Offsite Magazine - Issue 28 (Apr/May/Jun 2021)

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DAN BROWN The new Head of MMC Delivery at HLM Architects discusses challenging the construction status quo


VALUE TOOLKIT More on the next stage towards adopting an outcome-based approach to building delivery


NHBC ROUNDTABLE NHBC Accepts and where offsite methods sit within the housebuilding sector in 2021


Specify responsibly

Procheck® Adapt Construction membranes may be hidden after the project is complete, but their role in ensuring proper heat, air and moisture movement through the building envelope and safeguarding the health of the building and occupants is essential. Procheck Adapt is an ‘intelligent’ variable resistance vapour control layer which adapts to changes in humidity levels. Variable resistance means the envelope is protected from damaging moisture levels in the winter while facilitating drying-out in the summer. Specify responsibly:

It’s what’s on the inside that counts.

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PUBLISHING FRONT COVER Innovaré Systems PRINTED ON: PEFC 16-33-576 paper stock by Buxton Press PUBLISHER:

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VOLUME & VALUE Welcome to the latest edition of Offsite Magazine. This is a busy issue with lots to report on from the last few months, that has seen the construction sector slowed in its route back to normality in the face of dire material shortages. The Construction Products Association released a statement saying the demand for construction products remains high in the UK and is set to continue throughout 2021, with every sector suffering availability issues. Steel, cement and aggregates are all in low supply and high demand. The pressure is particularly felt with timber. Sweden is the biggest source of structural timber for the UK, providing almost half of all supplies. A recent statement from Swedish Wood outlined that stock is at its lowest for 20 years, despite record rates of production. A combination of pandemic, Brexit and the booming housebuilding demands of the US and Chinese markets are posing huge problems for global markets. The quality, long term value and volumes of newbuild housing required in the UK are always hot topics. Offsite methods are at the forefront of solving some of these national housing issues. Just three years after launching as a company, modular housing provider

Value comes in many forms and I would point you to Atkins’s Mark Bolger’s article on the wider scope of ‘social value’ in the world of offsite manufacture, plus we have an update on the Value Toolkit from the Construction Innovation Hub. It has launched its beta-testing phase and this marks a ‘significant step towards the adoption of an outcome-based approach to delivery across the construction industry.’ Also – hot of the judges desk – we can unveil the shortlist for the Offsite Awards 2021. Even in the midst of the pandemic, it has been incredible to see so many superb projects entered. Lots more to see and read inside. Thanks again to all our contributors, advertisers and supporters.

Gary Ramsay

Consultant Editor Email:


KEEP IN TOUCH: @ExploreOffsite offsitehub

ilke Homes reported that its order book is now over £200million and a sign that modular housing is increasingly popular. Much of this was under discussion at one of our regular roundtable sessions hosted by NHBC, that examined where offsite and housebuilding sits in 2021, with NHBC Accepts now giving confidence that homes will perform in the same way as a traditional house with no problems surrounding long-term performance and value.


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Carbon negative. Positive future. At West Fraser (formerly known as Norbord) all our engineered wood panels have been certified as being net carbon negative. We lock up more carbon in our products than we emit making them, helping the UK construction sector comply with net zero targets.




The speed and flexibility of offsite construction makes it an ideal fit for education projects. Innovaré Systems with its i-SIP and i-FAST panelised approach are helping meet the very specific demands of SEN learners to huge success.





The beta-testing phase of the Value Toolkit is now live – marking a significant step towards the adoption of an outcomebased approach to delivery across the construction industry. Jamie Hillier, Partner at Akerlof, illustrates the opportunity a shift towards value based decisions can offer.

44 | Striking Hub for IWM Reds10 and Jestico + Whiles recently completed the new Imperial War Museums’ London staff hub setting new standards for modular construction at an iconic venue.

HLM Architects recently appointed Dan Brown as Head of MMC Delivery. We caught up with him to find out more about his role and how he will provide advice and support on the delivery of offsite projects.

48 | Offsite Awards 2021 Now in its seventh year, the Offsite Awards is constantly growing in size and status. The 2021 shortlisted finalists are laid out across 10 pages showcasing those who are at the forefront of the offsite construction sector.


62 | Reshaping Our Built Environment When it comes to achieving net zero targets, there is a shared responsibility to collaborate and achieve generational change. The formation of the CO2nstructZero initiative is set to challenge the construction and engineering sector to do better.



38 | Constant Evolution AIMCH, the innovation consortium set up to transform the housebuilding sector, has published its second-year progress report and highlights some fundamental learning points.


64 | Levelling Up & Procuring for Value Does the increased use of offsite methods contradict social value? Mark Bolger, Social Value Director at Atkins, outlines why we must think differently about what makes construction tick.

Following on from the publication of its guide – ‘Modern Methods of Construction: Building on Experience’ – NHBC held a roundtable session to discuss where offsite methods sit within the housebuilding sector in 2021 alongside the benefits of NHBC Accepts.

68 | BIM & offsite – the perfect partnership Chris Gatehouse, Regional Account Manager at Trimble explores the value that BIM can deliver to the offsite industry, with BIM and offsite frequently dubbed as holding the key to the industry’s more efficient future.



08 | Industry News

28 | Meeting Hull Healthcare Demands

74 | Decarbonising Precast Concrete A new Innovate UK-funded pilot to decarbonise precast concrete in construction is looking to change perceptions about the material, help reduce carbon emissions and identify opportunities for sustainability improvements.

News and developments from across the UK offsite industry and wider construction arena including: seventeen offsite manufacturers win places on the new £330million public sector framework, the UK’s number one engineered wood panel manufacturer Norbord rebrands as West Fraser and Trimble (UK) release an e-book raising awareness of DfMA.

To cope with the pressures of the pandemic, Hull Royal Infirmary required two new intensive care units - they turned to light steel frame to provide the structure swiftly and safely.

86 | Offsite Expo 2021 Returning after pandemic postponement, find out more about the showcase industry event and what to look forward to later this year at the Ricoh Arena, Coventry.





As Innovaré Systems has proven with its i-SIP and i-FAST systems, the speed and flexibility of offsite construction makes it an ideal fit for education, delivering better outcomes for school projects and especially for SEN learners. their way around the school can be fully met. The ideal design can then be turned into reality in the shortest possible time and with controllable costs with more certainty of outcomes. What Learners Need The most important requirements for SEN learners are flexibility of use, minimising distractions and structured learning spaces. Natural lighting and ventilation also improve the learning environment. Panelised offsite methods offer designers significant benefits, freedoms and opportunities, including:

1 Panelised systems such as i-SIP and i-FAST deliver projects rapidly and reliably with guaranteed quality and performance levels. When it comes to the particular demands of SEN school building programmes, panelised offsite has even more to offer. The maximum benefits are realised through the integrated design and manufacturing process made possible by the technology. This offers enormous flexibility to designers, architects and SEN learning specialists to shape the ideal learning environment. Talking about flexibility might seem a bit counter-intuitive. Offsite to many people can mean the design and layout must be based system constraints and creativity is limited. But, when the technology is deployed using a collaborative process, designers have access to many more possibilities. 6

Panelised offsite can offer large spans and flexible internal layouts. Thermal and acoustic performance levels are built into the panels and there’s guaranteed buildability. This brings new opportunities to design school buildings that meet specific needs, which is what creating effective SEN learning environments is all about. SEN is a wide-ranging term. It encompasses a diverse group of learners with very specific needs. Meeting those needs calls for unique solutions in terms of the design, layout and construction of each SEN school with its own learner community. The digital design and manufacturing process used by the i-SIP and i-FAST systems means SEN experts and design engineers can be fully engaged in the spatial planning process. The ideal layout of learning spaces and the need for students to easily navigate


• Structural capacity to support wall and roof-hung equipment • Flexibility of layout for improved access and movement space • Clear spans for future adaptability • Optimised thermal comfort for health and wellbeing • Enhanced acoustics for reduced disturbance • Robustness against accidental damage. Schools should be neither too hot nor too cold. The right building fabric choices along with design flexibility ensure that these conditions can be maintained with minimal mechanical intervention. Along with good ventilation and natural lighting, these are the key ingredients for the health and wellbeing of students and staff. Classroom Acoustics Poor acoustics make learning hard work. Difficulty with oral communication also affects the quality of group working and student interactions. The learners most obviously affected are those with hearing or visual impairment. The added cognitive effort caused by poor acoustics also leads to problems for students with ADHD or ASD.


2 An integrated design and manufacturing process is an opportunity to fine-tune the acoustics during the design stage and to build the desired properties into the structure and fabric of the building. This covers both transmitted noise levels and the surfaces needed to absorb sound and minimise reverberation. Controlling the acoustics means there’s less reliance on assistive hearing devices and technology. The digital design process means that precise routing of HVAC systems can be designed into the building to minimise background noise levels. Hard, reflective surfaces such as glass can also be carefully positioned to control reverberation. Sustainability The choices made today about building systems will have an enduring environmental impact. The structural timber used in the i-SIP and i-FAST systems stores carbon and offers significantly lower levels of embodied carbon than other building methods. The panelised offsite manufactured i-SIP and i-FAST systems generate minimal waste on site and any waste from the manufacturing process is recyclable. The thermal performance and airtightness of the i-SIP and i-FAST wall panels mean heating and cooling energy consumption in operation is minimal and carbon emissions are therefore low throughout the building life. Careful energy efficiency and acoustic engineering calculations can easily be undermined by poor levels of air-tightness in the finished structure; or by walls, floors and ceilings that transmit more heat than they should. That’s why designing performance into panels that fit together tightly is such an advantage.


4 Delivering the Balance A successful project that fully meets the needs of students relies on eliminating potential disconnects between the design and the finished product. This means three things:

• Making the project fully digitally enabled from design to delivery (which eliminates the need for interpretation during the construction phase). • Using a fabric first approach so that the desired thermal and acoustic properties are built into the structure. • Adopting a pre-manufactured offsite process that delivers airtightness through fine tolerances and precision. Panelised offsite construction used within a collaborative design and manufacturing process delivers better project outcomes in terms of energy efficiency, acoustic properties and, most important, a learning environment fine-tuned to the needs of SEN learners. Red Kite Academy, Northamptonshire Red Kite Academy was delivered two weeks ahead of schedule to create much needed school places for children with a range of learning difficulties and special educational needs. The academy provides an inclusive and welcoming environment for one hundred pupils with additional educational needs. Innovaré, Architecture Initiative and Ashe Construction collaborated to create a new and innovative design and deliver

a high quality, airtight, energy efficient building using Innovaré’s i-SIP System. The Academy includes a hydrotherapy pool, a sensory suite, and a studio flat to help prepare pupils for independent life. Early design collaboration enabled the delivery of an efficiently designed scheme that met the specialist requirements set out by the client. Regular team meetings meant that a robust schedule for delivery was agreed in advance and design for M&E services was incorporated within the manufacture of the panels to avoid onsite clashes. The enhanced performance benefits achieved using the i-SIP System will reduce ongoing maintenance and energy consumption costs across the lifecycle of the building. Tom O’Dwyer, on behalf of the trust, said: “We are thrilled to finally take this crucial step as we move towards providing a desperately needed resource for the children and their families. We look forward with immense anticipation to seeing Red Kite Academy take its place in the family of wonderful Northamptonshire special schools.” For more information on our offsite solutions and how we could help your project, please contact or visit Images: 01-04. The important requirements for SEN learners are flexibility of use, minimising distractions and structured learning spaces



UK INDUSTRY NEWS MODULHAUS™ Takes Centre Stage at Westminster

Volumetric modular technology has been making national news headlines and receiving universal acclaim for bringing much needed facilities onstream in record time to support efforts to mitigate the impact of the pandemic, but 28 June marked a first for the industry.

support packages which promote independence, a sense of place and belonging. Invited guests had the opportunity to meet experts from the SHC Partnership and VOLUMETRIC™ to find out more details of the scheme.

Through lean world class manufacturing principles combined with Design for Manufacture and Assembly (DfMA) protocols, a balance of mass standardisation with elements of interior customisation and colour combinations is attained.

MODULHAUS™– a one-person volumetric modular home took centre stage in the grounds of Westminster Abbey opposite the Palace of Westminster to raise awareness of the plight of rough sleepers and demonstrate how modular technology can provide a high quality, cost-effective solution with all the benefits of a permanent dwelling but equally designed for relocation as required.

Offering a safe, independent and innovative interim housing solution, MODULHAUS™ allows individuals to find the stability they need to secure a reliable income before making the transition to a permanent home. Delivered 100% complete, ready for simple site connection and commissioning, MODULHAUS™ proves that temporary accommodation does not have to be low quality and can be delivered to exceptional standards. The super energy efficient homes reduce ongoing energy costs to less than £5 per week – negating fuel poverty.

VOLUMETRIC™ have a close partnership with Foundation200 but modules can also be procured directly outside of the charitable scheme and can be delivered as a basic module or on a full turnkey basis. Fully integrated maintenance packages are available if the turnkey option is used.

Through Foundation200, prominent housing developer Hill Group has pledged £12million to help end rough sleeping. VOLUMETRIC™ – a specialist manufacturer of custom-built homeless solutions has worked in close collaboration to design and manufacture bespoke MODULHAUS™ single person homes with 200 being gifted via Foundation200 to charities and councils across the country. Under the new SHC Partnership, the Salvation Army, Hill Group and Citizens UK hosted the Westminster event for MPs, prominent charities, and council leaders to launch a new initiative to provide homes and


The energy strategy for MODULHAUS™ is designed to surpass the Future Homes Standards. Every module includes low energy lighting, white goods, controlled flow showers and dual flush cisterns to minimise energy and water consumption. Renewable energy technology is built into every home including air source heat pumps and mechanical ventilation and heat recovery (MVHR) systems.


MODULHAUS™ can also provide keyworker accommodation at time of peak demand or a longterm adaptable asset investment for NHS Trusts. A community module is also available for shared dining and meeting facilities which can be customised to form office or learning spaces as required. The BOPAS certified 60-year MODULHAUS™ design life opens up several funding options over longer periods of time which have the potential to reduce the impact on capital budgets. Futureproof and future ready – each MODULHAUS™ is a long-term asset delivered to a better performance specification than traditionally constructed accommodation. Source:

UK INDUSTRY NEWS NHBC Accepts for Rollalong’s Modular Homes

Offsite Suppliers Appointed to £330m Framework

Seventeen offsite manufacturers have won places on a new £330million public sector framework. The Modular Buildings (MB2) framework from LHC allows local authorities, social landlords and other public bodies to source preapproved specialist suppliers who can design, supply and install permanent, temporary, and refurbished modular buildings. The framework is worth up to £250million in England, £60million in Scotland and £20million in Wales. It primarily covers education, healthcare, emergency services, offices and community related amenities such as sport facilities and theatres, but it can also be used for residential projects that are part of a mixed-use development or for student accommodation. Rollalong has been approved by NHBC Accepts, the industry standard accreditation scheme for the residential housing sector provided by NHBC. Rollalong is the largest permanent offsite manufacturer in the south of England and is now one of only two modular manufacturers in the UK using light gauge steel to have achieved this accreditation. The accreditation allows Rollalong to register the modular homes manufactured offsite at its factory in Dorset with NHBC for a full 10-year warranty. NHBC Accepts is NHBC’s comprehensive review service for innovative products and systems. It is the fast-track route for acceptance for building products and systems used in homes covered by all NHBC warranty products. “This is a tremendous achievement by our team and I’m so proud and delighted by the news,” said Steve Chivers, Managing Director of Rollalong. “System approval by NHBC Accepts gives us an advantage and will help to cement our position as a significant player in the residential housing market.” The Rollalong HDA System is an offsite, volumetric method of building houses based on light gauge steel structures. Floor, ceiling and wall elements are assembled together in the factory to create modules which are fully fitted out with fire linings, thermal insulation, breather membrane, windows and doors. The modules are then installed on-site on a prepared foundation, the roof is added and connections are made to the previously installed drainage and utilities services in the ground.


Rollalong also recently completed its latest turnkey residential project, delivering 13 new modular council-owned homes in Barking, East London. The new homes installed on Sugden Way are part of a development managed by Be First for Barking and Dagenham Council. “We’re extremely pleased to have completed this residential scheme which now provides a range of high-quality, affordable homes for people in Barking and Dagenham,” said Clive Harris, Construction Manager at Rollalong. “Like many parts of the UK, Barking and Dagenham suffers from a shortage of housing, and our modular approach offers local authorities a chance to address this shortfall in around half the time of a traditional build.” Be First Construction Manager Sam Parry added: “We’re really pleased to say that in spite of coronavirus we’ve delivered 13 new affordable homes for the council in a fraction of the time a traditional build would take. More importantly, the standard is excellent, which means top-quality new homes for local people that will stand the test of time.” The new homes include a one-bedroom flat, eight two-bedroom flats and four three-bedroom flats. The modules were transported to site and lifted into position and connected together over a five-day period, after which the internal and external finishing process commenced. Source:


Dean Fazackerley, Head of Technical Procurement, said: “This framework provides contracting authorities with a pool of pre-approved suppliers who have won their place on the MB2 framework based primarily on the high quality of their work, but also the long-term value they can deliver. The consistent quality that modular building offers can help to not only provide more efficient projects that have lower lifetime costs, but can also help local authorities, NHS trusts and other public bodies work towards their net zero targets by providing better fabric performance. Commenting on its framework appointment, David Harris, Managing Director of Premier Modular, added: “The framework allows public sector construction clients to radically reduce the time and cost of procurement, with the additional benefits of instant access to project data, guaranteed service levels, best value pricing, and faster project commencement. Our success in so many lots and geographical regions on this prestigious and long-established framework highlights the scope, quality and diversity of our hire buildings and offsite construction solutions for public sector clients across the UK.” LHC are looking forward to working with the Appointed Companies to deliver outcome-based solutions which deliver social value and community benefit for our clients in line with LHC’s Lifetime Values.” The MB2 framework will run until May 2025. For more information on the framework visit the LHC website:



Bill Marsh, Jonathan Airey, Karen Morley and Emily King Bill Marsh, Jonathan Airey, Karen Morley and Emily King Bill Bill Marsh, Marsh, Jonathan Jonathan Airey, Airey, Karen Karen Morley Morley and and Emily Emily King King

Warren Donnelly Warren Donnelly Warren Warren Donnelly Donnelly

Andy Shaw Andy Shaw Andy Andy Shaw Shaw ESS Modular has announced ESS Modular has announced seven new strategic hires to ESS Modular has announced seven new strategic hires to of ESS Modular has announced support the continued growth seven new strategic hires to support the continued growth seven new strategic hires to of the Group across the UK and support the continued growth of the Group across the UK and support Ireland. the continued growth of the Group Ireland. the Group across across the the UK UK and and Ireland. Ireland. The senior appointments will The senior will bolster the appointments existing management The senior appointments will bolster the existing management The senior appointments team in its drive towards will bolster existing management team in the its product drive towards bolster the existing management continued innovation team in its drive towards continued product innovation team in its drive towards and sustainable construction. continued product innovation and sustainable construction. continued product innovation and sustainable construction. and sustainable construction. The company is also opening a The is also opening a new company UK Headquarters in Trafford The company is also opening a new company UK Headquarters in Trafford The is also opening a Park, Manchester to support its new UK Headquarters in Trafford Park, Manchester to support its new UK Headquarters in Trafford continued growth. Park, Manchester continued Park, Manchester to support support its its continued growth. continued growth. The appointments include a The appointments include a number of seasoned and highly The appointments include a number of seasoned and highly The appointments include a experienced construction number of seasoned and highly experienced construction number of seasoned and highly experienced construction construction experienced

professionals who will take up professionals who will take up the following roles: professionals who the following roles: professionals who will will take take up up the following roles: the Andy following roles: Shaw, Operations Andy Shaw, Director, ESSOperations Modular Group Andy Shaw, Operations Director, ESS Modular Group Andy Shaw, Operations Emily King, Divisional Director, ESS Group Emily King, Divisional Director, Spatial ESS Modular Modular Group Director, Initiative Emily King, Divisional Director, Spatial Initiative Emily King, Divisional Bill Marsh, Head of Director, Initiative Bill Marsh,Spatial Head Director, Spatial Initiative Production, ESS of Modular Bill Marsh, Head of Production, ESS of Modular Bill Marsh, Head Group Production, ESS Modular Group Production, ESS Modular Karen Morley, Director of HR, Group Karen Morley, Director of HR, Group ESS Modular Group Karen Morley, Director of ESS Modular Group Karen Morley, Director of HR, HR, Warren Donnelly, Director of ESS Modular Group Warren Donnelly, Director ESS Modular ESS Group Compliance, Modular of Warren Donnelly, Director Compliance, ESS Modular Warren Director of of Group Donnelly, Compliance, ESS Modular Group Compliance, ESS Modular Jonathan Airey, Head of Group Jonathan Airey, Head of Group Development, Product ESS Jonathan Airey, Product Development, ESS Jonathan Airey, Head Head of of Modular Group Product Development, ESS Modular Group Product Development, Faisul Naqui, Head of IT,ESS ESS Modular Group Faisul Naqui, Head of IT, ESS Modular Group Modular Group Faisul Naqui, Head of IT, Modular Group Faisul Naqui, Head of IT, ESS ESS Modular Modular Group Group | @essmodular | @essmodular MANCHESTER | LONDON | DUBLIN | BELFAST | CORK MANCHESTER | LONDON | DUBLIN | BELFAST | CORK || @essmodular @essmodular MANCHESTER | LONDON | DUBLIN | BELFAST | CORK MANCHESTER | LONDON | DUBLIN | BELFAST | CORK

Faisul Naqui Faisul Naqui Faisul Faisul Naqui Naqui Paul Tierney, CEO said "Our Paul Tierney, CEO said "Our business has experienced a Paul Tierney, CEO said "Our business has experienced a in Paul Tierney, CEO said "Our period of rapid growth driven business has experienced a period of rapid growth driven business has experienced a in part by the increased awareness period of rapid growth driven part by the increased awareness period rapid driven in in of MMCofand thegrowth significant part by the increased awareness of MMC and the significant part by the increased awareness benefits it can deliver, and in part of MMC and the significant benefits it can deliver, and in part of MMC and the significant due to the public sector demand benefits it can deliver, and in due to the public sector demand benefits ithealthcare, can deliver, and in part part for more residential due to the public sector demand for more healthcare, residential due to the public sector demand and education facilities. for healthcare, residential andmore education facilities. for more healthcare, residential and education facilities. and education facilities. We have strategically reviewed We have strategically reviewed our organisation and, combined We have strategically reviewed our organisation and,staff combined We have strategically reviewed with adding 80 new over our organisation and, combined with adding 80 new staff over our last organisation and, combined the 12 months, these key with adding 80 new staff over the last 12 months, these with adding 80will new staff key over appointments further support the last 12 months, these key appointments will further support the last 12 months, these key our vision for operational appointments will further further support our vision for operational appointments will excellence and product support our vision for operational excellence and product our vision for operational innovation. Their combined excellence and product innovation. Their combined excellence and product expertise will greatly support the innovation. Their combined expertise will greatly support innovation. Their combined next phase of our growth.” the expertise will greatly support the the next phase ofgreatly our growth.” expertise will support next phase phase of of our our growth.” growth.” next

UK INDUSTRY NEWS NBS BIM Survey Wants Your Views

NBS the platform for connected construction information, has launched its annual survey with a new direction this year. For over ten years, NBS has been tracking the adoption of Building Information Modelling (BIM) via its National BIM Survey. The survey, previously known as NBS BIM Survey, will become the Digital Construction Survey from this year onwards.

