Offsite Magazine - Issue 27 (Jan/Feb/Mar 2021)

Page 1




ROSANNA LAWN Project Etopia, disruptive design and how the use of digital tools can improve living space


SWAN HOUSING Geoff Pearce tells us about a busy 2021 ahead as a second modular factory gets ready for action


MAGGIE’S LEEDS Timber provides a stylish, contemporary and natural feel to a healing, healthcare environment


Specify responsibly

Wraptite® 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. Wraptite is a unique BBA-certified external airtightness solution for walls and roofs. This membrane not only provides airtightness and vapour-permeability, its self-adhering installation method reduces programme length, installation costs and material waste. Specify responsibly:

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

01250 872261



Offsite Magazine is produced and published by Radar Communications: ©Radar Communications Ltd. Radar Communications Ltd, 101 Longden Road, Shrewsbury, Shropshire, SY3 9PS T: 01743 290001 SUBSCRIBE TO RECEIVE OFFSITE: This quarterly magazine has an annual subscription fee for UK postage of £19.80 plus VAT for all four issues (£4.95 per copy). Visit ADVERTISING ENQUIRIES PLEASE CONTACT: Julie Williams // T: 01743 290001 E: SEND US YOUR NEWS: Gary Ramsay // T: 01743 290001 E: BACK ISSUES VISIT: FOR OFFSITE ENQUIRIES PLEASE CONTACT: E: DISCLAIMER: The content of Offsite Magazine does not necessarily reflect the views of the editor or publishers and are the views of its contributors and advertisers. The digital edition may include hyperlinks to third-party content, advertising, or websites, provided for the sake of convenience and interest. The publishers accept no legal responsibility for loss arising from information in this publication and do not endorse any advertising or products available from external sources. No part of this publication may be reproduced or stored in a retrieval system without the written consent of the publishers. All rights reserved.

BUILDING A NEW NORMAL Welcome to the first edition of Offsite Magazine in 2021. Sadly it is another edition put together against the backdrop of the on-going Coronavirus pandemic and the ‘economic gravity’ that is pressing down on businesses across the UK. However, plenty to look out for in this issue and there are many positive messages for the future with volumetric methods taking centre stage. We hear from some of the sector’s key operators, all of whom are playing their own distinctive role in easing the perennial shortage of newbuild housing. Both TopHat and Project Etopia are using offsite manufacture by adopting high levels of digital integration to design, build and eventually manage and monitor homes to levels unheard of a decade ago. Swan Housing are also blazing an exciting trail with a second modular factory now set to manufacture light gauge steel housing and operate alongside its existing cross laminated timber volumetric system being delivered in its current factory. An increasingly popular phrase doing the rounds at the moment is ‘ecoefficient’ as opposed to ‘sustainable’. Whether this is some clever semantics or means something different I’m not entirely sure? But the pressure on those

Finally, Anne-Marie Trevelyan replaced Kwasi Kwarteng as ‘Minister for Construction’. Kwarteng’s stint lasted one solid month and Trevelyan now takes her place in the shifting sands of those tasked with speaking to an industry that is arguably one of the most important in the UK – at least for a few months anyway. Nobody wants more bureaucracy, but for me, the scrapping of the civil service role of Chief Construction Adviser in 2015 was a huge error and some kind of revamped position needs to be introduced again to act as a conduit between industry and policy makers. Thanks to all our contributors, advertisers and supporters. Keep well.

Gary Ramsay

Consultant Editor Email:


KEEP IN TOUCH: @ExploreOffsite offsitehub

operating in the built environment – not just the offsite sector – to reduce waste and use materials in a more resourceful way is paramount. Issues surrounding long term value, quality and safety are more and more a part of our everyday living and working spaces – which for many over the last 12 months has been roughly the same thing. Details are still thin on the ground but a new national ‘construction products regulator’ operating within the OPSS will ensure some of these concepts are scrutinised more carefully than ever before.


Digital Offsite Magazines Online Newsroom Monthly Newsletters & Eshots Podcasts & Webinars Suppliers Directory Awards & Events Project Profiles Offsite Blog




A safety first system approach - providing the optimum offsite solution Developed by Etex brands EOS, Siniat, Promat and FSi – our range of Thrubuild® and Thruwall® systems deliver structures faster with assured performance built in: Fully tested systems range with 30-year warranty ‘All in one’ loadbearing and non-loadbearing walling and flooring solutions Meets Building Regulations and performance requirements 60, 90 and 120 minute fire resistance options Rapid installation process delivers cost and programme certainty Predictable outcomes enhancing occupant safety and build quality Meets requirements of External Wall Fire Review - EWS1 form

To learn more about our systems contact the team today: 01325 303 030



32 | Fire Resistance of Light Steel Framing Mark Lawson and Andrew Way of the Steel Construction Institute (SCI) discuss issues related to fire resistance of buildings and introduce upcoming new SCI guidance on the fire resistance of light steel framing.





Based on extensive market research and optimising offsite construction, a new concept in volumetric modular homes aimed at rough sleepers has been developed and rigorously tested to help overcome a nationwide crisis.

Since its launch in 2015, Project Etopia has seen its profile rise year-on-year. We spoke to Rosanna Lawn, Global Brand & Strategic Partnerships Director, about the importance of technology, disruptive design and factory manufacture on UK housing provision.





Geoff Pearce, Deputy Chief Executive at Swan Housing, spoke to us about a busy 2021 ahead as its second factory gets ready to transform production of both its cross laminated timber (CLT) and steel framebased homes.

Recently winning the ‘Winner of Winners’ Award at the Structural Timber Awards. Designed by Heatherwick Studio, Maggie’s Leeds once again proved that timber provides a stylish, contemporary and natural feel to a healing, healthcare environment.



08 | Industry News

24 | Steel – at the centre of construction

News and developments from across the UK offsite industry and wider construction arena including: nationwide improvements on the Defence Training Estate, SO Modular gain BOPAS accreditation, a new construction products regulator is established and the NHBC Foundation launches a new report on offsite construction and the housebuilding industry.

40 | Building Beyond Carbon ilke Homes and Man GPM have signed a £31million deal to develop 227 new homes in Grantham. The deal marks the biggest institutional investment into modular housing so far in 2021. 42 | Future-proofing Newbuild Homes Offsite construction is transforming the built environment and nowhere is that felt most in the housing sector, with volumetric modular methods providing huge opportunities for change. We spoke to Andrew Shepherd, Managing Director at TopHat, about market developments.



38 | Shot in the Arm for Royal Arsenal Building 11 is a particularly unique building at the heart of the Royal Arsenal Riverside development in Woolwich, combining the refurbishment of a listed building with offsite delivery.

Frank and forthright discussions were the order of the day at a recent Focus on Framing virtual roundtable, seeking to identify many of the key drivers for the specification and sustainability of light steel frame within the offsite and wider construction sector.

52 | Innovation: an offsite challenge Cambridge Innovation Parks Limited (CIP), BRE and 3PM have collaborated to manage an exciting challenge to the timber and offsite construction industry aimed at commercial projects. 56 | New Dimensions in Roofing Room-in-roof systems provide invaluable benefits to housebuilders looking to create space and energy efficient design – this is reflected in a new system from Ultrapanel Building Technologies. 60 | Educational Construction Lymington Fields School used a componentled approach where the design was broken down into the minimum number of repeatable components, with the same 16 components used to deliver 90% of the school. 62 | Precast Delivers Unique Experience The £80million Mount Oswald development is a key part of Durham University’s strategic growth strategy, providing over 1,000 student accommodation bedrooms as well as academic and social spaces for two colleges.

THE NEW OFFSITE HUB SUPPLIERS DIRECTORY IS NOW LIVE! This new online feature provides construction professionals with a central source of industry information, market intelligence and business contacts - connecting architects, specifiers, contractors and clients with offsite manufacturers and component suppliers. For a one-off fee of just £500, a lifetime listing is just one way you can get involved in the Offsite Hub! Our offsite portfolio includes a range of profile-raising opportunities to boost your digital marketing strategy.

For more information contact a member of our team on 01743 290001 or visit





Based on extensive market research and optimising offsite construction, a new concept in volumetric modular homes aimed at rough sleepers has been developed and rigorously tested to help overcome a nationwide crisis.

1 As part of their landmark 20th anniversary celebrations, Hill Group pledged to give something back to the communities in which they operate. This pledge – known as Foundation 200 – will provide 200 modular homes for homeless people over the next four years and will be delivered through a partnership formed between Hill Group and Volumetric™. Foundation 200 will be backed with £12million to deliver the homes on small plots of land such as former garage sites across the south of England where the Hill Group operate. Andy Hill, Chief Executive of Hill Group said: “Homelessness is a growing crisis which I feel very passionately about. After celebrating our 20th year of building homes at Hill, I want to give something back and create real opportunities for people who are living on the streets,


to help turn their lives around. The whole business is taking huge pride in delivering these initiatives, and while we will not solve the problem today, we are taking a big step in the right direction which we hope others will follow.” Designed and developed by Volumetric™ – a specialist manufacturer of custom-built homeless solutions – Modulhaus™ is a relocatable and robust one-person home that offers exceptional energy efficiency, outstanding functional performance and superior quality. Offering a safe, independent and innovative interim housing solution, Modulhaus™ accommodation units allow individuals to find the stability they need to secure a reliable income before making the transition to a permanent home.


The Challenge Each Autumn, local authorities nationwide investigate the estimated homeless levels within their areas which are then reported to the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG). In December 2019, homelessness charity Shelter composed a thorough report of these findings which estimated that on any given night there were approximately 259,372 individuals homeless in England – this figure includes 4,677 rough sleepers and 254,695 living in temporary accommodation. At the same time, Boris Johnson revealed that the government is committing an additional £263million funding on top of the £100million budget already pledged to support local authorities and councils to meet the needs of people who are homeless or at risk of losing their homes.


2 With the current COVID-19 pandemic, the UK is likely to experience a significant spike in the number of homeless, as businesses and individuals are forced into financial strain due to the projected economic downturn. Modulhaus™ delivers a solution to meet the needs of interim homeless providers across the UK. Changing Lives for the Better Using offsite manufacturing techniques and volumetric modular technology, the individual interim need homes are developed to bespoke designs in the Volumetric™ advanced manufacturing facility, and are fully fitted out with kitchens, shower-rooms, bedrooms and living spaces, white goods and furnishings. Modulhaus™ accommodation units are delivered to exceptional standards, fully equipped and futureproof for the Future Homes Standard and arrive 100% complete, ready for simple site connection and commissioning. This solution provides greater dignity and independence to the most vulnerable members of society whilst also relieving the burden of ongoing expenses associated with traditional temporary accommodation. Energy Efficient The futureproof energy strategy combines air source heat pumps (ASHP) and mechanical ventilation and heat recovery (MVHR) technology with factory-fitted low energy white goods and lighting. The airtight and super energy efficient volumetric modular units, reduce carbon emissions for the lifetime of the building and can cut ongoing energy costs to circa £5 per week – negating fuel poverty and meeting the guidelines outlined by the Future Homes Standard. Each Modulhaus™ unit significantly exceeds energy efficiency requirements under current AD L1A legislation.

Performance Assured Manufactured to better than Building Regulations Part E standards for acoustic performance for walls and floors, these highly robust structures with Secured By Design windows and external doors offer safe and secure accommodation. Designed for ease of maintenance and operation, Modulhaus™ features minimal and straightforward controls and a card operated electric meter together with integrated cabling for broadband and TV connectivity. A simple to use operation and maintenance manual is provided with each module. With quality checks throughout the assembly process, the modules are delivered to site fully-tested and commissioned with a test plan linked to unique serial numbers. Procurement Options In addition to the 200 units gifted through Foundation 200 over the next five years, Modulhaus™ units can be purchased outright under a full turnkey package or can be supplied under a lease purchase arrangement or leased under a long-term agreement. All options are available with the choice of a fully-integrated routine and reactive maintenance service. Complete Service Volumetric™ adopts a partnership approach and works in close collaboration with the Foundation 200 team to meet individual briefs and budgets of councils, local authorities and third sector organisations. If the brief demands, Volumetric™ can provide a fixed cost for a complete design, manufacture and installation package including site surveys, foundation requirements, landscaping, incoming services and utilities, delivery to site, cranage installation

3 and commissioning. An operation and maintenance checking service can be provided for the first 12 months of use, before handing over responsibility to the Modulhaus™ owners.

MODULHAUSTM DESIGN FEATURES • Fully non-combustible structure with 60-year design life • BOPAS accredited • Steel lined external walls and double lined internal walls • Stackable to two storeys with a range of cladding and colours • Installed on six foundation pads to minimise groundworks • Requires only electric, water and waste connections • Renewable energy technology: air source heat pump • Mechanical ventilation and heat recovery for controlled air changes • Quality checks throughout the assembly process • Delivered fully-equipped, tested and commissioned.

For more information on ModulhausTM and to request a brochure go to: To discover more about Foundation 200 go to: foundation-200

Images: 01-03. Modulhaus™ accommodation units installed in Cambridge



UK INDUSTRY NEWS SO Modular Attains BOPAS Accreditation

Timber frame construction specialist SO Modular has announced its attainment of BOPAS certification. The accreditation recognised by principal mortgage lenders as providing the necessary assurance to address the perceived risks associated with innovative construction methods.

BOPAS has been designed to address the issues associated with bringing innovative or non-traditional building methods and materials to the market. Historically, mortgage lenders have been reluctant to lend against forms of construction with which they are unfamiliar. In many instances, valuers may have refused to value properties, as part of the mortgage application process, if the property incorporated unfamiliar building systems. Accreditation by the scheme provides comprehensive assurance to mortgage lenders that innovatively constructed properties will be sufficiently durable as to be readily saleable for a minimum of 60 years, underpinned by warranty. BOPAS certification lasts for three years, at the end of which BOPAS assessors visit the manufacturer to complete a two-day audit before re-certifying. During the three-year period, BOPAS make two ‘surveillance visits’ yearly, with one focusing on the design and manufacture, the other an on-site visit monitoring construction.

sustainability and cost-effectiveness across a diverse range of construction projects. The company’s current research and development projects consist of manufacturing carbon-neutral but affordable timberframe homes – homes that are so thermally efficient, with U-values so low, they require minimal heating and cooling, potentially completely removing the need for a central heating system at all. Charlotte Hale (pictured), Operations Director, SO Modular, said: “We’re very proud to have achieved this certification from BOPAS as a manufacturer and supplier. The scheme gives the correct assurances to mortgage lenders that our innovative products have the durability required to meet and exceed the BOPAS standards. With the construction industry constantly changing to incorporate more environmentally friendly practices, and timber frame buildings fast becoming the norm across the UK, BOPAS is a positive encouragement for us here at SO Modular to continue researching, developing and adapting to meet modern housing demands.”

SO Modular are a rapidly expanding timber frame manufacturer with headquarters based in South West Wales. SO Modular are pushing boundaries and developing products that boost efficiency,


delivered the first new accommodation blocks on time and during the current climate. These new buildings are modern, flexible and efficient and will support troops on exercise, providing them with the high-quality accommodation that they expect and deserve.”

heat pumps, which take supplementary electrical power from solar PV panels installed on the roof, generate the accommodation’s complete heating and hot water requirements.

Defence Training Estate Reduces Carbon Investment in new carbon efficient accommodation marks start of nationwide improvements on the Defence Training Estate. Soldiers using Salisbury Plain and Nesscliff Training Areas are the first to benefit from new carbon efficient accommodation, delivered as part of the £45million net carbon accommodation programme (NetCAP). The programme is being part-funded using money from a £200million investment to improve Armed Forces accommodation, which was announced by the Defence Secretary last summer. The MoD is investing more than £35million of this funding, in addition to funding from the British Army, into its nationwide programme, which aims to improve facilities for troops when they are training away from their permanent barracks. 38 new carbon efficient accommodation blocks, providing more than 1,700 bed spaces, will be installed across the UK Defence Training Estate by the Defence Infrastructure Organisation (DIO), working with industry partner Landmarc Support Services and its contractor Reds10. The remainder of the £200million investment is being spent on Service Family Accommodation and training accommodation at Longmoor Training Camp, and improvements to Single Living Accommodation in Army barracks, RAF bases and Naval establishments. Brigadier Jonathan Bartholomew, DIO’s Head of the Overseas and Training Region said: “DIO supports our Armed Forces by providing what they need to live, work and train. Working closely with our industry partner, Landmarc, and Reds10 we are proud to have


Mark Neill, Managing Director at Landmarc, said: “The welfare of the troops that use the estate is our top priority and the accommodation facilities are a key contributor in delivering the best possible training experience. We are therefore delighted to work with DIO and Reds10 to deliver a programme that will not only support the government’s commitment to improving living accommodation for our Armed Forces but will also provide a highly energy efficient solution that will help DIO meet its long-term carbon reduction commitments.” All accommodation is being designed and constructed offsite by modular building specialists Reds10 before being transported to site for assembly and installation. Paul Ruddick, CEO of Reds10 said: “Our brief was to deliver the lowest carbon usage possible. Air source


“We installed SMART technology in the building at Westdown Camp, which provides detailed information on how that building is being used, its hot water and heating demand and occupancy rates. This has enabled the team to monitor the energy demands of the building and feedback directly into subsequent building design and specifications, allowing us to deliver the buildings at Nesscliff as the first net zero buildings of the programme. We are proud to be able to continually push our modular construction methods to deliver these sorts of results throughout the programme.” The programme will continue into 2021 and early 2022 with the installation of more carbon efficient accommodation blocks on other training sites, some of which will be larger. Source:

