that provides the engineered timber solution with such exceptional dimensional stability and strength, making it an attractive and viable solution to concrete,

masonry and steel. Entire buildings or select elements such as walls, floors and roofs can be made out of these offsite manufactured panels, reducing construction time and delivering whole-life cost savings. Once transported to the construction site, the CLT panels are hoisted into position and bolted together. This results in minimum waste and a quicker and cleaner onsite construction than traditional build methods. Not resting on its laurels, the structural timber sector is attempting to drive further innovation and market growth. The recently published Confederation of Timber Industries (CTI) document, ‘The Confederation of Timber Industries: Growing Our Industrial Future’, closely aligns with some of the key tenets of the Farmer Review – addressing topics of sustainability, value and growth, skills and education along with meeting the UK’s housing needs. The CTI report, which is supported by the STA, puts forward several key policy recommendations to encourage continued and consistent growth whilst recognising the significant role the timber supply chain plays in the UK construction and manufacturing industries. Amongst the most prevalent issues highlighted are providing investment throughout the ‘Brexit’ period, ensuring new trade negotiations encourage export and the significance of keeping UK industry resilient.

Action rather than talk needs to be urgently implemented across all levels of the industry and supply chain. The findings of the Farmer Review should act as a catalyst for this change, driving positive disruption and embracing the unquestionable merits of offsite manufacture and prefabrication – the safest, most proficient, costeffective and time efficient method of build. For more information visit: www.structuraltimber.co.uk

3 Images: 01. Banyan Wharf. Courtesy B&K Structures 02. CLT panels are a growing alternative to steel and concrete. Courtesy KLH UK 03. Structural timber is a flexible and sustainable material. Courtesy Kingspan Timber Solutions





CONSTRUCTION WITH A FOREST & OFFSITE ETHOS The extension to Mellor Primary School, recently won the Best Education Project and landed the overall Judge’s Choice award at the Structural Timber Awards 2016. The project provided a series of exciting and stimulating new spaces based on the school’s ‘Forest School’ ethos and showcased timber and offsite manufacture at its best. Mellor Primary School is a popular and successful school in the Cheshire village of Mellor, close to the Peak District national park. As pupil numbers have grown, Sarah Wigglesworth Architects were commissioned to design an extension to the existing school building, which was originally built in 1995. The low energy building aims to harmonise with its natural setting, using locally sourced natural materials.


The extension is in effect a ‘tree house’: a cluster of pitched roof forms set on a deck extending out into the landscape. Tree-like glulam frames support not only the deck but also the roofs internally and canopies externally, making a visual connection between internal and external spaces. The new classroom and library enjoy views into the surrounding tree canopy, and external deck areas can be used as outdoor classroom space as well as for informal play. Cedar shingle cladding reflects the school’s Forest School activities and allows the expanded building to sit comfortably in its greenbelt setting.


Timber was specified as a robust and sustainable material, offering clear benefits in terms of ecological sustainability, structural performance, durability and long-term maintenance. Just as importantly, the use of timber reflects the school’s Forest School activities and allows the expanded building to sit comfortably in its greenbelt setting. All timber specified is from well-managed, renewable sources and is FSC and PEFC-certified. The external use of timber is intended to reduce long term maintenance costs for the school. The cedar cladding to the walls and roofs, for example, is a durable and attractive surface that will require minimal maintenance. It has been left untreated, and will weather gradually over time. Untreated timber


2 is inherently recyclable and some of the site waste (such as timber offcuts) was used to fill the habitat wall. Energy consumption is reduced thanks in part to improved airtightness, passive ventilation, good daylighting and a thick layer of insulation, including straw bales to the habitat wall elevation – again following the emphasis on using locally sourced natural materials wherever possible. The site adjoins an area of woodland with tall, mature trees and the tree-like glulam frames, echo the surrounding woodland and support not only the deck but also the roofs internally and canopies externally, making an expressive and visual connection between internal and external spaces. The glulam frame forms a strong visual element in the new building and makes a link between the surrounding trees and the functional properties of timber. The glulam superstructure was erected relatively quickly in the space of four days, and the timber cassettes were installed within ten days. The use of offsite fabricated components also reduced site works and mitigated some health and safety issues associated with more traditional forms of construction. A glulam timber frame, for instance, typically contains 12MH/kg embodied energy and 0.65 lgCO2/kg carbon, compared to the 25.4MH/kg embodied energy and 1.78kgCO2/kg

3 associated with steel (University of Bath Inventory of Carbon and Energy). In general, timber frame construction offers a lightweight construction method which reduces material mass and allows lighter foundations – thereby minimising the use of carbonheavy concrete. In terms of the construction programme there were benefits in using offsite fabricated timber elements: in particular the glulam frame and timber cassettes. The use of timber cassettes meant that a weather protected envelope was formed relatively quickly, allowing internal works to progress without hindrance from the weather. The cassettes and frames were constructed at ground level and then craned in, minimizing the extent of work at height. Elsewhere other innovative building materials are used – in particular straw bale insulation. This provides a low cost, sustainable and highly effective insulating material, remains faithful to the sustainability agenda of the building as a whole, and the school’s Forest School curriculum. The insulation is visible behind a corrugated rainscreen in the habitat wall and from windows inside the new classroom. It is one of a series of elements whereby the building itself is used by the school as a learning resource. All timber manufacturers were based relatively locally: timber cassettes from McVeigh Offsite in Cheshire, the glulam frame from

4 Constructional Timber in South Yorkshire and joinery by Romiley in Stockport. School Governor Andy Sokill said: “Faced with a difficult challenge – which included limited finances and a testing terrain – the architect combined brilliantly with our contractors to conjure a magical building which will delight generations of children and teachers. The tree-top type classroom dovetails perfectly into Forest School philosophy and the whole eco-inspired extension has already become the focal point of the appreciative village. This imaginative and practical addition to the school proves that, despite the constraint of constant institutional belt-tightening, it is still possible to conceive and deliver a distinctive community building.”