The survey, which is the most comprehensive in the sector, allows those working in construction, architecture and engineering among others, to better understand the status quo and developments to make informed decisions, leading to a safer industry. The construction sector has been implementing BIM widely over the last few years, with adoption standing at 73% in 2020. NBS wants to capture exciting new developments through the new iteration of the BIM survey with the aim of gaining a more comprehensive understanding of the current picture of digital transformation and day-to-day usage of technology. The 2020 BIM report represented the views of over 1,000 industry professionals showcasing the adoption of BIM has grown substantially across the industry – in comparison, a decade ago, 43% of respondents had not even heard of BIM. BIM adoption by many in construction has helped transform how people work. While recognising that there are different views about the process of embedding BIM, NBS also sees other new ways of working and new technologies. NBS Research Manager David Bain said: “We have been monitoring BIM adoption at NBS for over a decade. Digital transformation is changing the industry, and it will continue to do so. We know an increasing number of construction professionals

are beginning to adopt virtual reality and other technologies like modern methods of construction, and the effects of the pandemic have undoubtedly accelerated this. These new digital tools are transforming the construction sector and will likely lead to a better built environment. In this year’s survey, we are taking a step further and plan to look beyond BIM to some of the new technologies being used in the built environment. We look forward to seeing what progress we have made as an industry and what changes we anticipate in the next year.” The Digital Construction Survey is for designers, specifiers, manufacturers, contractors and others working in the built environment. The survey will monitor offsite construction, collaboration in the cloud and the impact of COVID-19 on the sector’s digitalisation. For every completed response, NBS will donate £1 to the charity Crash. The survey should only take 10-15 minutes to complete. A pre-release report is sent to all participants, so those taking part will be among the first to access the findings. You can complete this year's NBS Digital Construction Survey at:

Premier Modular Delivers Offsite SEN Facility Premier Modular has delivered a new £2million special educational needs (SEN) facility at Nethergate Academy in Nottingham – an Ofsted Outstanding special school for children with autism, learning difficulties and disabilities. The school is sponsored by Greenwood Academies Trust. The main driver for Nottingham City Council’s decision to use offsite was the essential need to reduce noise and disruption to the children by moving construction work into a factory. The building also had to be delivered to a short programme ready for occupation for the start of the new academic year. To achieve this, Premier continued work on the project through the COVID-19 pandemic and lockdown. Designed and built by Premier with delivery architects Lungfish, the scheme had to be installed on a constrained site within the fully operational school. Careful logistics planning and traffic management ensured access to the school was maintained throughout the construction programme. Cranage of the modules was also timed for the school holidays to further minimise disruption. Commenting on the project, Sam Simons, Team Leader at Nottingham City Council said: “The children at the school have complex needs and site-based construction was not the best way to proceed because of the noise and vibration levels that would then be generated. Moving work offsite and into


a factory was therefore a huge advantage. The manufacturing processes of modular construction also allowed the building work to continue safely during the COVID-19 lockdown. It is definitely easier to manage and maintain social distancing requirements in a factory environment than on-site.” Tracey Ydlibi, Executive Principal at Nethergate Academy added: “Premier Modular was sensitive to the need for us to continue the day-to-day operation of the Academy and was able to complete the build with minimum disruption. Their team has produced a wonderful, purpose-built facility which will enable us to continue to provide the best possible educational experience and further meet the needs of autistic children with complex needs.” Craig Taylor, Associate Director at Lungfish Architects, said: “The demand for offsite construction continues to grow and this project proves why. The Premier building system gives us a high level of design


flexibility which ultimately improves the finished building in both aesthetics and functionality, and particularly when creating a learning environment to support SEN. We collaborated on the design with Premier to help deliver a new facility that will undoubtedly prove to be an invaluable addition to the academy and the community.” The 710sq m building was fitted out offsite and has high quality pre-installed concrete floors for a robust finish. Facilities include classrooms for key stages 1 to 4, group therapy rooms with specialist multi-coloured lighting, food technology room, occupational therapy, staff room, and a double-height multi-purpose hall for dining, assemblies and indoor sports – all built using offsite construction. The design of the facility was developed to meet SEND principles. Source:

UK INDUSTRY NEWS Modulous Gets £5m Venture Capital Boost

Three global venture capital firms have invested £5million into Modulous, to develop digital solutions to modernise the design and construction of affordable and sustainable housing. Modulous is an asset-light business with no factories. Instead, the company’s global supply chain and its investment in logistics will enable it to become more scalable and more responsive to the cyclical nature of housebuilding. Blackhorn Ventures, CEMEX Ventures and GroundBreak Ventures have backed London-based Modulous which has created a software platform to streamline design and overhaul the inefficient logistics that weigh down the sector. Alongside its software platform, Modulous has developed a precision-engineered apartment product that enables high-quality, affordable, sustainable homes to be computer designed and delivered to a specific cost. The new funding will expand the company's building design team and grow its technology group in order to speed up the evolution of its software platform being developed to exploit digital technology in a bid to make delivering homes better in every way. The game-changer is that the Modulous design software platform combines with its own modular building system – its kit of parts. This enables developers and housing associations to specify the sort of building they want, harvest local planning regulations to determine what is permitted and then quickly generate designs that accurately detail the precise cost. Because every building component is mapped within the system - like a wardrobe from IKEA - it is possible to monitor and measure the carbon footprint of every single building on a mass scale.

Sections of the building are supplied by a selection of high-quality supply chain partners, including Knauf, CEMEX, Ideal Standard and Ibstock. The software platform orchestrates the logistics to ensure that components arrive just in time and sequence - which can play a critical role in helping inflate construction companies’ margins. Chris Bone, Modulous CEO says: “Our digitally-led approach to project management and innovative ‘kit of parts’ platform delivers sustainable, high quality housing at a fraction of the time of traditional construction. As the costs of materials rise and profit margins are continually squeezed, Modulous provides partners with the end-to-end tools necessary to accurately estimate project costs, compress programme timescales and mitigate against the risks inherent in planning, design and implementation. It’s a system that solves multiple problems plaguing the industry for decades, while engaging flexible, net zero-ready technologies that allow our partners to realise high-speed assembly and installation.” Phillip O’Connor, Managing Partner and Co-Founder at Blackhorn Ventures, said: “This is about far more than modular housing. The opportunity here with the suite of products Modulous is developing is to create a standard akin to Pro Tools which can orchestrate and produce all elements of the housing process. Technology will not replace the many talented architects, engineers and construction workers – but simply enable them to focus on what they do best, making their jobs more profitable and enjoyable. And their capital-efficient, outsourced manufacturing business model allows Modulous to weather fluctuations in demand that characterize construction in contrast to capital-heavy, vertically integrated modular housing developers.”

Mateo Zimmerman, Investment Manager at CEMEX Ventures, said: “We have to put industrialized construction and MMC at the heart of design, manufacturing, logistics and assembly. The change to a ‘product mindset’ (instead of project mindset) will open up many opportunities and benefits for our industry, such as efficiency, climate action and sustainable profitability.” Scott Kaplanis, Partner at GroundBreak Ventures, added: “The scalability of the Modulous suite of products is vast and its ability to work with governments around the world to help solve global challenges of creating and delivering sustainable and affordable housing means we see a huge opportunity to grow the firm and support local construction firms and supply chains.” By leveraging artificial intelligence and generative design alongside 5D Building Information Modelling (BIM), developers, contractors and housing associations can drastically reduce the time and cost overruns that have crippled the industry in recent years. Combining technology with a forward-thinking logistics platform will help accelerate the delivery of much-needed housing across the UK and respond to the government’s own review of construction from 2016 by Mark Farmer which said the industry needed to ‘modernise or die’. New building regulations have been introduced by the UK Government to ensure homes are ‘net-zero ready’ from 2025, but that means that homes being built between today and 2025 will require retrofitting to meet soon-to-be-introduced standards. Modulous’ BOPAS-accredited method of delivery is directly helping to combat these challenges by offering a quick and low-energy solution to housing delivery. Source:



UK INDUSTRY NEWS Atkins Appoints New Offsite Specialists Atkins has appointed Rami Mansour as Head of Design for Manufacture and Assembly (DfMA) and Eugene Smethurst as Head of Lean to lead the company’s drive to help increase the efficiency of design and construction across the infrastructure sector. Rami will help clients understand the suitability of different modern methods of construction (MMC) systems to their projects, whilst looking at a sliding scale of standardisation within their designs. Eugene’s role will focus on applying lean techniques from manufacturing and other industries into the infrastructure sector, ensuring lean processes are embedded in the way Atkins delivers its services. Rami joins Atkins from Capita where he led the civil and structural engineering team and the multidisciplinary consultancy on a number of volumetric MMC residential schemes. Eugene joins Atkins from Arcadis where he led the company’s process and automation business. Eugene brings to Atkins cross-sector experience in the application of lean techniques, training in Japan before working in manufacturing for Honda and on major rail projects in the UK and abroad.

On his appointment Rami said: “Thanks to government backing and incentivisation, there’s never been as much interest or investment in DfMA and MMC which – while positive – has led to a very crowded marketplace that can appear confusing and impenetrable to clients. My aim is to help our clients understand the suitability of all the MMC typologies available to them and to guide the decision making process to help them decide whether MMC is right for their project and if it is, to select the system or systems, that will provide them the best outcomes.” Eugene said: “Lean has a crucial role to play in the transformation of the infrastructure sector, but it must be put front and centre of our thinking. Before looking to use digital tools, for example, we must remove

waste by implementing lean processes which can result in time and cost savings of up to 60%.” Mike McNicholas, Managing Director – Infrastructure at Atkins, added: “These appointments are an important step as we continue our transition to a more digitally-enabled, efficient future. By focusing on DfMA and lean, we will help our clients deliver more efficiently, increasing overall productivity for the infrastructure sector and UK PLC.” Pictured: Eugene Smethurst (left) Rami Mansour (right) Source:

Etopia Homes Makes Zero Carbon Housing Commitment Etopia Homes has become the UK’s first developer to commit to achieving an EDGE Zero Carbon certification. Launched under the UN Secretary General’s Zero Carbon for All Initiative and backed by the UK Government, the certification recognises homes that achieve a 100% reduction in operational emissions using low carbon technologies. The EDGE Zero Carbon certification has only been awarded to three other developments in the world, all of which were office buildings overseas. The news follows last year’s announcement that Etopia Group, Etopia Homes’ parent company, had become the first housebuilder in the world to achieve the Carbon Neutral International Standard and to join the United National Climate Neutral Now Initiative. The EDGE certification process is taking place at Etopia Homes’ development in Wilburton, Cambridgeshire. Branded Juniper Place, the scheme is delivering 30 zerocarbon homes. By using low-carbon technologies, sustainable building methods and materials, and smart devices that can model a home’s energy performance, all the homes are expected to achieve an energy performance certificate rating (EPC) of over 100, ranking them well-above the highest category of ‘A’.


In the UK, only one percent of newbuilds are ‘A’ rated, while the average rating is ‘D’. The announcement follows the introduction of new building regulations that require new homes constructed from this year onwards to produce 31% lower carbon emissions compared to previous standards. Joseph Daniels, CEO and Founder of Etopia Group, says: “The UK is in the midst of a dual crisis: climate change and a shortage of homes. If Government and industry are to tackle these head on, then there’s an urgent need for the built environment to be dragged into the 21st Century by bringing forward innovative technologies in both the methods of construction and the homes themselves. Our data-led, technologydriven approach will ensure that we’re able to meet the certification’s stringent criteria, optimise our


methods of delivering zero-carbon homes, and actively offer a ready-to-go solution to the UK’s climate change and housing crises.” Eleni Polychroniadou, Commercial Director at Sintali, the body responsible for certifying buildings to the EDGE Zero Carbon standard, added: “Project Etopia has taken a position of leadership in the UK market as the first residential developer to commit to EDGE Zero Carbon certification. There is an urgent need for green housing in the UK, and the world as a whole. By committing to certifying homes through an internationally-recognised green building standard, Project Etopia are encapsulating the vision that every home on this planet can be green and delivering it in a quantifiable and verifiable way.” Source:


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UK INDUSTRY NEWS TTF Signs ‘Building a Safer Future’ Charter The UK Timber Trade Federation (TTF) has joined major contractors, housing providers, local authorities and trade bodies in helping to change the culture around building safety. The TTF has taken the positive step of becoming a Registered Signatory to the Building a Safer Future (BSF) Charter. The BSF Charter is a proactive response to Dame Judith Hackitt’s Building a Safer Future Review in the wake of the Grenfell Tower tragedy. The Charter is administered by a not-for-profit independent organisation, set up to encourage collaboration, drive change, and ultimately to transform the culture around building safety. The community of Charter signatories is committed to putting people’s safety first through a series of five Charter Commitments. David Hopkins, CEO of the Timber Trade Federation said: “The TTF is pleased to become a Registered Signatory of the Building a Safer Future Charter. We recognise that becoming a Registered Signatory is an important first step towards achieving the culture and behavioural change required in relation to the Charter's objectives around building safety. In confirming our support as a Registered Signatory, we will now be working to ensure that we embed the principles of the Charter into our organisation’s and our sector’s activities. “As the TTF and TRADA move further towards integration under the banner of Timber Development UK, which will bring suppliers and specifiers under the same body, we will be in an authoritative position to

New Integrated Wates Business to Drive Offsite Manufacturing

enact our Commitments under the Charter, particularly in collaborating to spearhead culture change and become the voice of building safety across our sector. We will also be able to play a central role in providing the key information and resources need to achieve and maintain building safety.” Becoming a signatory to the BSF Charter underlines the TTF’s commitment to product safety, accurate product information (through its active engagement

Find out more about the Building a Safer Future Charter at:

Wates Construction Group has appointed a new Strategy and Integration Director for its recently formed Group of businesses Wates Integrated Construction Services (WICS). This sees the engineering and specialist businesses including SES Engineering Services, Wates Building Services and Prism offsite manufacturing coming together under the WICS group.

pleased to see that WICS has already achieved such a solid foundation ready to build on. With enthusiastic support from a great team and ambitious drive from all who have been involved in its creation so far, I believe WICS has all the necessary attributes to become a market-leading construction solutions provider in the UK. I am really excited and privileged to play my role in helping it happen.”

Inna Lim (pictured) joins from Skanska UK, where she was Head of Strategic Markets, and will work closely with Wates’ Rob Clifford, who was announced last year as the Managing Director for the newly established WICS. She will be based at the firm’s London office and her role will be fundamental in helping to establish and bring to market a brand new integrated offer from Wates which will champion emerging technologies, innovation and offsite construction.

Rob Clifford, Managing Director for WICS, said that Inna’s appointment marked an important milestone in the development of the WICS offer: “We believe that Inna, with her proven track record, will be a superb addition to the WICS team. Her extensive experience in leadership, business strategy and planning make her ideal for this important role which will prove crucial in how WICS evolves and supports our customers in the future. At Wates we are committed to continuously evolving our business and offering. The newly formed WICS will be a catalyst for enhancing and connecting up our capability, enabling us to become more sustainable, more profitable and more progressive as we modernise our group and make it fit for the future.”

“What a great time to be not only joining Wates, but specifically Wates Integrated Construction Services, in such a unique period of change for our industry and economy,” said Inna. “Having spent the last 10 years in this industry, I believe we are about to enter into a period where our sector will experience the fastest technological progress to date. I am extremely 16

with the Code for Construction Product Information), and standards of Competence, (through its involvement the post-Grenfell Working Group 12, Construction Products Competence).



UK INDUSTRY NEWS TopHat to Launch New Apartment Product Range TopHat has submitted a planning application to deliver the company’s first factory-built apartments at its flagship Kitchener Barracks site in Chatham, Kent. The planning application, submitted to Medway Council, includes proposals for the construction of three four-storey factory-built blocks of apartments, which will comprise 96 one and two-bedroom homes. All of the 96 apartments will be precision-engineered along production lines at TopHat’s factory in South Derbyshire. TopHat is delivering a total of 302 homes at the 4.8-acre Kitchener Barracks site. The new homes are being delivered across three phases, with over 100 already delivered by the modular housing company. The new apartments will be the first TopHat has ever delivered and signals the company’s move to delivering alternative residential assets for investors, such as build-to-rent and co-living schemes. The application submitted by TopHat includes plans to deliver a further 183 homes at Kitchener Barracks, as part of the scheme’s third phase, including a proposal to repurpose an early 20th century barracks to deliver 68 apartments and 19 two and four-bedroom houses. Dating from 1757 and named after Earl Kitchener in 1928, the Kitchen Barracks site is an important local

landmark, most recently used as accommodation for the Royal School of Military Engineering. The news of TopHat’s latest planning application at Kitchener Barracks comes just a month after the company announced the appointment of Matthew Evans, a former Airbus vice president, as its new Chief Technology Officer – which will see him lead on the TopHat’s ambition to revolutionise housing delivery across the UK. Krishan Pattni, Chief Design Officer and Founding Director at TopHat, says: “By diversifying our product range, we are now able to deliver a higher volume

of homes to a wider range of partners. For investors investing in long-term income-producing assets like affordable housing, build-to-rent and co-living, it is crucial to have certainty that a project will be delivered on time so revenue streams can be accessed as early as possible and that the homes are cost and maintenance efficient throughout their use. Demographic trends and spurring on the growth of alternative residential asset classes we, as a company, want to make sure we have products capable of catering to this increasing investor appetite.” Source:

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UK INDUSTRY NEWS CTI Announces New Chair

After serving four years as Chair of the Confederation of Timber Industries (CTI), Roy Wakeman OBE, has decided to leave his post with fellow sector expert, Alex Goodfellow (pictured) taking over.

Essex Receives Modular Classrooms Construction has started to create a number of new classroom blocks at three secondary schools across Essex – adding 750 much-needed school places for pupils in the county. The modular units will be installed at Clacton County High School, The Colne Community School and College and Sweyne Park School, as part of the Essex County Council-led scheme. The designs for all three schools have been tailored to be as flexible and efficient as possible to maximise the benefits of a modular solution, while simultaneously


As a result of Roy’s stewardship, the influence of the CTI as an advocacy group for timber has increased significantly, with the All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) for the Timber Industries, reports including ‘How the timber industries can help solve the housing crisis’, and events bringing industry and politicians together strongly highlighting the status of timber as the material of the future. This means the CTI is poised to help the UK Government make construction more sustainable and move towards a zero-carbon economy. Roy said: “I wish the organisation and colleagues every success in their quest for an even wider awareness of the unique advantages and selling points of the material in the construction, building, home improvement and consumer markets.” Stepping into the role is Alex Goodfellow, Group Managing Director, Strategic Development, of Stewart Milne Group. Alex has over 35-years’ experience of working within the housebuilding and offsite timber frame sector bringing vast and varied experience to the Chair role of the CTI. Alex is a board member of the Structural Timber Association (STA), having previously served as Chair, and Director of Offsite Solutions Scotland, an organisation established to grow offsite manufacture across the UK and

meeting both the client’s educational needs and environmental requirements. Leading independent property, construction and infrastructure consultancy Pick Everard has been appointed to deliver architecture, civil, structural and MEP engineering, and principal design services. Keith Prendergast, Director at Pick Everard, said: “We have worked closely with the client and had close collaboration with a modular supplier to ensure the brief was achieved and the design was conducive with an offsite modular solution. This will provide the high-quality education facilities the next generation of students deserve. The implementation of modular for these projects has also allowed the overall programme time to be greatly reduced, meaning that schools will be able to make the most of their new classrooms


internationally. His industry influence allows him to build innovative and collaborative relationships with many UK housebuilders and other industry influencers in the drive to ensure offsite timber manufacturing continues to provide an effective MMC solution to the housing crisis. Alex said: “I look forward to driving forward the mission of the CTI and placing timber at the centre of a sustainable, vibrant and prosperous modern UK economy. It is more important than ever we work collaboratively to promote and protect the markets for, and interests of, timber and timber products and systems. Building in timber is a form of carbon capture and storage and is essential to decarbonising construction. To make this happen we have a full calendar of engagements, political advocacy, market research, policy reports, and other events in the year ahead. Our many thanks to Roy for his hard work over the last four years to advance the interest of timber, and helping to secure a better, stronger future for our industry.” Source:

much sooner than if the traditional construction route were taken. We look forward to seeing all three schools open their new modular buildings, and to seeing students enjoying and making the most of their new environments.” Tom Wint, Quantity Surveying Associate at Pick Everard, added: “When compared to traditional on-site methods, Essex County Council has reduced the overall project time by six months by opting for modular builds, which are a great way to save time and money on a scheme due to providing an efficient solution – allowing Sweyne Park School to open its new building at the start of the new academic year in September 2021.” Source:

UK INDUSTRY NEWS Build UK Common Standard to Speed-up Tendering Process

Norbord Europe Now Part of West Fraser

Norbord Europe Ltd has joined the West Fraser organisation. As the UK’s number one engineered wood panel manufacturer and serving the housebuilding and construction industry with a vast array of board products for flooring, panelling and roofing, Norbord was the go-to name behind the company's popular brands SterlingOSBZero, CaberFloor and CaberWood MDF. David Connacher, Marketing Manager, said: “We are delighted to be working within the West Fraser family. It gives us the opportunity to continue growing, developing and maximising our European business as we have been doing for many years. It is very much business as usual and our customer-facing teams are communicating this positive message to our key partners.” It is business as usual at the three UK plants – in Cowie and Inverness, Scotland and South Molton, Devon – with no change in personnel.

Build UK has announced that the new industry-wide pre-qualification (PQ) system will simplify a complex system for the benefit of everyone in the construction sector. The rollout of the Common Assessment Standard will significantly reduce the duplication of time, effort and resources that are costing the sector up to £1billion a year.

contractors and clients. It’s been a collaborative effort, involving companies across the whole sector, and the new system is a huge step towards more efficient working, which is more important than ever in the current challenging economic climate.”

Major contractors and clients – including Balfour Beatty, Costain, HS2, Mace, Multiplex and Skanska – have all adopted the Common Assessment Standard meaning that members of their supply chains will need to obtain just one certification to tender for work with them. This follows the recent implementation of a new data sharing solution, which enables contractors and clients to obtain key PQ data from any one of three recognised assessment bodies: Achilles, CHAS or Constructionline.

Neil Mant, Chair of the Interim Cross Industry Body, which has overseen the development of the new system, said: “The new PQ system is a huge step forward for construction. With a single Common Assessment Standard and data sharing now in place, we have not only eliminated a huge amount of costly duplication of effort but also raised the bar in assessing the competence of the supply chain. Supply chain companies will need certification from only one of the three Recognised Assessment Bodies, and contractors can continue to deal with the body they have an existing relationship with.”

The Common Assessment Standard is an industryagreed question set with two levels of certification – desktop and site-based – and companies can apply to any Recognised Assessment Body to get the appropriate level dependent upon their trade, size and requirements of their clients. Created by Build UK with the support of CECA, the Common Assessment Standard is endorsed by the Construction Leadership Council (CLC), which is actively seeking its adoption throughout Government construction procurement, including the Construction Playbook.

Andy Mitchell, Chair of the CLC, said: “The CLC is delighted to endorse the Common Assessment Standard which is set to transform the construction PQ process. It is a real and practical way of reducing bureaucracy and improving quality in the industry and it comes at just the right time. Companies will be able to demonstrate that they meet an agreed industry standard, and clients and contractors will be able to rely on the certification. The CLC will be encouraging the adoption of the Common Assessment Standard throughout public and private sector procurement.”