UK INDUSTRY NEWS Students Invited to Define Future Living Built environment students from Universities across the UK are being invited to design a home and neighbourhood of the future. Riverside Sunderland redefining the city: transforming a spectacular site into a unique, carbon neutral urban quarter – an extraordinary place to live, work and play. Working in teams, students from different built environment disciplines will share their vision of what urban living in this amazing place will look like in the future. The Ministry of Building Innovation and Education (MOBIE), Sunderland City Council and the Timber and Research Development Association’s (TRADA) University Engagement Programme, with industry sponsor the Confederation of Timber Industries (CTI), are excited to launch this innovative Urban Living Design Competition for built environment students and recent graduates from across the UK’s universities. Current students from all built environment courses at UK universities, along with 2020 graduates are invited to participate in the interdisciplinary team challenge. Top entrants will be awarded cash prizes. The schemes must be carbon neutral, creatively employing sustainable building materials and construction methods, be energy efficient, as well as technologically smart, focusing on the health and well-being of people, the community and our planet. The homes and community must be adaptable to meet the needs of living and working now and in the future. Designed and engineered to be manufactured locally using offsite construction with the main material focus and specification of timber and hybrid systems. Launching the challenge, George Clarke said: “A well-designed home can enhance the way we live

NHBC Report Building on Experience

and promote good health and well-being. Students never fail to amaze me with their imagination, talent and passion when it comes to home. We are asking built environment students from Universities across the UK to design a home and neighbourhood of the future to transform a spectacular site in Sunderland, my wonderful home city, into a unique, carbon neutral urban quarter. This is an amazing opportunity and challenge and I'm thrilled to be a part of the team with MOBIE, Sunderland City Council and TRADA’s University Engagement Programme who are making this happen.” Participants will increase their understanding of the Climate Challenge, routes to carbon neutral and net zero homes, sustainable forestry and timber products,

The NHBC Foundation recently launched an in-depth report on how the role of modern methods of construction (MMC) has evolved within the housebuilding industry. Prefabricated homes have been long-heralded as the future of housebuilding: but if the arguments for homes to be manufactured like cars are so compelling, why is factory-built housing not more common?  That’s the question ‘Modern methods of construction: building on experience’ examines, by scrutinising notable periods of transformation in the industry and exploring the elements of design, as well as the social and economic influences, that fuel change.   Prepared for the NHBC Foundation by Studio Partington, the report looks at the history of nontraditional housing through a range of different technologies and advancements since the 19th century. It considers and compares steel, concrete and timber, examining the inherent qualities of each material and its suitability for factory fabrication. The introduction to the guide states: “The guide examines what can be learned from the historic periods of experimentation, application and innovation. We highlight benefits as well as technical considerations in different systems. In some instances a system successfully innovated in certain areas but failed in others. We also chart past building component

offsite and modern methods of construction, lifecycle assessments (LCA) and carbon calculation tools, interdisciplinary design teams, award-winning timber homes, built and theoretical, the benefits of using timber and where caution is advised, and essential resources. The competition opened on 1 February and runs for four months, closing Friday 28 May 2021. Further details of the Riverside Sunderland University Design Challenge (RSUDC21) can be found at:,,

innovations, which in some cases emerged from non-traditional house designs. Standardised and prefabricated elements are now commonplace in modern conventional housebuilding, a profitable and innovating industry far removed from the stereotype of traditional construction (of bricks and mortar and roof timbers cut on site). We can learn the lessons of the past and do better this time. We must harness technological advances and digitally enabled design and deliver economical and numerous factory-made homes to respond to pressing housing need and the climate crisis. Homes should be better performing, good-looking and long-lasting, be spacious and comfortable for their occupants and enhance neighbourhoods creating a distinctive sense of place.” NHBC’s Head of Standards, Innovation and Research, Richard Smith, said: “As we navigate the COVID-19 pandemic and come out of the EU, there is an opportunity to innovate. This new report looks at the best features of homes from the past to inform the homes of the future. We really hope that ‘Modern methods of construction: building on experience’ will ultimately be an enabler of change for the industry.” Source:



UK INDUSTRY NEWS Offsite Key to South London Hospital

Discovery Homes Looks to Offsite

A housing association has teamed up with a family-run housing developer to create new, highly energy-efficient homes in Dundee, all of which will be constructed offsite. Caledonia Housing Association and Discovery Homes are submitting a planning application for 40 mixed-tenure homes in the city’s Rosebank Street, on the site of a former primary school. SES Engineering Services (SES), is set to save 8,000 labour hours by using offsite to deliver £23million of works at the Springfield Hospital redevelopment in Tooting, South London. Working alongside main contractor Sir Robert McAlpine, SES will provide all mechanical, electrical and plumbing (MEP) works for a state-of-the-art mental health centre set across two new buildings. This will include ventilation and heating systems, VRF cooling and domestic services, as well as specialist electrical systems including nurse call alarms, security, a large image data package and car charging points. Targeted towards a BREEAM rating of ‘Excellent’, the builds will be delivered next to Springfield Hospital’s existing Grade II listed main site on Glenburnie Rd. The new three-storey non-forensic building will include the main hospital reception, various wards, outpatient departments and training facilities, while the neighbouring forensic building will include four secure wards and a facility management workshop. SES will use its offsite manufacturing facility, Prism to deliver a significant part of the works for the BIM level 2 project, including 150 corridor and riser modules – saving a total of 8,000 labour hours on-site. The new hospital project is part of a wider regeneration of the former Springfield University Hospital site that will also include the development of more than 800 new homes, a 32-acre park and a new primary school, all of which is set to be delivered by 2024. Other consultants on the project include architects CF Moller, Arup and EA-RS. SES has recently started on-site, with construction expected to complete at the end of 2021.


Steve Joyce, SES’ Managing Director, said: “This project is central to a wider development scheme, so from the outset we evolved a modular strategy to give the programme surety. The building has to be delivered by the end of next year so we had to consider any staffing or material issues that could arise due to the potential challenges of COVID-19 and Brexit, so introducing as much offsite as possible allowed us to really challenge and protect the programme. “We’ve already worked with Sir Robert McAlpine on healthcare projects in the capital before – including a healthcare facility in Belgravia – and recognise them to be excellent delivery partners with a similar approach to SES in terms of their ethos and approach. It’s fantastic to be part of their team again delivering this exemplary scheme and delivering similar complex healthcare builds.” The appointment is the latest project to demonstrate SES’ expertise in delivering complex healthcare projects, with the team most recently completing an expansion at the Royal London Hospital for Barts Health NHS Trust. This award-winning project should have taken 12 months to complete, yet through impeccable collaboration with all the project partners, was delivered in only five weeks to support the hospital’s capacity in its fight against COVID-19. Source:


Voigt Architects has designed a development of 30 properties for social housing, and ten for private sale, creating a mix of two, three and four-bedroom homes over one or two storeys. Two of the homes are designed for accessible living. If planning permission is granted, construction could begin in the summer or autumn of 2021. Andrew Kilpatrick, Development Director at Caledonia Housing Association, said: “We are passionate about the importance of providing energy-efficient social housing and believe this development could become an exemplar to be replicated in future. If approved, these will be the most energy efficient properties we have ever built and will result in warm, healthy homes with low energy bills, thus addressing important societal issues such as fuel poverty.” Grant White, Director of Discovery Homes, added: “We specialise in designing new homes that are built with the environment in mind, creating attractive properties that are cleaner and cheaper to run, but affordable too, thanks to our use of technologically advanced offsite construction.” Voigt Architects has already completed a number of housing developments with Discovery Homes. Jonathan Reeve, Director and Architect, Voigt Architects, said: “This is an exciting development on a challenging brownfield site in the Hilltown area of Dundee. We hope that these houses will set the standard for new social housing, given their exceptional energy efficient standards.” Source:

UK INDUSTRY NEWS NBS & BBA Announce Strategic Partnership

NBS the leading specification platform for the construction industry, has announced its partnership with the BBA in its latest move to provide best practice advice to NBS users. The collaboration marks the joining of two recognised industry leaders – the BBA, known for its role in helping to mitigate risk through setting high standards of quality and safety in the construction supply chain and NBS, a company rooted in improving industry and compliance through the adoption of digital data.

Peter Webbon, Sales and Marketing Director at the BBA, said: “The BBA is committed to supporting the construction industry in developing safer, more sustainable building habits, and we recognise that our impact is so much greater if we work collaboratively with the entire construction market. That’s why we are thrilled to partner with companies like NBS to be able to do this – driving quality and helping our clients mitigate risk throughout the entire construction supply chain.”

As well as allowing its users to gain a deeper level of guidance on BBA accredited products, the alliance also strengthens NBS’ compliance offering, aiding specifiers and construction professionals in the decision-making process by providing timely and consistent data. Both companies also plan to work together on digital events such as webinars and discussion panels to enrich the debate on industry topics and help better support customers.

Richard Waterhouse, Chief Strategy Officer at NBS, added: “If we’re to achieve the ‘golden thread of information’, it’s important that NBS is constantly evolving to ensure it is providing the best in up-to-date standards-setting information. As an organisation very much at the forefront of product discovery through its work certifying, testing and inspecting emerging products and services, the BBA is an invaluable asset to have onboard. We know that working together

Commenting on the partnership, Sascia Elliott, Head of Partnerships at NBS, added: “This partnership brings together two globally recognised brands in the construction industry, both of which provide a positive influence in the construction industry supply chain. It’s clear there is an obvious synergy between our mission statement and vision, and this collaboration will provide a unified and more ‘joined-up’ approach that will make the industry safer and more sustainable. It’s through this relationship than we can continue to learn from each other’s specialisms as well as complement what both companies have set out to achieve.” Source:

NHBC Accepts and BBA certified


Patented system eradicates uncertainty and risk




as an industry is central to improving standards and compliance and this partnership will no doubt result in collective learning that will better serve our clients and provide added value during the specification process.”


Tried and tested by one of the UK’s most prominent housebuilders

Join the #RoofingRevolution... Call: 01200 414 714 FEBRUARY/MARCH 2021 | WWW.OFFSITEMAGAZINE.CO.UK


UK INDUSTRY NEWS Rollalong Completes Royal School of Artillery Café Modular construction specialist Rollalong has used the latest offsite techniques to provide a new café for students and staff at the Royal School of Artillery in Larkhill Garrison on Salisbury Plain. The café is the latest building delivered by Rollalong at Larkhill Garrison on behalf of Aspire Defence Services. Located in the centre of the Royal School of Artillery, the café will deliver a much-needed additional learning space while providing an opportunity for students and permanent staff to engage with their personal development in a relaxed and unique atmosphere. “We were approached by Aspire Defence Services Ltd to assist them with the design and build of a new café which had to be linked to an existing building and used as an interactive learning hub,” said Wayne Cheshire, Rollalong’s Contract Manager for Special Works. This has been a challenging venture but thanks to everyone’s hard work and commitment a high-quality project has been successfully delivered that the client will be proud to use.” Steve Chivers, Managing Director of Rollalong, added: “We have a close and very positive working relationship with Aspire Defence and we’re proud

of all the buildings we have delivered for the Army across Salisbury Plain and Aldershot as part of the recent Army Basing Programme (ABP) and the original Project Allenby Connaught private finance initiative (PFI) contract with the MoD. We undertake a lot of work for the armed forces because our modular single living accommodation (SLA) buildings are constructed to exacting standards that satisfy the Army and the Defence Infrastructure Organisation’s (DIO’s) requirements.” Rollalong is a key supply chain partner to Aspire Defence. The company manufactures modular buildings at its headquarters in Dorset and transports the modules to site which are then assembled in sequence on a prepared substructure which typically

reduces overall build timeframes by half compared to traditional forms of construction. Two new recent appointments have also strengthened the senior management team at Rollalong, with Head of Residential Iain Steele promoted to Projects Director, while Pete Carter has joined the company as Production Director. Rollalong’s Managing Director Steve Chivers, said: “I’m delighted with these two appointments. Iain and Pete bring a wealth of experience and a high level of expertise to our senior management team. I’d like to wish them both well in their new roles and look forward to seeing the positive impact I know they will have on our business.” Source:

VIVID Future with BoKlok BoKlok UK, the sustainable, quality low-cost home provider, jointly owned by Skanska and IKEA, and leading affordable housing provider VIVID, have announced a new innovative joint venture to deliver modular homes. The two organisations are coming together to deliver new modular homes at pace and introduce a place-making concept that integrates communities and provides sustainable quality for both owner occupiers and affordable tenures. BoKlok and VIVID are working collaboratively to deliver 300 new modular homes per year on sites throughout Hampshire, Surrey, Berkshire and West Sussex. The five-year agreement will see a joint approach to land, planning and the delivery of new modular homes which have achieved outstanding recognition in the Nordics. VIVID has a wealth of regeneration experience and a desire to build long term sustainable homes and communities. VIVID will be building 17,000 new homes over the next 10 years and this partnership will be key to maintaining VIVID’s continued growth. BoKlok and VIVID have come together due to their shared goals to deliver more high-quality homes, their joint focus on sustainable living, and the combined ability to build and deliver more homes to address


the housing shortage. Homes built through the partnership will be available in a mixture of tenures, including affordable housing, to ensure accessibility for all. Together they aim to deliver over 1,000 new homes over the next five years. As well as implementing offsite precision engineered homes, BoKlok will use its sustainable technologies to reduce energy bills and provide people with opportunities to enjoy the local environment through a joint approach to place-making and community enrichment. Graeme Culliton, BoKlok UK Managing Director and Country Manager said: This is an exciting opportunity for both BoKlok and VIVID. We share the same values and determination to bring more sustainability to the UK housing market. Working together allows us to


accelerate our housing concept and build on the foundations we have already made in the south west region.” Mark Perry, Chief Executive at VIVID added: “We’re delighted to announce we’re working with BoKlok on this first of its kind partnership with a housing association, having admired its innovative developments, building both sustainable and highquality homes. VIVID and BoKlok have a common vision and are aligned in our forward-thinking approach, to build more homes across a range of tenures, using the latest approach in modular construction. BoKlok is also the right partner for us with our drive to net-zero carbon.” Source:

UK INDUSTRY NEWS Ingenious Completes Funding Deal with Citu

Ingenious Real Estate Finance LLP has agreed a £19million loan facility with property developer Citu, to fund the next 120 units at the Climate Innovation District (CID) in Leeds. The loan will fund the development of 120 new apartments and houses at what will become the largest sustainable residential development in the UK. Over 800 family homes are to be built in total over four phases, using Citu’s own offsite manufacturing facility, which uses an innovative timber framed system designed in collaboration with Leeds Beckett University to reduce carbon emissions at every stage.

the airtightness required by standard UK building regulations, which keeps heat in the house, whilst the MVHR systems maintain a flow of fresh air, delivering a healthy indoor air quality. Residents will also benefit from a digitally enabled home, controlled via Google Nest, allowing them to monitor their energy and water usage. Tom Brown, Managing Director of Real Estate at Ingenious, said: “Ingenious is dedicated to supporting sustainable developments while maintaining our commitment to the objectives of our investors. We are pleased to be supporting Citu with the next phase of the CID development providing attractive homes for buyers looking for a quality, sustainable and energyefficient place to live close to Leeds city centre.”

The units themselves will benefit from a range of green qualities, incorporating the latest in sustainable technology, with passive cooling, light wells and mechanical ventilation heat recovery (MVHR) systems. With over 90% of heat transferred, heating requirements are up to ten times lower than an average UK home. The units will also benefit from 10 times






In September 2020, Ingenious became the first alternative lender to become a member of the UK Green Building Council (UKGBC). The UKGBC’s mission

statement is to radically improve the sustainability of the built environment, by transforming the way it is planned, designed, constructed, maintained and operated. Jonathan Wilson at Citu, said: “This new relationship is an exciting marker in the evolution and expansion of our delivery business which will enable CITU to grow further and double our annual outputs through the future regeneration and delivery at the Climate Innovation District. The importance of who we work with on these innovative and exciting projects is fundamental. With many high street banks still investing heavily in fossil fuel projects it was, and is, hugely important we work with like-minded, ethical partners such as Ingenious. We are on a bold journey as a business and relationships like this only support the success and positive outcomes we require to disrupt the status quo.” Source:

Offsite manufactured to order in the UK

Two-week lead times – fast response to changing build schedules

Installed by a team of three in just one day

Join the #RoofingRevolution... Visit: FEBRUARY/MARCH 2021 | WWW.OFFSITEMAGAZINE.CO.UK


UK INDUSTRY NEWS Merit Positioned for Growth in 2021 Merit announced it has maintained revenues and invested for growth in the 15-month period ending 30 June 2020. Merit and its subsidiaries combine the benefits of a unique approach to offsite manufacturing with innovative zero carbon facility designs to deliver bespoke civil construction projects across multiple sectors, including healthcare, pharmaceutical and biotechnology, semi-conductor, aerospace and energy. Managing Director Tony Wells said: “We maintained good profitability, with strong cash generation, ensuring our credit rating remains high. This was despite lower-than-expected turnover in the latter months of this financial period because of COVID19-related contract award delays. We have invested in the development of a range of pre-assembled modules (PAMs) that can be applied to most client situations. These standardised products can be integrated into unique tailored designs for fast solutions to time-sensitive client needs, where speed to market is crucial.

tackle climate change. One area where we expect our significant pipeline of opportunities to convert in 2021 is healthcare, pharma and biotech, which are now served through our recently-launched Merit Health subsidiary. The government is only going to meet the combined challenges of an ambitious hospital building programme and the NHS’ net zero carbon commitment through the innovative thinking of companies such as Merit.”

“We continue to be at the forefront of zero carbon facility designs, already improving energy efficiency and eliminating fossil fuels from all our projects. This brings significant operating savings as well as helping

Turnover from continuing operations was £37.1million (increase of £2.9million) with pre-tax profit for the 15-month period, £802k (down from £1.28million), with major projects secured in emerging markets such as cell and gene therapy and innovative battery manufacture.