The school has also been recognised as a centre of excellence in the wider Forest Schools network, and is being used as an inspirational hub and demonstration project for other schools looking to place the environment at the heart of their learning. For more information visit: www.swarch.co.uk Images: 01-04. Mellor Primary School benefited from using natural materials and offsite thinking. Courtesy Sarah Wigglesworth Architects






1 Anthony Carlyle, Managing Director of IKO Polymeric, explains how offsite and modular assembly delivered a range of benefits for the Bromley Parish School Project. Parish Church of England School, owned and run by the London Borough of Bromley, was a two form entry primary school. Due to growing demand the decision was made to expand it into three form entry by adding 12 classrooms plus facilities. A modular building was the obvious answer as the components could be assembled offsite and installed when the school was quiet. Module-AR Limited won the contract and chose IKO Polymeric to provide the roofing requirements. The new building would consist of 26 modules, manufactured in Module-AR’s factory, to be assembled onsite into a single-storey building covering a footprint of over 1,000 square metres. IKO Polymeric’s Specialised Products Division had the necessary expertise to provide everything ModuleAR required to complete the roof. Using cutting edge technology we manufactured prefabricated roofing sheets fitted with premium PVC membrane Armourplan P to match the exact specifications of each module. These bespoke roofing sheets were then installed as a mechanicallyfastened roof system in Module-AR’s factory. IKO Polymeric also provided more than 30 prefabricated roof light and smoke vent details which made detailing simple, fast and effective, giving the building an outstanding modern look. Once the modules were onsite, Module-AR completed 54

the welding of the membrane joints and IKO Polymeric made the final inspection. Choosing a modular building solution provided great time savings, allowing fast track installation. It also reduced the number of workers needed onsite and caused less disruption to the school. The speed of construction and installation provided the London Borough of Bromley with programme benefits of 16 weeks – a considerable saving. Using prefabricated roofing sheets also helped to reduce material waste onsite, contributing to the overall sustainability policy of IKO Polymeric and Module-AR. Furthermore all timber used was procured through accredited FSC and PEFC suppliers. Once completed each 13m x 3.4m module was transported by lorry and delivered to the school over two weekends to avoid disruption to the day to day running of the school. Offsite construction significantly reduced the amount of construction traffic to and from the site. It also decreased the risk to staff and pupils and minimised traffic problems and disruption to the local community. One of the biggest problems facing both contractor and customer is the protection of the site’s day to day users – particularly in primary schools with very young pupils. Relocating the bulk of the process to a factory reduces the health and safety risks. It also cuts the noise and dust pollution associated with traditional construction methods – again important factors when working in a school environment.


2 In any situation where work has to take place around day-to-day activities of possibly vulnerable people – such as hospitals, clinics and schools – modular assembly can be the most effective solution. In terms of safety, minimal disruption and cost efficiency, offsite construction ticks all the boxes.

ARMOURDEK MEETS CONSTRUCTION 2025 TARGETS IKO Polymeric’s new Armourdek roof panel can be used in all construction sectors and is suitable for steel, concrete and timber frame. The new prefabricated long spanning composite roof panel provides up to 50% reduction in build time and carbon emissions and 33% decrease in cost and helps achieve the Government’s Construction 2025 targets. Factory finished with BBA-certified IKO Polymeric single ply membrane, Armourdek is ideal for high performance waterproof roofing. With excellent thermal and acoustic properties, it offers superb airtightness and helps to achieve energyefficient buildings. It also has great green credentials such as zero waste to landfill and up to 50% fewer carbon emissions in manufacturing. As the single ply membrane is applied to Armourdek in the factory, the panel can simply be delivered and craned into place onsite, minimising the need to install a separate roofing system. This saves a significant amount of time – and with available sizes up to 12m x 4m, installation can be as quick as 1,000 square metres per day.

For more information visit: www.ikopolymeric.com

Images: 01. Bromley Parish School 02. Armourdek panel

Up to 1000m2 roof installation per day

FAST-TRACK ROOF INSTALLATION IKO Armourdek is a ‘Zero-Waste’, off-site manufactured long spanning roof element, factory finished with IKO Polymeric’s Single Ply Roofing Membrane.

• Fast-track installation • Up to 12 metre single span • Suitable for steel, concrete &

timber frames

• Reduction in secondary steelwork • Reduced material costs • Reduced time working at height • Excellent thermal & acoustic properties • Superb air tightness • Zero waste to landfill • Fewer delivery vehicles • Reduced CO2 emission

Armourdek ticks all the boxes in terms of the Governments Construction 2025 Strategy, providing:

50% faster delivery 50% reduced carbon 33% lower costs

www.ikopolymeric.com e: polymeric.sales.uk@iko.com

t: 01257 488 000



Stora Enso recently launched a new cross laminated timber (CLT) and laminated veneer lumber (LVL) modular building system to further boost the increase of timber construction in the UK.

1 This is the second in a programme of building-specific systems being launched internationally across France, Germany, Austria, Sweden, Finland and the UK. The new systems come with comprehensive architectural guidelines providing structural connections and design considerations for architects and engineers, as well as detailed information for contractors for on-site installation. The launch in the UK of the modular building system is timely: the 2016 Farmer Report – commissioned by the Construction Leadership Council (CLC) to undertake a review of the UK’s construction labour model – has grabbed the headlines stating that the construction industry must ‘modernise or die’. The Report recommends that: “The Government should act to provide an ‘initiation’ stimulus to innovation in the housing sector by promoting the use of ‘premanufactured’ (offsite, modular and volumetric) solutions through policy measures.” Housing Minister, Gavin Barwell, has subsequently indicated that offsite construction is seen as a potential means to tackling long term skills shortages and alleviating the 56

2 housing shortage in the UK. A White Paper is expected to be published in the near future which, it is anticipated, will give further detail of Government plans to move forward on this agenda. Late in 2016, more than 120 senior construction professionals joined Stora Enso for the launch of the modular building system in London. Presenting at the launch was Anssi Lassila, Founder and Director of the Helsinki-based architect firm OOPEAA, and designer of Puukuokka Housing Project (2015) – built using Stora Enso modular CLT and LVL units. With first-hand experience of this method of construction, he underlined the benefits of modular and volumetric construction as a way of alleviating the global housing shortage. “The modular process is very short – it took only six months to build 70 apartments at Puukuokka and it is faster to take down than any other building solution,” he said. “This is very important for meeting the housing shortage as it is possible to transport these buildings and reinstall them in a different location in the future if they are no longer needed for their present use.”