Jo Fautley, Deputy Chief Executive of Build UK, said: “We’re delighted that the new system is now fully up and running and already being used by major


West Fraser is a diversified wood products company with more than 60 facilities in Canada, the United States and Europe. From responsibly-sourced and sustainably- managed forest resources, West Fraser produces lumber, engineered wood (OSB, LVL, MDF, plywood, particleboard), and other products including pulp, newsprint, wood chips and renewable energy. David Connacher, added: “The two companies are much aligned and share many common values, including a commitment to safety, efficient manufacturing facilities, a focus on continuous improvement and teamwork, as well as manufacturing sustainable products that are essential for a low-carbon economy. Product development and efficient supply chains will also be at the crux of the new organisation due to the merging of experienced teams. Absolutely nothing has changed for our customers. The people are the same, the products are the same, the plants are the same – Norbord Europe now becomes the European arm of West Fraser following the acquisition.” Simon Woods, European Sales, Marketing & Logistics Director, West Fraser added: “The joining of our two companies is a very exciting move for us in Europe. To list West Fraser’s long standing core beliefs – efficiency, modern mills, responsibility and leadership in environmental performance, the active involvement of employees in the business, a commitment to safety and a relentless pursuit of excellence in everything we do – is to echo Norbord’s. There is a huge opportunity for us to grow and develop in Europe together.” All previous Norbord contact details are the same but the website is now:



UK INDUSTRY NEWS Ilke Homes Secures Significant Exeter Development Site

Work Begins on Abbey Farm Primary School

Work has begun on the new Abbey Farm Educate Together Primary School in North Swindon, designed by HLM Architects working with Reds10. The primary school is for the Department for Education (DfE) and will be operated by the Educate Together Academy Trust, who provide an ethical and values curriculum suited to a rapidly changing world at four primary schools in the South West.

Leading modular housing company ilke Homes has secured a development site for 165 new homes on Phase 2, Exmouth Junction, Exeter from Eutopia Homes. The scheme, which will be delivered on a brownfield site that has laid vacant for many years, will comprise 165 new homes, comprising a mix of one and two-bed apartments and two, three and four-bed homes – subject to receiving final planning consent. The site, currently owned by Eutopia Homes, was most recently used as a self-storage yard and historic uses include former railway sidings, a concrete depot, and a coal distribution centre. In March 2021, Exeter City Council (ECC) resolved to grant outline planning permission for the site for a total of 400 new homes and 65 retirement units. The application submitted by Eutopia Homes reflects a high quality designed scheme and promotes a lesser reliance on cars for other modes of travel, coupled with ECC’s condition that buildings must achieve at least a 19% reduction in carbon emissions compared to 2013 building regulations, truly sets the scheme apart from other traditional schemes within the city. Thanks to precision-engineering techniques, the homes being delivered at Exmouth Junction will be some of the UK’s most energy-efficient. By achieving at least a ‘B’ EPC rating, the homes will be more energy-efficient than 92% of the UK’s housing stock. The energy performance of each home also translates into huge cost savings for residents, who could save hundreds of


pounds on energy bills each year, as it is far cheaper to heat and power one of ilke’s homes compared to a traditionally built home due to increased levels of airtightness. Eutopia Homes are responsible for the master plan of the whole site and the delivery of the build to rent phase. Eutopia Homes will also provide the infrastructure for ilke Homes to access and develop phase two. Tom Heathcote, Executive Director of Development at ilke Homes, comments: “This scheme marks our first major development in the South West and signifies to the market that ilke Homes is well-positioned to deliver as part of wider multi-phased developments. We’re particularly delighted to be working with Eutopia Homes on this fantastic design led scheme, and we are very much looking forward to playing our part to help transform and regenerate this redundant brownfield site for the benefit of the wider community. Scott Hammond, CEO at Eutopia Homes, added: “One of the main reasons we selected ilke Homes was the benefits that modular construction can bring to speed of delivery across a large site. Our commitment to Modern Methods of Construction made a partnership with ilke Homes the natural fit and we look forward to working with them on this exciting project.” Source:


The school, which is aiming to achieve net zero operation carbon, is the first in the Department for Education’s (DfE) £3billion ‘Off-site Schools Framework’. The programme runs for four years and will deliver the next generation of off-site schools in England, supporting a wider government move towards offsite construction. The new school, which is set to open in September 2022, is located on a 4.6-acre (1.9-hectare) site. It will accommodate 460 pupils from the local community and is part of a wider residential-led mixed-use development by Redrow. Paul Ruddick, Chairman of Reds10, said: “We are particularly proud to see this project come to fruition under the banner of the government’s ambitious new strategy for offsite schools. The building is a future-proofed, sustainable facility equipped with SMART building technology, enabling it to achieve the highest principles in energy efficiency and management. This sets a high benchmark for all future schools under this programme.” Claire Wakelin, London Studio Director, HLM Architects, added: “We are pleased to see this project advance to the next stage of development. Our strategic design approach has been centred on the creation of a high-quality, safe and secure environment for pupils that maximises the opportunity for learning and socialising. Biodiversity was also a major inspiration, resulting in an environment that seamlessly integrates into the surrounding landscape.” Source:

UK INDUSTRY NEWS New Trimble Publication Demystifies DfMA Recognising the industry shift towards offsite construction, Trimble (UK) has released an e-book that aims to raise awareness of Design for Manufacture and Assembly (DfMA), the benefits such an approach can offer and how DfMA and digital processes can work together to provide additional value. The UK Government is delivering a clear push on modern construction methods, with offsite, standardisation and a ‘kit of parts’ approach all featuring in the recently published Construction Playbook and National Infrastructure Strategy. Despite this renewed emphasis, there is still work to be done. As part of the push, Trimble (UK) has released an e-book, ‘How to win at digital construction using a Design for Manufacture and Assembly (DfMA) approach’, which explores the theme of offsite in more detail. Specifically: exploring DfMA, what it means in a practical sense, the value it can bring to both a project and a business and how digital construction tools can help to deliver DfMA.

The e-book also includes case study examples of how Building Information Modelling (BIM) has been used at the Design, Manufacture and Assembly project stages to help bring structures to life, as well as discussing the future of the industry and how BIM fits into the concept of standardised design. Speaking about the e-book, Steve Insley, National Sales Manager at Trimble, said: “Despite offsite construction, in all its various forms and terms, being a common topic within the construction industry, there still remains some confusion around what it all

means and the value that it can deliver to businesses on the ground. Given this, we hope that our e-book will help to demystify the topic of DfMA, highlighting the perfect working relationship between DfMA and digital processes and proving how digital construction software can support businesses through this next journey.”

TDUK Board Member, and Dr Gemma Jerome, Director, Building with Nature, and Neil Guthrie, who as Development Director of Sunderland City Council represents the client perspective.

construction. These students have taken forward the lessons from the webinars to create low-carbon, homes and neighbourhoods of the future, and built skills which they can undoubtedly take forward well into the future.

For more information and to download the E-Book visit:

#RSUDC21 Stuns Organisers Built environment students have stunned organisers of the Riverside Sunderland University Design Challenge (#RSUDC21) with 16 entries from multidisciplinary teams showcasing low-carbon homes and a neighbourhood of the future. Sunderland City Council, the Ministry of Building Innovation and Education (MOBIE), and the Timber Development UK University Engagement Programme launched the competition in February. Since then, more than 200 students from 35+ UK universities have been competing within teams composed of architects, engineers, quantity surveyors, landscape architects, project managers and urban designers – reflecting the multidisciplinary nature of sustainable construction and place making. #RSUDC21 has become a powerful channel for built environment students to collaborate and share their vision for the future of urban living. Each team has designed a one three-bed family home in detail, and an indicative masterplan for 100 homes, which includes landscapes and streetscapes with green and open spaces against the backdrop of Riverside Sunderland. The entries are now being shortlisted, and eight will be chosen to be judged by industry leaders, including Andy von Bradsky, MHCLG’s head of architecture, Mark Farmer, the Government’s Independent MMC Champion and a partner at Cast consultancy, Kelly Harrison, Associate Director of Whitby Wood and

In response to the entries, George Clarke, founder of MOBIE said: “Students never fail to amaze me with their imagination, talent and passion, and this competition is providing a critical avenue to inspire young people to help define sustainable homes, and the future of where and how we live. Taking on the climate and housing crises is so incredibly important, and our built environment is key to creating a more sustainable future.” TDUK University Engagement Programme manager, Tabitha Binding said: “What these student teams have created in little more than a few months is incredible and provides so much hope for the future of UK

“Our built environment is responsible for around 40% of the UK’s greenhouse gas emissions. Through the skillsets these students have developed, they can help decarbonise building by employing lowcarbon, sustainable building materials like timber and using modern methods of construction. These 16 entries show the benefits of working together in interdisciplinary teams as we take on the climate challenge.” Source:





HLM Architects recently appointed Dan Brown as Head of Modern Methods of Construction (MMC) Delivery, where he will provide advice and support to existing and new clients on the delivery of offsite projects. We caught up with him to know more about the role and his thoughts on the offsite sector.


1 Q: As new Head of MMC Delivery at HLM Architects, can you say more about what the role will entail and what you will be wanting to achieve with it? Dan Brown (DB): My role is to drive HLM’s ongoing integration and implementation of MMC and digital delivery across all studios and sectors and hone our strategic approach to delivery of offsite and MMC. Through collaboration with internal and external partners, I plan to develop and implement R&D initiatives that will innovate in this arena. Some of this activity is likely to be particularly relevant in addressing emerging updates to legislative frameworks such as the building regulations, and to the development of a circular economy. I fully expect the outcomes of R&D to be incorporated into project work across the practice so anticipate involvement in the production of digital tools and the delivery of training.


Q: The practice has committed itself to a ‘Think: Off-site First’ approach – what does that mean and how will you and the HLM team implement it? DB: We are one of the first architectural practices that has committed so openly to embedding MMC at the heart of its work. Through ‘Think: Offsite First’, HLM hopes to implement across all sectors the many benefits that MMC can bring to projects in terms of quality, time, budget, environmental sustainability and health and safety. The wider team already question whether offsite construction can be implemented on projects and for me, this will include ‘hands-on’ involvement in current live projects as well as strategic input to guide what MMC categories might suit the specific needs of a programme, sector, site or scheme. Q: The offsite construction sector has boomed over the last 2-3 years with many new entrants to the market with


lots of talk of ‘disruptive design’ – from an architect’s perspective where is this disruptive design happening? DB: Around the world, use of ‘modular’ and other types of MMC varies significantly, but its potential to improve the impact and efficiency of the built environment is clear. The adoption and acceptance of MMC in the UK is positively evolving and accelerating, thanks in part to investment and commitment from government and businesses across most construction sectors. Through continued learning from manufacturing industries and by targeted research and development, especially in relation to societal impacts, digital tools and the platform approach to MMC which is being advocated for Government’s cross-departmental procurement, I believe that closer collaboration in the construction industry can help


3 drive success in the delivery of offsite projects. This evolution includes disruptive design methodologies: data capture and analysis using sophisticated digital tools to test and evolve solutions which challenge the status quo are being developed. Alongside this, design programmes are being ‘turned on their head’, requiring new digital processes and a much earlier detailed involvement of specialist designers to work closely alongside the more ‘traditional’ design team to achieve a successful outcome. Q: There is a real focus on the economic, environmental and smart technology aspects of the built environment now – where does aesthetics and visual appeal figure in improving where we live and work? DB: Architecture has always been about more than simply the aesthetic. Visual appeal works alongside other sustainability measures to create successful places to live, work and play. Importantly, creative use of offsite manufacture should not impinge on aesthetic appeal. While the appearance of the built environment remains a key, but subjective, element in design, software solutions that objectively test iterative parametric

changes to evolve a design solution that is technically successful and visually appealing are now becoming a crucial tool which architects adopt as part of their design methodology. Q: The type of skillsets required in the modern construction industry is changing rapidly – not least in the offsite sector with the growth in digital tools (AI/VR) more important than ever. How central is technology to future offsite delivery and more efficient construction?

to work with schools, universities and other training providers to ensure a sustainable pipeline of digital and other relevant skills are maintained. Q: The construction industry is under huge pressure to reduce energy consumption and change material use across the built environment to meet the UK’s net zero targets. How will HLM deliver energy efficiency in its approach to building design?

DB: The technological evolution is critical to MMC, not only for offsite manufacturing and assembly but also in relation to those elements of construction which remain site based. Numerous manual construction trades have for some time been subject to a fluctuating or diminishing skills-base. The offsite approach to construction aims to address these shortfalls but it is correct that different skills are required for successful delivery of MMC.

DB: As a practice, we’re keen to ensure we are taking responsibility to create places that have minimal negative impact on the world. HLM have committed to meeting the RIBA 2030 targets by 2025 and has developed strategies and design principles for each of these themes aligned to the RIBA Plan of Work that are embedded into our thinking. We have a suite of tools to ensure we define, develop and assess clients’ building projects in an evidenced-based way, such as our Thoughtful Design Toolkit.

Alongside ‘production line’ skills, the use of drones, robots, AI/VR, these will automate elements of the delivery but of course, humans will be required to some degree to produce and control these tools. The education system needs to evolve to provide people with the right skills and the industry needs

We have established HLMGreenbuild, an association consultancy with the renowned environmental design consultant GreenBuild. This combines our expertise and offers specific services including: sustainability and energy design and reporting – BREEAM, LEED, and WELL certification




4 – as well as environmental modelling. We are also corporate members of the Passivhaus Trust, an independent, non-profit organisation that provides leadership in the UK for the adoption of the Passivhaus standard and methodology, and we have several qualified Passivhaus designers. Q: Building regulations, the planning process and warranty issues are often held up as stymieing some of the benefits of offsite – e.g. its speed. What can be done to improve this situation and widen its client appeal? DB: The planning process is not just an issue for offsite but for all construction projects. However, the recent moves to reform the planning system and take it to a new level with digital technology will hopefully address concerns so that teams can further streamline projects with reduced risk. Building regulations are in the midst of significant review which will impact all construction. The offsite industry will need to work with these evolving legislative frameworks in future. The adoption of more standardisation, ‘type testing’ and certification, such as BOPAS, will provide clients and funders with more confidence in offsite solutions, and more innovative warranty schemes are likely to emerge. With all these areas, careful programming, standardisation and creative design will help balance the conflicting demands of control, speed and quality.


Q: The use of technology and digital tools within factory environments is now central to offsite technology plus the adoption of ‘repeatable components’ and ‘harmonised’ design – is this the future of offsite’s successful adoption? DB: New digital tools, ‘platforms’ and integrated BIM are definitely an integral part of the future success for offsite. Changes in the perception that some stakeholders have in relation to offsite also needs to evolve. I’m particularly interested to see how the industry might change so that design teams integrate specific manufacturer’s requirements much earlier in a project – perhaps with a partnering approach where design, manufacturing and other team members come together for programmes of work to build efficiency and speed into projects? This will require design, procurement and funding philosophies to adapt so that risks are fairly managed, and creativity is maintained. Q: In a post-pandemic world – where do you see the UK offsite sector developing and thriving over the next 18 months? DB: There is strong potential for offsite to be applied more across all sectors. HLM has long been an advocate of this and our recent work in education is an example of where MMC has lots of potential and is helping clients, such as Wokingham Borough Council, reach sustainability and


net-zero carbon targets. The recently completed expansion at Addington School showcases this point. BIM Level 2 and data-led technology enabled the team to work closely together, creatively putting user needs and carbon reduction at the forefront. Efficient use of time and digital tools at the front end of the process enabled manufacturing to begin more quickly and gave scope for more stakeholder engagement in the early design decision making process to help establish a holistic digital and offsite strategy. Although 3D volumetric modular offsite construction offers many benefits, it isn’t a solution for all cases and other MMC categories will develop across all sectors. As materials shortages continue, there is probably going to be some fluctuation in which offsite solutions appear most beneficial. However, this will be cyclical, and, on balance, there will remain strong opportunities for the industry, particularly as central government has offsite high on the construction agenda. For more information visit: Images: 01. Dan Brown, Head of Modern Methods of Construction Delivery, HLM Architects 02. Addington School is a new sustainable, offsite manufactured facility in Wokingham 03-04. Technology is revolutionising the way the built environment is perceived. Courtesy Manufacturing Technology Centre/FIT Homes

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Environmental discussions used to focus on lifecycle analysis including recycling at the end of a building’s practical life and embodied carbon calculations. But as Steve Thompson, Managing Director of EOS explains, this is only part of the sustainability equation.

1 Light steel frame construction is used extensively in the UK in a wide range of building applications. The precise nature of the advantages will depend on the application and project specifics. However, there are generally five overriding value benefits – safety, quality, speed, strength and the lightweight yet robust nature of light steel frame construction. These lead to additional advantages, such as reducing concrete foundations, early completion, fewer snags, elimination of shrinkage and minimal re-work. But the sustainability benefits are often overlooked. In the UK, the Steel Construction Institute (SCI) has produced evidence that we are largely self-sufficient in steel, meaning we can pretty well produce all the steel we need through recycling our latent stock to satisfy market demand. Manufactured from the most abundant component on earth, steel can be


recycled or reused endlessly without detriment to its properties. This unique characteristic gives steel a high value at all stages of its lifecycle. The recovery infrastructure for steel recycling is highly developed and extremely efficient and has been in place for decades. Current recovery rates from demolition sites in the UK are 99% for structural steelwork and 96% for all steel construction products – figures that far exceed those for any other construction material. Light steel frame is predominantly used for complex buildings where additional structural integrity is necessary and provides the answer to complex questions where a lightweight response is required. Offering the best strength-to-weight ratio improves efficiencies – you get a lot of structure for relatively little weight which reduces embodied carbon. This is where steel cannot be beaten. Lighter structures not


only reduce material consumption but also concrete in the ground. This means that foundation loads and sizes are reduced by over 70% relative to concrete and block-work construction. Site waste is virtually eliminated by the use of prefabricated light steel components compared to the industry average wastage of 10% in construction materials. With cold rolled steel, components are manufactured to length the only waste is the swarf and offcuts produced which are minimal and can be recycled. One thing that is not considered as part of the sustainability equation is the utilisation percentage of steel – all offcuts are recycled and there is no waste at all during the manufacturing process, therefore no production waste. High levels of thermal insulation and airtightness are achieved in light steel framing. EOS has developed



3 in collaboration with our Etex group partners, Siniat, a leading expert in plasterboard and drylining systems, together with fire protection specialists Promat and FSi – our Thrubuild® complete load-bearing walling and flooring systems. Our components and products are rigorously tested together to ensure compatibility and system performance, enabling us to warrant the technical performance of our Thrubuild® range of solutions and offer a 30-year warranty. Carbon Calculations In my opinion we cannot take a shortterm embodied carbon ‘construction’ approach – it is far greater than that. We have to think long-term to mitigate the devastation of climate change and consider the health of our planet for generations to come. But to do this we need to turn to technology to provide full lifecycle carbon analysis from manufacture and construction to inuse together with recycling and reuse

4 at the end of a building’s life. Digital value toolkits are required to provide much needed evidence to change the debate and to offer in-depth accurate analysis of whole life carbon calculations. This whole life approach will be a ‘game changer’ for light steel framing systems in the sustainability stakes and long-term analysis will show that steel is intrinsically more sustainable than other construction materials. Light steel frame is most definitely

part of a carbon neutral solution and communicating this is crucial. Its assets make it the ultimate sustainable construction solution in terms of its longevity, material and recycling properties and importantly, enhancing the safety credentials of steel-framed buildings. Images: 01-04. Steel can be recycled or reused endlessly without detriment to its properties with prefabricated light steel components providing wider sustainability benefits

EOS is a leading innovator in the design and manufacture of light gauge steel systems. The EOS product and service range is underpinned by investment in state-of-the-art design and manufacturing technology, coming together to deliver award-winning sustainable steel framing systems across a wide range of construction sectors. For more information and to view video project case studies, insights into our advanced manufacturing processes and client testimonials go to:







2 To cope with the pressures of the pandemic, Hull Royal Infirmary required two new intensive care units. They turned to light steel frame to provide the structure swiftly and safely. Centred around offsite manufacture and delivering a wide variety of design, engineering, project management and installation services – the Tek Group use light steel frame (LSF) as an advanced offsite technology through its TekConstruct core structural solution. Along with light steel frame infill and loadbearing systems, as a dedicated steel sub-contractor we also specialise in hybrid structures which combine the efficiency of cold and hot rolled steel – delivering a rapid, robust and costeffective solution. As part of their COVID-19 response programme, Hull Royal Infirmary urgently required two new intensive care units. TekConstruct engineered, designed, supplied, installed and project managed the entire structure which encompassed a hot rolled steel ‘skeleton’ frame with two-storeys of light steel frame loadbearing wall panels on the side elevations and a light steel frame infill system for the gable adjoining the existing building.


TekConstruct also engineered, designed, supplied and installed floor and roof cassettes which measured 12m x 3m and were pre-fitted with Lewis Deck for the floors and oriented strand board (OSB) for the roofs. Wall panels were factory-fitted with Y-Wall – a BBA-certified A1 non-combustible sheathing board. Steel stairs were also engineered, designed and installed as part of the build. The structure which is central to the hospital site is bordered on three sides by existing intensive care units together with medical and surgical wards with the fourth side being a ‘blue light run’ for access to the accident and emergency department for ambulances. Pre-planning is always crucial to offsite construction and was vitally important for the success of this project. “The very location within a confined site, immediately adjacent to an active healthcare facility that was under severe pressure – required an extremely considerate and sensitive approach,” says Andy Scholes, Managing Director at TekConstruct. “In addition, our team had to contend with the pressure of the short build programme due to the urgent need for the completion of the intensive care units. As a result of great planning from our project managers together with a concerted and dedicated effort by our engineers, designers and site teams – we completed the design and engineering of the system and delivered the completed project on schedule. The installation of the entire structure took just four weeks.” Paul Hutchinson Company Director added: “Due to the success of this project we are now moving straight


3 onto a second building for the same client and hospital trust. This was a particularly interesting build due to the nature of the hybrid structure. The wide diversity and size of components involved proved challenging as well as designing and engineering the interfaces between the various solutions to complete the integrated build solution.”

The very location within a confined site, immediately adjacent to an active healthcare facility that was under severe pressure – required an extremely considerate and sensitive approach. For more information visit:

LSFA is the representative body for light steel frame manufacturers, fabricators, structural building contractors and supply chain members including erectors, installers, designers, structural engineers and consultants. The Association works with members to raise awareness of the performance, productivity and sustainability benefits of steel.