Tiling Alternative Made For Modular

ModPod was selected from the range of six standard designs and tailored to the exact requirements outlined by BMHT. As part of the design of the bathroom and kitchen areas, ModPods International selected Fibo’s waterproof wall panel system as an alternative to ceramic tiles. It was chosen for the simplicity and speed of the install as the large format panels can be fixed directly to the wall structure, creating a waterproof and resilient surface. This process is up to five times faster than tiling and eliminates the cost associated with securing the highly in-demand skills of a professional tiler. A further factor was the need for a robust system that would remove the possibility of damage during the transport and placement of the modules on-site. Traditional tiled walls can crack as a result of the pods being moved and therefore, may require time-consuming remedial work once they are in place.

Modular housing specialist ModPods International has used Fibo’s waterproof wall panel system as an alternative to tiles in its pioneering factory-built home for Birmingham Municipal Housing Trust. Birmingham Municipal Housing Trust (BMHT) is the housebuilding arm of Birmingham City Council and had identified a small area of disused land on Heaton Street in Hockley, that was ideal for development. ModPods International was approached to develop a solution that would best utilise the space. A ‘Type E’


Andy Cornaby, Managing Director at ModPods International explained: “We needed a product that was not only attractive but also practical. The Fibo system fitted well with the design that we were developing for BMHT and was well suited to the volumetric modular manufacturing process. It was straightforward to incorporate the system into the production process as the panels are simple and quick to install and we were confident that there would be no post-delivery issues, which was a possibility with traditional ceramic tiles.”


Tony Wells added: “Our financial strength, together with our faster, cheaper and more efficient manufacturing and construction methodology, makes our offer compelling to virtually any customer embarking on a new project. Whilst already operating one of Europe’s largest offsite manufacturing facilities, we have further expanded the space to 270,000ft2. This room to operate, combined with our approach to offsite manufacture, enabled us to continue working on client projects throughout the pandemic and positions us perfectly for growth in 2021.” Source:

The two-storey, two-bedroom pod exceeds the four person living space requirements set out in the nationally described space standard (NDSS). The pod features built-in storage areas, a fully-fitted kitchen and bathroom and was delivered in one complete unit. On the day of installation, with the foundation blocks and landscaping already prepared, the ground floor pod was delivered to site and lowered into place at 12:30pm quickly followed by the first-floor pod at 1:30pm. The property was ready for occupation by the new tenants on the same day. “This approach both saved us time during the manufacturing process and prevented time being lost on post-delivery work required to fix any issues in those areas,” says Andy. “We estimate that in total we can save about 2.5 hours per pod and when scaled up, this has the potential to save us thousands of pounds per year in improved productivity.” Scott Beattie, Managing Director at Fibo said: “This project truly demonstrates the benefits that the versatility and simplicity of our system provides. It is an ideal fit with the principles of modular construction and finding the simplest and most accurate way of producing high quality but affordable housing.” Source:

UK INDUSTRY NEWS New Residents Welcomed to ZED PODS

The multi-award winning Hope Rise development in Bristol has been welcoming its new residents as the new year begins. Bristol City Council, in partnership with ZED PODS, YMCA and the Bristol Housing Festival, has provided these much needed attractive, zero-carbon modular ZED POD homes for young people at risk of homelessness as part of the council’s social housing provision. The one and two bedroom apartments are built on a podium above a council-owned car park. This takes advantage of the air rights, removing the land cost and consequently making the development extremely affordable. Hope Rise is the first 100% socially rented development of its kind in the country. Marvin Rees, Mayor of Bristol said: “We are really pleased to see this development finished, particularly as it demonstrates that new housing is about creating great places that promote resilient communities.

Seeing people move into their new homes is one of my favourite parts of my role as Mayor, and it is fantastic to be able to see these people move into their new homes to start the new year.”

about the potential for more developments like this. With momentum, quality modular, designed-formanufacture housing can play a leading role in city centre housing provision”

The Hope Rise development is a demonstration of how innovation can help to solve our housing crisis, through the way homes are built and rethinking land use in central Bristol. The principal contractor for the development is Impact Modular who constructed and delivered to site the ZED PODS designed homes under license from ZED PODS.

Jessie WiIde, Bristol Housing Festival, also said: “We’re delighted the community builders and residents have moved into the ZED PODS. This final milestone in the completion of the Hope Rise project is the culmination of two years of collaborative work between Bristol City Council, YMCA Bristol, The Bristol Housing Festival and ZED PODS and it’s an achievement of which we are all incredibly proud. We wish the new residents everything of the best in their new homes.”

Dr. Rehan Khodabuccus, Operations Director, ZED PODS, added: “We wanted to address key worker and affordable housing issues without compromising on our values of sustainability and quality. We are very pleased that Bristol City Council has had the foresight to partner with us directly and are so enthusiastic


One competitively priced transaction




Reduces site expenditure - no sub-assembly or crane costs


Increases saleable residential space by up to 60%

Join the #RoofingRevolution... Email: FEBRUARY/MARCH 2021 | WWW.OFFSITEMAGAZINE.CO.UK


UK INDUSTRY NEWS Cabot Square Acquires Majority Stake In Premier Modular Cabot Square Capital has acquired a majority shareholding in Premier Modular for an undisclosed sum. The investment will support the strategic growth of Premier’s modular hire business and its permanent offsite division. Independently owned for 25 years, London-based Cabot Square is a specialist provider of investment capital to European companies with a particular focus in the financial services, property and infrastructure sectors. Its portfolio includes NetZero Buildings – a fast-growing offsite manufacturer of energy-efficient buildings for the public sector and Public Sector Plc – a specialist asset manager which partners with local government and housing providers. Established in 1956 and headquartered in East Yorkshire, Premier Modular is one of the most financially robust businesses in the dynamic offsite sector. It has achieved strong growth year-onyear and recently announced profits of more than £10million (EBITDA) for the year ending June 2020. It provides temporary and permanent offsite building solutions across a diverse range of sectors including education, healthcare, infrastructure, construction and residential. High profile schemes delivered by Premier include a £50million project to provide office and welfare

New Construction Regulator Established

Housing Secretary Robert Jenrick (pictured) announced on 19 January, that a new national construction products regulator has been set up to ensure homes are built from ‘safe’ materials. The regulator for construction products will have the power to remove any product from the market that presents a significant safety risk and prosecute any companies who flout the rules on product safety.


buildings at Hinkley Point. Currently underway is a multi-million-pound contract for the rapid construction of COVID-19 testing sites across the UK to support the Government’s response to the coronavirus pandemic. It has just been awarded a £7million contract for a 62-bed ward building at St Peter’s Hospital in Chertsey, and a number of apartment schemes are now on-site following its expansion into the residential sector last year. Keith Maddin, Partner at Cabot Square, said, “MMC and offsite manufacturing are revolutionising the construction industry. We are seeing significant growth as more public and private sector clients develop a deeper understanding of the speed, quality, cost, environmental and social benefits of moving construction into a controlled factory setting. There has also been a surge in interest in offsite following the COVID-19 pandemic as more construction clients and contractors recognise how the approach can reduce risk and disruption on-site.”

The regulator will have strong enforcement powers including the ability to conduct its own producttesting when investigating concerns. Businesses must ensure that their products are safe before being sold in addition to testing products against safety standards. This marks the next major chapter in the government’s fundamental overhaul of regulatory systems. The progress on regulatory reform includes the publication of an ambitious draft Building Safety Bill, representing the biggest improvements to regulations in 40 years, and a new Building Safety Regulator that is already up and running in shadow form. Robert Jenrick MP said: “The Grenfell Inquiry has heard deeply disturbing allegations of malpractice by some construction product manufacturers and their employees, and of the weaknesses of the present product testing regime. We are establishing a national regulator to address these concerns and a review into testing to ensure our national approach is fit for purpose. We will continue to listen to the evidence emerging in the Inquiry and await the judge’s ultimate recommendation – but it is already clear that action is required now and that is what we are doing.


“Premier is a high-performing, profitable business, which manufactures high quality building solutions and continues to expand its hire fleet – already one of the newest in the UK. We are excited to partner with its outstanding management team and support the business on the next phase of its growth, including sector and geographical expansion.” David Harris, Managing Director of Premier Modular, added: “This new investment brings even greater stability and continuity to our business which will benefit our colleagues, customers, supply chain and strategic partners. We are looking forward to working with Cabot Square and a highly successful and productive business partnership. We have a clear vision and strategy for the next phase in our growth and have ambitious plans to increase turnover to £100million within three years, providing a healthy return for our shareholders.” Source:

Chair of the Independent Review of Building Regulations and Fire Safety Dame Judith Hackitt added: “This is another really important step in delivering the new regulatory system for building safety. The evidence of poor practice and lack of enforcement in the past has been laid bare. As the industry itself starts to address its shortcomings I see a real opportunity to make great progress in conjunction with the national regulator.” The regulator will operate within the Office for Product Safety and Standards (OPSS) which will be expanded and given up to £10million in funding to establish the new function. It will work with the Building Safety Regulator and Trading Standards to encourage and enforce compliance. The government has also commissioned an independent review to examine weaknesses in previous testing regimes for construction products, and to recommend how abuse of the testing system can be prevented. It will be led by a panel of experts with regulatory, technical and construction industry experience and will report later this year with recommendations. Source:

UK INDUSTRY NEWS Excel Structures Enters 2021 in Optimistic Mood Despite the uncertainty that many businesses have had to face since the emergence of COVID-19, specialist offsite building solutions provider, Excel Structures, is optimistic that 2021 will be a year of opportunity. As Managing Director, Jason Pritchard (pictured) comments: “Whilst 2020 had its challenges, from our own perspective, offsite construction gained increased momentum. Indeed given that the COVID-19 pandemic has seen all businesses re-appraise how they do things, being able to build in a far more sustainable and environment friendly manner is generating increased interest. Many builders, developers and self-builders are re-appraising the build methodologies available to them, so this presents us with an opportunity to really drive home the significance of delivering projects that are highly-energy efficient, sustainable and environment friendly.” “Within the last twelve months we have completed projects that utilise all of the offsite building solutions that we are unique in being able to offer – structural insulated panels (SIPS), light gauge steel frame, cross laminated timber (CLT) and timber frame. And 2021 could paint the same picture. At the present time we are working on self-build projects, apartment developments and multiple housing schemes.”



30 MARCH 2021

In equal demand is the wide range of world class and high performance windows and doors that specialist division, Excel Façades, has to offer. All products deliver world-class performance when it comes to thermal and acoustic characteristics, and exceptional security protection, plus they are available as part of a structural solution or as a complete standalone offering. “Largely it rests with the fact that it can offer clients access to a range of offsite solutions – residential and non-residential, adds Jason: “All of which are fully bespoke and tailored to individual customer requirements in terms of architectural design intent,

budget and environmental impact. This has been achieved by establishing proven, sustainable, and scalable relationships with our specialist supply chain partners.” Excel Structures works closely with clients to ensure that the system most suited to a project is adopted. Components are then designed and manufactured under strict factory-controlled parameters and delivered to site to create airtight and well-insulated buildings. Source:

Join the #RoofingRevolution... Build the best ‘room in the roof’ with Ultrapanel - a totally new precision engineered technology that eradicates the risks of site delays and delivers verified fire, weathertight, thermal and structural performance every time.

Performance Assured Programme Assured Price Assured

Precision Assured

Partnership Assured With continuous support and training from the early design stages to installation – Ultrapanel patented roofing technology is agile and adaptable with two-week lead times, providing a fast response to changing build programmes.

UK INDUSTRY NEWS Morgan Sindall Awarded Major Schools Contracts Morgan Sindall Construction have been awarded two major upgrade contracts, totalling £13.5million. The redevelopment of Queensmead School in the north London borough of Hillingdon and Haileybury Turnford School in Cheshunt, Hertfordshire, are the latest in six schemes awarded to the business by the Department for Education, under the Priority Schools Building Project. Works at Queensmead School, a co-educational secondary school with academy status, include the construction of a brand new two-storey technology block and plant room, adding 18 classrooms and associated facilities, and the demolition of the current locally listed technology building which has reached a state of disrepair. The team adopted a design for manufacture and assembly (DFMA) approach to delivering the plant room (which sits separately to the new school building) and was prefabricated by Morgan Sindall Construction offsite and then fitted within two days on-site. This significantly reduced project time and the disruption to classes, as numerous service switch overs were involved. It was also tested in the factory reducing the likelihood of commissioning issues when on-site, amongst other quality and safety benefits felt by manufacturing offsite.

NHF Hunts for Manufacturers

In Cheshunt, the Haileybury Turnford School project will see the construction of a new large school building, housing 12 classrooms, three state-ofthe-art science laboratories, a science prep room, and sixth form seminar room. The energy efficient building will also allow for office space for the staff, as well as a large library accessible to all school users. Again Morgan Sindall Construction adopted an offsite approach and used a structural insulated panels (SIPS) approach. The use of SIPS also saw a 15% reduction in waste, and required less operatives on-site, helping maintain a safe environment for staff during the global pandemic. David Rowsell, Area Director for Morgan Sindall Construction, said: “We are delighted to be given these two key projects for the Department for

modern methods of construction over the term of the five-year framework. Building Better is keen for more housing providers to join the alliance, so this pipeline may grow further over the next few years. The framework is for ‘MMC Category 1 Construction Systems’, covering pre-manufactured, threedimensional buildings that are factory-produced and delivered to site. There are three lots: low rise houses, medium rise flats and a combination of both, with one manufacturer to be appointed to each lot on a direct call-off basis.

Building Better, the National Housing Federationsupported alliance of housing associations developing offsite solutions for the social housing sector, has begun a search for three manufacturers to deliver its first framework for modern methods of construction (MMC). Procurement for Housing is working with Building Better to develop the £600million volumetric framework which will go live in Spring 2021. The 25 housing associations that make up the alliance have committed to manufacturing 800 homes via the new framework and they have a broader pipeline of 4,500 properties that will be produced using 18

Procurement for Housing will conduct a ‘competitive dialogue’ with interested manufacturers, discussing options with them and listening to their feedback on what the market has to offer before the final specification is compiled. Manufacturers will then be invited to submit final tenders for a place on the framework. The procurement process will conclude in Spring 2021 with successful bidders appointed to the volumetric framework on a direct-award basis, meaning they won’t have to engage in further competition to win contracts with individual housing providers. It is hoped that five offsite schemes will be in the ground by the end of 2021. Procurement on a separate ‘MMC Category 2 Construction Systems’ framework will begin in Spring/ Summer 2021. This will cover pre-manufactured two-dimensional panelised systems that are assembled on site to form 3D structures.


Education’s Priority Schools Building Project, supporting the next generation by delivering inspiring teaching spaces for school users across the region. We have again shown our commitment to innovating and adopting modern methods of construction to deliver high-quality projects while driving cost and time efficiencies and enhancing sustainability performance across developments. We continue to look at alternative construction methods and we’re delighted to be harnessing this approach to deliver the best possible solutions for our clients and communities. Both teams at Queensmead School and Haileybury Turnford School have started on-site, with the projects looking to complete in the latter quarter of 2021.” Source:

Trina Chakravarti, Project Director of Building Better (pictured) said: “Offsite manufacturing will only work in social housing through meaningful collaboration. That means housing providers aggregating their demand so manufacturers can sustain their factories. But it also means the sector engaging with manufacturers and being open to the development process rather than having a predetermined idea of the product they want.” Steve Malone, CEO at Procurement for Housing said: “One reason why offsite construction has failed in the past is the lack of genuine partnership work with manufacturers at the procurement phase. Many social landlords approach suppliers with a fully formed idea of the home they want but being so prescriptive doesn’t work in an offsite market that is still developing. We’ve designed a procurement process that allows honest discussions with manufacturers before a tender spec is finalised.” In September the Government announced that it will make offsite construction central to its new £11.5billion affordable homes programme. Social landlords that sign up to ‘strategic partnerships’ under the programme will have to use offsite manufacturing to produce at least 25% of their new homes. Source:

UK INDUSTRY NEWS Steri-Pod Supports Healthcare Sector

Steri-Pod features UVC (Ultraviolet C) germicidal irradiation technology. This provides 24-hour protection – at a rate of 99.99% – against COVID viruses, bacteria, spores and fungi. Steri-Pod is the only containerised laboratory to use Plasma Clean – Airklean and RoomKlean UVGI (ultraviolet germicidal irradiation) infection control solutions. In creating Steri-Pod, Modular Security Solutions – a high security composite panels specialist – has blended the convenience of an iso container with security and hygiene. Modular Security Solutions’ high security composite panels are used to line out the container, creating a secure envelope and giving it a high level of resistance to attack and forced entry. SteriPod includes hygienic, wipe-clean and dust-resistant security walls, ceilings and floors, making it suitable for a CL3 laboratory environment.

A group of specialist companies have combined their expertise in security, container fit-out and hygiene to create a new, rapidly deployable laboratory and test facility solution for the healthcare sector. Newcastle upon Tyne-based Modular Security Solutions has launched Steri-Pod, a containerised, self-cleaning high security unit which offers a hygienic laboratory environment for applications such as COVID-19 testing and vaccinations.

Modular Security Solutions’ high security composite panels are available with both rockwool and PIR insulation core types, which offer a high level of fire efficiency and a thermal U-value of up to 0.22W/m2K. Through Modular Security Solutions’ partnership with Beaverfit Ltd, the company can provide Steri-Pod as a bespoke fit-out package, which can include mechanical and electrical fit-out, ventilation, heating and cooling systems, hygienic cabinet and storage options, racking and alarm systems. The partnership has already successfully delivered high security, hygienic containerised medical units to the

NHS in the West Midlands. Modular Security Solutions designs and supplies high security composite walling systems and enclosures that can be used to create new buildings, superstructures and can also be retro-fit into existing buildings to security harden specifically identified areas. Mark Sutherland, Projects Director of Modular Security Solutions, said: “ The Steri-Pod has all the convenience of an iso-container, but has the benefits of high security, hygiene, thermal insulation, acoustic insulation and fire protection.” Dr David Glover, Founder and Technical Director of Plasma Clean, said: “It’s been very exciting to work with Modular Security Solutions on creating this practical, ‘self-cleaning’ solution for the healthcare sector – and it’s been particularly pleasing to see the results of our collaboration come to life during the UK’s national lockdown. Both ourselves and Modular Security Solutions are innovators in our respective fields, and Steri-Pod is proof that some ‘out of the box’ thinking can lead to a solution capable of rapidly meeting specific technical demands. Modular Security Solutions’ high security composite panelling systems are rapidly installed and offer a significant reduction in labour costs, site down time and on-site trades, due to their convenient male/female slip joint and pre-finished appearance, which comes in a wide range of standard colours and finishes. Source:


GOING BEHIND THE WALL – SPACE SAVING SOLUTIONS TO SPECIFICATION The key to enhancing buyer appeal is not just planning ahead but designing ahead too. Sophie Weston, Channel Marketing Manager at Geberit, explains how wall-hung bathroom technology can create stand-out space.