Paul Williamson, Managing Director of Modular Construction at Swan Homes, also shared Swan’s vision for the future of modular construction in the UK saying: “Swan started looking at modular construction in 2014, to help us meet growing demand for homes in the South East and decided on volumetric CLT, because we wanted a system that could deliver homes from one storey to 12 stories. With CLT we can, relatively easily, produce thermally and acoustically efficient homes. Also, the material is sustainable and can be recycled, which is central to our sustainability agenda. One of the key things for us is that CLT is an easily machinable product and that allows us a great deal of flexibility in the manufacturing process.” Production of CLT and LVL components enables Stora Enso to deliver the first complete engineered timber modular construction package to the market and they recently began production of LVL at Varkaus Mill in Finland which has an annual production capacity of 100,000 m3. CLT is produced at the Stora Enso’s two bespoke Austrian CLT mills, with a total production capacity of 140,000m³ with a feasibility study looking at further expansion of the CLT capacity is currently underway.

“We are a global company with significant competence in building with wood around the world,” says Petri Perttula, Head of Building Solutions at Stora Enso. “We have gathered all this competence and created a flexible, costcompetitive and fully industrialised building system that takes wood construction to a new level. Our aim is to be the leading provider of wooden building solutions which – in addition to being easy and fast to assemble – also significantly reduces carbon footprints.” For more information visit: http://buildingandliving.storaenso.com Images: 01. Hartola factory interior. Courtesy Stora Enso 02. Puukuokka exterior. Courtesy OOPEAA Office for Peripheral Architecture

Join today and reap the rewards of membership...


The primary benefits relate to:

Being a member of the Structural Timber Association (STA) can really benefit your business. Membership brings genuine commercial benefits through technical insights, client referrals, access to unique training and industry recognised credibility. It is also about being part of an organisation that influences government and industry on behalf of the timber sector; extolling the role the material can play in the current drive for sustainable construction. “With a collective ambition to develop the timber frame sector as the ‘first choice’ concept for construction - working with the STA is helping Kronospan to reach our business objectives – it’s simply better together!”

Over 400 members - reflecting a significant percentage of UK structural timber technology and system providers

Quality assurance through the STA Assure scheme

Code of conduct - a standard of operating by which all companies within the sector are compared

Direct representation for your trade within the construction sector

Highest quality technical standards - driven by our robust committee structure

Relevant and best-in-class training and education

Networking events, trade shows and conferences

Direct communication with your target customers

Peter Ball, Sales Manager Building Products, Kronospan

“Raising the bar with all their initiatives the STA, has been a great assistance to us and our sector in professionalizing the supply and installation of structural timber.”

John Dickie, Director, Dickie & Moore

Contact Bob Davis Membership and Quality Manager on 07889 702 559 or bob.davis@structuraltimber.co.uk



OVERCOMING THE BARRIERS TO CHANGE Has offsite reached a tipping point and climbed into prime position to change the way construction is perceived and delivered? Dr Robert Hairstans, Head of Centre for Offsite Construction + Innovative Structures (COCIS) highlights some areas where some work is still required.

1 If properly executed the advantages or ‘value proposition’ of offsite construction are well known within the readership of this magazine. Offsite can efficiently deliver a high quality, mass-customisable product that is technically advanced. Offsite can sit within a circular economy and offer social, environmental and economic benefits. And yet of a £90 billion UK construction market it currently has a 1.6% market share. This is a construction market that has stagnated in terms of productivity and prior to the recession was sheltered by the health of the economy and now is being faced with a skills crisis. Consistently there have been calls from government and other respected sources for improved levels of productivity and cultural change. The 58

most recent of which is the Farmer Review of the UK Construction Labour Model (2016) report – Modernise or Die. Farmer again highlights the low productivity and predictability of the sector, its structural and leadership fragmentation, its financial fragility all underpinned by a dysfunctional training and recruitment process wrapped in a culture of distrust with a lack of collaboration. Could the message be clearer and could this be the tipping point for offsite to scale? Can offsite provide a new image for the sector in order to engage the public and attract the top talent? It was in the last quarter of 2009 when the UK economy moved out of recession following the global economic downturn, and at the time Construction Excellence highlighted


the need for a new construction industry vision, based on the concept of the built environment. This new vision required a better understanding of how value is created over the whole lifecycle of an asset and it highlighted the need for the supply side to demonstrate how it can create additional economic social and environmental value through innovation, collaboration and integrated working. To do so the sector needed leaders who could engage the public and key stakeholders about the ‘new value’ the built environment brings, who could engage employees to deliver the necessary changes and who could attract more talented people from a wider pool to work in the industry.

OPINION ROBERT HAIRSTANS Offsite is the supply side of construction and is well established but is unable to scale showing only signs of steady growth. Interestingly this trend is replicated internationally in North America, Europe, Japan, Australia, New Zealand and Malaysia with the most prominent emerging markets being China and India. In Building Offsite: an introduction publication, I have highlighted the recognised barriers to growth: • Resistance to change: Offsite is very much a change in construction culture and consequently has a different skill set requirement with an emphasis on holistic knowledge and an improved understanding of project management, scheduling and planning requirements. Given that this is the case a new approach to training and skills is needed at all levels providing improved pathways for career progression and enhanced levels of up to date information. • Capital investment: The higher levels of capital and technical approval costs for offsite construction requires investment decisions to be more informed demonstrating the added value of offsite construction (quality assured, just in time strategies, environmental impact and building fabric performance). Offsite construction therefore requires strong business leadership combined with operational management and a technical knowledge in order to address the misconceptions of the public, clients, lenders and insurers.


• Guidance and information: The concept of offsite is closely associated with manufacturing and draws on principles which seek to achieve improvements in quality and efficiency combined with reductions in waste. The guidance required and flow of information between design, production and assembly is therefore different from traditional construction and requires to be more integrated with a need for more holistic knowledge at all levels. • Traditional construction business models: Offsite construction has a different cash-flow model with a shift towards more upfront costs which in-turn may create differing finance arrangements. This is however offset by the speed of construction, particularly where revenues are more guaranteed i.e. social housing. Overall the cash conversion cycle is less, due to the shorter build time, associated with offsite construction and this should be seen as a benefit as it can reduce overall development financing. However the current barrier is the need for greater understanding of the differing financial funding and cash flow cycles, when using offsite solutions. However, given we are now several years on from the end of recession and given the inherent problems of the sector why has offsite not been able to demonstrate properly its value proposition in order to overcome some of these barriers? For me we have to underpin the value proposition claims being made with evidence based metrics and think more laterally with respect to the ‘skills’ needed to do so. The education of the next generation of built environment professionals needs to be thought of in the widest sense in order to change culture and improve productivity through the application of lean theory by empowered members of a team. This sort of upskilling will improve productivity but it does require the implementation of localised collaborative frameworks capable of sharing knowledge internationally within a global economy which is becoming increasingly more digitised. Education of this new approach to delivering the built environment therefore needs a platform approach with a compelling vision to attract the top talent to the built environment