Images: 01-03. Two new steel frame intensive care units gave Hull Royal Infirmary expanded capacity quickly



Award-winning Integra Buildings is earning top marks as the offsite revolution gathers pace in the education sector. The latest example is a state-of-the-art academy for Severn Trent Water, built using cutting-edge modular methods. Integra, one of the UK’s leading modular construction specialists, is delivering a series of outstanding projects to schools and training providers. Officially opened by Prime Minister Boris Johnson, the Severn Trent Academy, in Coventry, provides a purpose-built centre of excellence for technical training as part of a wider £10million programme delivering skills to Severn Trent’s 7,000 staff, as well as thousands of members of the community. Severn Trent has described the building as “an amazing space in which to learn”. The academy is a prime example of how modern modular techniques are transforming

the construction sector by delivering projects faster and more efficiently than traditional methods, without compromising on quality. Integra has developed a reputation for excellence in bespoke modular building, together with exceptional customer service. Whether a landmark new school, or a versatile modular classroom, Integra’s talented team will design and deliver a building to match each client’s exact requirements. An impressive example is a new two-storey extension at Mayfield Grammar School in Gravesend. Integra worked closely with the school and Kent County Council to deliver high-quality teaching spaces, including four new science

The fire suppression solution ideal for modular homes Automist is a pre-engineered, LABC Assured alternative to sprinklers, designed with modular home building in mind

1 labs, while ensuring the external finish incorporated the school colours and matched existing buildings on site. For more information visit: Image: 01. The Severn Trent Academy was delivered using cutting-edge modular methods




A modular system that enables more of the installation work to be completed off site, helping to reduce spend on specialist contractors Flexible hosing means joins between modules can be installed seamlessly Connects to the normal domestic water supply, needing only 8 litres per minute – no tank or water supply upgrade required

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In March this year, Homes England published its report outlining the details of its study and final research themes for its six-year, 1,800 home MMC Research Commission. MMC Research Commission Sites Site Name


(No. of homes)


Primary MMC Technology

Northstowe Phase 2




East Quayside



Light Gauge Steel Frame

Swindon Gateway




Spencers Park

Hemel Hempstead



Grappenhall Heys Phase 2



Modular & Panellised

York Road




Tattenhoe Phase 4

Milton Keynes



Park Prewett – Hollies Phase




As part of the Government’s objective to improve construction productivity and encourage the uptake of offsite manufacture in housing delivery, the next phase of this research project will see data collected across eight of Homes England’s development sites using offsite methods. Research and development partners Atkins and Faithful+Gould have so far completed a large body of work to shape the data and collection methodology and start data collection, as well as engagement with industry. Monitoring the construction of around 1,800 homes across the country over several years, the study will test the performance of different types of MMC to provide long-term, in-depth and verifiable data so that informed decisions about emerging construction technologies can be made. Offsite and modular building techniques have the potential to be significantly more productive than traditional building methods, allowing homes to be built more quickly, addressing labour and skills shortages and improving the quality, consistency


and energy efficiency of newly built homes. Robert Stone, Technical Director at Homes England, said: “We are committed to providing the industry with the body of evidence it is asking for in order to drive a greater understanding of modern house building technologies and increase the uptake of MMC. Now more than ever, we recognise that more needs to be done to share learning and build confidence in MMC. This large-scale, long-term and in-depth project will provide the sector with the valuable evidence it needs to make informed decisions about MMC and deliver better homes faster.” The research will explore 16 themes, including – site description and context, pace and cost of build, labour productivity, planning issues, pre-manufactured value, safety performance, waste levels, construction logistics, quality, energy efficiency, sales performance, lifecycle, economic rationale, social value and wellbeing. It will also seek to learn lessons about how these technologies


will be deployed and give confidence to the industry to drive a greater uptake of offsite technologies. Working with BRE and University College London (UCL), Atkins and Faithful+Gould will collect and monitor data from the developers during the six-year programme and produce annual updates on the research findings, before a final report is published at the end of the build programme. BRE will help define the new metrics needed and compare existing data, whilst UCL will provide construction ‘economics expertise’ to ensure the final statistics are watertight. “With the impacts of COVID-19 and the realisation of our exit from the EU, the need to protect and improve productivity and grow UK revenue is great,” said Terrence Stocks, UK Head of Public Sector at Faithful+Gould. “Coupled with the release of the UK Government’s Construction Playbook, the importance of this research project has grown. The team and the developer organisations, along with their contractors, are now ready to move forward with increased pace, and the next year will see us gathering and analysing data to support a study that will hopefully drive an accelerated uptake of MMC in the residential sector.” Critically, the research is being carried out on homes on live building sites and when the team reports for the final time will have solid data to offer the market – something that has hamstrung offsite manufacture’s in its quest to prove its benefits. The sites under review will use a variety of offsite technologies ranging from volumetric modular to timber frame and the use of bathroom pods. For more information visit:

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Use SCI for trusted independent assessment of your design process, product performance data or software In a performance driven construction industry, there is an increasing requirement for products and services to be formally and independently assessed. Companies investing in assessment with the SCI are getting; an industry recognised brand, proven expertise and established supporting services. Manufacturers are using product assessment as a cost effective method of differentiating their product and accessing new markets.

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The Construction Innovation Hub has launched a beta-testing phase of the Value Toolkit – marking a significant step towards the adoption of an outcome-based approach to delivery across the construction industry. Jamie Hillier, Partner at Akerlof, illustrates the opportunity a shift towards value based decision can offer the offsite sector.

1 The Toolkit provides a much-needed suite of tools and processes which empower clients and policy makers to make informed, value-based decisions that will drive better social, economic and environmental outcomes. This pilot phase, running over the next six months, is intended to rigorously test and fine tune the Toolkit’s processes and suite of tools with clients and construction professionals, in seeking to deliver maximum benefit. Whilst the Toolkit itself is solutions agnostic, its release to the mainstream promises a cultural shift that should unlock significant opportunities for the offsite sector. The market has long advocated a focus beyond immediate capital cost and instead towards broader benefits such as improved productivity, quality and certainty. Finally the conditions appear ripe. The shift in social context, resultant of


the pandemic, and emergence of new policy has catalysed a movement to translate aspiration to reality. The Construction Playbook for example, encourages “procurement strategies that optimise long-term value” informed by the application of project scorecards such as the Toolkit. The growing momentum behind this strategic intent affords the offsite sector a unique opportunity to respond with innovation. The Toolkit is based upon a framework that evaluates value against a 4 capitals model (see figure 1) – encouraging clients to define value holistically, in a manner that can be measured and communicated clearly and consistently. Whilst the language and format may appear new, the principles resonate with long-established


2 benefits of offsite. For example, financial outcomes captured within the ‘produced’ capital extend beyond capital cost but instead reflect a lifecycle horizon – also including headings of return, resilience and production. Earlier revenue or reduction of debt generated through faster delivery, efficiencies through manufactured production and consistency of quality are examples of outcomes that may be captured under this capital – all of which align to strengths of offsite delivery. The framework presented by the Toolkit therefore offers the potential to break the value-cost trade-off and enable integrators, offsite manufacturers and suppliers to create new market spaces – ‘blue oceans’ (a concept coined by consultants Kim and Muborgne – see figure 2). Whilst the majority of construction business


3 strategies focus upon how to compete better in a fiercely competitive market ‘market competing’, this new paradigm offer potential to instead move towards ‘market creation’. The significance of this opportunity is not to be underestimated. With a new definition of value, new measures of success will emerge. In preparing to respond, we would encourage solution providers to not only embrace the Toolkit but carefully consider three key steps: Step 1: Understand the new language of ‘Value’ – the principles of better outcomes, framed within a 4 Capitals approach Step 2: Review your business, service or product, against the 4 capitals framework, to define your value proposition (i.e. where and how your solutions create/add value) Step 3: Collate and grow your dataset in evidencing your added value. Steps 1 and 2 are key to ensuring that you can clearly articulate your value proposition in a manner that anticipates the direction procuring authorities will move towards. Step 3 and the principles of data collation are

critical in driving the industry towards an evidence-based position. In last year’s Offsite Magazine (Issue 25), Graham Cleland outlined the power of data-centricity however he was clear in making the point that: “It can only be realised if an enterprise has a true, granular understanding of what data is important.” The Value Toolkit begins to provide clarity on how this may be framed for the benefit of your customers and broader outcomes. With early adoption of digital technologies and a platform based approach more prevalent, the offsite industry has an immediate headstart in demonstrating the link and thread between solutions, outputs and outcomes. With strong links between low carbon solutions and enhanced social value, the potential for offsite construction and platform approach to demonstrate consistently strong value profiles that span human, natural and social capitals, as well as benefits in within the produced is real. If embedded at scale, this can represent a unique opportunity for the offsite sector to assume a place at the epicentre of a market that delivers better outcomes for economy, environment and broader society.

Akerlof are partners to the Construction Innovation Hub and Lead Trainers in Toolkit Module 1: Value Definition.


For more information visit: uk/value-toolkit/

Images: 01. 4 Capitals and Categories 02. Blue Ocean Strategy 03. Factory-based construction means higher quality control and better value for money. Courtesy shedKM 04. Developed in partnership with over 200 experts from across government and industry, the Value Toolkit is a government backed initiative designed to change the way the construction industry thinks about and measures value





Following on from the publication of its guide – ‘Modern Methods of Construction: Building on Experience’ – NHBC held a roundtable session to discuss where offsite methods sit within the housebuilding sector in 2021 alongside the benefits of NHBC Accepts. For example, the Nordic countries have long seen offsite methods as an efficient and environmentally friendly way to build. Swedish provider BoKlok are now here in the UK ‘transposing and transplanting’ technology that is already mature overseas and presenting it to the UK market in a different way.

‘Modern Methods of Construction: Building on Experience’ is a broad review of what has happened across the offsite and ‘non-traditional’ housing arena through a range of different technologies and advancements since the 19th century, including how the help of government support and use of offsite construction has ebbed and flowed. The guide helps to establish some historical context and introduce lessons that can be learned from the past. The offsite sector has often encountered and investigated the same issues repeatedly and is characterised with periods of innovation and enthusiasm before a relative return to ‘normality’ and traditional techniques. “Historically the failures and shortcomings of offsite are often what attracts attention,” said report author and founder of Studio Partington, Richard Partington. “There is an element of experimentation that often falters when its diverges too much from the basic principles of understanding construction. 34

Sometimes the learning doesn’t continue very well across generations.” Over the years, different sectors have found their own route to technological solutions for what they are trying to achieve. There has become a realisation that a home isn’t just a ‘flatpack of superstructure and windows but is a whole system that has to work together.’ Certainly, rapidly changing environmental standards and a generational housing shortage has focused minds at every level of the built environment on how to improve the delivery of new homes. “You have the potential with offsite systems of thinking about the integration of elements that historically have not fitted together that well – ventilation, hot water supply, heating and renewables,” adds Richard. “So there is a real opportunity to get these things thought about in a more integrated way.” The UK has had a chequered history regarding prefabrication. The curious mistrust and lack of uptake is not replicated in the same way elsewhere.


BoKlok has huge experience in developing and manufacturing homes in the Nordic region and has developed around 12,000 homes in Sweden, Finland and Norway. The homebuilding joint venture sees homes built primarily from timber, using a smart, industrialised factory process. “When I talk to my Swedish colleagues,” says Graeme Culliton, BoKlok Managing Director and Country Manager. “They struggle to understand why we have this cultural hang-up about MMC. They don’t have that. Also, we don’t talk to the customer about modular in detail – it’s just not an issue really.” So while the owner of a home may not necessarily need or want to know about its offsite manufacture, when it comes to the thorny issues surrounding warranties, accreditation, valuation and how long an ‘asset’ will last, there is a struggle to embed understanding in what the various offsite technologies offer. The offsite sector is constantly having to prove what it can do – often above and beyond the parameters set for traditional masonry construction. Quality Bar Is there a fundamental lack of understanding or an unconsciousness blocking of the disruptive nature of offsite? The bar of quality and acceptance seems very high. “One of the biggest challenges we have had is gaining accreditation, as the bar is high,” says Nigel Banks, Special


Facilitator Darren Richards

Nigel Banks

Nigel Barclay

Graeme Culliton

Wayne Hill

Richard Lankshear

Special Projects Director, ilke Homes

Asst. Director & National Head, Homes England

Managing Director, BoKlok

Production Strategy Director, L&Q

Innovation Manager, NHBC

Graham Neal

Oliver Novakovic

Richard Partington

Graham Sibley

Andrew Smith

Gary Ramsay

Group Head of Technical, McCarthy & Stone

Technical and Innovation Director, Barratt Developments

Founder & Director, Studio Partington

Senior Business Development Manager, NHBC

Director, Affordable Housing Valuation, Savills

Editor, Offsite Magazine

Managing Director, Cogent Consulting

Projects Director at Ilke Homes. “But having gone through that process we have a much better product as a result, I think the bar is at the right level.” The deeply embedded and possibly invested interests of ‘traditional methods’ has created a cloud surrounding risk and an uncomfortableness that exists about some offsite systems. “We are not judged against traditional methods of construction,” says Oliver Novakovic, Technical and Innovation Director, Barratt Developments who has championed offsite for many years at the highest level. “We are judged much higher than that.” If there is a significant offsite technology failure, the knock-on effect across the industry and supply chain means that everyone runs the risk of being damaged by the same issue – so how do we regulate where the quality bar is set? Industry benchmarks are part of the role of NHBC in setting where and how high this level is. As Richard Lankshear, Head of Innovation at NHBC says about these higher bars of attainment. “There is good reason for it. When it comes to innovation in construction, not much of it is intrinsically or particularly innovative. We know the materials and how they work, we know what can go wrong with them, so the design of most offsite systems can be assessed against conventional design. The innovation is

in where and how they are assembled – that is where the risk lies. Also, a system can be produced to very high quality in a factory, but there is the potential for a systemic problem to be built in, so a defect could then be rolled out across multiple homes. That is a particular risk that we think needs to be looked at in more detail.” Many within the finance industry, mortgage providers and lenders/ investors view offsite manufactured homes as new and ‘different’. They are seeking confidence that these homes are created using a viable and reliable system. “We have to recognise the fact, that while we may be comfortable with the offsite approach,” adds Richard. “There are many others that are very cautious. So we must not hide behind the fact that we want to assess offsite to a very high standard.” Understanding Buildings Better For Wayne Hill, Production Strategy Director at housing association L&Q, a key task is to understand the delivery of a home as a ‘product’ and a manufacturing problem, so they can understand their portfolio and customer better and provide products that they are happy to put at the heart of every home. “We want to understand what we are building,” says Wayne. “We want information so we can analyse what can be standardised, go through the different systems that

provide for a particular element – i.e. capacity, sustainability, cost, weight etc in the long term, then select what is best placed to succeed. Although there is capital investment in building a prototype for example, it will save us in the long term. We might save 10-20 times more money than we spend on the prototype in not having to fix the problems that could enter the homes – it’s an investment rather than an expenditure.” We need to think differently about how the offsite sector works and minimise the potential risk of failure across different individual factories – a shadow that seems to loom over the long-term confidence of offsite manufacture. In creating many smaller, innovative and diverse market suppliers (unlike the more ponderous volume builders albeit with huge firepower and concentration) the risk in under capitalisation and the supply chain slowing up or falling over a cliff edge. Whilst ilke Homes, Top Hat, L&G Modular and Urban Splash have had multi-million equity investment, there is a danger that not enough due diligence is done when selecting manufacturers. Choosing your provider ‘based on product rather than on balance sheet’ and the resultant risk of failure is sometimes not given the focus it should. “We recognise the broader the market the bigger the risk of failure of independent operators,”



NHBC ROUNDTABLE says Nigel Barclay, Assistant Director & National Head, Homes England. “So the answers rests in standardisation and interoperability across the industry that will get a project finished.” For many manufacturers and operators in the offsite arena the future challenge rests simply with the financial market and the banks. Accessing funds and proving long term asset value is a pivotal requirement for future growth – is offsite capable of supporting long term debt? “The answer is a resounding yes,” says Andrew Smith, Director, Savills Affordable Housing Valuation. “What we want to do in every instance is treat this product identically to a traditional home but with certain checks and balances. We can offer advice but it’s up to the banks whether they accept it.” With the construction focus increasingly shifting to greener thinking and with the recent acceleration of green targets to 2030 and 2050, it begs the question – why would you build a brick and block house now when you know that in 10-15 years’ time you will need to retrofit expensively to reduce carbon? Why not just save it now by building with offsite methods? So there is an element of futureproofing involved when choosing an offsite product. Although banks are not lending against sustainability criteria alone, investors want to know how their assets are going to perform over a long period of time and the importance of green cannot be overstated. “There is an appetite for more energy efficient buildings,” says Nigel Banks, Special Projects Director, Ilke Homes. “Buildings that are built to the Future Homes Standard (FHS) and don’t need retrofitting. Low energy, greener and more sustainable buildings are more appealing to lenders and the demonstrating less need for retrofit in the future. This does give an ‘increased’ view of value.” “It’s not all about securitisation and valuation but is about long-term performance and value,” adds Graham Sibley, Senior Business Development Manager at NHBC. “The process of NHBC Accepts can give confidence that homes will perform in the same way as a traditional house, and they can lend on the same terms.”


Tackling Perceptions Using technology to build faster and more accurately offers a more accomplished and sophisticated reason to choose offsite delivery. Multistorey student accommodation for example can be made up of a variety of elements that are factory produced including the introduction of bathroom pods, panels, building quickly and robustly. “The emphasis should be presenting this as technically sophisticated and leading edge,” says Richard Partington. “We ought to be educating the insurance and banking world about where things are heading. Not using the benchmark of brick and block to secure a loan. The perception that traditional housing is somehow more robust is absolutely wrong.” Certainly, the narrative surrounding ‘traditional versus offsite’ needs to change. The constant improvement process taking place within the offsite sector, where each iteration of an offsite system is better than the previous is a slightly underappreciated concept. But the availability of hard data and quantifiable proof of what offsite can offer is always a common obstacle. “We will treat offsite identically but to get to the stage where we can convince the lenders it should be treated identically – we have to provide extra information,” says Andrew Smith. For all the robust testing, certification, validation and benchmarks that can be attached to a product, it’s all down to whether it is installed correctly onsite for the real test. “Trials and pilots are important to monitoring,” says Oliver Novakovic, Technical and Innovation Director at Barratt Developments. “How you measure and the information that you gather is critical in giving lenders confidence that you are operating in the right way. The more volume we deliver, the more accuracy and technical input and information you get and importantly the more efficient you become.” Building a level of confidence for the market and showcasing offsite systems as aspirational and desirable product is now so important. Bypassing the constraints of traditional construction and site-based issues surrounding weather and on-site workmanship or even access to the right materials, the adoption of offsite would seem to be yet again entering a historical


purple patch. The post-WW2 boom in offsite delivery and ‘prefabs’, saw architects and politicians get behind the economics of building at speed – if arguably not the longer-term quality – in this new 21st Century era the time has arrived to match the need to build at speed with additional technological advances that would have been regarded as science fiction in the austere 1940-50s. Confidence is Everything The post-pandemic world wants reassurances more than ever that offsite methods deliver housing quality but provide an investible asset. The whole gamut of financial institutions need to be educated more about where the strengths and benefit of offsite methods rest. The question is how best to isolate ways on how to present offsite’s case for investment, quantify risk and convince them of quality and performance surety. It’s also all about the house itself – lower heating bills, quality workmanship and sustainable, flexible homes, a great living environment – is something the average resident is concerned about more than how the home was built. Driven by the zero carbon agenda, the market for energy efficient homes delivered through a speedy, streamlined manufacturing process would suggest there has never been a better time to adopt offsite methods. “NHBC has a responsibility to support innovative construction,” says Graham Sibley. “But in a public and transparent way – as we have done with NHBC Accepts – to help lenders and investors to have the confidence to use offsite. We are committed to do that in the future.” Many thanks to NHBC for hosting the Virtual Roundtable Event and thanks to all participants for their time and contributions to the online discussion. For more information on NHBC and the guide ‘Modern Methods of Construction: Building on Experience' visit: For more information on offsite related activity visit:



Advanced Industrialised Methods for the Construction of Homes (AIMCH), the innovation consortium set up to transform the housebuilding sector, has published its second-year progress report and highlights some fundamental learning points.

1 AIMCH is a three-year research and development project aiming to help tackle the UK housing crisis by building new homes faster, to higher quality and more cost effectively than masonry methods using panelised offsite systems. The latest report highlights several key learnings for the industry across several important and innovative areas. One of the highlights being able to achieve a weathertight, insulated and secure superstructure in just one day. All advanced panelised offsite systems and lean construction solutions trialled so far have been successful and early analysis is recognising the benefits of these systems with the hard data to back it up. Other important outputs of the project in the last year include the completion of several studies and the publication of guides for industry including: • Design standardisation and the development of product families • Guide to creating a BIM housing manual


• Design for Manufacturing and Assembly (DfMA) • Designing a future factory. “Despite the challenges of COVID-19 the project team has worked hard to build momentum,” says Stewart Dalgarno, AIMCH Project Director and Stewart Milne Group Director of Product Development. “It has delivered some important outputs which confirm panelised MMC as a very real and viable alternative to masonry, over the final year, we hope to take this to a new level.”

Monitoring has taken place on 42 plots (23 Barratt and 19 L&Q), with over 100,000 operative observations recorded and 500,000 pieces of data collected and used to evaluate masonry, timber frame and advanced closed panel MMC methods.


A collaboration between Stewart Milne Group, Barratt Developments, L&Q, Forster Group, the Manufacturing Technology Centre (MTC) and Construction Scotland Innovation Centre (CSIC), the project compares conventional and panelised MMC construction methods on actual building sites, and the impact scaling up panelised MMC will have on the housebuilding industry. The threeyear project, which has been live since early 2019, has been trialling new digital design tools, manufacturing advancements, and improved near-tomarket offsite panelised systems, using lean site processes on live housing projects over the past two years.

Standardisation of subassemblies and the creation of product families, within housing design, as a mainstream industrialised process, is a significant shift for the AIMCH developers and wider industry. Mark Farmer, the Government’s MMC Champion for Housebuilding and new AIMCH Chair, said: “Mainstreaming all categories of MMC is more important than ever. In a post-COVID world the sector needs to transform productivity, improve quality as well as improving the welfare of its workforce. We also need to find more sustainable ways of building in order to achieve a net zerocarbon built environment. “The AIMCH project has already made great progress across a number of fronts which will better enable greater MMC adoption across all parts of industry including SME’s. The work done on design standardisation, panelised and sub-assembly system applications, productivity and carbon measurement and manufacturing


2 process optimisation are all rich sources of knowledge for others to learn from and use.”

The completion of Future Factory Simulation has paved the way for Offsite Manufacturing (OSM) companies to make more agile decisions about increasing capacity to the market by using modelling and simulation tools to support and control digital factory planning activities. The project recognises the challenges of MMC manufacturing and through engagement with MTC, lead manufacturing partner, has conducted advanced manufacturing and digital business systems studies. These include down selection process for an integrated ERP system for MMC manufacturing and installation, along with detailed proof of concept studies into specific manufacturing areas, where using robotics and advanced automation can improve MMC manufacturing output, productivity, quality and lower costs, including the design of future factories using mathematical models, dynamic simulation and 3D technology to improve investment decisions. With decarbonisation of the built environment a priority, the project embarked on a study to measure and profile Embodied Carbon and Whole Life Costing in the use of MMC systems across four housing types to current

and near zero carbon standards. A strategy for a proof of concept, near zero carbon home trial was also developed with Barratt Developments. The project also recognises the importance of SMEs and through Forster Group, roofing specialist, has helped accelerate their roofing technology, through collaborative learning and proof of concept trials with MTC and the AIMCH developers. Dissemination is important and provided by CSIC including presenting at several key industry events, a dedicated industry stakeholder group, project website and social media.

The housing industry is well suited to BIM adoption, where the benefits of a standardised designs, collaborative procurement and repeatable processes are inherently built into the housebuilding delivery process. The goal of the project is to support the sector by delivering 120,000 homes for the same or less cost than traditional methods and built 30% quicker. The project has potential to impact on 35,000 homes being delivered by AIMCH partners across the UK each year. In the project’s final year, a number of outputs and learnings for the sector will be completed and shared on the AIMCH website as well as at industry events, with final findings published in March 2022.