3 As buyers increasingly seek out washrooms that are not only functional but inspirational, wall-hung technology is seen as an ingenious solution and one that is ‘out of sight but very much front of mind’ for a growing number of UK developers. Offering a spacesaving alternative to traditional close coupled toilets, wall-hung toilets maximise the bathroom space whilst offering a sleek, streamlined design. Space-saving solutions By concealing the cistern behind a stud wall, a wall-hung toilet reduces the outward projection of the furniture to create the illusion of space. And, where space is paramount


2 complementing wall-hung ceramics with compact design choices can make even the smallest room appear bigger. But it’s not just all about space. Hygiene and ease of cleaning is now a huge consideration for homeowners and residential developers – and lifting the toilet from the footprint of the floor is an effective way to make cleaning much easier. With no hard to reach areas, dirt and dust accumulation is significantly reduced. And for that extra design versatility, wall-hung furniture offers the opportunity to add the finishing touches to a project with the option of adding stylish flush plate finishes such as textured rustic wood or slate designs to shades that blend harmoniously into any décor style. Geberit innovations Geberit’s team of designers have created a range of bathroom solutions that optimise any room size without compromising on style. With more than 200 models available, Geberit’s Duofix wall-hung frame system, together with our range of wall-hung ceramic furniture offers a world of


design possibilities for any project. A Geberit wall-hung bathroom means that pod manufacturers can create a space that will stand the test of time. From incorporating odour extraction technology or touchless flush plates, to future-proofing the bathroom with superior acoustic flush performance and adjustable seat heights, opting for wall-hung offers developers the opportunity to create an innovative, design-led solution – and with millions of Geberit concealed installations around the world, you can guarantee we have just the right product for you. Working with Geberit Geberit offers pod and modular bathroom manufacturers a range of behind-the-wall and ceramic solutions, delivering a complete bathroom package that brings our passion for design and functionality to the fore. The Geberit Select Collection offers solutions across mid-market projects with a choice of 11 affordable product ranges, including space-saving concealed cisterns and wall-hung technology. Alongside this, the Aspire Collection is Geberit’s premium offering for the luxury bathroom sector. Our customers are the focus of everything we do and our dedicated OEM team work closely with manufacturers, applying their product know-how and technical expertise every step of the way. From high-quality bathroom design to cutting-edge technology that champions hygiene and sustainability, we’re proud to be setting the standard for a new era of bathroom design. For more information visit: Images: 01-03. Wall-hung options can be optimised for any room size without compromising on style

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.

BENEFITS OF MEMBERSHIP Raising Industry Profile Through Strategic Marketing Quality Training and Knowledge Transfer Access to Learning Hub FREE Health & Safety Guidance and Support FREE Technical Advice FREE Employment and Law Services FREE Industry and Legislative Updates

For more information: Call: 0870 241 7687 Email: Visit:

IN N O VAT I O N IN L IF T IN G Britlift are a designer and manufacturer of lifting equipment, specialising in the lifting of modular homes, bathroom pods, commercial modules, containerised structures and pre-cast components. With a wealth of experience in the design and manufacture of lifting frames and lifting systems to the Offsite Construction sector, Britlift are the Offsite sector partner of choice.




2019 WINNER Sponsors: 23

offsite module lifting equipment

+44 (0)1305 236123 / /


NULOK SYSTEM CHOSEN BY TOPHAT Modern Methods of Construction (MMC) is a wide term, embracing a range of offsite manufacturing and on-site techniques that provide alternatives to traditional housebuilding. the option of fully-integrated solar, ease of installation and a reduction of required people on-site, which in turn will reduce potential health and safety hazards. In 2020 leading modular homes company TopHat chose our system for 20 new homes on behalf of MHS Homes in Kent. There was also 1.5Kw of integrated solar installed on each home which will reduce the carbon footprint and the energy bills of the family. The Nulok System is ideal for modular homes as it’s lightweight at only 27.3kg m2. Other key benefits include

“The Nulok ceramic slate roof-tiling system provided many benefits to TopHat,” said Morgan Lewis, Design Lead Architect at TopHat. “It was

aesthetically pleasing, lightweight and efficient to install. It also allowed for the seamless integration of solar photovoltaic panels into our roof panels at our high-tech manufacturing facility.” Paul Stevenson, UK MD Nulok Roofing Systems added: “It’s excellent to work with companies like TopHat. Their homes are stunning, modern, efficient and in line with the very definition of MMC. We have already secured more orders from TopHat and look forward to working with them for years to come.” For more information visit:


Simon Horn, Stewart Milne Timber Systems Technical Development Manager, discusses the benefits of timber frame to the construction industry as a versatile, green building material and how they can reduce the greenhouse effect. climate change while improving heat retention and reducing carbon emissions within new homes. Europe’s 400 billion trees currently absorb almost 9% of the continent’s greenhouse gas emissions and, in turn, use of timber in a building will store the carbon for the lifecycle of that building.

Timber frame construction offers considerable benefits regarding new housing stock being built quickly, at volume, meeting green targets and delivering significant cost savings. Not only is it beneficial to housebuilders but building in timber contributes to the UK’s commitment to combat


Timber frames draw in carbon from the atmosphere and stores it, with the largest potential for this achieved in external walls, intermediate floors, and roof structures. In fact, on average, replacing just one cubic metre of concrete with timber in construction can save a tonne of carbon emissions. The embodies energy in timber is the lowest of almost all common building materials.


Lifecycle studies of timber frame homes show they significantly outperform alternatives – timber saves about 40% of carbon emissions in comparison to concrete and about 30% compared to steel. According to the Committee on Climate Change: “Using wood in construction to displace high-carbon materials such as cement and steel is one of the most effective ways to use limited biomass resources to mitigate climate change.” It’s important that we identify methods by which to achieve government targets and uplift the new green economy – timber frame construction must be considered a leading example. For more information visit:


BENEFITS OF THE NULOK SYSTEM 95% of Installation complete offsite Ready for Integrated Solar anytime Training available for your team Less Material Waste Lightweight 27Kg m2

For more information visit or call us on 0330 123 4440

GREENER. FASTER. BETTER. We specialise in helping our clients reduce their carbon impact, build at a pace that suits them and construct better performing homes BUILD WITH STEWART MILNE TIMBER SYSTEMS

Find out about our services and systems at





FOCUS ON FRAMING - PUTTING STEEL AT THE CENTRE OF CONSTRUCTION Frank and forthright discussions were the order of the day at a recent Focus on Framing virtual roundtable, seeking to identify many of the key drivers for the specification and sustainability of light steel frame within the offsite and wider construction sector. Here are some of the key takeaway points raised.

1 As a material agnostic solution contractor, Emily King, Client Solutions Director at Mid Group, started proceedings by explaining that light steel framing is predominantly used for complex buildings where additional structural integrity is necessary: “Steel is the answer to complex questions where a lightweight response is required.” When asked whether a volumetric modular or panelised system is preferred, although Emily admitted she passionately believes in volumetric, she considered panelised systems offer more design adaptability adding: “If you get the design right, steel frame offers massive flexibility and cost benefits.” Turning to sustainability, the group agreed that the environmental benefits of using light steel framing systems are not widely understood. Steel is definitely part of a carbon neutral solution and communicating this is crucial. Sustainability is back at the top of the construction agenda, 24

however when budgets are tight – the participants found safety, cost, programme, design adaptability and structural integrity are more often a ‘deciding factor’. Robert Clark from Fusion Building Systems said: “There is a misconception about steel and to win the embodied carbon debate, we need to focus on the strength-toweight message. Low weight equates to improved efficiencies. You get an awful lot of structure for not a lot of weight which reduces embodied carbon. This is where steel cannot be beaten. Lighter structures not only reduce material consumption but reduce concrete in the ground.” Peter Burchill from EOS Framing believes there is a real conflict at the moment in specification decisions and although the focus appears to be shifting to sustainability, in reality safety wins hands down: “Light steel frame has real safety, fire performance


and sustainability advantages but the recycled content is not widely acknowledged.” Alex Small from Tata Steel is also looking to address the misconceptions surrounding the sustainability equation: “Discussions used to focus on lifecycle analysis including recycling at the end of a building’s life. This approach proves that light steel frame systems are intrinsically more sustainable but more recently the focus has been on embodied carbon which is far more simplistic. This is probably because it is a less complex calculation and easier to digest but embodied carbon just reflects the start of a building’s life. This is not a case of kicking the ‘carbon can’ down the road - in use performance, the circular economy and recycling at the end of a building’s life are crucially important considerations. Digital value tool kits are required to provide much needed evidence to change the debate and to offer in-depth accurate analysis of whole life carbon calculations.”

LSFA ROUNDTABLE It was suggested that independent industry bodies such as the Construction Innovation Hub, BRE and the Green Building Council need to pick up on this and lead the debate on which is the more valuable calculation – embodied or whole life carbon. The group also agreed specification is not a binary decision – buildings are the sum of many parts. David Ellison from Intelligent Steel Solutions added that only one of his clients had sustainability as the key driver. “Decisions are based on cost, capacity, site constraints, perceptions and future adaptability. There are a lot of key drivers that take precedence, but safety, cost, speed and predictability are at the top.” Neville Grunwald of Wates Construction pressed home the point: “The first and primary consideration for the specification of the structural solution should be what we do from a fire perspective and only then, should carbon emissions and sustainability be discussed. The conversation needs to be more nuanced and focus on what you can and cannot use on a building from a safety perspective.” When specifying or assessing a building where does sustainability sit?” For Des O'Dwyer from Richard Hopkins Architects: “Sustainability is currently falling down the list and that’s not only from a client’s perspective but equally from an architects’ point of view. There are lots of reasons why – budget and programme being two of them, but architects have to not only consider risk from a building safety perspective but also an insurance standpoint. The proposed change in Building Regulations extending the ban of combustible materials in external walls from 18 to 11 metres, is another thing to contend with.” “Timber has a much ‘softer and more welcoming’ image and light steel frame is a more technical approach with designs being harder to visualise – so the industry needs visual design representations of what is achievable. You need to play to the industries strengths – steel needs to offer a ‘whole package’ solution, an entire wall build-up, from internal linings through to the facade – this would de-risk the construction processes for architects.”

Michael Sansom from the Steel Construction Institute (SCI) played the role of ‘devil’s advocate’ stating: “We in the industry know the attributes of light steel framing but for context we are facing a climate emergency. It is generally believed that operational carbon has been addressed and that we must now move on to reducing embodied carbon. However, evidence of the ‘performance gap’ demonstrated by CIBSE – TM54 Evaluating Operational Energy Performance of Buildings at the Design Stage – confirms that there is still much to do to reduce operational carbon. I can appreciate, more than most, the long-term benefits of steel and we have to look at the circular economy where recycling and reusing is massively important.”

The Light Steel Frame Association (LSFA) is now leading the charge in correcting misconceptions and promoting the strength to weight and fire safety benefits of light steel frame. Neville Grunwald, Head of Facades at Wates Construction Limited, wholly supported this adding: “Once we start looking at reusing metal components structural verification presents challenges but the real elephant in the room in the sustainability challenge is cost – once clients find out the true cost, they revert back to steel and concrete.” Acknowledging that more collaboration is required Jim Roach from ARV Solutions stressed: “I think there should be more collaboration, not only within the light steel industry but also across the offsite material sectors. By adopting a united approach, offsite technologies will have a greater impact in influencing the construction industry to adopt modern methods of construction and move away from outmoded traditional on-site approaches.” The steel manufacturing environment is more automated and has become incredibly efficient at value engineering and minimising waste through design for manufacture and assembly (DfMA) approaches and the advances in digital engineering with better use of Building Information Modelling (BIM).

Chris Gatehouse from Tekla said: “From a modelling point of view there is no waste – the software is engineered to allow customers to optimise precisely to their design requirements. With cold rolled steel the only waste is the swarf and offcuts produced in the manufacturing 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. I would really like to see comparisons with other utilisation percentage metrics with materials such as timber.” More value is being added to the manufacturing process through the introduction of a systems approach such as pre-insulating panels in the factory, which Fusion Building Systems have been doing for some time and the panelised through-wall approach that is now being pioneered by companies such as EOS which include boarding and insulation, taking waste out of other components that interface with steel. Is the level of sophistication within the steel industry being underplayed? Robert Clark, Head of Business Development, Fusion Building Systems responded with a resounding ‘yes’ highlighting just one example: “We have been working with a national housebuilder and through using Revit digital technology, Fusion Building Systems has managed the design process. Just through eliminating waste and time inefficiencies, vast savings per unit have been achieved. With a traditional approach to construction there is a massive amount of waste of materials and time – the savings were so vast we could not initially believe it ourselves.” Emily King, Client Solutions Director, Mid Group, highlighted the need to get this message out there saying: “I attend many forums and there is a need for the light steel frame industry to get these positive messages out there. I have to present proposals to clients and the more knowledge I have, the more informed my recommendations.” It can be about simplifying the message and educating architects that do not come out of university with an in-depth knowledge of every material system.



LSFA ROUNDTABLE Michael Sansom, Associate Director, Steel Construction Institute, raised a significant point concerning the recycling and reusing process: “The light steel framing sector can learn from the hot rolled steel industry where SCI has produced a prototype database which we can upload all IFC files so we can retain all the design, manufacturing and structural information for all the steel elements used in a building. By capturing and storing all the information at the end of the building’s lifecycle steel components can be reused with confidence as we have all the properties captured and documented.” Alex Small, BIM & Digital Platforms Manager at TATA Steel had several points he wanted to address starting with enabling reuse: “Standardisation and a system approach is the driving force behind our consortium-led Seismic project, which is working on the future of construction for schools and healthcare facilities. It is a logical development with impressive results on light steel standardisation and by supplying a documented kit of panelised or modular parts, everything becomes reusable at the end of a building’s life.” As the discussion evolved it was agreed that all the messages downstream of steel production are ‘good news’ stories with steel bringing major safety, adaptability and longevity benefits to construction. Michael Sansom, Associate Director, Steel Construction Institute, considered the circular economy and shared some thought-provoking facts: “In the UK we are largely self-sufficient in steel, by that I mean we can pretty well produce all the steel we need through recycling our latent stock to satisfy market demand. But steel is a global commodity, and we live in a global community. Many nations are still evolving but in developed economies there is a stock of 12 tonnes of steel per person and if we can get to that point globally – then we have eliminated primary steel production worldwide.” This point emphasised the fact that the demand for recycled steel is going to go up and there is a pressing need to grade and ID tag every component so that when it does come back into the market – quality steel ready to be recycled is easily identifiable. This


Facilitator Darren Richards

Peter Burchill

Robert Clark

David Ellison

Business Development Manager, EOS Framing

Head of Business Development, Fusion Building Systems

Director of Business Development, Intelligent Steel Solutions

Chris Gatehouse

Neville Grunwald

Emily King

Des O'Dwyer

Regional Account Manager, Trimble Solutions/Tekla UK

Head of Facades, Wates Construction Limited

Client Solutions, Director Mid Group

Director, Richard Hopkins Architects

Jim Roach

Michael Sansom

Alex Small

Managing Director, ARV Solutions

Associate Director, Steel Construction Institute

BIM & Digital Platforms Manager, TATA Steel

Managing Director, Cogent Consulting & LSFA Steering Group

sparked a healthy debate about how this information could be included in the ‘as built’ BIM Model. Alex Small, BIM & Digital Platforms Manager, TATA Steel said: “As steel manufacturers already keep this data, to drive the maximum possible benefits, they should be custodians of this information.” Chris Gatehouse, Regional Account Manager, Trimble Solutions/Tekla UK, raised a note of caution adding: “Embedding the data in the BIM model can be laborious and problematic, the most reliable and efficient solution is to link back to the manufacturer’s data.” Rounding off the session, Darren Richards, Managing Director, Cogent Consulting, finished by saying: “When we gather a group of construction industry professionals together and pose some challenging questions, we cannot predict the outcome. This has been a frank and honest discussion


which will take the industry forward with the support of the Light Steel Frame Association. There are areas for improvement, and it is quite clear that this event will result in some key collaborations.” Many thanks to ARV Solutions, EOS, Intelligent Steel and Trimble Solutions/Tekla for sponsoring the Virtual Roundtable Event and thanks to all participants for their time and contributions to the online discussion.

For more information on the LSFA visit: For more information on offsite related activity visit:

A LEADING MANUFACTURER OF BUILDERS METALWORK AND OFFSITE FABRICATION SOLUTIONS ITW Construction Products Offsite is your integrated supply partner for processes related to offsite construction. From design and automated prefabrication, to on-site connecting, ITW’s holistic offer covers the entire building. Backed by ITW’s 110 years manufacturing experience ranging from technical, design and transactional excellence.

You can rely on us! T: +44(0)1592 771132 E: Cullen Gang-Nail @Cullen_GangNail



Since its launch in 2015, Project Etopia has seen its profile rise year-on-year. We spoke to Rosanna Lawn, Global Brand & Strategic Partnerships Director, about the importance of technology, disruptive design and factory manufacture on UK housing provision.