interfacing them directly with industry in order to drive change. Edinburgh Napier University working with a series of international academic partners active in offsite research are doing this via the Built Environment Exchange (beX). The objective of beX is to provide an accelerator education platform partnering University and construction industry partners internationally. This connectivity facilitates student mobility for enhanced experiential learning activities geared towards undergraduate, early career postgraduate and doctorate students. The opportunity will be open to students from all areas of study in order to widen the pool of available talent to not only tackle the construction sector skills deficit and diversification challenges, but also to harness the new skills required for changes in construction delivery (i.e. offsite manufacture, lean and integrated delivery, reliance and low carbon construction, BIM and other technology integration). This will attract some of our most talented graduates to the sector and lead to future sustainable communities of tomorrow whilst decarbonising the economy. Importantly this supports a cultural shift in the construction sector skills base in addition to supporting international knowledge exchange.

To my mind this is the sort of approach that is long overdue. If the next generation understand what is necessary to deliver the built environment efficiently then the barriers to doing so will be removed. This is a change in mindset from what ‘could be done’ to what ‘should be done’. As a sector we need to invest in these individuals in order that they can champion change. For more information visit: www.cocis.napier.ac.uk Images: 01-02. Offsite methods are becoming central to a more effective built environment. Courtesy Edinburgh Napier University




Fusion Building Systems

FREE CPD FACTORY TOURS For architects, engineers, designers, contractors, developers and clients. Inside Offsite is a series of factory tours focusing on opening up the manufacturing facilities of some of the UK’s leading suppliers of offsite technologies including LGSF, timber frame, SIPS, precast concrete, pods and volumetric modular solutions. These factory tours are completely FREE to attend and are designed for architects, engineers, designers, contractors, developers and clients to learn about manufacturing processes and how a manufacturing business functions, including; procurement, quality control, material requirements planning, resource scheduling and to appreciate the requirements of design for manufacture and assembly (DfMA).

FREE to attend - REGISTER NOW - www.insideoffsite.co.uk * NOTE: Attendance is moderated by the host company who reserve the right to refuse entry.

Inside Offsite factory tours are delivered on a monthly basis, with a different technology and host each time. The tours are half-day sessions which include technology presentations, as well as the physical factory tours themselves. There is plenty of time for Q&A and networking during each session. All sessions account for 5 hours CPD time and a certificate of attendance will be provided post-event*.



EOS Facades 15 & 16.02.2017 EOS Facades



Kingspan Timber Solutions 30.03.2017

APRIL Kingspan Timber Solutions


FP McCann 06.04.2017



SIG Offsite

FP McCann




FP McCann SIG Offsite


For further information on the 2017 programme or if you would like to apply to become a host company, please email: julie.richards@insideoffsite.co.uk




1 SES Engineering Services are delivering award-winning prefabrication solutions on one of the biggest offsite challenges in Yorkshire. It’s fitting that on a pivotal regeneration scheme set to ‘change the shape of Leeds and the way people work’, SES Engineering Services delivered a pioneering and award-winning mechanical and electrical (M&E) prefabrication solution and marketchanging efficiency savings. SES’ contract to deliver 5 and 6 Wellington Place – at the heart of a vibrant, new corporate district in Leeds city centre alongside the River Aire – scooped the 2016 Offsite Awards Best Use of MEP Prefabrication prize after surpassing all client expectations. Wellington Place commercial developments are critical to a joint public and private sector campaign to herald a prosperous new chapter for the city’s business scene. SES and its specialist offsite prefabrication facility Prism took on this logistically challenging and time-sensitive project alongside MEPC and principal contractor Wates Construction.


From the beginning, it was clear that the city-centre location of the site presented several logistical challenges for accommodating the volume of delivery vehicles and workers that would have been required to build and install all of the modules on site. It was therefore obvious that offsite technology would be a more practical and safer option that would ensure less site congestion, improved safety and a reduction of worked man hours on site. In total, approximately 73% of the required M&E for the project was made offsite at Prism resulting in an estimated 3,576 hours of manual onsite hours saved in the process. With a combined worth of £7.3 million to the business, the two schemes saw SES’ onsite and offsite teams equally committed to delivering efficiency at every stage of the project, prefabricating a total of 177 service modules, seven service risers and two packaged plant rooms, offsite and delivering tangible project savings of 16 weeks off programme time and £110k of labour costs. The buildings’ high specification, multistorey, commercial purpose meant that a high volume of M&E modules of the highest quality were required to ensure that the HVAC and lighting systems were able to run faultlessly around the clock. To facilitate the ordering of all project materials, a fully co-ordinated BIM model was used to identify the precise scope of materials and eliminate any clashes.


2 Such was the success of this landmark scheme it was singled-out for high praise by the Offsite Awards judges recognising its innovation, best practice and dynamic use of offsite construction. David Mason, SES Executive Business Director, commented: “The Offsite Awards celebrate outstanding examples of prefabrication and factory-based methods, products, systems, individuals and disciplines that increasingly strive to develop a sustainable, streamlined and costeffective way to deliver a better built environment. This is the kind of recognition that we want, and we should be extremely proud of our achievements, this is an absolute testament to the inspirational and talented people in our business.” For more information visit: www.ses-ltd.co.uk Images: 01-02. High quality prefabricated M&E modules ensure HVAC and lighting systems run faultlessly around the clock

Creating smarter, better environments

SES Engineering Services is recognised as one of the leading M&E partners in the UK, delivering for a wide range of customers by creating environments that our clients can excel in. As a market leader, SES delivers building services that are derived from an exceptional level of technical authority. We deliver bespoke designled solutions and optimise productivity for the whole construction team, by maximising offsite manufacture in our award-winning production facility Prism.