3 As traditional resources of labour and materials become more expensive and limited and with the journey towards greater energy efficiency and carbon neutrality, it is now more important than ever to achieve cost certainty, better quality, speedier build and reduction in carbon footprint. For more information and to download the year 2 progress report visit: Images: 01. Transforming How We Build Homes: Year 2 summary report 02. Housebuilding is at the centre of creating a sustainable future for the UK 03. New AIMCH Chair, Mark Farmer






2 1 Maccreanor Lavington recently completed a refectory at Ibstock Place School, an independent, co-educational day-school for over 1,200 four- to 18-year-old pupils in south-west London. The building replaces its conservatorystyle, acoustically flawed predecessor at the heart of the landscaped school campus. An intricate timber roof structure conveys intimacy and grandeur to the interiors, where natural light and orchard views bestow a calm and contemplative quality upon the warm, convivial space. Rising to three glazed lanterns, the roof supports a simple natural ventilation strategy and defines the uses below. As the largest element the building, the roof’s geometry and construction were a focus for aesthetics and performance in which the use of timber became instrumental: working with structural consultants engineersHRW, Maccreanor Lavington developed a structure that provides a clear order and scale to the building’s volumes. The refectory’s ceilings are defined by a striking spruce glulam lattice structure, with oak panelling insets incorporating acoustic absorption. The glulam elements are constructed on a diamond grid, although, structurally, they owe much to a traditional cut timber roof. “There is a hierarchy of elements with the primary rafters spanning between a steel ring-beam at the eaves and a timber ring-beam at the lantern or the corner rafters,” says Greg Nordberg


from engineersHRW. “The primary rafters support secondary and tertiary elements that form the rest of the lattice. The secondary elements are sized to match the primaries, providing the desired pattern within the space. Using the rafters as a two-way spanning diagrid was also considered in detail. This format reduced the stresses on the individual members however the more onerous connections meant equivalent sized sections would be required. The stiffness of the roof geometry and the truss action of the roof were considered with separate models to provide an envelope of forces for element design and examine alternative load paths for disproportionate collapse.” Between the deep rafters sits a subsidiary grid of smaller glulam sections. The striking graphic arrangement of the rafters into this ‘tartan’ provides a rational and attractive framework for oak batten infill panels with acoustic backing, which were prefabricated and fully finished offsite. The geometry was developed to limit the panels to just four different shapes across the building and make them a manageable size for manual handling. The millimetre precision of the glulam allowed for the development and construction of complex connections, enabling the assembly of roof pitches set to different angles. These connections formed the interface between the timber roof and the steel structure that supports them. The galvanised plate connections were developed by engineersHRW and


specialist contractors Constructional Timber considering both the structural requirements and the ability for the large timber elements to be installed. “With the restricted site access all deliveries were arranged using rigid vehicles only, which was challenging when the hip-beams were nearly 11m long and weighing 1.2 tonnes,” says Andrew King, Director, Constructional Timber. “For the installation sequence it was key to fix the level of the lantern beams off the temporary loadbearing scaffold supplied by the main contractor. The lantern beams were levelled to the correct height before the twin hip-beams were craned into position. The members were all supplied fully protected and with their fire treatment applied so to reduce site time and potential for damage.” Ensuring long-lasting harmony in the different timber finishes – spruce glulam structure, oak timber linings and joinery and oak engineered wood floors – was important. We were keen to control the aesthetic over time and were mindful that the softwood glulam would redden from sunlight exposure. We wanted to avoid the space adopting an orangey ‘sauna’ look and a strident contrast with the more muted hue of the aged oak finishes. For this, we worked closely with timber coatings’ company Renner to do accelerated ageing of the different glulam finishes in a lab, developing a white tinted fire-proofing finish that would remain UV-stable. For more information visit: Images: 01-02. The striking graphic arrangement of the rafters provides a rational and attractive framework for oak batten infill panels with acoustic backing and were prefabricated and fully finished offsite

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Metsä Wood and its partners have designed a landmark hybrid sandwich wall panel that combines concrete with Kerto® LVL (laminated veneer lumber) to bring sustainable and efficient construction to the offsite arena.

1 The need for more sustainable solutions is acute with construction causing 30% of all carbon emissions. Combining concrete and Kerto® LVL, the hybrid sandwich wall panel offers an easy way to replace typical concrete sandwich elements, and can be used in residential, office or industrial multistorey buildings. Metsä Wood partnered with Finnish construction and structural design companies to design the hybrid sandwich wall panel. Precast element manufacturer Lipa-Betoni saw the potential of the hybrid approach. “The hybrid sandwich wall element is a great opportunity. We look for a new market with a product, which can be used in the same way as concrete sandwich elements,” says Satu Lipsanen, CEO of Lipa-Betoni. The starting point for the new element design, was a common residential seven-storey building with a concrete structure, including hollow-core slabs and party walls made from concrete. In the hybrid sandwich wall panel, the load-bearing internal panel is replaced with a Kerto® LVL Q-panel. Otherwise, the structure of the element remains the same – the façade is made from concrete and the element has an insulation layer. “As a material, Kerto® LVL is very comparable with concrete,” says




Ari Mättö, Structural Designer of JM-Rakenne Oy. “The compressive strength of the Kerto® LVL panel is as high as that of C25 concrete, 26 MPa. Also, the tensile strength of the panel is at the same level, whereas in concrete it is 10% of the compressive strength without steel reinforcement. In a hybrid sandwich element, the reinforcement is needed only in the façade.”

The first hybrid sandwich wall panels will be produced at Lipa-Betoni's factory in Pieksämäki, Finland, for Metsä Fibre's Rauma sawmill construction project. Metsä Fibre’s new Rauma pine sawmill is the largest sawmill investment ever in Finland costing EUR 200million. The sawmill will produce around 750,000 cubic metres of pine sawn timber annually, with production set to begin during the third quarter of 2022.

During construction, the loads are transferred from the external wall to the concrete structure to stiffen the building. The new element also provides effective insulation. By building a hybrid element from timber and concrete, the U-value can be 20% better. “The hybrid sandwich wall element helps to increase the share of wood to build more sustainable buildings efficiently,” says Jussi Björman, Director, Business Construction at Metsä Wood. “This joint development is our effort to support the construction industry. Around one million square metres of concrete wall elements are produced annually in Finland. Their load-bearing core creates 45,000 tons of carbon emissions. If all concrete walls were replaced with hybrid sandwich wall elements, carbon emissions would decrease by 30,000 tons a year and 95,000 tons of carbon would be stored.”

On a global scale, the potential is huge. “Metsä Wood currently works with European and Australian companies to produce similar ideas that fit the local way of construction,” adds Björman. “Half a dozen designs are being prepared for publication this year. As Kerto® LVL is a light material, the hybrid sandwich wall elements will be faster to produce at the factory and transport to site, and even the transport emissions will decrease due to the light load. The light elements are also faster to lift.” The hybrid sandwich wall element designs are already available at the Open Source Wood platform, which aims at facilitating knowledge sharing, co-creation and growth in modular timber construction.


For more information visit: Images: 01-03. The hybrid sandwich wall panel combines concrete with Kerto® LVL (laminated veneer lumber) to deliver project cost and carbon savings


Enhance your floor’s performance with Finnjoist I-beams (FJIs) from Metsä Wood. Whether used as floor beams or roof rafters, you’ll need fewer Finnjoists than traditional softwood timber beams. For strong, lightweight, efficient construction, combine them with our Kerto® LVL (laminated veneer lumber) and panel products, then finish off your project with our machined softwood and MDF. Find out more at



Reds10 and Jestico + Whiles recently completed the new Imperial War Museums’ London staff hub setting new standards for modular construction at an iconic venue.

boundary wall to Geraldine Mary Harmsworth Park was reconstructed with deep notches forming windows to the ground floor welfare spaces behind, and the main entrance gate from the park. The unrivalled design of the building, with its brick slip façade, multi-angle splays and double-height windows, relied heavily on striking the fine balance between work on-site and in the Reds10 factory. Techniques including 3D laser scanning of the building’s units, production of multiple building prototypes and meticulous attention to detail in selecting materials in the factory, meant the required tight tolerances, while minimising risk and reaching the highest levels of quality were achieved. The successful coordination of detail on and offsite and project team collaboration, has not only meant complete architectural integrity, but also a truly beautiful building: its flawless finish marrying the best of offsite construction, with the latest techniques in architectural design in a way that has not been seen before.

1 Earlier this year, Reds10 working with architect Jestico + Whiles, completed new staff offices for Imperial War Museums (IWM) in Southwark, London. The new building, called Parkside, provides the principal workspace for Imperial War Museums’ staff in London, acting as a central hub for over 180 of its employees from a number of different directorates.

Jestico + Whiles was appointed to translate and develop IWM’s vision into a striking, flexible building of modest scale. The building was delivered using the latest offsite construction techniques, enabling the highest architectural standards and integrity to be achieved, even given the constraints of a Central London location.

Parkside is nestled behind the All Saints Building, which historically provided office and archive space for IWM. The purpose-built Parkside offers a creative hub for innovative thinking and collaboration between the museums’ teams, supporting IWM to fulfil its vital mission to improve public understanding of war and conflict through its exhibitions, events and programming. The new space will also support IWM’s commitment to develop smarter working practices across the whole organization.

The building’s exterior consists of a light grey tone brickwork arranged to form a regular grid of recessed bays, within which vertical paired windows echo the local Georgian townhouse vernacular. The outermost masonry planes are vertically coursed to reinforce the openings, and the deep recesses are accentuated with angled brick cills and vertical corduroy panels. Dark, bronze-framed windows and cladding contrast with the masonry and reference the tone of the existing All Saints Building beyond. The historic



On the inside, Parkside is arranged simply, with the ground floor providing shared facilities such as a café and breakout spaces. The two upper floors provide a combination of open workspace and formal and informal meeting areas. Raised access floors with the ability to fully reconfigure both the first and second floor shared spaces in layout, offer complete flexibility to suit a multitude of longterm of needs for the space. The floor plates are columnfree, providing 14m clean spans, despite having to support 100tn of material to carry an extensive brown roof and photovoltaic panel array. Coupled with unique doubleheight windows spanning multiple modules, the internal spaces benefit from breathtaking natural light and unobstructed views of the neighbouring park. “Parkside champions the very best offsite construction methods have to offer – bringing forward the highest quality in build and design with an impressive and finely detailed, demure façade,” said Howard Pye, Associate Director, Jestico + Whiles. “Working alongside Reds10, we have relished the challenge that offsite manufacture




has brought to this project. Parkside demonstrates the benefits to speed, quality of finish and sustainability that offsite can bring to construction” The project team was digitally connected through the use of Reds10’s common data environment ‘Autodesk Construction Cloud’, which allowed a singular place of input for all parties, from client to architect, factory to site staff. The single system, with its ability to generate virtual reality (VR) walkthroughs in real time, allowed the collaboration between numerous specialist parties to run flawlessly throughout the project lifecycle. The project team also carried out extensive stakeholder engagement throughout the design and development stages, working with IWM’s teams to understand how the workspace would be used whilst developing the scheme to address feedback from IWM’s neighbours. Craig Akhurst, Director, AMR Consultants said the concept design, “has exceeded our expectations of what is achievable by offsite construction, whilst also expediting the overall programme by over three months.” Reds10 achieved a Considerate Constructors score of ‘exceptional’ in relation to community engagement. The team went above the minimum standards demonstrating industry best practice at the very highest level, including hosting several apprentices from the local area and investing in projects to benefit the local community. Sustainability was another key driver for IWM and the building is set to achieve a BREEAM ‘Excellent’ rating. The triple aspect workspace uses natural ventilation and daylight

4 strategies to lessen the energy demand on the active systems, the roof has been fitted with solar energy panels and the site includes a large cycle store for 70 bicycles and an electric car charging port, to encourage more sustainable modes of transportation. As part of Reds10’s commitment to deliver better than carbon neutral, whole life carbon and embodied construction impact assessments were also carried out, and SMART building technology installed to help reduce overall energy use and drive 100% space productivity. “This project sets a new standard for offsite construction,” said Paul Ruddick, CEO of Reds10. “It pushes the design to a higher level and truly shows the quality that can be achieved when architecture is embedded in the modular construction process from the start. We hope it leads to many more enlightened occupiers and developers selecting offsite construction, not just for its flexibility, efficiency and sustainability benefits, but to deliver truly amazing spaces where people thrive.”

5 For more information visit: Images: 01-05. The IWM Parkside building has used modular construction to create an amazing modern space for its London staff. Courtesy Reds10



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Hadley Steel Framing provides high quality, light gauge galvanised steel structural framing systems for use in a wide range of applications across the construction industry.

Hadley Steel Framing has proven experience in understanding complex engineering structures and provides full design, manufacture and installation packages. We take complete control, project managing every aspect. This is why our clients appoint us and retain our services time and time again. Achieving fast-track construction schedules - here we define our supportive services, including full ownership of the process, HEADLINE SPONSOR to demonstrate what we can deliver!

HANDOVER At the end of every project there is a comprehensive handover process encompassing final ‘as built’ drawings, Q&A documents, detailed warranties, all operating and maintenance information together with a forthright 360 degree review of the design, manufacturing and installation programme which also highlights where improvements can be made in future projects.

CONTROL 8 Hadley take complete ownership and management of the project - from engineering and manufacturing right through to onsite installation by our specialist teams which even includes cranage, AP and slingers within our inclusive packages. Via Trimble Fieldview we track and monitor every aspect – taking complete control.



Our unparalleled rollforming expertise is underpinned by the manufacture of all panelised systems and components within the same advanced factory facility. This ensures rapid and efficient builds with accuracy and controls built in at each stage of the process. We optimise our own offsite manufactured sequence, bringing all elements together to improve your project delivery - the true definition of Modern Methods of Construction.




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Hadley maintain vertically integrated processes – controlling and optimising every aspect. All detailing takes place within the Group to ensure alignment with the original intent. We have the expertise and ability to scope, design, detail, verify, validate and deliver a fully engineered steel framing system.




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EARLY ENGAGEMENT Crucial to the success of all offsite construction projects, engagement from the initial stages facilitates an integrated design where for example, facades, windows, balconies, entrances and roof structures can be incorporated into the engineering calculations and design of the structural steel framing system. Our expert team ensure we add efficiency and structure to the process right from the outset.



Full collaborative working at the tender stage maximises design, materials and manufacturing efficiencies. Layouts and sequencing can be optimised by developing a full understanding of our client’s requirements – to ultimately achieve vast programme and cost benefits. Our early engagement ensures no unwelcome surprises.


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PROCUREMENT Hadley Group is the UK’s largest procurer of pre-galvanised steel – we have significant capability and capacity to achieve even the largest and toughest build requirements. Included within this manufacturing scope are the stairs and all complementary works.

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Now in its seventh year, the Offsite Awards is constantly growing in size and status. The 2021 Awards has seen over 200 entries vying to win one of the prestigious trophies. The finalists below represent those who are at the forefront of the offsite construction sector, developing ground-breaking new technology, innovative products, and landmark projects using factory-based methods. Across the 24 categories, the entrants have been chosen for their outstanding contributions to the sector. All winners and highly commended will be announced at the Offsite Awards ceremony, co-located with Offsite Expo, taking place on 21 September 2021 – for more information visit: We would like to take this opportunity to thank our judges who had the onerous task of shortlisting 200 entries for their time and contribution.



01 Banagher Precast Concrete


02 Buildwright Modular Home



03 PCE

04 PCE

05 The MFS i-Form Solution™



01 Bond Bryan & Mid Group




02 Hawkins\Brown, Engenuiti & BDP



03 Innovaré Systems & Sika




04 Linc Cymru

05 PCE



01 Alternative Heat

02 Cundall


03 MAS Architecture


04 NG Bailey Group


05 SES Engineering Services


01 Cundall



02 Morgan Sindall Construction & Innovaré Systems




03 Ove Arup & Partners

04 TopHat






01 Bond Bryan Architects 02 Community Health Partnerships Modular Systems & HTA Design



03 HLM Architects

05 Wiehag


modular & portable building association


04 Reds10

05 Tide Construction, Vision





01 EOS




02 Intelligent Steel Solutions

03 MAS Architecture


04 Sikla UK, Eire & ANZ




01 Bond Bryan Architects


02 Dornan Engineering

03 HLM Architects

01 Citu


02 M-AR


03 Reds10


04 Kane Group


04 shedkm





05 Western Building Systems



05 Volumetric Modular















01 Hawkins\Brown, Engenuiti & BDP 02 Hewitt Studios 03 Integra Buildings 04 Lungfish Architects 06 Portakabin 07 Reds10 08 Spatial Initiative 09 Streif UK 10 Willmott Dixon


05 NG Bailey Group












01 Catfoss 02 Catfoss 03 Community Health Partnerships 04 Darwin Group 05 Group Hug x Response Organisation 06 ModuleCo Healthcare 07 MTX Contracts 08 PCE 09 Streif UK 10 Thurston Group







01 Banagher Precast Concrete

02 Eric Wright Civil Engineering, Cumbria CC, GHD, Knight Architects, WEC & Mott MacDonald


01 Alternative Heat





02 ASTRA Community Projects, Liskandas & CMI Architecture


03 Banagher Precast Concrete

04 Forta PRO

05 Nevo


01 Apt


02 British Offsite



03 Innovaré Systems & CITU


04 M-AR



05 Positive Homes & Dice Consulting Engineers














01 Blue Chyp 02 British Offsite 03 Envirograf 04 EOS and BTS Facades & Fabrications 05 Hewitt Studios 06 Integrated Health Projects in collaboration with Westgate 07 Masonry Frame Systems 08 Tenmat 09 Ultrapanel Building Technologies 10 Wireless- Navitas




01 B&K Structures & Binderholz


02 Hewitt Studios

03 HLM Architects



04 Ove Arup & Partners


05 WB Timber Innovations

We would like to extend a BIG THANK YOU to all of our judges for their time and dedication in assessing over 200 entries in 2021. To register your interest in joining the 2022 Offsite Construction Awards judging panel, email:














01 Beattie Passive 02 Boutique Modern 03 Cormac Solutions 04 Fuse Architects 07 The Wee House Company 08 Thurston Group 09 TopHat 10 ZED PODS

05 Hadley Steel Framing



01 HLM Architects



02 Jan Kattein Architects



03 MEB Design

06 M-AR


04 shedkm



SPONSORSHIP OPPORTUNITIES The Offsite Construction Awards provides one of the most effective platforms for targeting the offsite industry, presenting the ideal opportunity to maximise exposure and penetrate this economically important market. The 2021 marketing campaign is ramping up and many of the sponsorship packages have already been snapped up by savvy companies wanting to gain the full exposure that the next months will bring. Bespoke packages available on request/enquiry. To discuss further promotion & sponsorship opportunities available please contact the team on 01743 290001.







01 Akerlof, Forterra, PCE supported by Accelar & Curtins



02 Beattie Passive


03 Community Health Partnerships

04 Etopia

05 Volumetric Modular




01 Imperial War Museum Hospitals NHS Trust


02 Middlesborough Council


03 Morgan Motor Company


04 Severn Trent



01 Integra Buildings


02 Kane Group


03 Masonry Frame Systems

05 Shrewsbury & Telford



04 Mid Group


05 Sisk




01 Curtins




02 Dice Consulting Engineers

03 Engenuiti & BDP


04 Ove Arup & Partners


01 Hill Group


02 Innovaré Systems

04 T&T Facades



01 Akerlof 02 Dice Consulting Engineers 05 Ultrapanel Building Technologies



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Bathroom manufacturer and designer, Geberit, recently worked with OEP Building Services to deliver bathroom pods as part of an ideal modular solution at a 27-storey mixed-use development in Brent, London.


2 Group to supply the bathroom pods across Minavil House. Clarion Housing Group specified Twyford ceramic sanitaryware, with OEP then working with Geberit to develop the specification further. The fullyfitted steel framed bathroom pods were assembled at OEP’s offsite manufacturing facility.

huge advantage of quality control and consistency across a project. The factory-controlled conditions enable us to not only improve productivity, but also ensures that the ceramics are fitted to the highest quality standards. Every stage of the process is carefully managed and we quality test throughout the entire process.”

The suburb of Alperton was designated a Housing Zone by the Mayor of London in 2015 and is a key regeneration area for the London Borough of Brent. Up to 6,000 new homes are planned for the area in north-west London. Minavil House in Wembley is the gateway site to Alperton, comprising of 251 residential units with 215 of these earmarked for shared ownership and the remaining 36 for affordable rent. Work started on the large-scale development in 2019 and is scheduled for completion in 2022.

Max Rossell, Purchasing Manager at OEP, explains the benefits of specifying pods: “One of the main reasons why installing pod bathrooms is preferable for a project like this comes down to cost. Our manufacturing facility is based in the north of England which presents some serious price advantages over installing the bathrooms on-site in London. Just factoring in costs like the on-site parking for the teams of plumbers on a project of this scale has a huge impact on overall budgets. You also have significant economies of scale with the manufacture of hundreds of bathrooms offsite in one facility with less breakages and snagging issues.”

The range of products specified includes Twyford E100 ceramics, Twyford Celtic steel baths and Geberit concealed cisterns. Max worked directly with Geberit to determine the final bathroom specification, saying: “We were impressed with the supply chain and availability of the products. The process was very straightforward indeed. We’ve worked with Geberit previously so both know and trust the products. We had first-class service, expert knowledge and support at every stage.”

OEP Building Services, a modular construction company based in Lancashire, worked with HG Construction and Clarion Housing

However, with the industry recognising the benefits of offsite construction, Max explains why it’s not just cost alone that is driving the shift. “There is another

Images: 01-03. Minavil House in Wembley is the gateway site to Alperton and will comprise of 251 residential units




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Mark McManus, Managing Director of Stiebel Eltron UK, a heating product manufacturer, picks out the options available to the modular sector to ensure their buildings meet the impending regulation changes in the Future Homes Standard. minimise carbon emissions: modular buildings produce 10-15% less construction waste compared to traditional construction sites and the emissions caused by vehicle transport going to and from sites is up to 70% less in modular projects, with each delivery to a modular factory also delivering more material in bulk, reducing site traffic by up to 90%.

1 Modular buildings are some of the most sustainable building types available, using two thirds less energy to manufacture compared to traditional building construction and have long been hailed a solution to the UK’s building conundrum – both in terms of the speed and quality of housing delivery and greener building practices. And the UK’s net zero ambitions have placed even greater emphasis on the offsite industry’s ability to play in a major role in meeting the impressive carbon reduction targets. Looking at the manufacturing and construction practices, the modular sector has invested considerable time and resource into making the industry a leader in more sustainable building methods. Factory-controlled conditions have helped to drastically


Meanwhile the buildings themselves, which must uphold the same Building Regulations standards as traditional buildings, are set to improve their energy efficiency standards even further. The impending Building Regulations Part L1A and the introduction of the Future Homes Standard in 2025 will require emissions from all newbuild homes to be reduced by more than a third, to effectively make them ‘net zero ready’ for the when the country is decarbonised. What’s more, homes will be required to have low-carbon heating from 2025, meaning they cannot run on fossil fuel heating like oil or natural gas. So, what heating solutions can modular housebuilders look to use now, in order to meet the changing Future Homes Standard regulations? Electricity is a sustainable power source which is increasingly being generated through renewable energy solutions as more investment is put into sustainable energy sources. Compared to oil or gas heaters, they are also often simpler to install, take up less space and can be the cheaper alternative to run. This can make electric heating systems a failsafe option for modular developers looking for greener alternatives to meet the Future Homes Standard requirements.