1 Q: Can you say a little about your role at Project Etopia? What is your background in property and construction and did you have any experience of offsite manufacture pre-Etopia? Rosanna Lawn (RL): I have not had the average career for a 27-yearold chartered surveyor. I started my professional career as a graduate in a corporate company, soon realising that corporate life didn’t really suit my entrepreneurial spirit, so I set up a development business, YOO Living, and co-founded a network for young professionals, CREation 28

Property Network – which gained huge industry recognition – finally finding myself where I am today, combining my love for sustainability with my business skillset. My role at Etopia is dynamic and broad, drawing on my experience and training within the real estate industry, and my ability for strategy and brand building to align partnerships and messaging in a unique way, making sustainability accessible and understood globally. I’m now leading on some really interesting programmes with Samsung, UKBCSD, BRE and the UN, but more of that will be announced in 2021.


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 ‘disruption’. What differences is Project Etopia bringing to a busy and increasingly crowded offsite sector? RL: We like to refer to ourselves as the ‘Tesla of housing’. A new company entering the market that is approaching things completely differently to other providers, positioning sustainability and technological advancement at the heart of our business model.


3 We look to collaborate across industries and within construction to ensure we have the best product available. For instance, bringing Samsung on board as a key partner across various subsidiaries – a huge brand with some great products. We also innovate and create our own products in-house, and this doesn’t stop – we have a great panellised system, and we are looking into how we can make that more sustainable. We are already looking at ‘version 2’ of our smart home system and we haven’t even released ‘version 1’ yet. Q: With Project Etopia being seen as a disrupters and with a focus on the ‘economic, environmental and smart technology’ aspects of new homes – how can all this be delivered in an affordable way? RL: David Attenborough spoke last year about the focus of COP26 being on the importance of making environmental causes economical too, as that is the only way global impact can really be made. Therefore Etopia work tirelessly on being able to drive these costs down to be accessible at every cost point. Having control over the supply chain has been key to driving the costs down to an affordable level, Etopia own the majority of the key products within the system which cuts out a lot of the middle men.

Q: The characteristics of newbuild homes has to improve drastically across the UK, plus the numbers of homes being built each year is historically low. Is the Project Etopia model a scalable concept and can it adapt to lifetime needs? RL: Absolutely. The economic and environmental backbone of the business has ensured that whatever is delivered has the ability to be both affordable and scalable – to be a proper solution for both climate change and the global housing crisis it really has to be? Which is why the Etopia model exists in its current form. Our homes are built for the future, the combination of construction materials used, renewable energy packages and smart home systems, ensures that they have the ability to last lifetimes from both a built perspective but also a technology perspective, much like a Tesla car or smartphone, our homes will have the ability to update the software of the technology whilst retaining the same hardware, making the possibilities endless. Q: There is a move towards placemaking and a growing desire to improve communities – do you see offsite delivery and by extension businesses like Project Etopia, helping to create some of these societal improvements?

RL: Offsite manufacturing is the only current scalable solution that is fast paced and sustainable, when we face climate emergencies, planning regimes changing, 2050 carbon targets and a huge lack of housing – there is no other option, we just need the construction industry to catch up. Etopia are now launching ‘Powered by Etopia’ which offers our solution, predominantly as a supplier, to SME’s and Housing Associations because we innovative solutions and we need them fast. 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 plus wider UN SDGs. How is Project Etopia delivering energy efficiency in its approach to homebuilding and management? RL: Etopia are actively providing a solution for nine of the 17 sustainable development goals (SDGs) at present and we align ourselves and our corporate social responsibility (CSR) closely to these key goals. Mainstreaming the SDG’s is going to be key to a green recovery. At present we assess our homes using energy performance certificates (EPC). Whilst Etopia scores highly – with our average EPC for all homes built sitting at 105 – it is fundamentally a flawed rating




4 system. We are now looking further afield at more globalised accreditation systems such as EDGE, that can tie in with world bank finance and environmental, social and corporate governance (ESG) alignment for green bonds, as well as assessing embodied carbon, operational carbon and carbon in-use across the whole business. This ensures that we are informed and able to counter any negative effects we may have on the planet. Q: The Project Etopia structural system is based on a ‘Hyper’ SIP – can you say a bit more about the choice of a panelised system as opposed to a volumetric modular one and why a timber-based approach was chosen? RL: We don’t ship air – this is one of the key differences between the panellised solution and the volumetric method. Panels are containerised at the manufacturing facility and assembled on-site which allows for higher quantity of loads, these can be easily unloaded without machinery as they are lightweight, which also makes them great for troublesome infill sites. Due to the joining mechanism – which is patented – the buildings perform at twice the airtightness of Passivhaus standard, which is hugely beneficial when calculating the sustainability of the building. 30

Q: The type of skills and competencies required in the construction industry are changing rapidly – not least in the offsite sector with manufacturing expertise and growth in digital tools (AI/VR) etc. more important than ever. From a professional perspective how can the offsite sector attract, recruit and retain a diverse mix of new entrants?

and the movement into digitisation, whilst ensuring stability in current job roles.

RL: Digitalisation in the built environment is much more feasible with offsite construction. From being able to track panels and units from the manufacturing facility to site using QR codes and a digital passport, and then being able to monitor the performance of the building remotely using smart home technology, provides the opportunity to fully assess a building without ever having to go to site. Data and technology engineers and platforms such as Procore are needed more than ever, we need to quickly and efficiently be able to assess quality and sustainability to meet government requirements – how else will we prove we are meeting sustainability targets? However, whilst it is important to attract new talent in the industry to keep up momentum, we need to support the current trades too. The panellised system allows Etopia to combine a mixture of traditional trades and MMC that supports new growth in skillsets

RL: We learnt a lot and gained a lot – Corby is where we have set some of the ground-breaking statistics on our homes and won awards such as ‘Eco Initiative of the Year’ and Small Developer of the Year at this years’ RESI awards. It was also an opportunity for Etopia to show our homes in action and how much our owners love them, which they really do. 2021 is lined up to be even more incredible, with the launch of new territories, some private developments signed and, in the pipeline and big announcements for Powered by Etopia. I’m excited, exhausted but excited!


Q: How has work progressed on the Corby project and what lessons have been learned? What plans are in place for 2021 for Project Etopia and the facilities at Ellesmere Port and Tiverton – are these working to capacity?

For more information visit: Images: 01. Rosanna Lawn, Global Brand & Strategic Partnerships Director, Project Etopia 02-04. Delivering better designed buildings including smart technology is the shape of future housing provision



Mark Lawson and Andrew Way of the Steel Construction Institute (SCI) discuss issues related to fire resistance of buildings and introduce upcoming new SCI guidance on the fire resistance of light steel framing.

1 Since the Grenfell fire disaster, the question of the fire safety of medium and high-rise residential buildings has been heightened. Clients and checking authorities are understandably concerned about fire safety, particularly for buildings that exceed 18m in height, and Regulations have been introduced to prevent the use of combustible materials in external walls. SCI has been working with members of the Light Steel Forum and other industry experts to update design guidance on the fire resistance of light steel framing which is well established as a construction system for medium-rise residential and mixeduse buildings. Steel has well-known properties at elevated temperatures and comprehensive design data is presented in BS EN 1993-1-2 and formerly in BS 5950-8 (dating from 1990). BS 5950-8 was the first fire engineering code worldwide and it influenced Eurocode developments. The critical temperature of structural steel beams and columns is taken as 550°C for the design of the fire protection to these members and this critical temperature increases as the proportionate loading (known as the


load ratio) on the member reduces. Structural engineers are familiar with the design approach for structural steel but the application of methods for cold formed steel is the subject of the recent work by SCI. Light steel framing has gained a market share because one of its benefits is that it is non-combustible and does not add to the fire load of the building, which are in addition to its other benefits. It may be used with joisted floors or increasingly, with composite floor slabs that are supported by the light steel loadbearing walls. Strength Retention of Cold Formed Steel Cold formed steel has slightly reduced strength retention properties at elevated temperatures compared to structural steel H sections and hollow sections because of the influence of local buckling of its thin profile. Nevertheless, the strength reduction factor (SRF) for Class 4 sections at 500°C is still 0.53 of the nominal yield strength. This means that a light steel section can support the reduced loads at the fire limit state up to this slightly lower critical temperature.


2 Light steel framing differs from structural steel in that it is a planar construction system. The 2D walls and floors are protected by layers of Type F or similar fire rated plasterboards. In the last three years, an unprecedented number of loaded fire tests have been performed by light steel framing and plasterboard suppliers to satisfy 60, 90 and 120-minutes fire resistance requirements for loaded walls and floors. A fire test on a loaded wall is generally performed using the thinnest steel section in a range with the highest sensible load that can be applied by the test house. Temperatures are measured on the flanges and web on the C sections at a number of positions, so that the critical temperatures can be related directly to the load that is applied for the particular wall build-up. This is the socalled ‘load ratio’ method. With this test information, the design of a C section with thicker steel or with another wall height from that tested can be calculated using the method developed by SCI. The only issue that affects the design solution is then the effect of non-uniform heating

STEEL through the C section for fire on one side, which has two opposing effects: it causes some thermal bowing which adds to bending effects (or P- effects); but on the beneficial side, the centre of resistance of the C section moves towards the cooler unexposed flange. Generally the two effects can cancel each other for the normal range of wall lengths but the loss in buckling resistance due to thermal bowing is taken into account. Design Methodology for Loaded Walls The formula that links the design resistance of a loaded C section in a planar wall at the fire limit state to its buckling resistance in normal conditions is given by: Nb,Rd,fi =k1 Nb,Rd SRF(θref) Nb,Rd,fi is the axial load that may be supported in fire. Nb,Rd is the buckling resistance of the C section in normal conditions taking account of the effective length for buckling. SRF(θref) is the strength reduction factor for Class 4 cold formed steel section. (θref) is the reference steel temperature for a non-uniformly heated section that takes account of non-uniform heating. k1 is a coefficient that takes account of thermal bowing effects and is typically 0.8 for walls supporting joisted floors or 0.9 for walls supporting composite (concrete) floors due to the greater restraint provided by the stiffer floor. The procedure uses measured temperatures in a test and so it is important that this data is obtained as temperature versus time in order to be able to back analyse the test. It is a pre-requisite that a valid test result is obtained for the particular wall buildup for use of the calculation method. The complete design guidance will be presented in a new SCI publication P424, and its accompanying Annexes giving the full design methodologies for light steel loaded walls and floors. External Fires on Loaded Walls The same approach may be applied to external walls but here the question is what is the fire severity of an external fire? At present, there is no agreement on this as logically it should be less

3 severe than a fully developed fire within a compartment in a building. The approaches that have been proposed for an external fire are:

• A fully developed ISO fire curve, but with a cut-off temperature of 680°C as permitted by BS EN 1363-2 for external walls. With this, the fire endurance will be increased relative to an equivalent internal wall, but this tests is rarely performed • A fully developed ISO fire curve, but with compliance for an external wall taken as a notional fire resistance of 60 minutes or as a maximum of 30 minutes less than for the internal structure. This is a simple way of recognising that a natural fire occurring outside a building or emanating from windows and radiating back onto the external wall has a lower effect than a fully developed fire internally assuming adequate fire stopping around windows etc • A fully developed ISO fire curve without any reduction. The external sheathing boards that are used are very robust structurally but do not necessarily possess the inherent insulation characteristics of gypsum-based plasterboard. Furthermore, for buildings more than 18m high (currently for England), noncombustible insulation and sheathing boards are required. Composite Floor Slabs Composite floor slabs can provide up to 120 minutes fire resistance without

requiring a fire protected ceiling by virtue of the embedded reinforcing bars in the deck ribs. Guidance on the fire resistance of composite slabs is given in BS EN 1994-1-2 and in the former BS 5950-8, and SCI publication P375 - Fire Resistance Design of Steel Framed Buildings. Design Methodology for Loaded Floors Loaded floors differ from loaded walls in that the effects of thermal bowing do not add to the applied moments and the critical temperature is taken as the bottom flange temperature. Also, for floors, the plasterboard ceilings can become detached as they weaken in fire. The design approach for loaded floors is based on a similar approach to walls but a constant coefficient of 0.6 is used and the buckling resistance can take account of the restraint offered by the floor boarding, as follows: Nc,Rd,fi =0.6 Nb,Rd SRF(θexposed) However, most joisted floors are designed for serviceability limits of deflection and so their load ratio will be less than 0.3, so that their critical temperature will be similar to that of loaded walls. For more information visit: Images: 01. Light steel frame construction with metal decking for composite floors 02. Typical application of light steel loaded walls supporting a joisted floor 03. Strength and stiffness reduction factors for steel at elevated temperature





Utilising light steel frame as the principle structural component in a building creates many design opportunities. To help understand this better, the Light Steel Frame Association (LSFA) has launched a new Specification & Engineering Guide for Light Steel Frame. that are not widely understood. Steel construction provides highly sustainable and economic buildings, representing an efficient use of resources. This longevity combined with the inherent value of an asset that can be recycled or reused at end of life means that steel is not a cost but can be a valuable investment.



Established to support the overall objectives and growth of the sector, the LSFA formed a working group with some of its members including EOS, DACS, Evolusion Innovation, Fusion Building Systems, Sigmat, Siderise, Ayrshire Metals, Cogent Consulting and the Steel Construction Institute, to develop a Specification and Engineering Guide to ensure that construction professionals gain maximum benefits from specifying light steel framing systems.

“There is often a misconception within design circles that the use of offsite construction limits architectural flare and leads to uninspiring box-like structures. This is far from the case as can be seen from the wide range of structures in differing architectural forms which members of the LSFA have produced.”

Engaging the manufacturer’s design team early ensures that their knowledge and expertise in the use of the system permeates through the design process. Many crucial factors that can transform design, engineering and specification decisions not only streamline the construction process but can also save a vast amount of time and money.

Freely available to download, the guide outlines design opportunities, fire safety, performance in construction and in-use together with the different types of systems, applications, and interfaces of light steel frame. Most importantly, the Specification and Engineering Guide outlines the sustainability benefits of steel

The LSFA collaborate with the SCI – a trusted, independent source of information and engineering expertise globally for over 30 years – and a leading, independent provider of technical expertise and disseminator of best practice to the steel construction sector. Throughout the Guide there are links through to useful documents published by the SCI and other leading industry organisations. As the construction industry looks to raise the bar to meet new Building Regulations and sensitivities surrounding of combustible materials, the light steel frame industry is witnessing unparalleled demand for panelised and volumetric modular systems, together with ‘through wall’ solutions which are delivered to site complete with wall linings and sheathing boards. Images: 01. Gardiner Place in development. Courtesy EOS 02. Light steel frame components can be used across many different building types. Courtesy Sigmat






& Engine

ering Guide


LSF system sustainabil s provide signifi ity crede cant ntials includ



al effici



ied car

bon red


For Light Steel

RESIDE NTIAL Sigmat Apartm Byron House ents

Reduce d mate rials – l oad to weight ratio Produc tivity/s peed o having f build a posit reduce ive env d, ironme ntal im pact


HEALTH CARE EOS Sarah Swift Buildin Uni of Lincoln


d trans



Frame Constru



d wast e

Compa tibility w ith rene techno logies wable


Easily a

Hadley Gro




ntled fo r re-us


Steel is the mo on eart st recy cled pr h after oduct water COMME RCIAL Fusion Buildin Bleinha g m Care System London

End of

life rec yclabil



USEFU L DOCUM ENTS Steel for Life SCI Technic and BCSA al Informa Supplement: tion Sheet: Steel Constru ED020 – Sustain ction Carbon Creden

Hadley Gro


ability of Light tials For further Steel Constru inform ction ation on f-assoc LSF and iation.c sustain ability brary/ go to: lsfa-sp ecifica tion-an d-engi neering -guide DEC 2020 /susta VERSION 1 -






EDUCA TION Fusion Buildin Univers g System ity of Sussex s-

COMME RCIAL Kier Readin g Gatewa y g,

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. To download your free copy of the Specification & Engineering Guide for Light Steel Frame visit: For more information on LSFA members visit:


Modern methods of construction: building on experience If the arguments for houses to be manufactured like cars are so compelling, why is factory-built housing not more common?

The latest report commissioned by the NHBC Foundation considers how developers and housebuilders can avoid the mistakes of the past and harness technological advances to respond to pressing housing need, while still delivering homes that are good looking, long lasting and better performing for homeowners.

Visit to read the free report.

National House-Building Council is authorised by the Prudential Regulation Authority and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority and the Prudential Regulation Authority. National House-Building Council is registered in England & Wales under company number 00320784. National House-Building Council’s registered address is NHBC House, Davy Avenue, Knowlhill, Milton Keynes, Bucks MK5 8FP.

R574 01/21



Geoff Pearce, Deputy Chief Executive at Swan Housing, told us about a busy 2021 ahead as its second factory gets ready to transform production of both its cross laminated timber (CLT) and steel frame-based homes.

1 Swan Housing was an early champion of offsite construction and one of the first housing associations to adopt these methods in order to create more high-quality, sustainable homes and thriving communities for those who need it most. “We are on an exciting journey with modular and offsite construction that offers an innovative solution to providing more high-quality homes in the UK,” says Geoff. “Since the opening of our own modular factory in 2017, we have welcomed over a thousand visitors to our factory (pre COVID-19) and in 2019 we launched a modular design guide to share knowledge, experiences and challenges that we faced developing our modular approach. Our factory is able to save 50% on time using the modular construction process, whilst saving 10% on cost. The factory is now able to complete the modules for a three bedroom home in around nine days.”