Above all, it’s about people

To find out more about how we can work together, please call: David J Mason, Executive Business Director T: 01904 660208 E: dmason@ses-ltd.co.uk Our locations: York | Birmingham | Bristol | Glasgow | London | Manchester | Newcastle






1 The prefabrication of M&E services has played a key role in achieving the client brief for an adaptable laboratory environment for the Sainsbury Wellcome Centre (SWC) for Neural Circuits and Behaviour at UCL. Following an international competition, Ian Ritchie Architects were appointed as architects and design team leaders to deliver a state-of-the-art and adaptable neuroscience research laboratory building with a minimum lifespan of sixty years. The design team, through observation of a wide range of pharmaceutical and university scientific environments took the approach to adaptability a significant step further by exposing the services in the majority of the laboratories and supporting spaces. This has immense advantages for the neuroscience user and was achieved by a number of different approaches to offsite prefabrication directed according to spatial and programme requirements and the interfaces with other site construction elements. The building substructure and superstructure is concrete to reduce vibration transfer for sensitive scientific equipment. It is wrapped on three sides with an innovative and unique structural insulated white cast glass wall spanning floor to floor. The light transmission at 11% provides a wonderful quality of diffused ‘white’ natural illumination to the interior and 64

removes all glare for the well-being and comfort of the users, particularly in relation to computer screens. The MEP services are exposed in the majority of areas, laboratories, scientific support spaces, circulation, lecture theatre, brasserie, administration and lab (PI) offices. This is a key design response to the scientific requirement for ease of reconfiguration and experimental set-up. The prefabricated modules are attached to the slab soffits via cast in channels and the modules are used to suspend demountable acoustic panels. On the south facade prefabricated external supply and extract ventilation modules are located between the external envelope and a veil of translucent pixels that move in the wind. The outcome is an exceptional building designed from the inside to provide scientists with easy access to a multitude of services – a ‘plug and play’ approach. Integration of an offsite approach to the services design from an early stage enable the key plant (plantroom and roof plant) to be packaged and prefabricated on skids and pretested improving installation times, saving space (through better physical organisation) and achieving the required visible build quality. Ceiling services were assembled in pre-assembled modules (PAMs). These were installed in an ‘as required’ sequence. This was a major advantage in respect of services being delivered


3 as a complete module (on wheels) at the appropriate time for the install and in the area required to meet the construction sequence. This enabled different parts of the same services run to be installed at different times. This covers prefabricated major plant (on skids or platforms with integrated acoustic mounts) prefabricated risers with integrated access platforms, horizontal primary and secondary services in 6 metre long modules and prefabricated run-out services. The electrical services were prefabricated and prepared with plugs, sockets and junctions for installation in baskets preinstalled in the major plant skids, risers and modules. The services in the laboratory, support and technical spaces lecture theatre, administrative offices, PI offices and brasserie clearly express the benefits of offsite. Visually the services are well organised and compact whilst at the same time allowing adequate space for maintenance and adaptation, with organised zones for crossovers and branches. The construction phase of the project exceeded 1,800,000 manhours without a reportable accident. For more information visit: www.ianritchiearchitects.co.uk Images: 01. Circulation space with support space on right-hand side. Courtesy Grant Smith 02. Lab space with preassembled modules 03. Preproduction prefabricated modular services. Courtesy IRAL

bathroom pod manufacturer in the UK supplying over 8,000 pod units every year to leading main-contractors and developers. We offer a comprehensive range of high-quality bathroom pods to suit all budgets, from cost effective GRP composite units, to premium 5 star steel framed pods.

For more information call us on

T +44 (0) 1278 780807


Offsite Solutions is the premier


BRINGING OFFSITE CONSTRUCTION TO LIFE As offsite construction continues to make headlines and consolidate as a mainstream and reliable building method, a ground breaking exhibition of offsite construction solutions – the largest of its kind ever seen in the UK – will be a key component of Ecobuild 2017. Building on the success of the national Explore Offsite conference and exhibition programme, Explore Offsite at Ecobuild will deliver a comprehensive display of offsite technologies and showcase full-scale construction of buildings using offsite technology. Major players in the offsite construction industry from around the globe will be brought together to showcase their products in a dedicated area known as Explore Offsite at Ecobuild. Explore Offsite at Ecobuild has been designed to be more than an exhibition. Through collaboration with leading offsite construction consultants Cogent Consulting, and the specialist offsite events team at Radar Communications, this special feature will showcase the very latest offsite innovations supported by a comprehensive range of free Offsite Technology Masterclasses and Ask the Expert sessions. The expanded use of offsite technology is the most significant development in the construction sector for many years. The development of Explore Offsite at Ecobuild will focus on key offsite industry innovations and provide a comprehensive and balanced perspective on this rapidly emerging supply-chain sector.


1 A Dynamic Offsite Event for a Dynamic Sector The UK offsite construction market is expanding rapidly, at more than 35% per annum, and for some sectors offsite technology has become commonplace. However, with an estimated share of just 10% of the construction market the potential growth opportunity for offsite is phenomenal. Visitors to Explore Offsite at Ecobuild will gain a comprehensive and balanced perspective on this rapidly evolving sector. They will experience a wide range of offsite technology from a host of UK and international suppliers and view for themselves the many major advances in offsite manufacturing in recent years.


THIS SHOWCASE EVENT WILL INCLUDE EXAMPLES OF: • Framing systems in concrete, timber and steel • Modular and volumetric systems • Bathroom and kitchen pods • Offsite roofing technology • Pre-engineered building services • Other complementary offsite technologies and a range of prefabricated building components.


E: ellie.jenkins@ecobuild.co.uk T: 0207 5604469


2 Explore Offsite at Ecobuild has been created to raise awareness in the construction industry of the systems and products available and how many sectors in the built environment can benefit, such as health, education and housing, along with major infrastructure projects. Technologies will be clustered in sub-zones on the exhibition floor, making it timeefficient for visitors to speak with exhibitors and collate information. The daunting challenge for the construction industry is to meet demand in a sustainable manner while at the same time becoming more productive and offsite construction has a pivotal role to play. “Ecobuild always reflects the state of the market, highlighting the most topical talkingpoints,” says Martin Hurn, Brand Director at Ecobuild. “We have made a major commitment to establishing Explore Offsite at Ecobuild, working with our partners to develop a host of complementary activities that will make offsite construction a key attraction in 2017.” Images: 01. Carillion-igloo, HomeMade Homes and HTA Design 02. iCarus - light steel frame installation 03. Mark Farmer – CEO of Cast Consultancy

Offsite Technology Masterclasses A central part of Explore Offsite at Ecobuild will be knowledge transfer. Visitors will be able to take advantage of expert advice from a range of industry insiders and learn about the latest in offsite technology developments, with information and seminars on ‘solving’ the housing shortage, using offsite technology to construct a more sustainable environment and understanding how the industry is responding to unprecedented demand through greater investment in lean manufacturing systems. Free CPD accredited Offsite Technology Masterclasses will run daily throughout the show to offer an independent perspective of the offsite construction sector. Intensive training masterclasses will address the drivers and benefits of using offsite construction technology and provide visitors with knowledge to successfully apply these techniques.