There is an electric heater to fit almost every situation – compact fan heaters, for example, that are specifically designed for rapid response heating in portable buildings. Meanwhile our SNE 5t ECO all-electric water, which is the first fully electronic small water storage heater available in the UK, has a precise temperature selection, user-friendly digital controls and an ECO mode to save energy. The built-in programmable timer makes it ideal for modular buildings being used as site offices or temporary classrooms, for example, where the building is in intermittent use. These are only a couple of examples of greener heating solution available for modular builders and building users, and more and more investment is being put into product development every day to bring even more sustainable options to the market. But it shows that even now, four years before the Future Homes Standard regulations are set to be introduced, there are options on the market for modular builders to meet the lowcarbon heating requirements. The industry has, and will continue to be, a front runner in green building methods. Let’s make sure the same can be said about their heating solutions. For more information visit: Images: 01. The impending Building Regulations Part L1A and the introduction of the Future Homes Standard in 2025 will require emissions from all newbuild homes to be reduced by more than a third


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When it comes to achieving net zero targets, there is a shared responsibility to collaborate better to achieve generational change. The formation of the CO2nstructZero initiative is set to challenge the construction and engineering sector to do better.

1 Conversations surrounding how the UK reaches its 2050 net zero emissions target inevitably struggle to come to a clear definition of what net zero is – never mind the complex ways in how to achieve it. According to the International Energy Agency (IEA), a quarter of global carbon emissions came from buildings in 2017. Here in the UK the built environment accounts for around 45% of total carbon emissions, with roughly 25% from domestic buildings and 18% from commercial and other non-domestic buildings – e.g. schools, hospitals. So as the construction industry come to terms with the impact of the built environment on climate change and work hard at improvements, the Construction Leadership Council (CLC) launched a new industry change programme in March this year – CO2nstructZero. This will be a crossindustry approach to drive carbon out of all parts of the construction


sector, from manufacturing and design to construction and operation of buildings. “By providing a consolidated action plan, clear targets and a single ambitious vision for change we hope that we can bring together the excellent work being done across the industry in a co-ordinated way to drive real transformation,” says co-chair of the CLC, Andy Mitchell. “We’ll be working with the CLC member trade bodies to change expectations and ambitions amongst UK construction clients and consumers. We know that the industry cannot invest effectively in low carbon options unless the demand is consistent. We need everyone to work together – and we need people to step up as champions of the industry that will help to drive behaviour change and support others to tackle these challenges. We’ve seen the transformative impact that collective ambition has had on our


industry’s standing with Government during COVID, who are now clear that the construction industry must be a key partner in the drive to reach UK net zero by 2050.” The CO2nstructZero initiative aims to develop a single overarching programme and action plan to deliver against the nine CO2nstructZero priorities, to co-ordinate the efforts of partner organisations who are leading individual activities, increasing impact and visibility of those activities and minimising duplication of effort. It will set out measurable targets and performance criteria to demonstrate the sector is making progress against the CO2nstructZero priorities and 2050 targets. It will also act as the primary conduit for engagement with Government to advise on how best to showcase the sector at COP26 being hosted by the UK in November.

NET ZERO TARGETS THE CO2NSTRUCTZERO PRIORITIES • Accelerating the shift of the construction workforce to zero emission vehicles and onsite plant • Maximising use of modern methods of construction (MMC) and improved onsite logistics, reducing waste and transport to sites • Championing developments and infrastructure investments that both enable connectivity with low carbon modes of transport and design to incorporate readiness for zero emission vehicles • Work with Government to deliver retrofitting to improve energy efficiency of the existing housing stock • Scale up industry capability to deliver low carbon heat solutions in buildings, supporting heat pump deployment, trials of hydrogen heating systems and heat networks • Enhancing the energy performance of new and existing buildings through higher operational energy efficiency standards and better building energy performance monitoring


• Implementing carbon measurement, to support our construction projects in making quantifiable decisions to remove carbon •

Become world leaders in designing out carbon, developing the capability of our designers and construction professionals to develop designs in line with circular economy – reducing embedded and operational carbon, shifting commercial models to incentivise and reward measurable carbon reductions.

• Support development of innovative low carbon materials (prioritising concrete and steel), as well as advancing low carbon solutions for manufacturing production processes and distribution. To help push these priorities, a new ‘Business Champions’ initiative enables companies to be role models and demonstrate a commitment towards the sector’s drive towards reducing carbon emissions in the delivery and operation of the built environment. The first 14 companies to be drawn from across the UK’s construction supply chain were selected by the CLC and includes several that have widely adopted offsite manufacture including Laing O’Rourke, Mace and Mid-Group. As part of this industry change programme, the Business Champions will work alongside the CLC and other major industry bodies to share innovations and best practice, acting as promotors and role models to support the industry’s move to net zero carbon. Each organisation has made a commitment that they will share tangible evidence of their net zero carbon plans against the CO2nstructZero priorities, contribute to the CO2nstructZero industry reporting process and work together to support companies in the sector to develop their own plans. Andrew Griffith MP, the UK Net Zero Business Champion and Chair of the CO2nstructZero Advisory Board, said: “This is a hugely significant moment for the UK’s construction industry. As we look towards COP26 later this year, the whole sector must work together to drive real change. From global UK companies to the smallest local businesses, our business champions represent the best of the sector and will play a key role in helping to drive transformational change in how we deliver the built environment. We cannot deliver our ambitious national net zero carbon ambitions without changing how we build – and our business champions will set a fantastic example for others to follow.” Companies who want to be business champions are encouraged to commit to CO2nstructZero and can apply to become a Business Champion in an ongoing monthly recruitment drive. The CO2nstructZero Programme Board, chaired by Hannah Vickers, CEO of the Association for Consultancy and Engineering, is responsible for oversight of the whole CO2nstructZero agenda, including the performance framework and reporting. The CO2nstructZero Advisory Board, chaired by Andrew Griffith holds the Programme Board accountable and acts as a challenge forum on the broader ambitions of the programme. Its members provide external leadership and advocacy for the programme and encourage businesses across the sector to act on net zero.


Less waste – due to reduced on-site work and maximising efficiency within the factory environment

Less energy – offsite manufacturing means less time spent on-site thereby reducing energy, pollution and disruption

Less transport – there is approx. 40% reduction in vehicle movement at construction sites compared to traditional methods

• More local jobs – offsite roles are more likely to be centred around a specific manufacturing facility •

Streamlined design – regular testing and monitoring of products can be carried out with each iteration creating regular product improvements through new digital tools

Circular use of materials – easier reduction, recycling and reuse of material within a factory facility compared to traditional methods

• Fabric First – energy efficiency approach without the use of costly micro-renewable technology.

For more information visit: Images: 01-02. Factory facilities are central to efficient design and manufacture and importantly helping reduce carbon across the built environment. Courtesy ilke Homes/CCG OSM





Does the increased use of offsite methods contradict social value? Mark Bolger, Social Value Director at Atkins, outlines why we must think differently about what makes construction tick.

1 From the Construction Playbook to the Homes England MMC study, the industry is being called to embrace modern methods of construction (MMC). For the most part, the response has been a resoundingly positive as MMC is seen to provide huge benefits in terms of efficiency and environmental impact. Where the positive element of MMC is less clear however is in terms of social value. With traditional construction, a project can be designed, procured and built all in close proximity to the site. So, if you’re looking to demonstrate to local stakeholders the impact of an infrastructure scheme to the community, you can quite clearly show the number of new jobs created locally and investment in the local supply chain. However, if you’re using MMC, while the scheme may be designed locally, a varying proportion of the works will take place in other locations. What may have been hundreds of jobs created in the local community now becomes hundreds of jobs distributed across the UK.


As a challenge to localism, can MMC and social value work hand in hand? I firmly believe that yes, they can, but only if we look at whole life value. Whole life value looks beyond the delivery phase and considering the social, economic and environmental outcomes when assets are operational. Since the introduction of the Social Value Act in 2012, we have focused on procurement as the vehicle for delivering social value however our focus in evaluating social value has all too often concluded at the end of the construction phase, when the asset is handed over to the client. MMC provides an opportunity for delivering social value with a whole life perspective, moving beyond localism and recognising the legacy of an asset in use. MMC has the potential to address social, economic and environmental inequalities at a UK PLC level by encouraging suppliers to invest in manufacturing and production factories in areas of deprivation.


Research by Akerlof has revealed the extent to which offsite manufacturers are based in the industrial heartlands of England and areas of economic need. Creation of sustainable manufacturing jobs and digital skills opportunities through investment in offsite can support growth in areas that are in greatest need. The scale of this impact is not to be underestimated. MMC can create an intrinsic social and economic uplift of up to 36% higher than traditional construction methods, with larger social and economic multipliers for manufacturing than construction compounded by investment in areas of economic deprivation. With many MMC solutions applying low carbon technologies, sustainable materials and low wastage, there is a strong value proposition for delivering better environmental, economic and social outcomes. So, if the government wants to push industry to use MMC on projects, it is essential that they look at social value in terms of whole life value creation.


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2 MMC providers by their nature will be based in fixed, specific locations across the country. There is no guarantee that you will be able to use a local supply chain if MMC expertise and capacity doesn’t already exist locally. Particularly for projects in rural areas and those pursuing higher levels of pre-manufactured value (PMV), KPI’s that demand 40% local spend may be challenging. Instead we recommend focusing upon the broader picture – beyond the myopia of localism in procurement and instead towards whole life asset performance at a national level. One that seeks to ‘strengthen the Union’ and deliver against the ambitions of the National Infrastructure Strategy. To advocate these principles for select stakeholders may be challenging. One approach might be creating a ‘Local Credit for National Spend’, the idea that a local authority will be credited back – perhaps into their social fund or apprenticeship fund – for project value that is picked up by a MMC supplier elsewhere in the country where the industrial infrastructure may be better or may be needed. Mechanisms that measure the wider impact and encourage those in procurement to adopt a broader perspective will be critical in making this a reality. The MMC Social Value Calculator – developed by a consortium led by Akerlof – is an excellent example of innovation that seeks to address this complex challenge. If our aim is to create longterm sustainable jobs, arguably these 66

are better created in fixed locations – manufacturing facilities offering stability rather than transient, shortterm construction sites.

our social value but also address wider challenges such COVID-19 recovery, Build Back Better and through the levelling up agenda, social inequality.

If we want to see an increase in both MMC and social value, then the traditional approach of focusing upon social value exclusively in the construction phase needs to change. Despite the move to encourage MMC and other innovations, the way we view social value remains heavily rooted in the traditional mentality. Instead we need to broaden our focus – to consider whole life value and consider how we may apply MMC to enhance

For more information visit: Images: 01. MMC can create an intrinsic social and economic uplift of up to 36% higher than traditional construction methods. Courtesy Akerlof 02. The MMC Social Value Calculator offers a tool to encourage organisations to broaden their value criteria on project benefits with a view to ‘levelling up’ across the regions. Courtesy Akerlof

MMC SOCIAL VALUE CALCULATOR The award-winning MMC Social Value Calculator brings together key industry partners to unlock significant value to the offsite industry and broader society with a new digital tool. Working in collaboration, Akerlof, Kier, Pagabo, Rider Levett Bucknall and the Social Profit Calculator, have developed a new tool that enables the assessment and visualisation of social value to identify the holistic impact of construction, not just on-site, but also at manufacturing locations through the supply chain. Underpinned by industry and Office of National Statistics data, the MMC calculator enables the evaluation of MMC options on a broader basis than direct capital cost: quantifying the benefit of the social value investment and productivity-enhancing potential. This digital solution encourages the adoption of offsite manufacture in supporting a regionally-balanced industry that delivers a fairer, better, more sustainable society. The partners behind the calculator chose to invest with a triple bottom line focus, to realise profit with purpose. Stimulating interest within the industry to encourage cultural shifts and encouraging organisations to broaden their value criteria has added further weight to the ‘Procuring for Value’ initiative and, in turn, derived broader benefits. In addition to informing business decision making, it is hoped the Calculator will stimulate a cultural shift towards adopting a more balanced scorecard and holistic value assessment of a project.

As the united voice representing the sector, the Modular and Portable Building Association (MPBA) offers valuable industry insight, guidance and ongoing research to significantly improve the volumetric modular building process.


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Both BIM and offsite are two areas of construction frequently dubbed as holding the key to the industry’s more efficient and digital future. But what happens when the two come together? Chris Gatehouse, Regional Account Manager at Trimble explores the value that BIM can deliver to the offsite industry. So, what happens when you combine these two construction industry players? In many ways, BIM and offsite are perfect partners. With a BIM workflow, the value and benefits of offsite that we are already seeing and experiencing can now be leveraged and pushed even further, helping contractors to deliver offsite projects to an even higher standard and produce a new generation of sustainable and impressive buildings.


2 The benefits of offsite manufacturing and construction are of course well known, being frequently proclaimed: from the time and cost savings and offer of greater programme certainties to better construction quality and reduced material waste. Given this, it is perhaps no surprise that offsite is often heralded as being the future of the construction industry, with the UK Government delivering a clear push on modern construction methods,


including offsite fabrication, in its aim of building better, faster and greener. Of course, offsite is not alone in this vision of the industry, for Building Information Modelling (BIM) and other digital construction technology is also set to have an important role to play, facilitating a more efficient, coordinated and reliable construction process.


Of course, perhaps one of the key requirements of any offsite construction project, is the need for accuracy. With the aim for all structural components, whether it be a loadbearing light metal frame or volumetric pod, to be fabricated and assembled offsite, before being lifted and fixed into place on site, ensuring high levels of precision and exact coordination between components is critical. Failure to satisfy these tight tolerances runs the risk of offsite’s time-saving benefits being lost, with the need for extensive rework or even re-fabrication. In addition to the subsequent delays to the overall project delivery, this could also cause costs to go up dramatically, as well as resulting in material wastage – again going against the core of offsite construction. This is where BIM comes into play, renowned for its information-rich and highly accurate 3D models. Given the visualisation enabled by the 3D model, it enables you to see the proposed structure before you even get to site, to build it before you actually build it. In turn, this can all provide confidence in the structural design, as well as the assurance that all components work and integrate together correctly.

DIGITAL TECHNOLOGY Here, clash detection is another helpful feature of a model-based software, with the ability to automatically check a model for any potential design clashes and provide engineers an opportunity to resolve the issue before the project reaches the fabrication stage. Without BIM, this process would be wholly reliant on project teams manually spotting the issue, with the potential for human error, especially on projects with particular complex components or connections.


This theme of accuracy carries into another aspect of BIM, mainly the idea of the 3D model acting as the central source of information. Once the main model is finalised, clash checked and approved, all documentation, including quantity take-offs, production schedules, fabrication drawings and project reports, is automatically generated using the data stored within the 3D model. This integrated flow of accurate and information-rich data throughout the construction sequence, from detailing through to fabrication and on-site assembly, can be invaluable, facilitating a more streamlined and efficient process and, in turn, helping to further push the value of offsite construction. Another critical factor on any offsite project is the need for effective coordination between disciplines and stakeholders. While co-ordination and collaboration are important on any construction project, whether traditionally built or otherwise, it is perhaps especially critical on a project utilising offsite methods of fabrication and assembly. For example, light steel framing and volumetric pods can both feature any great number of interrelating components and disciplines, from structural to building services, with the need for everything to come together perfectly once assembled on-site. Here, again, a model-based workflow can help. While conversation around BIM may primarily focus on the productivity and efficiency benefits, the enhanced levels of co-ordination, collaboration and communication that it can also offer are perhaps just as significant. From the 3D model acting as a central source of information and the interoperability between software, to the development of cloud-based software – such as Trimble Connect – providing all project teams with a

4 means of accessing the data relevant to them. So, what about the future? As the offsite industry advances and evolves, so too does the world of BIM and digital construction. Perhaps one of the latest developments within offsite is the idea of standardisation or the ‘Kit of Parts’ approach. Ideal for public buildings, such as schools, hospitals and prisons, it is evidently set to become a critical part of the offsite sector, with the benefits of standardisation already heavily featuring within the UK Government’s two newly published documents – the Construction Playbook and the National Infrastructure Strategy. In fact, it is already happening, with the pioneering SEISMIC project being one example. Running in line with this, BIM again looks set to help the offsite sector deliver, with the development of parametric design tools. Parametric design, or data-driven design, involves inputting the required rules,

parameters and algorithms and having the computer software then generate the design output. While more commonly associated with creating organic and complex shapes, parametric design is perhaps equally suited to the standard and repetitive – making it ideal for the standardisation approach. Despite their differences, offsite and BIM are also in many ways the same, helping to deliver buildings of the future more efficiently, smartly and sustainably. Combining the two, therefore, can only be a positive thing, bringing even more power and value to construction. For more information visit: Images: 01-04. Clash detection is a feature of a model-based software, with the ability to automatically check a model for any design clashes and provide engineers an opportunity to resolve the issue before the project reaches the fabrication stage.





Jackie Maginnis, Chief Executive of the Modular & Portable Building Association (MPBA) argues the case for modular technology in providing a comprehensive information pathway.

1 In her report ‘Building a Safer Future’, Dame Judith Hackitt highlights the need for a system-based approach with a golden thread of information running through the lifecycle of each project. Providing a golden thread of information from concept to completion is a process that many in the construction industry are struggling to implement. Central to the concept is guaranteeing the traceability and availability of project data and all decisions relating to the design, construction, safety performance and maintenance of the building. The ‘thread’ involves the information handed over at the completion of a project which must be right from the start of client ownership and then must remain accurate throughout the building’s lifecycle. With traditional construction often key information such as product specification and maintenance details are not complete or accurate at the point of client handover which means the golden thread required for optimal running and safety cannot be achieved. Currently fire safety is divided into pre-construction regulation, covering the approval of building design, and post-construction regulation for the period of the building’s occupation and use. This two-stage approach can lead to a disconnect at handover and complicates decision making, causing


2 a lack of information which hampers for example, the carrying out of risk assessments. With modular construction all data can be validated and co-ordinated as part of a structured process, which helps provide accurate and reliable information for clients at the point of handover. It also means it is easier to identify what products and material specifications were used on previous projects should any legislation changes occur. By verifying the materials and products to be used on a construction scheme and by simplifying the onsite assembly process, volumetric modular construction offers developers an opportunity to avoid many traceability issues. Modular construction helps ensure client satisfaction and product assurances through the certainty and quality embedded into the build process. Modular builds are less susceptible to poorly specified manufacturers’ products as time can be taken upfront to validate the correct specification of materials. This allows clients to have confidence in the quality and performance that they can expect from their new building. By completing large elements of construction away from the build location, they can also reduce the length of construction time spent onsite as well as reduce the risk of unforeseen construction issues.


It is standard practice for Building Information Modelling (BIM) to be embedded into the design and advanced manufacturing processes involved in modular construction. As an established method of sharing building lifecycle data across design, construction and operation – BIM is also regarded as integral to achieving a golden thread. Since 2016 the BIM mandate has required UK public sector construction projects to use BIM technology. This has helped speed up the pace of adoption during the design and construction phases. It has been predicted that government intervention around the golden thread will accelerate things further. As I have mentioned before, modular construction is not a new industry but through learnings from advanced manufacturing and best practice in other sectors, it represents a genuine opportunity to disrupt an oftendisjointed industry which suffers from a lack of data traceability and accountability. With its powerful combination of controlled deliverables and customisable outputs, modular construction provides the repeatable quality and safety needed to meet client demands. It is going to be difficult to achieve the levels of assurance and traceability the UK construction industry will need to actively deliver a golden thread of information from concept to completion – without an even wider adoption of modular technology. For more information visit: Images: 01-02. Modular construction helps ensure client satisfaction and product assurances through the certainty and quality embedded into the build process. Courtesy Premier Modular/Enscape

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On-site construction practice can learn a thing or two from offsite methods. This is especially true with the adoption of digital technologies, post-pandemic working and site and product inspection. best practice, standardisation of processes, and training materials to support the use of remote inspection.


2 A consortium of researchers is undertaking a project that could pave the way for the mainstream adoption of using digital technologies to remotely inspect construction sites. Construction Scotland Innovation Centre (CSIC), Local Authority Building Standards Scotland (LABSS), Edinburgh Napier University’s Centre for Offsite Construction and Innovative Structures, Wheatley Group, and Homes for Scotland will support a range of trials for the Scottish Government’s Building Standards Division that compare the quality of remote inspection methods with physical checks. The project will explore the technologies currently being used, and others that are potentially available, for remote inspection – focusing on accessible and cost-effective options, such as smart phones and tablets. It will also develop guidance around


Greater adoption and understanding of the options available for remote inspection – along with guidance on its implementation – could lead to more efficient construction projects by enhancing capacity for verifications, supporting quicker service delivery, and allowing greater flexibility over inspections. The initiative builds on the i-Con Challenge, which used advanced digital remote verification techniques – such as virtual and augmented reality (VR and AR) – to identify defects in buildings during the COVID-19 pandemic, when limitations were placed on travel and the ability to carry out physical inspections at construction sites. “This project could change the way many buildings are inspected, said Sam Hart, Innovation Manager at CSIC. “We now have a year of evidence to draw upon and support our conclusions. While i-Con focused on AR and VR, not every organisation will have access to those types of technologies – it is, therefore, important to gain an appreciation for all the options available, whether it is using tablets, mobile phone footage, or even photos of certain elements of a building. “During the first part of the programme we will benchmark the success of remote inspection since COVID-19 began. As part of that, we will look at a range of factors, including the carbon savings made through transport not being required, as well as identifying any issues that emerged. Ultimately, with the appropriate quality standards maintained, we want to make remote building inspections much more mainstream, rather than a one-off because of COVID-19.”


“Our remote inspection project is about bringing on-site construction up to the technological level of offsite. One of the fundamental benefits of offsite is the quality and consistency that can be delivered on products manufactured in factory conditions with automated lines and this initiative could be another step towards bringing the standards of that approach on site through the use of technology. “It could, however, be applied to offsite construction methods in a few different ways. One of those could be to live stream the installation of 95% complete volumetric units on-site, allowing Building Standards to remotely inspect via video, for instance, checking the tolerances and fixings of sole plates on slabs. Another potential application could be in the factory. Manufacturers could provide live streams of their production lines, which could be checked at regular intervals by inspectors. Cameras could be placed at appropriate spots to ensure products are in the correct places and insulation is packed to the right density, among a range of other checks. “The removal of the need to travel could also be of benefit to both inspector and manufacturers alike. During busy periods, it removes where inspectors are based as a factor – Aberdeen can pick up extra demand from Scotland’s Central Belt if required, and vice versa. That should lead to a more efficient construction process for the industry too.” For more information visit: Images: 01-02. Remote inspection and the use of digital technology could be used to live stream the installation of 95% complete volumetric units on-site, allowing Building Standards to remotely inspect via video

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A new Innovate UK-funded pilot to decarbonise precast concrete in construction is looking to change perceptions about the material, help reduce carbon emissions and identify opportunities for sustainability improvements.

2 The UK’s built environment sector is turning its attention to the embodied carbon in buildings, which – according to the World Green Building Council – accounts for 11% of our national total emissions. Concrete, whilst a default choice for many structures, is acknowledged as a carbon-intensive material and a focus for an industry challenged to develop a roadmap to net zero. AMA Research has forecast that the precast concrete sector will grow by 18% to £2.3billion by 2024.

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A collaborative team, led by design for manufacture experts Akerlof, alongside leading UK materials manufacturer Forterra and superstructure and façade construction specialist PCE, supported by engineers Curtins and sustainability consultants Accelar, has collaborated to research and develop processes that significantly reduce the emissions of precast concrete methodology and materials. Funded by Innovate UK and supported by the Ministry of Justice (MoJ) as part of its future capital programmes, this pilot project is aligned to the UK Government’s strategic commitment to develop low carbon infrastructure, decarbonise the economy and secure better outcomes for the environment.