2 In October 2020, Swan announced the acquisition of a 15-year lease of Basildon 117, a newly built 116,841sq ft industrial unit, opposite their existing modular housing factory in Essex, to manufacture light gauge steel modular housing and operate alongside Swan’s existing cross laminated timber (CLT) volumetric system delivered in its current factory. The second factory was a key strategic move,” says Geoff. “It gives us additional capacity to build at height using a steel framed approach, while continuing to build houses in our existing CLT modular housing factory. The increased manufacturing space allows us to drive up quality and increase efficiencies by giving us more opportunity to use pre-manufacturing and componentisation. “With the support of the Getting Building funding – which is accelerating the fit-out of our second


factory – we will be able to support the wider UK efforts to ‘build back better’ for the communities in Essex and East London in which we operate, by creating over 120 jobs by the time the factory is in full production. Furthermore, we will be providing additional apprenticeships in the Basildon factories in order to allow more young people to learn modern construction methods within the manufacturing industry and help address the growing skills shortage.” ‘Factory 2’ will allow Swan to increase its production to up to 1,000 homes a year. This level of production will allow them to use additional capacity to supply offsite homes to London Boroughs and other registered provider partners who share Swan’s social purpose. “We see it as our role to help those like us,” says Geoff. “Those with a clear social purpose around affordable homes, in order

MODULAR HOUSING to deliver on the requirements of the future affordable housing programmes from both Homes England and the Greater London Authority (GLA) requiring delivery of MMC housing from partners. Factory 2 will utilise a steel framed, fully volumetric approach, allowing us to produce modules which are fully-accredited and mortgageable for higher rise apartments in addition to our existing CLT homes. “ With a huge emphasis on net zero carbon targets and affordable low carbon homes, offsite manufacture is a key way to streamline the construction process, reduce site inefficiencies and reduce waste. Swan’s experience of using offsite has shown that the manufacturing process is highly efficient, achieving: “90% reductions in waste and 70% levels of productivity (as opposed to circa 25% productivity on a traditional building site).” There is also a significant reduction in carbon by minimising on-site activity, particularly around deliveries, with research showing that this can deliver 40% fewer emissions. “The quality of the manufacturing process – to millimetre tolerances – delivers high levels of thermal, acoustic and airtightness,” adds Geoff. “Helping deliver homes that are efficient for householders to run. As a material, CLT offers significant sustainability benefits, so much so that our homes at Beechwood are carbon neutral for the first two years. We see our factory-made housing as critical to delivering our new corporate strategy aims around ‘Love the Planet’ and specifically delivering our first zero carbon housing development.” Having a secure development pipeline is essential to the success of any modular housing factory. This is needed to keep the factory team in production and deliver efficiencies of production and scale to cover the factory overheads. It is critical that efficiency and quality control is maximised, whilst reducing activity on-site. “We’ve learnt a lot over the past three years on how to operate most efficiently using our fully vertically integrated construction approach,” says Geoff. “From site acquisition to design, technical, construction, sales and marketing and after care – every step of the process is delivered by our teams. We’ve adapted how we

3 work to best deliver modular – for example, adding a drawing office to our in-house team to ensure that architectural plans are optimised fully for production and enhancing the extent to which our modules are finished in the factory.” In many ways, factory-based manufacture has been able to deal with the impact of COVID-19 better than site-based methods and Swan have been meticulous with putting measures in place to deal with the complexities of the pandemic. “We have worked hard to keep both our traditional sites and modular housing factory operating during the COVID-19 response,” says Geoff. “In the factory and on-site a range of safe working practices have been implemented and adapted as the pandemic has evolved. These are kept constantly under review. We recognise the dedication and commitment of all the front line teams at Swan who have continued to provide services to our residents and constructing much needed new homes throughout the pandemic.” With key schemes in development and Factory 2 expected to move into production soon, Swan has a busy 2021 ahead. “Throughout 2021, we will continue to deliver on our landmark Beechwood regeneration scheme, whilst also developing our modular approach for Laindon Place, Basildon,” adds Geoff. “At Laindon Place we are replacing a tired 1960’s shopping centre creating 224 new homes including both CLT houses and steel framed apartments, as well as a new, vibrant high street and Swan Office. In Tower Hamlets, working in partnership with the Borough and the GLA we will be working towards delivering the

next phase of our Blackwall Reach regeneration through our second modular housing factory. “It’s great to see positive recognition from the Government that MMC can help the UK build better and also respond to the climate emergency. We’ve directly benefited from the investment the Government has made through South East Local Enterprise Partnership (SELEP), providing £30million in funding for 14 projects in Essex, Southend and Thurrock from the Getting Building Fund (GBF), including £4.53million to accelerate the fit out of Factory 2. “It’s clear that this encouragement of adoption of MMC will continue through the affordable homes programme. Homes England have specified that developments funded by the Affordable Homes Programme 2021-26, must provide at least 25% of homes using offsite construction and the Mayor of London is looking for use of MMC in the GLA’s forthcoming programme. Although the next 18 months will likely provide challenges as the country continues to recover from the effects of COVID-19, Swan will continue to seek to support and engage with our key stakeholders and government advisers to focus on the many opportunities modular can bring – something the pandemic has ensured we all recognise is critical.” For more information visit: Images: 01. Geoff Pearce, Deputy Chief Executive, Swan Housing 02-03. Factory 2 will allow Swan to increase its production to around 1,000 homes a year






2 1 Building 11 is a particularly unique building at the heart of the Royal Arsenal Riverside development in Woolwich, combining the refurbishment of a listed building with offsite delivery. Building 11 is part of the Royal Arsenal Riverside development in Woolwich, London. The project comprises the refurbishment of the Grade II listed Officers’ House (Block A) and the addition of a new twin block (Block B) running parallel to Block A. The design successfully retains the heritage of the historic building and seamlessly integrates the newbuild element to deliver new homes and enhance the distinctive character of Royal Arsenal. The Berkeley Homes project saw the delivery of 34 new homes and 4,000sq ft of retail space, bringing back into use a derelict building and retaining the historic character of the existing elevations. The timely completion of the project was essential to the delivery of appropriate pedestrian access to the Woolwich Crossrail Station, soon to be opened on the neighbouring site. Speed of delivery was therefore one of the key reasons why Berkeley required Block B to be built by modular construction. The other key reason was that the site was in a very constrained location, with limited vehicular access that would have made challenging regular materials deliveries and the provision of machinery for traditional construction. 38

The project was developed on brownfield land, bringing back into use a semi-derelict Grade II listed building and combining it with a newbuild block of similar size to deliver a medium density building appropriate for the urban location. The new block (Block B) is set 6.5m away from the refurbished building (Block A) and the two are united by a shared courtyard where access bridges link each apartment to a central walkway on three levels. Access to the courtyard is through the restored Victorian entrance hall and staircase within Block A. The modules were delivered and installed over five weeks using a mobile crane located in the more spacious Dial Arch Square. It was a very challenging lifting operation as the modules had to be lifted over Block A and deposited to their anchor points on the foundations of Block B without direct visual reference. This is testament to the skills to the team who delivered the project and demonstrates that offsite technology can provide additional flexibility in situations where traditional construction brings too many negative impacts. The design choice to refurbish the existing building and build the new block by modular construction allowed for a project with lower embodied carbon than standard practice. This is due to the smaller amount of concrete used, thanks to the masonry fabric and some interior elements of Block A being retained, and the modules being of a lighter weight construction


type. Given that substructure and superstructure represent nearly 70% of a domestic building’s embodied carbon (LETI Embodied carbon primer, January 2020), these choices probably achieved at least a 25% reduction in embodied carbon compared to standard practice. This project demonstrates that offsite technology can be effectively deployed in combination with the refurbishment of existing buildings and can actually make possible projects that would otherwise not be viable. The high standards of fabric energy efficiency delivered by the modules, combined with the reduced embodied carbon from the lighter weight construction and retention of the existing building, make this a best practice example on how to reduce the environmental impact of delivering homes that should be replicated elsewhere. The new block achieved very high energy efficiency standards, delivering an 8% reduction on the target fabric energy efficiency levels prescribed by current Building Regulations and achieving air permeability levels as low as 2m³/m²/h@50Pa. Building 11 is Berkeley’s third modular project, after the delivery of the London Woolwich Premier Inn and the Weigall Road Urban Houses and was its first experience of using modular technology to build apartments. For more information visit: Images: 01-02. The project saw the delivery of new homes and retail space to bring back into use a derelict building and retain the historic character of the existing buildings. Courtesy Berkeley Homes

Specialist wet room floor manufacturer, On The Level, and leading manufacturer of waterproof wall panels, Fibo, together created a mini wet room environment, which was filled with water and left for 60 days – THE ULTIMATE WATERPROOF TEST. With ZERO LEAKS after 60 days, you can confidently put your trust in our reliable products to create the ultimate wet room for your next project.




To see the test for yourself visit:



Setting the standards for offsite fastening BeA your partner for offsite timber and light gauge steel frame construction 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. Reliable products, competitive prices and the kind of service and delivery you can depend on from BeA. 01482 889 911 visit our new website





1 ilke Homes and Man GPM have signed a £31million deal to develop 227 new homes in Grantham. The deal marks the biggest institutional investment into modular housing so far in 2021 and will create a mixedtenure community with a range of home ownership and rental options. The project will see the delivery of an affordable and inclusive mixed tenure community on a 14.6-acre site at Dysart Road. Of the 227 factory-built homes being delivered, 140 will be made available at affordable rent levels, 47 for shared ownership and 40 homes will be for private sale at market value. All the new homes at Dysart Road will exceed the Government’s Future Homes Standard, which is expected to be launched in 2023 and aims to reduce carbon emissions from housing by at least a 75%, while also exceeding the UK Green Building Council’s embodied carbon targets. Man GPM’s Community Housing strategy seeks to achieve the dual objectives of providing both social and financial returns, addressing the housing crisis in the UK by building homes that are affordable to households. The strategy invests and develops both rental and ownership homes, with a focus on addressing the housing challenges of ‘squeezed middle-income’ families who do not qualify for social housing and for whom mortgages are unaffordable.


Shamez Alibhai, Head of Community Housing and Portfolio Manager at Man GPM, said: “We are delighted to be making a positive contribution to ease the affordable housing shortage the UK is facing by delivering a high-quality modern development with a range of housing tenures. This investment demonstrates that it is possible to deliver high quality housing, using state-of-the-art construction methods while also creating homes that are affordable to local residents. We believe the scale of the housing shortfall across the UK requires innovative solutions and importantly ones which look after people, place and planet. Delivering ilke Homes modular housing to the Grantham site means we are not only building affordable homes but doing so in a way that also upholds our commitment to sustainable and energy-efficiency projects.” The deal represents a huge vote of confidence in offsite manufacturing, as the sector continues to garner huge interest from investors. Matthew Bench, Executive Director of Partnerships at ilke Homes, added: “It’s a huge vote of confidence in MMC from the institutional marketplace and it’s fantastic that Man GPM are spearheading that investment. Our accredited, digitally-led method of delivery continues to significantly reduce construction timelines, typically by half when compared to traditional methods, helping investors access revenue streams at the earliest possible point. Being able to meet institutional ESG aspirations and aligning ourselves with the shift of the investment market


2 to single family housing further underpins our near 200% growth seen this financial year.” There is an urgent need to diversify methods of housebuilding to speed up the delivery of much-needed affordable housing. A report by the Local Government Association (LGA) revealed that waiting lists for council housing in England will almost double to two million people next year, exceeding the peak that followed the 2008 financial crisis. It’s report ‘Building Post Pandemic Prosperity’ calls for a programme of building 100,000 new homes for social rent each year. The LGA estimates this would result in a £15billion boost for the economy. Ian Jackson, Investment Director, Community Housing at Man GPM, said: “We’re delighted to have completed our first investment in modular housing with ilke Homes, and one of the largest investments in modular housing in the UK to date. The overall design and quality of the homes should deliver not just high quality, energy-efficient affordable housing, but a community for families to call their own. We aim to deliver more affordable homes using modular construction, which we believe is a great housing product, and the future of the residential housing industry.” For more information visit: Images: 01-02. Modular solutions are central to decarbonising and improving the built environment

SSH - Hexagon Head Connector Screw SSH timber screws are the best technical reduce installation times on site compared to conventional nailing methods. They can be used outdoors (15-year service life) and offer excellent resistance in treated timber.

Up to 20% higher load bearing capacities than LAG screws. Includes both a 6-lobe drive and a hexagonal head, enabling various ways of installation.

Precision engineered to meet any demand.

Europe’s Leading Range of

Premium Fasteners Simpson Strong-Tie® now offers a complete range of nails and screws for almost every application, including stainless steel, structural and collated options. Also featuring the award winning Quik Drive auto-feed system. Building Safer Stronger Structures.

Call: 01827 255600 |



Offsite construction is transforming the built environment and nowhere is that felt most in the housing sector, with volumetric modular methods providing huge opportunities for change. Andrew Shepherd, Managing Director at TopHat, talked to us about market developments.

1 Central to the successful implementation of innovative offsite construction methods is the adoption of technology and ‘automated manufacturing’ to deliver the UK’s oftquoted requirement of 300,000 new homes annually? But how big are the opportunities for volumetric modular construction in addressing some of these numbers? “There is no one-stop-shop solution to the housing crisis and modular housing certainly isn’t the solution all by itself – the last time we delivered over 300,000 was back in 1953,” says Andrew. “However, what it can offer is additionality and speed, helping the market grow, without impacting on the existing homes that we deliver. By manufacturing offsite along production lines, companies such as TopHat can bring homes to the market twice as fast as traditional methods, helping to speed up the delivery of much-needed


2 housing across the UK to get closer to the 300,000 new homes-a-year target as well as increasing productivity from a restricted workforce.” The volumetric modular market has grown significantly in the last 3-5 years, with huge amounts of investment entering offsite manufacturing to fund new factories and innovative products. TopHat received a £75million investment from Goldman Sachs to help expand and scale the business – what are they doing differently and offering new compared to others operating in the marketplace? “TopHat’s patented technology means our products can be tailored so they can meet the local design requirements of a particular place,” says Andrew. “Much like the automotive and aviation sectors – or with the wardrobes you may buy in IKEA – the fundamental parts can be produced en-masse with high levels


of quality assurance. Yet TopHat’s technology allows such parts to be customised, meaning it maintains quality and speed of delivery without having identical towns up and down the country. This is unique to TopHat and is a key point for our clients, as this means they can ask us to adjust our products to meet the requirements of local authorities and planning committees. TopHat also has a high level of automation in our manufacturing processes, which help deliver the high levels of tolerance and quality.” Reshaping design perceptions of what modular homes look like and feel like to live in are important, with notions of temporary post-WW2 prefabs now long gone. Pressure now surrounds producing low carbon, sustainable homes ‘at quality but at low cost’, something that is not easy. The Government’s English Housing

MODULAR HOUSING Survey recently revealed that there is an urgent need to improve the quality and energy efficiency of England’s homes. “Through the use of timber technology, we can significantly reduce the carbon footprint of our buildings,” says Andrew. “Such that one traditional masonry home has the same embedded carbon of 27 TopHat homes. We can also deliver zerocarbon homes, meaning they emit no carbon from utilities such as heating, water and electricity. This is done by utilising low-carbon technologies such as air source heat pumps and solar panels.


“By integrating technology into our design processes, which allow the company to model the energy performance of a home by collecting and collating empirical data points, we typically deliver homes that are a third more energy-efficient than those traditionally built and achieve a high EPC rating. This helps save consumers hundreds of pound on energy bills each year. These energy-efficiencies also mean that TopHat’s homes exceed current and newly proposed building regulations – like the Future Homes Standard – avoiding costly retrofitting programmes in the future. None of this is done at the expense of good quality design. Large windows, high ceilings and ergonomic design are key elements to delivering good homes, none of these are compromised through the adoption of offsite.” “TopHat’s homes can be powered for as little as 90p a day. The efficiency of our homes means that occupiers are better able to afford to heat their homes. The benefits also extend to the local community, where our projects result in a substantial reduction in transport to and from site, especially when compared to a traditional construction approach. Furthermore, residential property is an increasingly popular asset class for institutional investors, who as a rule are increasingly focused heavily on the ESG agenda. Similarly, housing associations and councils also have to meet strict environmental criteria. Delivering homes more sustainably will play a key part in helping both these parties meet green targets, which are only likely to become even more important over time.” TopHat recently completing the delivery of 20 affordable homes for

4 Medway Development Company, Medway Council’s development arm in Chatham, Kent. All 20 of the homes, which were delivered on an infill site will be made available for affordable rent and operated by the mhs homes housing association. Low-carbon technologies, such as solar panels, have been integrated into the design of the homes and will provide residents with clean, lowcost electricity. Due to high levels of airtightness, the homes will achieve at least a ‘B’ Energy Performance Certificate rating – making them more energy-efficient than 92% of newbuilds in the UK. What else is TopHat hoping to achieve in 2021 and where is the modular housing market heading over the next 18 months? “Our focus this year is going to be refining and improving our product,” adds Andrew. “We’ve recently hired Airbus’s former vice president of

digital transformation, Matthew Evans, to be our Chief Technology Officer – a role which will see him integrating new technology into our manufacturing process to deliver well-designed, energy-efficient housing for private developers, housing associations and local councils. My prediction for the next 18 months for the market as a whole is that modular housing will become an increasingly mainstream choice for housing delivery, and TopHat will be at the forefront of this.” For more information visit: Images: 01. Andrew Shepherd, Managing Director, TopHat 02-03. Factory production produces high-tech, quality, low carbon homes that can be delivered quickly and efficiently 04. White Road, Medway