3 The Offsite Technology Masterclasses will host 48 speakers over 18 hours of presentations across 15 sessions, including: DATE







Modular Volumetric Technology



MEP & Pod Technology



Structural Timber Technology



Roofing Technology



Concrete Technology



Light Steel Frame Technology



NB: Morning sessions 10.30am daily, afternoon sessions 3pm. Seating capacity limited to 100 per session. All attendees receive a CPD certificate of attendance.


FURTHER INFORMATION For more information on the Offsite Technology Masterclass programme, including speaker opportunities, please contact: Amy Pryce, Events Director at Radar Communications, T: +44 (0)1743 290001 E: amy.pryce@radar-communications.co.uk Offsite Magazine and the Offsite Hub are the official Media Partners for Explore Offsite at Ecobuild, which takes place 7-9 March 2017 at ExCeL London. For more information visit: www.ecobuild.co.uk/exploreoffsite




OFFSITE: THE ALIEN EXPERIENCE Shaun McCarthy OBE, Chair of the Supply Chain School has been instrumental in the development of the DfMA Overlay to the RIBA Plan of Work and asks – does construction needs a close encounter with manufacture and assembly? Are you old enough to remember the Cadbury’s Smash adverts? If not, it shows a group of aliens that look like they were made with old tin lids and string that talk about humans being stupid enough to peel potatoes, boil them then smash them to bits and fall about laughing. The idea was to advertise a powdered form of mashed potato which was more convenient to make than the traditional spud. The only slight flaw in this campaign was that Cadbury’s Smash was revolting, tasting like a mixture of wallpaper paste and sawdust. Imagine the same aliens talking about the construction industry. “They take all the individual bits needed to make a building to site and lay them down in the mud and the rain. Some people arrive armed with drawings they have not seen before which were made by people they have never met who sit in a cosy office all day and don’t have to go out in the rain. The people who ordered the bits sit in a different warm office sometimes order the wrong bits and always order too much in case bits get lost, broken or disappear in the mud. The people in the mud and rain try to work out how to fit all the buts together, they have to remove packaging, cut bits that don’t fit and break a lot of stuff. All of this ends up in a thing called a skip and they pay people to take stuff away that they had paid for in the first place. When the building is finished they know it won’t work properly so they bring in more people, called a snagging team to put right all the things the people in the rain and mud got wrong in the first place”. 68

The aliens would be rolling about laughing for hours. Once the laughter had stopped, they would probably say: “Why don’t you make the bits fit properly in the first place, put them together in a nice dry factory and only deliver them where you want the building, when you know it all works?” On Planet Earth, we call this Design for Manufacture and Assembly (DfMA). The publication of the DfMA Overlay to the RIBA Plan of Work 2013 represents a major step forward. It offers advice at every stage of the process on how best to design for manufacture and assembly and encourages early engagement of contractors and manufacturers. The Farmer Review lays down a challenge to the industry to ‘modernise or die’. However, the industry is facing a desperate skills shortage as people old enough to remember that advert head for retirement. The skills needed to modernise the construction sector are also needed by other sectors. In the dash for talent, the construction sector is less Usain Bolt and more Eddie the Eagle. The Offsite Management School is a great example of new thinking to help bridge the skills gap. A free virtual learning environment for people to sign up, carry out a simple selfassessment and receive an action plan of 10 things to learn, re-assess and get another 10 things, and another 10, and another 10. It is a great way to learn at your own pace, at a time and in a place of your choosing. It’s learning for the iPad generation.


1 The benefits are compelling. Use of ‘Flying Factories’ by Skanska and Costain for Phase 1 of the Battersea Power Station redevelopment resulted in a 44% cut in cost, 73% less rework and a 60% reduction in time. So, as we Earthlings say, what’s not to like? For more information visit: www.offsiteschool.com/support

OFFSITE MANAGEMENT SCHOOL The DfMA Overlay to the RIBA Plan of Work was developed with the support of the Offsite Management School and launched officially at the RIBA in London, on 28 September 2016. As well as providing a useful library of online resources and background materials on the subject, the Offsite Management School has also now developed a dedicated e-learning module on DfMA for its Members. This module discusses the process of DfMA and how clients, contractors and suppliers are all benefiting from increased offsite efficiencies.

Images: 01. A flying factory approach was used to assemble wall panels for Glenfrome School in Bristol. A school extension was built and finished in just six weeks. Courtesy Skanska/ White Design


Modernise or Die The Farmer Review set a challenge to our industry; to innovate or die. Innovation is a culture and job requirement in our industry. Joining the Offsite School is the first step towards your innovation journey. Joining the Offsite School offers you free resources to help the construction industry meet these challenges highlighted in the Farmer Review, and improve your organisation’s sustainability quality and performance. The Offsite School has created an innovative tool that can measure and monitor your progress, benchmarking your knowledge as you continually improve.

What are the benefits of joining the Offsite School? Utilising the self-assessment tool created to help you increase your knowledge vital for modernisation Measure your progress and learning in offsite competencies Join 1000 of your industry peers engaging with the Offsite School Networking opportunities Offsite, management and sustainability training The school is a free, regularly updated online resource that can be accessed anywhere at any time.