3 Gareth Jones, Head of MMC & Technical Services, Ministry of Justice, said: “This study demonstrates how collaboration through the supply chain can bring subject matter experts together to develop innovative solutions for decarbonising. We look forward to utilising and embedding such solutions in the MoJ’s New Prison Programme.’’ The Decarbonising Precast Concrete (DPC) project builds on the learning from recent research-based studies on ways to both reduce concrete used and apply lower-carbon concrete mix types, crucially applied against a real-life project. Through collaboration the integrated team have addressed gaps along a typically fragmented value chain, to enable iterative testing, robust data capture and detailed analysis at each stage in engineering an optimised system. Benchmarked against the performance of the MoJ’s existing delivery methods, the project outcomes are intended to be transferable to other sectors and development types, including student and rental housing, and major health and education infrastructure. “We urgently need to find ways to decarbonise the delivery of the UK’s future infrastructure and buildings with solutions that are commercially competitive,” says John Handscomb, Founding Partner, Akerlof. “This pilot brings together innovators from each stage of the process to tackle this challenge directly through a real-life project. We are extremely hopeful that in demonstrating significant carbon reductions we will be able to formalise

a project model that can enable others across the industry to apply to their development pipelines, to deliver better outcomes.” Traditional concrete manufacture is a fuel-intensive, electro-intensive and therefore carbon intensive process, using cement, said to be responsible for as much as 8% of the world’s carbon dioxide emmisions. While addressing its material makeup to lower manufacturing and embodied emissions is critical to decarbonising, the pathway to net zero relies upon a holistic view: with intelligent design that minimises material use without affecting a structure’s integrity, as well as an understanding of a product’s transport and installation emissions. The DPC project is made up of three stages:

• Design Solution Optimisation – minimising material use at the source • Material Development and Testing – incorporating use of novel cement and/or clinker substitution technologies and admixtures • Production and Logistics Review – identifying opportunities for improvement in carbon emissions. “This is a UK team, backed by UK innovation money,” said Stephen Harrison, CEO at Forterra. “Trialling a way to help UK construction lower its carbon emissions – a vital focus to keep our climate goals within reach as recovery measures stimulate the sector to increase building.”

Jonny Voon, Head of the Sustainable Innovation Fund at Innovate UK, added, “Decarbonisation of concrete manufacturing is fundamental to helping the UK government achieve its net zero ambition of slashing emissions by 78% by 2035. Innovate UK is proud to support the project and an exciting consortium with their world-leading efforts.” The pilot’s findings and recommended future methodology, expected to be released in June, will be shared with the sector to enable it to consider a more holistically-sustainable approach as it ramps up delivery of new buildings and infrastructure postpandemic. Simon Harold, Business Development Director, PCE, says: “By looking in the round at one important aspect of delivering today’s buildings, we are confident we’ll find a relatively simple, cost-effective and eminently scalable way to reduce carbon emissions, benefitting our clients’ communities as well as contributing to the UK’s efforts to hit its net zero carbon target.” For more information visit: Images: 01-02. The award-winning Wellingborough Prison 03. The route to decarbonising precast concrete. Courtesy Akerlof, Forterra, PCE





Wave energy has the potential to contribute to the UK’s race to reach net zero carbon by 2050 with precast concrete a major factor in making this happen. Karoline Lende, Engineer, Advanced Digital Engineering for Arup explains more.

1 The current cost of wave energy converters (WECs) means large scale deployment is not yet commercially viable. Funded by Wave Energy Scotland (WES), a team of structural engineers from Arup has been looking at ways in which concrete can help reduce the cost of WECs, and ultimately ensure that the wider wave energy sector can adopt these innovations. The Arup team has been seeking to unlock the opportunities for innovative concrete construction techniques to drive down the cost of WECs, which are typically constructed from steel. Following a sector-wide review of WEC types, floating devices were found to have the most potential for innovation and cost reduction. For these devices, structural concrete offers a more efficient solution by using the weight of the structure directly, rather than requiring additional ballast. After a series of research, design, modelling and physical testing stages, Arup’s specialist material and structural experts concluded that the use of concrete for WECs could reduce the through-life cost of floating wave energy devices by up to 20%. Whilst concrete is a widely used and well understood material in


2 the built environment, its use in lightweight floating structures is less well established. To demonstrate the technical feasibility of using concrete for floating WECs, Arup developed two concrete designs to Front End Engineering Design level, working closely with contractor BAM to develop innovative manufacturing solutions and drive down cost. This included designing a load-bearing precast concrete connection detail, which underwent full-scale physical testing to demonstrate watertightness. The interleaved T-headed bar connection detail achieves full load transfer at the joint whilst using hydrophilic strips to prevent water ingress. Arup also explored the wider benefits from using concrete beyond cost reduction. The material can take advantage of a mature supply chain and increased local construction content. Concrete has superior durability compared to steel in the offshore environment and can typically offer a 50-year design life, further reducing through-life cost. Arup also assessed the embodied carbon of different designs, concluding that concrete devices would be more favourable than steel devices in terms of environmental impact and global warming potential.


3 To enable WEC developers to understand and realise the potential for concrete, Arup has placed great emphasis on disseminating the findings of the project. They have created a digital decision-making tool – Convex – helping WEC developers exploit the knowledge gained throughout the project by assessing the feasibility of incorporating concrete in their designs. The Arup team have demonstrated the commercial opportunity associated with concrete WECs. With further work by WEC developers and the concrete supply chain to maximise the chance of successful exploitation, wave energy could play an important role in the UK’s renewable energy mix. Arup are continuing to work with developers in this innovative sector and has transferred the findings of the study to floating offshore wind substructures where concrete could also have a significant impact. For more information on Convex visit: Images: 01. Arup’s concrete design of the Carnegie CETO 6 1MW WEC device 02. Full-scale physical testing of precast connection detail 03. Precast components of Arup’s concrete design of the CETO 6 device

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Earlier this year, Ultrapanel Building Technologies launched its next generation of ‘room in the roof’ systems, combining offsite techniques and advanced manufacturing technology to help the housebuilding sector deal with a ‘new normal’.

1 The pressure of operating COVIDsecure construction sites, combined with tough schedules, supply chain issues and difficult specification decisions, are all taking a toll on housebuilders. There is also a widespread agreement that in order to operate effectively and safely, developers need to reduce their reliance on labour-intensive traditional construction methods and look to new advanced offsite approaches. A Brexit-driven fear of a skills exodus, compounded by chaos in construction supply chains and materials shortages, are also creating a climate for rapid change. Many are now realising that taking the construction process into well-managed factory environments where social distancing measures are easier to implement, is just one of many benefits. It is not only construction methods that are going through a period of unprecedented transformation – working remotely has altered not only the way we use our homes but is also creating a change in consumer demand and maximising available space is now a priority. Tried and tested by one of the UK’s largest housebuilders, the new Ultrapanel system provides invaluable benefits for volume housebuilders not only looking to create space and increase revenue, but also to 78

2 overcome supply chain concerns and eliminate complex performance and safety specification issues from the critical construction timeline. The Ultrapanel ‘room in the roof’ system is both lightweight and easy to manoeuvre, reducing the cost and complexity of expensive lifting equipment and on-site cranage. The Ultrapanel system can be installed by a team of three with a telehandler in just one day to achieve a rapid weathertight building envelope. The adaptable system creates 50-60% more usable space than traditional attic trusses. Importantly, windows and dormers can be placed anywhere in the roof with no ‘dead zones’. This means that the layout of the top floor room can be maximised as windows can be placed exactly where they are needed, even above staircases to bring natural light into the floors below. As Ultrapanel has no traditional roof trusses or purlins, the ceiling can be vaulted, allowing space for mezzanine floors in some roof designs. “The complete Ultrapanel system is the only ‘room in the roof’ solution with BBA certification and NHBC Accepts,” says Andrew Thomson, Ultrapanel’s Design and Development Director. “This provides assurance to housebuilders that the structural, thermal, condensation and fire risk


have all been independently verified. The design has a structural eaves section which distributes the load into the supporting walls, so the support traditionally required either side of a roof opening does not need aligning with the wall below. The absence of internal structure means maximum flexibility to utilise the space.” Precision engineered in one ‘unitised hybrid panelised solution’ the Ultrapanel system maximises the material properties of the structural steel and timber elements, integrated with a high-performance insulated core. Mass customisation techniques at high capacity ensure simultaneous volume production of various roof types with vaulted ceilings, mezzanine floor options, and the ability to accommodate dormer or inline windows. “We have been developing the system over the past four years alongside major housebuilders to ensure we get off to a quick start,” says Andrew. “We have developed a version of the panel utilising non-combustible materials which we use for the party wall structure and we will continue to extend applications of this new material.” With a two-week flexible lead time and an established supply chain, the Ultrapanel system can help volume housebuilders overcome the challenges of the ‘new normal’ and deliver critical time and space gains. For more information visit: Images: 01-02. On-site work can be minimised easily using factory-manufactured elements.



Finalist in the Offsite Awards in two categories, Boho 8 is the latest phase of Middlesbrough’s commercial campus for the town’s digital media, technology and creative sectors.

1 Supported by the Local Growth Fund from the Tees Valley Mayor and Combined Authority, the £2.5million project, provides additional growth space for local companies and is also intended to attract a new cohort of creative businesses to the area. Middlesbrough Council carried out a ‘demand survey’ with digital and creative companies based in and around Middlesbrough, this demonstrated that there were high levels of growth but no suitable quality office accommodation. The timescales these companies identified meant the Council had to consider alternative methods of construction to traditional build. The additional offices were required as a matter of urgency to ensure expanding companies remained in Middlesbrough and continued to provide local employment opportunities. Modular construction was identified as a means to deliver high-quality, environmentally friendly units that could be in situ in six months to meet


this demand. The production methods involved ensured that materials were used more efficiently and accurately, eliminating onsite waste. On average 67% less energy is required to produce a modular building and up to 50% less time is spent onsite when compared to traditional methods, resulting in up to 90% fewer vehicle movements which in turn, reduces carbon emissions. Consortium Procurement Construction (CPC) worked closely with Middlesbrough Council and Faithful+Gould (F&G) through the MB1 Modular Buildings Framework – resulting in the appointment of modular specialists M-AR to deliver the complete project, from groundworks to final commissioning. The award-winning concept by Seymour Architecture creates highquality facilities encompassing four, one to three-storey modular cantilevered buildings ranging from 1,000 to 3,000sq ft delivered by main contractor M-AR who designed, engineered, manufactured and installed the volumetric modular solution.


Predictability of Price, Programme and Performance From the outset, the Council worked with consultants F&G to benchmark costs, timescales, quality standards and energy efficiency of modular technology against traditional construction methods. Through this work the Council agreed there would be little cost difference between modular and traditional approaches and placed the emphasis on the speed, safety and quality standards of the development. The supply chain simplicity offered via M-AR’s complete turnkey modular approach, removed many complexities from the critical construction timeline. The pandemic had the potential to create serious challenges for this build, but the modular approach delivered predictability of price, programme and building performance. M-AR are at the forefront of advanced building technologies, ensuring projects are digitally constructed and virtually tested before they enter the company’s controlled manufacturing environment.

MIDDLESBROUGH BOHO 8 This technology-led approach consistently reduces defects and increases quality and accuracy. The project began in August 2020, with the modules being manufactured at M-AR’s offsite factory facility where quality controls are embedded into the manufacturing processes. Modular builds are not susceptible to poorly specified products as time is taken upfront to validate the correct specification of materials. With a powerful combination of controlled deliverables and customisable outputs, modular construction provides repeatable quality and enhanced building performance. Simultaneously M-AR’s groundwork team carried out all elements of ground remediation, drainage, strip foundations and RC piers, cross-site services, retaining walls, steps, podia seating together with hard and soft landscaping.


Just eight weeks later, four office blocks consisting of 18 individual 49sq m modules were completed and quality checked and were installed over a five-day period. Middlesbrough Mayor Andy Preston said: “Great buildings attract jobs and investment. They can also help create better working environments which stimulate good mental health and productivity – Boho 8 definitely does that.” Full Turnkey Package The modular units are steel frame with a Class B HPL Formica cladding system on 110mm rockwool slab insulated rail system. Total fit out was included in M-AR’s full turnkey package which consisted of open planned office space, toilet and kitchen facilities, all finished with suspended ceilings, carpeting and tiled floors to wet areas. The majority of M&E was factory-installed with final connections between modules and floors and roof mounted equipment taking place on-site followed by testing and commissioning. The innovatively designed and constructed light, bright and inspiring offices provide ideal spaces for ambitious and contemporary businesses. Achieving excellent EPC Rating of A and air permeability of 4.69 m2/(h.m2) @50 Pa – this will reduce heating requirements and carbon emissions for the lifetime of the buildings. “The quality of the development and the fit out of the office units is equal

3 to, if not higher quality than traditional build methods,” said Michael Canavan, Project Manager for Middlesbrough Council. “All parties involved in the Boho 8 project have been extremely impressed. The speed of delivery and certainty around offsite construction provides more reassurance that projects will be delivered on time and within budget. Boho 8 is a perfect example of this, having been delivered on time and within budget whilst navigating the implications from Brexit and freedom of trade as well as two lockdowns as a result from the COVID-19 pandemic. “There have been a number of traditional construction projects that were adjacent to Boho 8 on-site before and were due to complete before Boho 8 that have still not completed.

4 The Council will definitely use offsite technology as part of its future development projects and is currently looking at potential sites where the construction method would be better suited to deliver the Council’s ambitions.” For more information visit: M-AR have been nominated for Best Commercial Project and Client of the Year 2021 for their work on BoHo 8.

Images: 01-04. The work on Boho 8 has seen modular offsite techniques deliver on Middlesbrough Council’s creative ambitions. Courtesy Seymour Architecture, KMC Photography and M-AR






1 The St. Philips pedestrian and cycle bridge in Bristol spans the River Avon. It’s offsite design and installation contributed much needed accessibility to an isolated area. The new St. Philips pedestrian and cycle bridge is one of two pieces of infrastructure recently built in Bristol to increase the city’s sustainable transport network and to improve accessibility to Temple Island, a centrally-located area behind Temple Meads railway station restricted to rail-related uses for more than 150 years. The new crossing spans the watercourse, connecting the area with a riverside pedestrian and cycle path. The footbridge connects two banks with a significant difference in elevation (approximately 5m), appearance (historic stone wall with relieving arches and green slope), ground conditions and accessibility. The footbridge – a 50m-span and 4m-wide steel beam with a forked geometry – seamlessly hosts a ramp for disabled users and cyclists and a staircase to maximise functionality in a very limited space. The challenge for the location of the bridge over a river with a 5m tidal range and especially soft ground and limited access in one of the banks, were significant constraints for the design, the material choice, and the decision to maximise offsite construction in the project. Bridge supports within the river and the tidal zone were rejected early in the design process to minimise the impact in an environmentally sensitive area. Offsite steel fabrication was the perfect approach to precisely realise the large, 82


complex and sculptural multifaceted geometry, combined with enough lightness for installation in a single piece using a crane on just one of the banks. The bridge was fabricated in sections in the workshop, transported to site by road, and then assembled on Temple Island before being lifted into place with lattice boom mobile crane with a maximum capacity of 750t. The bridge was designed as a sculpted shape to compactly respond to such a constrained crossing. The innovative steel beam with a forked geometry maximises functionality in a very limited space. It naturally guides people along the desire lines and does not restrict potential future connections when the current industrial area will be redeveloped. Offsite construction was crucial for the delivery of such a large and wide object. The inherent cost benefits of offsite construction enabled high-quality architectural design that may not otherwise have been deliverable on budget in that site, by making possible the exacting fabrication of a complex steelwork and its installation in a single crane lift. The use of offsite technology was a key factor in delivering the project, by significantly reducing the programme, financial and safety risks whilst ensuring a high-quality finish was achieved. The fabrication and assembly of such an atypical steel box girder was extraordinarily challenging due to the number and variability in geometry of the internal longitudinal ribs and diaphragms. To avoid compromising the legibility of the object, external welds and local deformation caused by internal welds should not compete with the edges of the origami shape. The hugely


3 successful result was thanks to the offsite fabrication – which allowed for precise work within tight tolerances – as well as the skills and experience of the steel fabricator and contractor. The installation of the structure itself, after assembly, was undertaken in a single day, reducing disruption to the construction site and minimising environmental impact. Offsite technology gave greater cost predictability for the contractor, meaning there was less risk in the pricing, giving both client and contractor greater cost certainty. Traditional onsite construction would have been barely feasible, within a reasonable budget, at this location due to limitation in site access and the characteristics of the ground and tidal river. Offsite technology provided extraordinary benefits compared with traditional onsite construction, in terms of programme reduction, financial and safety risk management and quality of the final product. For more information visit: Images: 01-03. Bridge installation was undertaken in a single day and has transformed the area. Courtesy Knight Architects


OTL CELEBRATE 21 YEAR LANDMARK The original wet room former company, On The Level (OTL) is going from strength to strength and is celebrating 21 years in business. The company’s founder, Phil Clark, invented the patented OTL wet room former after seeing the need for a radically more effective kind of flooring. Thirty years as a builder spent installing shower areas for local authorities gave him the insight and experience to develop the revolutionary OTL shower floor tray, or ‘former’, out of a piece of timber which once installed could be covered with a non-slip vinyl sheet flooring – known today as OTL’s Level Access formers. Back at the company’s beginnings, Phil started to manufacturer the formers by hand from a shed at the end of his garden in Watford. Today, each product is still hand finished by skilled craftsman, however they have since moved with the times using state-of-

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James Clark

the-art machinery to create the perfect gradient for the quick flow of water. Today the company is proud of the partnerships and strong relationships it has formed with a variety of builders, architects, interior designers, contractors, end users and showroom clients and has had its products specified and installed countless times across various sectors. James Clark, OTL Managing Director, says: “Wet rooms continue to grow in popularity year-on-year, as their contemporary stylish designs suit the tastes of consumers, whilst also

providing an inclusive bathroom space suitable for all. Our company has always been at the forefront of innovation in the marketplace, from being the first to create a former, introducing the most minimalist product on the market, to adapting and growing our capabilities to suit modern methods of construction. It’s a company I am proud to develop and see go from strength to strength as we continue to build our fantastic team and relationships with our clients.” For more information visit: or email:

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Specialist external brick and terracotta cladding systems supplier Aquarian Cladding Systems has provided a perfect modern construction solution at the historic Dulwich Estate in south London.

Designed by Syte Architects and built by Aspect Construction for specialist developer Lightbox, Edward Milner Terrace is a collection of five-storey townhouses. With strong emphasis on the Georgian and mid-century aesthetic of the area, the contemporary townhouses were clad with the Gebrik Brick Cladding System, courtesy of Aquarian, combined with copper, zinc and large feature windows.

Matthew Horn of Lightbox explained: “We wanted a product that reflected our modern approach to construction and Aquarian offered the perfect solution of Gebrik, a modern building solution that suited the constraints of our steeply sloping, wooded site. We required an externally insulated cladding system that ensured we had maximum internal room sizes on our concrete structure, was quick to install and easy to use. The lightweight and compact nature of the product was also an important feature.”

of 0.19W/m2K on a 328mm total wall thickness, SAP issues were also greatly reduced. Aquarian’s Sales Director Jazz Rigden, says Edward Milner Terrace is yet another success story for Aquarian and Gebrik. “The development is hugely impressive, and we’re delighted Lightbox found Gebrik to be the perfect solution at Edward Milner Terrace. Our systems are tried and tested, and they guarantee simpler, faster builds that require little or no maintenance, performing precisely as they should.”

The Gebrik solution has robust and extensive fire test data, including five successful BR135 Classification Reports – it could also be fixed directly into the concrete of the end units, which had exposed textured walls. With a U-value

For more information visit: Images: 01. The contemporary townhouses clad with Gebrik


CoreHaus Ltd, launched in 2018, applies tried and tested construction technology in an innovative way to meet the growing demand for offsite solutions in the housing sector. bathroom. A customisable external finish allows CoreHaus homes to be built in any location regardless of surroundings.

“CoreHaus utilises a hybrid of modern methods of construction (MMC) categories 2 and 5 – a pod and panelised approach to provide high levels of flexibility whilst solving a wide range of construction challenges,” explains Scott Bibby, CoreHaus, Managing Director. “This allows the full implementation of 84

offsite manufacturing benefits into the process whilst maintaining customer choice in our solutions. With principles based on ground and first floor standardised ‘modular cores’, CoreHaus provides a prefinished kitchen, staircase, WC, central heating, electrical control systems and


Backed in part by social enterprise Fusion 21, CoreHaus have the unique focus on not just supporting the housing market but making a genuinely noticeable impact socially and towards building a sustainable future for all. “Everything we do is underpinned by sustainability,” adds Scott. “From the flexibility of the design to the use of innovative materials and our commitment to delivering social and economic value.” For more information visit:


With the Gebrik cladding system, you are assured of a simpler, faster brick façade that performs precisely as it should. Tried, tested and simple to install, our solutions provide you with the freedom to create strikingly versatile buildings.

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The construction sector is at a critical crossroads - offsite technology is now recognised as providing the most important solution to overcome many of the challenges facing the industry today. Explore: Offsite Technologies The case is unequivocal – offsite technology challenges outmoded construction practices and is a progressive and productive step that is set to revolutionise the way buildings are designed and assembled. Every major review of the construction industry has in some way recommended a move towards advanced factory-based construction methods. This specialist offsite technology event is destined to become Europe’s largest dedicated event, providing direct access to explore this innovative and fast-moving sector. Get to grips with the latest offsite methods and smart digital technology – OFFSITE EXPO showcases the widest and most comprehensive display within the built environment including but not limited to:

Bringing together the sector’s most influential innovators who are driving change in the construction industry, OFFSITE EXPO provides fast and efficient access to a wealth of knowledge and offsite innovation. By attending this one highly focused event, construction professionals can gain a broad spectrum of offsite industry intelligence and practical insight – all under one roof. Taking place at the Ricoh Arena, Coventry on 21 & 22 September 2021 – OFFSITE EXPO is the focalpoint of innovative building and digital construction technologies. Presenting a compelling proposition, OFFSITE EXPO will feature a combination of advanced manufacturing approaches and smart digital construction technologies. With innovative displays,


live demonstrations, and pioneering speakers – the event will play host to leading experts, offsite manufacturers and component suppliers showcasing a broad spectrum of panelised, volumetric modular systems, pod and prefabricated MEP solutions. The last OFFSITE EXPO exceeded expectations attracting almost 3,000 unique visitors, over 100 professionals with purchasing power participated in the Offsite Connect Buyers and Specifiers Forum, in excess of 100 exhibiting companies promoted offsite solutions and smart technologies and more than 40 hours of CPD Accredited presentations took place. The feedback was universal - OFFSITE EXPO was acknowledged as featuring the most informative and inspiring content.