Jackie Maginnis, Chief Executive, Modular and Portable Building Association (MPBA) discusses how offsite construction can respond to help provide a solution to the many recent events that have resulted in the construction industry coming under unprecedented scrutiny. The pressure of operating COVID-19 secure construction environments combined with tough schedules and difficult specification decisions are all taking a toll on developers – particularly those operating in the public sector. As we strive to recover, it has forced a rethink of the way buildings are designed and built. When we eventually return to the ‘new normal’ – it is a given, at least in the short term, that social distancing measures are here to stay. There is now widespread agreement that in order to operate effectively and safely developers need to reduce their reliance on labourintensive traditional construction and look to new methods. Taking the majority of the build process offsite into well-managed factory environments requires much less manual labour, making volumetric modular methods inherently easier to implement safer social distancing measures and enhanced hygiene regimes. Factories also offer health and safety benefits because they are controlled settings where procedures and process take priority. Another significant aspect is the supply chain simplicity offered via modular approaches – taking many of the complexities of specification issues off the critical construction timeline. The pandemic combined with the Brexit transition has the potential to create serious challenges, with an established supply chain predominately in the UK, using volumetric modular technology can help avoid disruption. The potential for a faster and more streamlined build process was highlighted by the UK Commission for Employment and Skills Council 44

which estimated that if 25% of the construction sector transitioned to offsite approaches, a 3.6% increase in productivity would be readily achievable. Modular technology reduces build times by an impressive 50-60% when compared to traditional processes. This quick turnaround time is key for helping the construction industry offset delays in project timelines. As has been clearly demonstrated during this time of crisis, factories can keep rolling and where there is an urgent need – increase shifts up to 24 hours a day. Many of our members made gargantuan efforts to help support the construction of additional healthcare and education facilities over the last few months, achieving unprecedented delivery schedules of a few weeks rather than many months or even years. There is quite rightly a renewed focus on the quality of materials and the processes involved in creating buildings. Again, this is where modular construction can offer some muchneeded assurances, as the supply chains and testing regimes are much more connected. Not only does this ensure smooth delivery within a tight timeframe, but it also limits the opportunities for materials to be ‘engineered’ out and allows for a high level of accountability throughout the build process. The climate emergency remains a key concern. Compared to traditionally built projects – up to 67% less energy is required to produce a modular build. Offsite construction also has a positive impact on the carbon footprint of the building as it allows for a reduction in the total number of deliveries


to sites by up to 90%. In addition, not only is the actual construction process ‘greener’, but the airtightness achieved in using volumetric modular approaches enhances in use energy efficiency and reduces carbon omissions for the lifetime of the building. Modules can now also be factory fitted with sustainable technology such as solar panels and energy-efficient glass. Some developers have remained entrenched in outmoded methods, however we are now seeing a shift in attitude when it comes to modular technology, largely driven by increased awareness of the time and cost-saving benefits. This in turn is leading to an increase in adoption. According to Forbes, 7.5% of the homes built in the UK in 2017/18 were modular, and increased growth was forecast for 2020 even prior to the pandemic. The government are trying to address multiple issues, but housing still remains a priority. Back in October, Housing Minister Secretary Robert Jenrick said the government will listen to views on where new homes should be built but will not cut its target to build 300,000 homes a year. It has been a matter of great debate if the target will be met but the need for new, affordable homes is not going away and modular construction offers a solution. Without an even wider adoption of modular technology, it is going to be difficult to achieve the levels of agility, flexibility, responsiveness and the assurance the UK is going to need to both actively and safely achieve the scale of the public sector and housing targets. 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.

To find out more, visit our website  0044 (0)808 223 9080   @aquarian_cladd



Sika UK has grown steadily over the past few years, despite operating in challenging market conditions and have appointed Simon Griffiths as Head of Sales – Modular Construction, a role that will see him build on the continued growth of the company in the modular construction sector in the UK.

1 The new appointment will see Simon build on the already well-established Sika brand in the UK, with a clear focus around Sika’s offer to modular builders, and specifiers of modular build projects. Simon has many years of experience advising on suitable roofing systems within the modular market, coupled with experience of building envelope system selling. He has worked closely with main contractors and specifiers, and has a clear understanding of their needs, in order to deliver on expectations, and also has experience in delivering projects as part of Government Frameworks.

2 46

Simon joined Sika in 2007, initially as a Technical Advisor for the Sika Sarnafil roofing brand, a market leader in roofing membranes. A move into sales management for the roofing business unit, which included brands such as


Sika-Trocal and Sika Liquid Plastics, meant a wider exposure to Sika’s other market leading brands in a huge market sector within construction. “Sika has a wide portfolio of products ideal for the modular construction marketplace, but much more than this, we have a wealth of experience in many manufacturing applications, such as Automotive, Transportation, Marine, Appliances and Renewable Energy,” says Simon. “We go beyond the supply of materials and have the technical expertise to assist in the development, testing, and design, through to supporting implementation in production lines – often curating custom offerings. I’m here to help modular builders and specifiers, by being the go-to person at Sika for all their needs, and I am looking forward to ensuring our customers’ needs and expectations are properly met.”

MODULAR HOUSING Sika’s Offer for the Modular Construction Market The past year has seen events that have re-shaped the world we live in. The world around us has seen generational shifts, with rapid transformations in IT and advances in technology. Modern methods of construction (MMC) continues to move towards the heart of our construction industry in the UK. We understand that, for the offsite constructor, finding ways to increase pre-manufactured value (PMV) for the client, but keeping the manufacturing process as efficient as possible, can be challenging. We believe that it is the responsibility of key suppliers to assist this process, in whichever way possible. At Sika, we have the technology to support all areas of manufacture.


Sika can support the advancement of PMV, by providing unique and high-performing solutions. We can demonstrate high levels of technical knowledge, and support in many applications, from the floor, through to roof – these being interior and exterior applications for volumetric, panelised or pod manufacture. Our approach is to define ways to reduce build-time, simplify bill of materials, and increase quality as well as life expectancy, whether it be timber or steel framed construction. Interior Applications In the context of interiors, we can support with clever materials for cementitious bases through floor coatings, to luxury vinyl tile (LVT) adhesives and good solutions for wood floor bonding, as well as traditional floor tile adhesive systems. We can also support with joint sealants, whether it be sanitary or aesthetic. Our passive fire protection range can assist in making units safer. Our reduced dust, low emission wall levelling compound meets all the latest EHS requirements and gives class-leading finishing characteristics. Our high green strength adhesive can be used to reduce the requirement for mechanical fixings, which can create noise, vibration and harshness (NVH) issues. Pretty much, we can help you look at applications in new ways. Exterior Applications We understand the need for watertightness and with our weatherproofing solutions for roofing, walls and windows. We aim to assist you

4 to deliver units, with minimal retro repair, and reduced zip-up costs. Our robust solutions will reduce transit damage of volumetric units, and our ideas to reduce weight will lower CO2 from transportation requirements. Our innovations to improve structural rigidity of units can mitigate flex in transit, and the subsequent repairs. Our membrane systems can assist with keeping the weather out, whilst the units wait to be slotted into the final building. Whichever exterior wall finish is used, Sika can support our customers. From renders to adhesives for brick slip bonding, to wood adhesives and bonded panelised systems. Pod Manufacture Our solutions for bathroom pods and wet rooms can reduce waiting time for curing. Whether it be for the concrete base or ETAG022 systems for wet room walls and floors, for tile bonding

with automated solutions, or fast curing stiffener bar attachment, we are able to help. Sika has leveraged its huge product range to come up with some great solutions, to improve rigidity, reduce noise transfer, improve fire performance, reduce cycle time, lower costs, enhance sustainability, boost quality and provide a one-stop-shop from basement to roof. For more information visit: Simon Griffiths Mobile: +44 7803 667225 Images: 01. Interior Applications 02. Simon Griffiths, Head of Sales – Modular Construction 03-04. Many applications are available for modular delivery






1 It’s sometimes easy to overlook the importance of a simple classroom block. The latest addition to Ty Gwyn Special School may look like a normal school building, but it is packed with interesting features and was delivered using offsite methods. As the name suggests, Ty Gwyn Special School is no ordinary school, and t his is no ordinary classroom block. Ty Gwyn is wholly focussed on supporting pupils who have profound or complex needs. Rated as ‘Excellent’ by Estyn, the education and training inspectorate for Wales, the school will educate children from three years to nineteen years old who might present severe or challenging behaviour. The school needed a new block urgently to cater for a rise in pupil numbers – with less than ten pupils per class, classroom space is vitally important for the school. To procure the new block, Cardiff Council ran a mini competition via the SEWSCAP framework, which was subsequently won by Wernick Buildings. The building is constructed using 18 individual modules which were manufactured in Wernick’s dedicated factory in Port Talbot, less than an hour away from the site. These were transported to site by lorry, then craned into position and bolted together to form the core of the building. The brick cladding and trussed roof were then added to the core to give a traditional construction appearance. Manufacturing the building in a factory environment gave the project several advantages. Firstly, the building could


be constructed at the same time as the foundations were being prepared, dramatically reducing programme length, particularly on-site. Manufacture was also not affected by site conditions like the weather, making the programme even more reliable. This was vitally important for the school, who would need the building in time for the start of the new term. The reliability of modular building was further tested by the outbreak of COVID-19. However, as a large part of the fit-out had already been completed in the factory, Wernick were able to minimise the operatives needed on-site at any one time. Combined with careful site management, this allowed Wernick to continue work during the first lockdown, and ultimately the building was delivered ahead of schedule. Providing a robust building which would be both a safe and calming environment for Ty Gwyn’s pupils was important. This was reflected in the enhanced specification required by the council which Wernick embraced fully, enhancing their standard modular system to meet the requirements. The painted internal walls were upgraded with impact-resistant plasterboard to better withstand the demanding classroom environment. The floor, apart from being fully non-combustible, was also enhanced to improve rigidity and acoustic performance. All the doors are also equipped with acoustic seals to reduce noise throughout the building and ALUMASC Safehinge anti-finger trap system to avoid any opportunity for entrapment. Acoustic performance was especially important for the withdrawal rooms off each classroom. These spaces can be


2 used when a child needs a calming and safe environment. The walls and floor of these were padded to ensure child safety and were also equipped with an observation window and AV system, allowing teachers to play music for the children from the main classroom. A ducted heat recovery system was employed in the ventilation in these rooms, and comfort cooling is used throughout the building. Aside from the withdrawal rooms and interactive whiteboards in each class, there is also a dedicated sensory room with controllable coloured lighting and interactive projections on the floor and wall which pupils can engage with. All classrooms are also equipped with a DDA-compliant toilet and shower room, as well as a ‘nurse call’ system to help staff in emergencies. Glazing throughout the building was also enhanced to reduce U-values and improve security by meeting Secured by Design standards. As standard the windows had toughened glazing inner and laminate glazing outer. A spokesperson for Cardiff Council commented: “The Wernick team were excellent to work with from start to finish. Teamwork was at the heart of everything, and the team committed from the outset to deliver the project on time. Working relationships were excellent, and this facilitated first class communication and ultimately the delivery of a highly successful project.” For more information visit: Images: 01-02. Ty Gwyn Special School is packed with interesting features including a dedicated sensory room with controllable coloured lighting

Specialists in modular construction




CONTACT US TODAY 0800 18 18 22 |





Take the



Scan the QR code



Our workplaces are facing a series of challenges in a rapidly changing future and the design and creation of new workplaces needs to be radically different from the past. Ed Hayden, Director at architects Scott Brownrigg, highlights some of many the challenges and solutions available. if you have the space it can be great for focused tasks. You can work without interruption, surrounded by all the comforts of a home office tailored to your specific requirements. This shift to a homeworking lifestyle has been embraced by the majority of those who can do it, so what becomes of our offices and what do we need from them in the future?


2 Some of the key challenges we face in new office design can be considered under three general headings: the pandemic impact and the transformation of our ways of working, responding to infection by creating healthy working environments and climate change and designing for net zero carbon. The way in which we work has changed nearly overnight, with the pandemic transforming large parts of the centralised office-based workforce to a dispersed homeworking society, and the effects of this are likely to last. What does this mean for the structure


of companies, and what they require from offices in the future? Technology offers autonomy, allowing anyone to work remotely anywhere, and the implementation of 5G technology will reinforce this. Individual ‘computer based’ focused working may well take place in the home setting, so we must consider what becomes of the traditional commercial office building. Whilst homeworking offers many benefits it also has some major disadvantages, dependent on your circumstances and


Collaboration, face-to-face contact and human social interaction are awkward and limited over the computer or phone screen. Fluid meetings where multiple items can be discussed in a freeform manner, splitting away from the primary topic and rejoining with new ideas, can be very difficult over networking software. Our buildings need to fulfil that role and become places for human co-operation and forums for creative collaboration. Responding to the challenges of the current (and future) pandemics the design of offices will need to limit the risk of infection spread. To rebuild acceptance of the ‘office’ we need to provide healthy environments, and to create these will require fundamental changes, which will be reflected in the offices we design for the future. The office of the future will need to mitigate against the spread of future contagious diseases and allow the office to continue running effectively through any future pandemics, this has a number of fundamental effects on office design. The prevalent use of air-conditioning has meant that in general 90% of the air in offices is recycled, and this is supplemented by 10% fresh air. This may no longer be acceptable given the perceived risk of airborne infection spread. We anticipate a reversal, with 90% of fresh air being a new

STRUCTURAL TIMBER requirement, with possible changes to the design guidance such as the Well Building Standards and Building Regulations. Whether or not this risk has been proven there is still the issue of the building occupants’ perception – knowing that the air is recirculated and not filtered may well create anxiety and discourage occupants from using the space. A move to a natural or displacement ventilation solution with increased fresh air and avoidance of recycled air is a solution: the office of the future uses the atrium stack-effect to draw fresh air in through the façade and vent stale air out through the roof avoiding cross-contamination risks. During the winter, stale air is collected at the top of the atrium and used to preheat fresh air using a plate heat exchanger, again avoiding contamination. The heating and cooling of the space is implemented using radiant panels which can radiate heat (or cool) to adjust the internal temperature. Reduced occupation densities, carefully planned layouts, and limited contact with surfaces (such as door handles) are all matters that may become normal design considerations in the new generation of workplace design. Finally, the greater crisis that faces humanity is the effect of man-made climate change. We have a pressing need to address the amount of carbon dioxide that is released in the occupation and construction of our office spaces. 30% of the carbon is created during the construction phase, and in order to achieve ‘net zero carbon’ buildings must address this issue. Switching from carbon intensive materials such as concrete and steel to materials which ‘sequester’ carbon into the building fabric is fundamental in achieving these goals. The use of mass timber in the form of laminated veneer lumber (LVL), cross laminated timber (CLT) and glulam as the building structure is the solution. This is a ‘better than zero’ solution during the life of the building (and potentially beyond). The office of the future uses, pre-manufactured, zero waste timber construction systems with innovations such as LVL rib deck panels, CLT timber core walls and glulam columns and beams to create efficient attractive sustainable spaces. This combines perfectly with the other

3 aims of a flexible collaborative working environment and a healthy naturally ventilated workspace. The new office concept combines all of these considerations, providing a healthy attractive environment which encourages collaboration and creativity without impacting on the health of the planet. We look forward with anticipation to a new era of workplace design which encompasses these goals, and we are already

seeing a shift in the mindset of clients, occupiers and developers to be vanguards in the creation of the office of the future. For more information visit: Images: 01-03. The office of the future needs to promote health and wellbeing as well as excellent design 04. The Social Contact Pod


4 In response to COVID-19 Scott Brownriggs’ Design Research Unit has been working on a practical, rapidly assembled solution with CLT experts, Ramboll and M&E and sustainability specialists, Hoare Lea, ‘The Social Contact Pod’ allows families to spend valuable time with loved ones without the risk of contamination. Constructed from CLT panels (potentially surplus stock from house builds), it is lightweight, rapidly constructed and is easily transported on the back of a standard truck or pulled on a trailer. It can be installed at the entrance to a care home and/or dropped in a carpark or garden for immediate use. Importantly it’s been designed to be fully sustainable so that pods can be repurposed or recycled with relative ease when they are, hopefully, no longer needed. Within the fully accessible design, a Perspex partition separates the two groups; an area of plastic membrane allows for human contact and hand holding. In terms of internal comfort the pod has high levels of air quality and natural daylight, along with a comfortable temperature, acoustics, and access to fresh air. Simplicity is key to the design, the pods are cost-effective to run, with the lowest carbon emissions possible, and feature simple controls for people to adjust their environment as needed.





Cambridge Innovation Parks Limited (CIP), BRE and 3PM have collaborated to manage an exciting challenge to the timber and offsite construction industry aimed at commercial projects.

1 CIP have challenged the industry to help them build commercial office space using offsite manufactured timber units, unsatisfied with the feedback they have received about it being difficult to achieve and expensive and pushing the market to challenge this assumption. Through this challenge CIP have heard from like-minded innovators who specialise in the production and provision of offsite timber. Interested companies completed pro-forma questionnaires that focused on the product solutions but equally on ethos, ethics and adoption of innovation as CIP want to build on their track record of fostering innovation and supporting innovators. CIP see bio-based construction as an important path to their zero-carbon target. The offsite characteristic of the timber units is attractive for many reasons – modularity, scalability, adaptability and lifecycle duration. As activators CIP want to stimulate collaboration between forwardthinking companies in the construction industry: a priority for delivering these premium office spaces whilst positioning themselves at the forefront of adopting new processes. Incoming tenants are actively 52

encouraged to contribute to the sustainability of the campus through research and business activity. The CIP North site is targeted to be a zero-carbon site by 2030. This is in response to the International Panel on Climate Change Report published in October 2018 and ahead of the UK government policy which requires zero carbon economies by 2050. This includes incorporation of a range of sustainability standards on an integrated basis, including operational and embodied energy and carbon cost modelling, lifecycle assessments, use of bio-based, locally sourced materials and reviewing community impacts. “I would like to see cost parity between traditional carbon intensive building systems and new innovative low impact systems to meet the urgent zero carbon challenge,” says Professor John French. Director of Development and Sustainability, CIP Fellow of Wolfson College, University of Cambridge. “Solutions need to be practical and scalable and suitable for the commercial letting sector to adopt and in time to address the climate emergency. This is an important challenge that we are setting from the business and science park community and I look forward to response from the sector.”