Find out more and join today by visiting: www.offsiteschool.com


OFFSITE CONSTRUCTION TO THE CORE The Offsite Hub is an online information centre dedicated to keeping the world of offsite manufacturing and construction connected and up-to-date with the latest developments in this fast moving sector. Offsite manufacture removes much of the construction process from the construction site, leading to a number of efficiency and environmental benefits, including reduced onsite labour, shorter construction timescales, better health and safety and less material-intensive activity. Updated daily, the Offsite Hub is a pivotal resource offering industry news, case studies, project profiles, research reports, industry opinion plus a wider supply of technical information and learning resources tailored to the offsite sector. All showing the growing importance and numerous ways that offsite methods enable construction efficiencies. The Offsite Hub is an open platform freely available to all. As well as providing the latest and most upto-date information on the offsite sector the Offsite Hub is also a tool to be used by specifiers looking to identify the latest offsite technology developments and to locate the right supply-chain partner using the Offsite Directory – which lists over 400 companies that operate in the sector. Being a central point for the offsite industry, the Offsite Hub keeps users informed of the latest events in the offsite sector. The Hub is integrated with the Explore Offsite conference and exhibition programme, the Offsite Construction Summit, the Inside Offsite factory tour programme and the Offsite Construction Awards – content from which is re-purposed in to the Project Gallery and Newsroom functions. 70

If you are looking to carve a career within the offsite manufacturing and construction sector then the Offsite Job Board provides you with a list of the latest career opportunities within the sector, enabling candidates to upload CV information or to search by location, salary or region within the UK. If you are looking to upskill your offsite knowledge then the Training section of the Offsite Hub will provide you with a list of certified CPD courses relating to the full range of offsite technologies. Since its launch in early 2016 the Offsite Hub content has expanded to meet the demands of its users. New sections are being added on a regular basis and the platform is constantly being upgraded to improve the users’ ability to find the information that they are seeking by cross-linking the Offsite Hub content and optimising the user experience. Feedback on the Offsite Hub is excellent and the growth in unique visitors (to over 5,000 unique visitors per month) over the past six months is reflective of the way in which the industry has positively embraced this information platform. Submitting information to the Offsite Hub is easy and straightforward, so if you have any news, announcements, case studies or job opportunities that you would like promoting on the Offsite Hub then please email this to: info@offsitehub.co.uk or call the Hub Helpline on 01743 290001.


If you want even greater convenience and would like to be sent industry news, event information and product updates on a regular basis then why not subscribe to receive update emails from the Offsite Hub. There is no cost to this service. Bookmark: www.offsitehub.co.uk and keep up-to-date on the world of offsite!



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Helping to remove commodity driven deforestation from your supply chain. For more information please call us on 01482 326866 or visit us at www.excel-laminating.co.uk


AVOIDING THE RECRUITMENT PITFALLS According to Jim Roach, Managing Director of specialist recruiter ARV Solutions, there are five things that will make your recruitment process easier and help place the right candidate in the right post.

Time is a killer – lay the foundations for a robust recruitment process The biggest disruptor and often killer of successful recruitment outcomes is time. Having a thorough recruitment process in place will ensure you recruit the right person within your timeframe. A difficult and time consuming task when this involves numerous time poor stakeholders. Recruitment takes time, it requires thought, reflection, decision making, negotiation and allocating time for this will lead to a robust and efficient process. Bad processes allow agencies and candidates to potentially assume that there is a lack of commitment, prevarication and poor management, thus presenting you as a bad employer. An efficient process presents employees with a positive experience of your company, one they will want to work for.

The recruitment process is strewn with potential pitfalls. It is by its nature, carried out when you are busier than usual, from lack of staff or growth. Trying to tackle the recruitment process, from calls with agencies, reviewing CVs and holding interviews alongside busy ‘day job’ commitments can be challenging. There are lots you can do to make the process easier but let’s start with these five: Don’t fall at the first hurdle the wrong job description? In order to avoid hurdles further down the line, developing a precise and considered job description is the best way to start. It is easy to get off on the wrong foot with the definition of your role. Job descriptions can tend to reflect skills of the previous incumbent to a role or a default ‘mini me’, rather than being based on the true needs. It is important to consider what variables 72

are must haves rather than specifics that could be taught to an otherwise strong contender. Often someone with the right behaviours will pick up skills rapidly, however someone with the right skills but wrong cultural fit may never change. Some of the best candidates I have placed over the last 27 years are those that differ from the initial job description, on face value their CV may not have ticked all the boxes but clients have taken a recommendation to meet them and subsequently realised they are the best overall fit for the job. One of the best things my old Manager taught me was: “It’s often the different that gets the job.” I’m not suggesting you can take people completely out of their area of expertise (I’m reminded of the Reed TV Adverts). It is worth considering what really is important, where alternatives could be considered and discussing these with an experienced recruiter.


Don’t make assumptions – why read CVs? You will feel a need to take time to review CVs, especially if you have done your own advertising, rather than a qualified shortlist from your agency, but having decided you are recruiting based on behaviours you are now selecting based on skills you see on the page. Additionally you will be tempted to make assumptions about job moves, travel or relocation, and will have your own subjective views about other employers. Think about why you would discount a candidate, is it a deal breaker, do they possess other beneficial skills which you hadn’t considered? Gain opinions – consider the new hire’s colleagues Gaining the opinions of those the new recruit will be interacting with the most and not just their Manager will help you find someone who is a ‘good fit’ and may provide further insight into the role.

SKILLS & RECRUITMENT Candidates have their own timeline – don’t miss out on a new hire to a competitor Losing the best candidates to another employer is currently the biggest factor of the skills shortage, rather than actually finding the skills in the first place. Some candidates will be well down a process with other employers, some come late to the process. Even if timelines align, other employers may make decisions more quickly. Over longer timescales further tempting opportunities will crop up and distract your candidates before you gain their full commitment. There are no successful short cuts, the recruitment process is likely to take the same amount of time whether recruitment is at the top of your todo list or the bottom. Placing it as a priority will help avoid many of the pitfalls mentioned. As is often the case, the more effort you put in the greater the outcome. So go on, move recruitment up your to-do list. For more information visit: www.arvsolutions.co.uk

INVESTORS IN PEOPLE GOLD ACCREDITATION ARV Solutions recently achieved Investors in People Gold accreditation at its first attempt. The latest standard assessment criteria focus on leadership, support and continuous improvement. To attain Investors In People Gold, all indicators need to be considered as Developed and Established, with seven of the nine indicators at Advanced level. Jim Roach, MD, ARV Solutions, said: “The current Investors In People sixth generation standard is somewhat different to the first assessment I was involved in at a previous recruitment agency over 15 years ago. It turned out to be far more closely aligned to the things we are doing instinctively within the business now. Our aim is to try and do the right thing, rather than follow the crowd. I decided when I established ARV that the old school carrot and stick management techniques and living in

fear of missing inappropriate KPIs had to end. I didn’t want to grow a business based on the hard sell, or chasing numbers to keep managers happy, for which the recruitment industry has been too renowned. We believed we had found a better way, and are delighted this has now been affirmed.” Based on 25 years of leading practice, the Investors in People Standard is underpinned by a rigorous assessment methodology and a framework which reflects the very latest workplace trends, essential skills and effective structures required to outperform in any industry. Currently just 31 Recruitment and Selection businesses hold Gold Accreditation in total.