• Framing Solutions in Concrete, Timber and Steel • Modular Volumetric Systems • Bathroom and Kitchen Pods • Pre-engineered MEP Building Services • Prefabricated Building Components • Digital/ BIM/Augmented Reality (AR)/ Virtual Reality (VR) Expertise: CPD Accredited Masterclasses Presenting the optimum personal development opportunity – rapid and efficient access to the latest information is crucial to success. Advanced offsite approaches and innovative technologies are changing the face of construction, the Offsite Masterclass Theatres provide over 40 hours of CPD Accredited presentations in a dynamic and interactive format for those looking to learn direct from eminent offsite industry experts. For more information, visit:

21-22 SEPTEMBER 2021



The Offsite Connect Forum is the most dynamic ‘meet the buyer’ business development opportunity of the year. OFFSITE EXPO exhibitors can gain access to key industry professionals with a buying or specifying remit. This Forum offers a structured, highly effective way for new and existing offsite industry suppliers to connect with potential customers easily and cost effectively in highly focused meetings. The greatest success of the 2019 event for many, were the business development opportunities secured in the Offsite Connect Buyers and Specifiers Forum, which was a hive of activity and open exclusively to exhibitors. With over 100 buyers and specifiers participating from high profile construction companies such as Mace, Willmott Dixon, Kier, Balfour Beatty, Galliford Try and the NHS – over 330 business meetings took place and feedback from both the buyers and exhibitors has been outstanding. Participating buyer, Julian Humphreys, Programme Manager at Community Health Partnerships said: ‘Offsite Connect was a very useful forum that enabled contact with organisations associated with the offsite market, and I established a number of new connections. The offsite market is expanding, and the event provided the ability to explore new opportunities and new products at a single location, making OFFSITE EXPO a very efficient and cost-effective method of networking.’ If you have influence over procurement or specification decisions and would like to take part in structured, highly effective meetings with new and existing offsite industry suppliers, email Jessica Holland on:

2021 Exposure - Offsite Awards It is not only the exhibition that has exciting development plans, for the first time OFFSITE EXPO will host the dynamic and innovative Offsite Construction Awards at this new high-profile location. Taking centre stage, the Offsite Construction Awards will take place at OFFSITE EXPO on 21 September 2021. Since inception seven years ago, the Awards have been on an upward trajectory presenting professionals operating in the sector with outstanding opportunities to showcase excellence and network with those who are gaining industry recognition.

experience. New for 2021 and hosted by Cogent Consulting the ‘Ask the Expert’ guided technical tours will allow OFFSITE EXPO VIP visitors the opportunity to meet one-to-one with leading industry experts and discuss live projects and explore design efficiencies, engineering challenges and supply-chain development opportunities. OFFSITE EXPO is the place for people to engage with key industry contacts, acquire new knowledge and network in vibrant surroundings.

For more information, visit:

Health and Wellbeing The health and wellbeing of all attendees, speakers, exhibitors and staff are the event organisers top priority. Measures are being put in place so that the exhibition and Offsite Awards can take place in a safe and controlled manner.

Experience - The Offsite Event of the Year Showcasing the greatest display of offsite building and digital construction technologies under one roof, OFFSITE EXPO aims to attract circa 5,000 delegates and is geared towards creating the ultimate visitor

Get Connected To join the offsite conversation, become a member of the Explore Offsite Linkedin Group: Or to stay up to date with the latest announcements – follow #OffsiteExpo on Twitter at @ExploreOffsite

Get involved as an exhibitor or sponsor With over 75% of the inaugural exhibitors and sponsors rebooking for the 2021 event, construction businesses are advised not to leave it too late to book promotional packages to ensure they maximise this highly targeted business opportunity. Here is just what one exhibitor had to say about OFFSITE EXPO: “We had an excellent couple of days exhibiting at OFFSITE EXPO. The quality of visitors and the seminars were outstanding. Great to make so many new contacts and what a way to showcase our Thrubuild® range of complete walling solutions. It was a thoroughly productive couple of days.’ Steve Thompson, Managing Director, EOS. For more information on getting involved in OFFSITE EXPO 2021 as an Exhibitor or Sponsor contact Amy Pryce on 01743 290001 or email:




TECHNICAL DESIGN SERVICES GROUP EXPANDS OFFSITE CAPABILITIES ONCE AGAIN Across the industry, 2020 was the year that saw interest in offsite construction methods surge. That was certainly true for the Technical Design Services Group (TDSG), which has seen expansion across all three businesses to meet the growing demand for its engineering, design and training services. The group, which officially brought TDS, Design4Structures and Cadcoe together in 2019, have always held the profound belief that digital transformation and better collaboration are two of the main drivers for an, efficient, viable and secure industry. With two in-house divisions specialising in offsite design, it has been poised to make this drive for change early on. TDSG has recently welcomed several new design engineers, who will work for both TDS and Design4Structures. All, are highly experienced LGSF Engineers, previously working on projects across multiple sectors.

Cadcoe has also witnessed an increase in demand for apprentices within offsite manufacturing during the past 12 months. With part of its intensive CAD training dedicated to design for MMC, it has a growing portfolio of clients looking to future-proof and access its growing pool of digital talent. The evidence this is an effective way to recruit? Five of its previous Apprentices, are now full-time CAD Engineers primarily working within the offsite teams at TDSG. The Technical Design Services Group will be exhibiting at the Offsite Expo on the 21st September 2021 at the Ricoh Arena where they will be

ready to discuss your next project or recruitment drive. Visit to learn more about TDS, Design4Structures and Cadcoe. STAND NO: C05

THE IMPORTANCE OF MODULAR CLADDING IN THE FUTURE OF CONSTRUCTION With the explosion of new buildings going up in the last few decades, the construction industry is always looking for faster, more efficient and cost-effective ways of creating highrise buildings that don’t compromise on aesthetics. The traditional way of building may still be popular, but too time consuming for some projects. This is where modular cladding systems using lightweight materials come into their own. The advantage of going lightweight As a prime example of popular architectural design, brickslips provide the aesthetic quality that we all associate with traditional brickwork, with many added benefits. They allow designers a lot more freedom in building features and the method of primary construction on the build. A prime example is that Mechslip can be used in curtain walling, or modular cladding panels to blend in with areas that are masonry but can’t


be built with bricks. This gives an easy transition from traditional to modern construction without compromising on the quality of the look. Design possibilities with modular cladding Significant savings can be made with materials like brickslips. The materials chosen will vary and tend to be more costly than traditional bricks and mortar at the start, but the cost benefit is realised is in the early engagement with manufacturers and installation. The systems are considerably lighter than traditional bricks, weighing in at 80kg per square metre less than bricks. This results in lighter loading, which in turn reduces the foundation depth, installation is quicker too!


For more information on Mechslip brick cladding visit – STAND NO: C14


Hybrid modular construction solutions For more information visit:



TAKING A COLLABORATIVE APPROACH A long-lasting bathroom installation relies on each component working as part of a system which is why tile and stone protection experts Schlüter-Systems create products which perform best when used together. can guarantee a reliable CE marked waterproof system is achieved every time.

From the BBA certified tile backerboard Schlüter-KERDI-BOARD to the recently launched low height version of the shower board SchlüterKERDI-SHOWER-LTS, their product portfolio, which also includes tile trims, underfloor heating and wetrooms,

Hosting a suite of RIBA accredited CPD seminars online has also positioned Schlüter as leaders within the construction sector, offering architects and specifiers a fantastic way of learning about best practise through engaging seminars. Each seminar provides a detailed look into a specific area, and the intention is to come away armed with the tools and confidence to install products with ease. Training aimed at contractors is also available, offering application focused sessions designed to give contractors handson experience with installing Schlüter products.

This delivery of product and specification expertise, paired with their ongoing support of some of the offsite industry’s most prominent companies means that you can trust Schlüter’s team of specialists when it comes to system solutions. Whether this is through the creation of CAD drawings at the specification stage or providing onsite technical support to a multitude of different projects, they are on hand to help the offsite industry grow and develop. For more information visit: STAND NO: C15

Think offsite. Think systems. Think Schlüter. Your experts in tile & stone protection. It is essential that the bathroom products you choose work together to offer a reliable and long-lasting installation. This is why our solutions work best when used as part of a system. Our extensive portfolio includes trims, underfloor heating, waterproofing and uncoupling products. When it comes to service, you can rely on us to deliver above and beyond with design and technical support throughout the duration of the project and bespoke extended warranties available to ensure you have complete peace of mind. Visit us on stand C15 at the Offsite Expo to find out more about how we can help.

Offsite Expo - Schlüter [190x127mm].indd 1

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SIDERISE is a market leader in the design and development of specialist passive fire protection solutions for the construction, façades and interiors sectors suitable for use with Steel Frame Systems. We have developed a wide range of firestopping products and systems that meet the requirements of current national building regulations for applications including ceilings and floor and wall compartmentation – with at least an equal fire performance rating to that of our Cavity Barrier or Fire Stop. Our fire safe insulation products provide the following benefits: • Proven in use with market-leading fire performance • Unique construction provides unrivalled movement performance • Third-party ‘Certifire’ approvals • Expert Technical support • Simple and quick to install with comprehensive training available.

Find out more about Siderise and our products at We’re proud to be new members of the LSFA


BRE’S NEW STANDARD AND CERTIFICATION SCHEME OFFSITE MODULAR CONSTRUCTION BRE is the world’s leading, multi-disciplinary building science organisation: an innovative group of researchers, scientists, engineers, and technicians who contribute to a thriving and sustainable world, by developing science-led solutions to built environment challenges. We use independent cutting-edge research to generate new knowledge and to develop our range of products, services, standards, and qualifications which are used around the world, including by the UK government. We pride ourselves on being able to provide the answer to virtually any construction-related testing question.

BRE is a world leading, multidisciplinary, building science centre with a mission to improve buildings and infrastructure, through research and knowledge generation. For more information visit: STAND NO: C09

David Gall is the Project Manager developing a new “industry-plus” BRE Product Standard for modular homes and he will be speaking at Offsite Expo on 21 September 2021, in the Training, Skills & Innovation session on ‘BPS 7014, an overview of BRE’s new standard and certification scheme for Offsite Modular Construction’.

MAXIMISED ‘OFF-LINE’ PRE-FABRICATION AND IMPLEMENTING MODULAR PRODUCTS AND METHODS THAT SAVE TIME AND MONEY Newtons Connect™ is a unique approach to modular MEP designed to maximise off-line production, reduce labour spend and improve quality- all with the purpose of driving efficiencies and getting more modules out the door!

It combines our protected ‘plug-andplay’ MEP products, bespoke modular installation training programme and our exclusive data gathering systems. All to provide a turnkey solution for modular MEP. Newtons Connect is part of the Newtons Group. An established M&E company working across the modular, projects and facilities management industries. We operate as your specialist service partner. Providing a full service


approach to MEP. Fitting within your existing management structure so we are equally held accountable as any other department. We begin with an assessment of your M&E design, working with your existing design team to maximise ‘off-line’ pre-fabrication, and implement modular products and methods that save time and money. We can also develop drawings to construction issue at your request. Our modular supervisors prepare and present operating procedures, quality control measures, health and safety monitoring and data reporting processes that are essential for the efficient running of the factory floor. When this is approved, our engineers


get to work on delivering quality M&E installations for your projects. We know that feedback is essential for continually improving efficiency and working as part of a larger production line. We provide real time data alongside our formal weekly and monthly reports on output, savings, issues, and modular research & development progress. For more information visit: STAND NO: H12


OFF-THE-SHELF AND CUSTOM MODELLING SOLUTIONS FOR LIGHT GAUGE STEEL OR WOOD FRAMING SYSTEMS It all starts at the design stage with MWF or Metal Wood Framer - our flagship solution, the ultimate add-on to Revit®. Now complying with the latest energy efficient & green building methods in use today, MWF allows users to model virtually any light gauge steel or wood framing system while simultaneously creating schedules, material cut lists, framing elevations, and fully dimensioned 2D shop drawings. The software can then export wall, floor, and truss framing data, directly into a format which is readable by your company’s roll forming machine and automated wood saw. Knock-outs, hole cuts, dimples and more operations are supported when using MWF in conjunction with our CNC Modules. Builders can then manage every aspect of panel design, scheduling, delivery and machine output from any web enabled device using ONYX, our cloud manufacturing tool. With important data flowing back from the shop floor

to the management software and easy collaboration from the design team, ONYX enables managers to fully control and access projects from anywhere at any time with up-to-date information at their fingertips. Contact us today to find out how our off-the-shelf or custom solutions can benefit your next project by emailing us at STAND NO: F09

WE MAKE LIFE BETTER ON-SITE BY WORKING OFF-SITE Saint-Gobain believe the construction industry can use off-site manufacture to improve quality, maximise supply chain efficiency and enhance sustainability performance during and after construction.

Speak with us and our specialist brands - International Timber, INTRASTACK, Pasquill, Roofspace Solutions and Scotframe - to discuss your next off-site building project.

Find us at stand G3


CE AND ETA APPROVED PRODUCTS THAT CONFORM TO CPR REGULATIONS Not all screws and connectors are the same, 17 years within the offsite manufacture construction fastener supply business, has taught us at TT FIXINGS, that the supply of fasteners and connectors is not all about price, it has to be a Technical led product, with local manufacture and support on all the products. Stock on hand within central England, allows rapid delivery times to the whole of the UK, without costly site delays. For TT FIXINGS the Screws from SCHMID SCHRAUBEN, and Connectors from SHERPA, fit perfectly with the demands of UK construction, technically superior in the market, and constantly evolving their own manufactured product ranges.

ensuring the correct products are specified and installed.

European manufactured product gives closer control over product availability, with shorter lead times, and flexibility to react quickly to projects. Full support, prior to, and during the construction process ensures a level of technical and practical assistance,

Underpinned by direct partnerships with the manufacturers within Austria. TT FIXINGS has the right product, knowledge, people, and experience to be your supply partner in today’s evolving OFFSITE manufacturing and Construction industry.

Designers, Architects, and end users are assured that the fully approved products on offer, can meet any demands required by a project, with the highest level of technical support through recognised ETA approvals, within the UK.

For more information visit: 01773 833338 STAND NO: A09

INNOVATIVE TOILET FLUSH WITH VORTEX POWER TwistFlush: More cleanliness, less water consumption the new revolutionary TwistFlush toilet flush delivers extra clean and hygienic flushing results while being exceptionally water efficient. The secret: the patent-pending TwistFlush technology uses the physical force of a controlled water vortex, which flushes almost all of the inside of the toilet bowl while carrying waste away. In turn TwistFlush uses the flush water much more efficiently and saves precious water every time the flush is activated.

person family can save up to 19,700* litres of water a year. Moreover, the patent-pending flushing technology far exceeds standard requirements**: the controlled water vortex generates a very strong pull in a conic bowl. It reaches almost all of the inside of the toilet bowl while well and truly carrying waste away.

Economical yet powerful A sustainable lifestyle includes the conscious use of resources. A TwistFlush toilet that saves precious water every time it is used plays an important role in this. The toilet only needs 4.5 litres for a large flush and a mere 3 litres for a small one. And as the flush is so powerful, one flush is usually sufficient. This way, a four-

Practically brushless and easy to clean Annoying toilet brushes are a thing of the past: TwistFlush thoroughly flushes the entire inner pan, and the smartly designed bowl with its steep and super smooth walls makes it difficult for dirt to stick. One more hygienic advantage: thanks to the sophisticated rimless shape, a TwistFlush toilet is quick and easy to clean. CeramicPlus



and AntiBac make it even cleaner while reducing bacterial growth by 99.9%. Prevents spray and aerosols The controlled vortex power deploys the flushing water exactly where it is needed. This prevents spray and significantly reduces the formation of aerosols. Another advantage: TwistFlush is significantly quieter than a standard flush. For more information visit: STAND NO: F21



Industry acclaimed concept in volumetric modular one-person homes, designed and developed by VOLUMETRIC™ – specialist offsite manufacturers of custom-built homeless and key worker solutions. Robust solution with 60 year design life BOPAS certified Exceptional energy efficiency Outstanding functional performance

If you have an enquiry please contact the VOLUMETRIC™ team:

Superior quality


Fully non-combustible structure

T: 01743 290 020





OFFSITE EXPO PREVIEW Offsite Expo will play host to the leading UK and international offsite manufacturers and component suppliers showcasing a broad spectrum of panelised, volumetric modular solutions, pod and prefabricated MEP solutions. Here is a sample of companies that will be at the Ricoh Arena in Coventry on 21 & 22 September 2021...

Across Europe and worldwide, BeA’s fastening technology, tools and consumables are the trusted choice for some of the biggest and best known names in offsite timber and light gauge steel frame manufacturing. BeA manufacture an extensive range of market leading choice of fasteners, nails, staples and tools. We offer customers an unrivalled range of manual, semi-automatic and fully automated fastening solutions. Using industry leading quality controls, BeA meet or exceed standards such as Eurocode 5. For more information visit: STAND NO: Z32

Constructing Modern Methods (CMM) is the result of a piece of research conducted with Bristol City Council to understand what resources might make the widescale adoption of modular housing solutions more feasible. In April 2020, a consortium of partners led by YTKO and including Bristol City Council, Bristol Housing Festival, BRE Group, and nine leading modular housing companies were awarded an Innovate UK grant for their project, Enabling Housing Innovation for Inclusive Growth. This is an 18 month programme working with multiple partners towards the delivery of a major Research, Development and Innovation (R,D & I) in the use of Modern Methods of Construction (MMC). For more information visit: constructing-modern-methods/

Currently growing their capabilities in the North East, CoreHaus, a social enterprise, believe building better can make economic sense and contribute to improving society. Utilising proven modern methods of construction intelligently to achieve their mission of transforming new build housing delivery. CoreHaus applies MMC categories 2+5 in a hybrid approach and brings experience from multiple industries including Automotive, Aerospace, Rail manufacturing and construction to adopt best practice, improve quality, develop skills and accelerate delivery within the built environment. For more information visit: STAND NO: F19


Experts in providing modular metal ramping and step units nationwide. As the UK’s leading provider of modular metal ramps and adjustable step units, Easiaccess manufacture, supply and install a range of compliant access solutions. Our products are designed to provide stepped or ramped access to modular buildings, with minimal groundworks and in short timescales. The system is completely re-usable and can be reconfigured for different buildings and locations, providing a fast, cost effective solution, without compromising on quality. For more information visit:

ESS modular is a leading modular construction company boasting more than three decades of experience in providing building solutions to the market. Since 2016, ESS Modular has more than doubled in size and directly employs over 220 staff across five sites and two manufacturing facilities in London, Manchester, Dublin, Belfast and Cork. The company has significant expertise in the residential, healthcare, commercial sectors and services the education sector through its specialist education business Spatial Initiative. For more information visit: STAND NO: D14




Rapid construction, the smart way. The FRAMECAD® end-to-end design and manufacturing system helps you deliver large-scale cold formed steel (CFS) construction projects faster. FRAMECAD’s automated engineering and detailing software integrates with our world-leading factory control software and advanced roll-forming manufacturing equipment - giving you the technical tools to accelerate the construction process, increase productivity and accuracy, and reduce labour costs. For more information visit: STAND NO: E09







Supporting the Circular Economy

Supply Chain

Installers COLLABORATE TO INNOVATE Forward thinking with an inclusive culture – the Light Steel Frame Association unifies and unites construction professionals: • Increasing collaboration, joint venture and networking opportunities • Securing valuable industry intel and gaining direct access to the UK’s leading manufacturers • Exploring project parameters by joining the Design for Manufacture and Assembly debate • Gaining key industry contacts and securing business development opportunities • Acquiring light steel frame insight and technical offsite manufacturing expertise • Obtaining access to the latest research and information sharing with industry pioneers


COLLECTIVE POWER The collective power of the Light Steel Frame Association is driving growth and specification of innovative light steel frame systems across all construction sectors. Our flat-rate annual fee for each membership category facilitates equal representation.

To be part of something SILVER SPONSOR bigger, contact us today… Call: 01743 290 030 Email: Light Steel Frame Association @LSF_Association





Net zero pioneer Futurebuild, will return to London’s ExCeL on the 01 – 03 March 2022. Futurebuild connects over 20,500 specifiers, decision-makers and disruptors with major brands and start-ups. Our mission is to cultivate cross sector collaboration to inspire the transformational change needed to propel the construction industry to net-zero. For more information visit: STAND NO: Z16

ISO Spaces designs and manufactures relocatable modular units. The units are permanently-portable and are built to full UK Building Regulations, lasting up to 60 years with regular maintenance. Highly adaptable, our modular buildings offer a “building on demand” solution to wide variety of applications and sectors. ISO Spaces offers a full turn-key solution – a unified process that allows us to do as little or as much of your build project as your require. For more information visit: STAND NO: J09

Since 1934, Lindapter International has pioneered the design and manufacture of steelwork fixings, providing a faster and more cost-effective alternative to on-site drilling or welding. On Stand J11 Lindapter will be demonstrating its latest steel-tosteel connection solutions for typical Offsite Manufacturing and Modular Construction applications including; connecting adjoining modular units together, securing framework for cable tray systems, connecting prefabricated balconies to buildings, securing steel base frames of modular buildings and for temporary connections during transportation of modules to site. For more information visit: STAND NO: J11

Modular Building Automation BV designs and manufactures equipment for the offsite construction industry worldwide. Specialising in timber frame, steel frame and SIP construction of frames, elements and volumetric methods, we are well placed to support this growing sector with automation equipment. With our production facilities in the Netherlands, from where our equipment is designed and manufactured; our sales, distribution and technical support offices in the UK; and our worldwide network of dealers, we can provide individual machines, production lines through to complete modular factory installations.

Modern Interior Wall Coverings for the 21st Century. Reco is at the forefront of tiling innovation, offering an eco-friendly alternative to traditional tiling that provides tangible benefits to every project. The wide range of available tile patterns and designs ensures the successful delivery of even the most exacting of project specifications, giving superb, hard-wearing finishes at a fraction of the cost of tiles.

For more information visit: STAND NO: A16

For more information visit:

Wavin is a member of the Orbia Group, and is UK’s leading supplier of water management, plumbing, heating and drainage systems for the building and construction markets. Highly respected within the industry, Wavin has a reputation for innovation and leadership and has an extensive portfolio under its various brands - market leading OSMA above and below ground drainage, Hep2O hot and cold plumbing and underfloor heating, Hepworth Clay, and a wide range of Wavin stormwater management solutions for all application areas. For more information visit: STAND NO: D21











21 & 22 SEPTEMBER 2021





professional development





Situated in the heart of England, the Ricoh Arena is within





FREE admission





Light Steel Frame RAISING THE SUSTAINABILITY STAKES There is no ‘carbon quick fix’ – the race to a more sustainable future is a marathon not a sprint. So why focus on embodied carbon in construction when full lifecycle analysis is the key to raising the sustainability stakes?

THE FACTS The UK can produce all the steel we need through recycling our latent stock 99% of structural steel from UK demolition sites is reused or recycled Light steel frame offers the best strength-to-weight ratio of all construction materials Lighter structures reduce material consumption and concrete in the ground Site waste is virtually eliminated by using a light steel systems-based approach Offcuts are recycled with zero waste during the manufacturing process Enhanced airtightness reduces in-use carbon emissions and energy consumption As part of Etex Group, EOS want to inspire construction professionals to build spaces that are safer and more sustainable through a pioneering fast-track systems-based approach. To discover how EOS’s light steel frame systems approach can benefit your project’s sustainability credentials…

01325 303 030

The David Attenborough Building within the University of Cambridge’s new museum site EOS designed and manufactured a sustainable steel frame infill system and created a 17 metre structure for the ‘living wall’.


A Member Of:

Offsite Alliance

RELY ON A STRONG LINK IN YOUR SUPPLY CHAIN Would you benefit from rationalising your supply chain partners? At Sika, we have a team dedicated to MMC, that can help you do just that. We have a range of construction solutions in sealing and bonding, roofing, building finishing, passive fire protection, damping and reinforcing, concrete, flooring and wall finishes to help you: n n n n n n n

Speed up application times Make application much easier Take more processes off site Easily repair accidental damage Improve air tightness Improve aesthetics Improve fire performance

We are here and focused on helping you. If you require assistance with enhancing your production facility with a wide range of solutions, or looking to specify products on a modular build project, call... MMC Division: 07803 667225 or send an online enquiry to