Adding Real Value in Recruitment Specialists in offsite manufacturing, construction and supply chain

ARV Solutions are the UK’s leading recruitment consultancy for the offsite construction sector and it’s supply chain. We are your trusted recruitment partner for permanent, contract and interim staffing needs in all forms of structural timber, timber supply, modular build and wider offsite manufacturing and construction sectors, throughout the UK and internationally.

Contact our team for a confidential discussion on career opportunities: • Sales & Marketing • Business Development • Estimators • Buying • Quantity Surveyors • Manufacturing • Production • Operations • Site • Project • Contracts Management • Cad • Draughting • Design • Process • Graduate to Executive • Director level

Call us now 0117 9592008 www.arvsolutions.co.uk WINTER 2016 | WWW.OFFSITEMAGAZINE.CO.UK


DATES FOR YOUR DIARY If you are interested in learning more about offsite construction and the associated manufacturing processes then choose from some of the following offsite events in the first half of 2017 DATE 15-16 February




Inside Offsite Factory Tour: EOS Facades

EOS Factory, County Durham


EOS Facades have launched a series of CPD Factory Tours at their state of the art facility in County Durham. Hosted by the EOS Technical Team together with the Siniat specification team, the tours are completely FREE to attend. 07-09 March

Explore Offsite at EcoBuild

Excel, London


Explore Offsite at Ecobuild will give visitors a comprehensive and balanced perspective on the rapidly evolving offsite sector and will feature a wide range of offsite technology from a host of UK and international suppliers. 30 March

Inside Offsite Factory Tour: Kingspan Timber Solutions

KTS Factory, Selby


Kingspan Timber Solutions are opening their factory doors to construction professionals to allow them to discover more about their advanced SIPS building system sold under the brand name of ‘Kingspan TEK’. Attendees will be able to explore the many benefits of using TEK from accuracy, energy performance and efficient wall thicknesses on the Kingspan Timber Solutions factory tour. 04-05 April

Explore Offsite Housing



This major event for the housing sector will bring together technology leaders to discuss the growing opportunities that the housing shortage presents for offsite construction solutions. The nation’s media has been reporting on a UK housing crisis for many months, but is there now a climate for change in the industry? 06 April

Inside Offsite Factory Tour: FP McCann

FP McCann Factory, Cheshire


FP McCann are opening their factory doors to construction professionals to allow them to discover more about precast concrete. FP McCann’s specialist precast division manufactures a wide range of high quality precast components to the construction industry. 18 May

Explore Offsite Education



The government has confirmed that an investment of c. £2 billion is to be allocated to rebuild or refurbish 277 schools across England. This integrated conference and exhibition event creates a platform for construction clients, architects, engineers and contractors to come together and discuss the latest offsite solutions in the education sector. 04 May

Inside Offsite Factory Tour: SIG Offsite

SIG Offsite Factory, Alfreton


SIG Offsite are opening their factory doors to construction professionals to allow them to discover more about panelised and volumetric structural timber solutions. SIG’s specialist offsite division manufactures a wide range of high quality offsite solutions from panelised wall and roofing solutions to bathroom pods and structural volumetric modules. 08 June

Inside Offsite Factory Tour: FP McCann

FP McCann Factory, Cambridge


FP McCann are opening their factory doors to construction professionals to allow them to discover more about precast concrete. FP McCann’s specialist precast division manufactures a wide range of high quality precast components to the construction industry. 13-14 June

13 June

Offsite Construction Summit


Further information

Two day event to be held in London, attracting an international speaker line-up from all corners of the globe to look at international offsite best-practice and to knowledge share. The event will continue beyond the Conference activity with factory visits and site visits for the overseas delegation. The event will also host the annual Offsite Awards.

For exhibitor opportunities, contact Julie Richards on: 01743 290001

2017 Offsite Construction Awards



Celebrate the best in precision building design and delivery at the Offsite Construction Awards. The Awards will reward outstanding examples of prefabrication and factory-based methods, products, systems and disciplines that increasingly strive to develop a sustainable, streamlined and cost-effective way to deliver a better built environment. SUBMISSION DEADLINE: 31 MARCH 2017



A ground-breaking exhibition of offsite construction solutions, the largest of its kind ever seen in the UK. www.ecobuild.co.uk/exploreoffsite

Book your stand now:

Visit Ecobuild for FREE:

Join 50 leading offsite construction suppliers including Siniat, Portakabin and Hadley Group Contact Ellie Jenkins (0)207 560 4469 | ellie.jenkins@ecobuild.co.uk

Get to grips with the latest offsite construction technologies, with free-to-attend masterclasses www.ecobuild.co.uk/register

@ecobuild_now #ecobuild #ExploreOffsite


BUILD BETTER. BUILD WITH SIG OFFSITE. SIG Offsite is designed to help todays construction industry overcome their most pressing issues. The range not only includes the complete fabrication of a house, multiple roofing and flooring solutions or modular pods, but they can also be fully fitted with insulation, electrics, plumbing, heating and external and internal finishes. Our solutions can be installed while your team carries on with other project demands without disruption and are designed to work alongside the traditional methods used in construction. At SIG Offsite we believe in working smarter not harder, which is why our services can be easily integrated into your current business model and put you in front of your competitors. We have years of experience operating across a broad spectrum of sectors including residential, commercial, education, health care, retail and aviation to name a few. So for your next project, build better. Choose SIG Offsite.



To find out more, please visit: uk.siggroup.com





Profile for Radar Communications

Offsite Magazine - Issue 04 - Winter 2017  

Latest news, exemplar case studies, comment, interviews and feature articles from leading lights in the industry plus company spotlights and...

Offsite Magazine - Issue 04 - Winter 2017  

Latest news, exemplar case studies, comment, interviews and feature articles from leading lights in the industry plus company spotlights and...