The challenge received over twenty offers for solutions from UK and Europe-based companies. The responses and case studies provide were reviewed by eight members of the team separately before amalgamating conclusions and creating short lists. CIP put emphasis on adaption to be locally sourced, manufactured and erected in the UK if not now be inspired do so in the future. Aligned with carbon parity is cost parity and respondents needed to estimate costs. This tailored short listing process has resulted in five companies from big names to new starts that will be shortly be invited to interview with CIP and 3PM to explore possibilities for their solutions. Interviews will be in February and CIP are looking forward to conversations with ECOsystems Technologies (Dingwall), Morgan Sindall (Cambridge), Natural Building Systems and Waugh Thistleton (Suffolk), Mills Power Architecture (London) and Innovare Systems (Coventry). From March 2021 procurement of the CIP North campus will commence with the roll out of their strategic programme for this site. This will include the provision of three new buildings, associated car parking, cycle parking and landscaping. In addition to CIP North, CIP own land at two further sites - CIP South and West which are planned to be developed over the next few years and future developments will benefit from the relationships built during this process. For more information visit: Images: 01. CIP are in the process of creating one of the first fully sustainable business campuses in the UK.


Discover the BOPAS requirements. Best practice for Buildoffsite property.

Visit for more information.



Aptus Fastener Systems have developed the most comprehensive range of certified fastening solutions for the modular housing market.

Power Clamp – lifting device for transportation of solid panels and beams. HECO-Topix Countersunk & Flange Head – German innovated CE compliant structural screws through ETA. Pitzl Connectors – certified wood connection systems manufactured according to the highest quality “Made in Germany”


FOR OUR LATEST BROCHURE T: 01773 740410 E: @aptusfasteners




Recently winning the ‘Winner of Winners’ Award at the Structural Timber Awards, Maggie’s Leeds once again proved that timber provides a stylish, contemporary and natural feel to a healthcare environment. As many know, Maggie’s is a charity providing support for people affected by cancer and gives free practical and emotional support for people with cancer and their friends and families. It commissioned Heatherwick Studio to create its new centre on the campus of St James’s University Hospital in Leeds. Drawing upon the philosophy of Maggie's and the belief that great design can help people feel better, Maggie's Leeds uses several ‘healthy’ materials and energy saving techniques. Set in the midst of medical buildings, the site was one of few green spaces left on the campus. The 462sq m centre is designed as a group of three largescale planters, built on a sloped site. The base of each planter encloses a distinct private counselling room for visitors to meet or spend time by themselves, while the areas between offer relaxed and approachable social spaces for group conversation and activities. As well as serving 110 visitors a day, the studio wanted the centre to preserve the hospital’s only green space by making it more accessible and enjoyable. The site was the last patch of greenery at the hospital – a grassy hill next to the car park, bounded by roads on two sides and surrounded by large buildings. The sixmetre difference in level across the site would typically dictate a building dug into the slope but instead, the structure follows its natural contours, so that at the highest point, visitors have views of the Yorkshire Dales and a connection with the world beyond the hospital.

1 54


The team designed a structure that could be built offsite and assembled quickly on a concrete slab and retaining wall, with minimal disruption. The prefabricated insulated timber



3 cassettes were manufactured in Switzerland and fixed together on-site in just eight weeks. These are supported by glulam fins, whose modulations give the feeling of trunks rising up from the ground to support the rooftop gardens overhead. The centre’s interior explores everything that is often missed in healing environments: natural and tactile materials, soft lighting, and a variety of spaces designed to encourage social opportunities as well as quiet contemplation. The studio also designed two tables, inspired by the building's timber fins and built from cork and engineered beech timber, which reside in the centre’s heart. The prefabricated timber system solved nearly all of site and design’s logistical complexities. The timber structure easily translates the design’s geometric form into a series of radiating fins. The structural fins are intentionally left exposed as they inherently possess the domestic and biophilic sensibilities that the studio wanted to permeate throughout every element of Maggie’s Leeds. The prefabricated and sustainablysourced structural spruce timber system was engineered to handle the intensively planted gardens on the roof and withstand the wind tunnel effects of the site. 95% of the timber was sourced from forests within a 100km radius around the factory in Switzerland. The fabrication and delivery of the prefabricated components was organised in three batches to optimise manufacturing

4 efficiency and minimise transport requirements. Porous materials such as lime plaster help to maintain the internal humidity of the naturallyventilated building, which has been achieved through careful consideration of the building's form and orientation. The heart of each ‘pot’ is a roundcornered rectangular core comprising of stressed diaphragm timber and plywood cassettes. These resist the lateral loads and are used to house private counselling rooms and services. On to them are fixed spruce glulam fins which provide cantilevered support for the pots’ CLT roof slabs. Further support is provided by perimeter Beech LVL columns which prop the cantilevers, consisting of five panels laminated together to form a central void in the column for integrated service routes. A variety of timber products are used to achieve an optimised building solution drawing on the benefits of timber cassettes, CLT, glulam and LVL, and softwoods and hardwoods. The load path associated with the large cantilevered roofs was such that specific fins were required to carry large shear forces, ideally suited to material strengths more akin to timber hardwoods. However, construction of a hardwood frame would have led to an unviable, expensive solution. A solution was explored of engineering a timber composite, where a Beech LVL core was seamlessly crafted into the high-stress zone of softwood fins. This enabled extensive steel connections

to be avoided and resulted in a cost effective solution, whereby use of materials was driven by the engineering needs of the design. The completed project achieved a 12% increase in energy performance than the client’s brief of simply meeting Part L targets. The high precision of workmanship achieved in the timber cassette walls and CLT roof ,resulting from fabrication within controlled factory conditions, led to an incredibly well-sealed building, contributing to an air pressure test result of 2m³/(h.m²) at 50Pa (typically 5) to the enhanced energy performance. The centre has been well received by the NHS staff and patients. It provides a much needed calming environment and external break out space for NHS staff, a place where they can relax and be reinvigorated before going back to work inside the main hospital building. Patients using the centre have widely expressed how welcoming, embracing and special the building is for them. Feedback from visitors so far has been fantastic with several saying the support they have received has been ‘life saving’ and ‘transformational’. For more information visit: Images: 01-04. The use of timber and prefabrication has created an iconic centre for both physical and mental healthcare. Courtesy Heatherwick Studio/Hufton+Crow





Room-in-roof systems provide invaluable benefits to housebuilders looking to create space and energy efficient design – this is reflected in a new system from Ultrapanel Building Technologies that is set to combine offsite techniques and advanced manufacturing.

1 The Ultrapanel room-in-roof system has been developed by Ultraframe, a long-time leader in the UK’s home improvement sector and precision engineered at Ultraframe’s 500,000sq ft facility in Lancashire. Essentially the Ultrapanel system is a hybrid roofing system, geared towards meeting the demands of volume housing developers looking for a high-performance, flexible and quality assured roofing solution. “At Ultraframe we’ve always designed products that are easy to handle, quick to assemble by relatively unskilled labor and products that can add light and space to a home’” says Andrew Thomson, Design and Development Director, Ultraframe UK. “With Ultrapanel we’re bringing those benefits to the housebuilding sector,


designing a flat packed room-in-roof system that can easily be incorporated into any house design.” With factory production only taking two weeks, Ultrapanel’s short lead time provides flexibility to housebuilders managing complex and demanding schedules, and like all offsite technologies reduces on-site frustrations such as poor weather and labour shortages. The system is both lightweight and easy to manoeuvre with use of a telehandler, reducing the cost and complexity of expensive lifting equipment and on-site cranage. The Ultrapanel system can be installed by a team of three in just one day to achieve a rapid weathertight building envelope. The flexible system can see a roof installed in a single day and creates approx. 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 a mezzanine floor in some roof designs. “The complete Ultrapanel system is the only room-in-roof system with BBA certification and NHBC Accepts,” says Andrew. “This provides assurance to housebuilders that the structural, thermal, condensation risk and fire risk have all been independently verified. The design has a structural eaves section which distributes the load into the supporting wall so the support

ROOM-IN-ROOF SYSTEMS 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.” The Ultrapanel system is precision engineered in one ‘unitised hybrid panelised solution’ to maximise the material properties of the structural steel and timber elements, integrated with a high-performance insulation core. The Ultrapanel system is delivered to site as a complete room-in-roof kit of parts including all components and fixings at a pre-agreed assured price. Reducing the costs and risks surrounding on-site storage, this means the system is more sustainable and eliminates much on-site waste and associated disposal costs. “To make the system both lightweight and thermally efficient the structure is a composite I-beam with steel cords and a hardboard web using a patented joining method,” adds Andrew. “This utilises the best characteristics of each

of these materials – the steel is both strong and formable, to create easy clip features, the hardboard creates the thermal break. Together they support the insulation to make a panel which is less than 6kg/sq m, so a 5m roof panel only weighs 18kg. There are also structural beams using both steel and OSB which are fully insulated so there are no cold spots in the system.” A dedicated Ultrapanel team will be offering continuous support – from the first enquiry to the installation – through its dedicated customer care and site teams. With installer training for in-house operatives, the Ultrapanel team will also be offering guidance throughout the design, specification, manufacturing and installation process. “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 using non-combustible materials which we use for the party wall structure and we will continue to extend applications of this new material.”

2 To see the system in more detail a special virtual live build event will take place on 30 March where Andrew Thomson will talk through the process.

For more information visit:

Images: 01. The Ultrapanel system is the only room-in-roof solution with BBA certification and NHBC Accepts 02. Courtesy Barratt

NEW SCI Publication

Fire Resistance of Light Steel Framing (P424) This new design guidance provides information on how light steel framed buildings should be designed and detailed to provide fire resistance in accordance with the Building Regulations. The guidance includes: Detailed design information on the application of the Building Regulation requirements to light steel framing, including requirements for fire testing. Construction practice and detailing of light steel frames and their interfaces with other materials for fire resistance. A set of typical generic construction details for light steel framing in terms of design for fire resistance is provided. Calculation methods which may be used to extend the tested fire performance of a light steel wall or floor construction to a wider range of design parameters.

SCI Bookshop | + 44 01344 636525

To purchase this new publication, go to the SCI Bookshop



Sapphire Balconies are a leading manufacturer of balcony systems for residential applications and believe that modern methods of construction (MMC) and offsite manufacture are the future of construction.

1 Not only does MMC provide a range of benefits on-site, but it also tackles concerns including sustainability and helps establish a ‘golden thread’ of information as recommended in the Hackitt Report. Using MMC processes, Sapphire Balconies delivers balconies embodying quality craftsmanship and time-saving processes to construction sites around the world. The Golden Thread In her report, Dame Judith Hackitt identified the information gap between design and build and recommended what she called a ‘golden thread of information’. Using the COACH suite, a full suite of digital tools, Sapphire ensures every balcony has a fully traceable journey from design, to manufacture, to install. With the Passport app every balcony goes through a series of checks every step of the way and cannot continue until it meets high quality standards. Benefits of Offsite Manufacture In addition to the use of digital tools, Sapphire’s offsite construction methods benefits from consistency along the production line and controlled conditions reduce the opportunity for error.


Factory environments also entail regular checks allowing faults to be found and remedied. Sapphire’s Glide-On™ Cassette® balconies are delivered fully-assembled, including balustrades. They are then simply craned into position and slide on to steel support arms for final attachment. Minimal further finishing is required, making this time-saving installation so fast that it is possible to fit more than 40 balconies in a single day. Cutting Carbon Key to Sapphire’s Glide-On™ Cassette® system is its lightweight, modular construction, which reduces forces on the anchors and connections that transfer the load of the balcony to the structure of the building. This is particularly important, for example, where structural elements are less rigid than reinforced concrete. Sapphire’s Glide-On™ Cassette® balconies are made of laser cut and mechanically fixed aluminium, making the balcony one third the weight of a comparable all-steel design. The smaller load may reduce the number of supports required, the number of façade penetrations and the risk of cold bridging or damp problems. This significantly cuts the environmental


2 impact of the building by reducing occupational heat loss when compared to heavier balconies. Design Flexibility Sapphire Balconies has added its muscle to the modular revolution by giving architects wide scope in balcony design – combined with the reliability of modular construction. Sapphire has developed a lightweight cantilevered solution that makes a balcony as much at home on any virtually any MMC construction as it is on a traditional reinforced concrete structure. This gives architects the confidence to design balconies that balance all requirements – visual, practical and financial. This is true for a wide range of MMC materials and practices, such as cross laminated timber (CLT) frames, steel frames, thin concrete slabs and precast wall panels. To find out more about Sapphire’s balcony solutions for MMC buildings visit: knowledge/mmc-hub Images: 01-02. Sapphire balconies are delivered fully assembled including balustrades and give architects wide scope in balcony design

Explore our proven modular solutions case-studies/pomonawharf-trafford/

Your challenge, our solution Your challenge

Our solution

Finding the right lightweight, quick to install balconies for your MMC/Offsite constructed concrete, steel or timber frame project.

Sapphire’s revolutionary aluminium Cassette® balcony system. Glide-On innovation enables rapid installation of factory finished balconies to reduce onsite costs and program. Contact us to discuss your MMC project challenges.

Call 0344 88 00 553 |



Lymington Fields School campus complements an adjacent housing scheme and forms part of a regeneration plan that is designed to accommodate 45 nursery pupils, 630 primary school pupils and 900 secondary school pupils.

1 Architects Bond Bryan have used a variety of offsite solutions for several other school projects and were confident in its ability to meet both the client’s budget and technical requirements. On completion, the campus will form the largest secondary school in Europe. The use of offsite construction enabled the delivery of this project using a componentled approach where the design was broken down into the minimum number of repeatable components. For Lymington Fields School the same 16 components were used to deliver approx. 90% of the school. This repetitive use reduced both manufacturing and installation cost


due to speed and efficiency. The reduction in programme resulting from this design approach saved around £3million of prelim costs. The standardisation of design included taking the original structural design and rationalising 40 column types down to two precast columns – saved both time and cost. The architects were confident in its ability to meet both the client’s budget and technical requirements. The use of offsite also reduced the impact on local neighbours. The school is in a residential area and offsite meant not only fewer people on site and less noise, but also a shorter construction period and fewer deliveries and increased traffic.


Sustainability and high levels of health and safety were considered to be a critical driving force from both Bond Bryan and the contractor Mid Group – this meant that this entire project was delivered without a single tonne of waste being sent to landfill. One of the key drivers to reducing cost was to reduce the programme durations. The frame was complete and watertight in only 18 weeks as three different construction solutions were used, allowing three different teams to be on-site at the same time. Wrapping the concrete frame in SIPs allowed the earlier start of the MEP team, delivering further savings and allowed almost all rooms in the building to be occupied for fit out at a


2 comparatively early stage in the works. The approach was not only more efficient for the contractor, but also enabled sub-contractors to work more efficiently, with trades able to work onsite for longer durations. This reduced the cost to suppliers and further reduced costs to the Client.

“It was important that the building looked like a 'traditional' building both in terms of look and feel. This was very easy with SIP wall panels, enabling flexibility in the design and form, making sure the design worked for the end-user for today and tomorrow but would also keep its robustness. The envelope was free of constraints as the SIP allows for a wide variety of claddings and bricks. It was decided to use a Brick slip system (another offsite element) and rainscreen cladding.” The envelope was free of constraints as the SIP allows for a wide variety of claddings and bricks. It was decided to use a Brick slip system (another offsite element) and rainscreen cladding.

The building met the brief and all the end-user requirements without any compromises, with a few additions from the standard DfE approach. First in terms of architecture the cost efficiency of the project allowed the contractor to add a large atrium, large glazed screens and landscaping. But also from a services view, the design completely challenged the standard approach in schools and reduced the provision for heating of the building (due to the high performance of the envelope) but added some cooling systems in every rooms. The enduser is delighted with that redefined strategy from a wellbeing point of view, but also regarding performance and sustainability, the school achieved a BREEAM Very Good rating. Furthermore, the primary energy usage of 60kWh/m2/yr is by far more financially efficient against the 75kWh/m2/yr target of the DfE and equates to a financial saving of circa £50k per annum for the school. The entire design team worked on a BIM approach. The designers could easily resolve clashes and co-ordination prior to offsite manufacturing. Due to this approach the design and co-ordination needs to be resolved very early on, and there is

very little room for changes on-site and co-ordination issues (as elements are built offsite). The Lymington Fields project has been used as an example of longterm value – it was already severely delayed during the initial strategy and procurement stages – the use of offsite was essential in order to meet the Local Authorities plan to open the school on time, and the school was completed and handed over to the client only 15 months from the start date. The end user, in this case the school was invited to visit a number of our buildings already built using offsite solutions to give them an understanding of what it was and how robust the solutions were. Seeing actual buildings with added benefits of being robust and thermallyefficient and without having to make compromises really convinced the school that it was the way forward. For more information visit: Images: 01-02. On completion Lymington Fields School campus will form the largest secondary school in Europe. Courtesy Bond Bryan Architects





The £80million Mount Oswald development is a key part of Durham University’s strategic growth strategy, providing over 1,000 student accommodation bedrooms as well as academic and social spaces for two colleges.

1 As one of the country’s most successful universities, with a global reputation for excellence, Durham University has ambitious plans to improve the quality of their academic facilities, student experience and ultimately grow their student population. To create a unique identity and promote a sense of belonging, each college needed to look different while still delivering the same scope and functionality. The project also needed to complete for the start of the 2020-21 academic year, and provide benefits for the University and local community, not only during construction, but also for the 50-year life of the buildings. The use of concrete provided a versatile range of styles and guaranteed a high-quality finish. The offsite solution provided a significant reduction in programme when compared to a traditional construction method, including a reduction of 24,000 hours of brickwork. The


solution reduced waste during construction, improved safety onsite and will continue to provide the University with long-term resilience and reduced maintenance and running costs. Interserve assembled an integrated and experienced team and collaborated from an early stage to adopt a number of new technologies including offsite solutions to realise and support the University’s vision. Willmore Iles Architects and the wider team developed a design which would provide the University with vastly differing buildings while still achieving the same scope and functionality. As a collegiate university, each college needed to have their own unique identity: the John Snow College building took a more traditional route, while South College is much more contemporary in style. After researching the sector, PCE Ltd were


selected for their concrete crosswall system build approach due to its speed, quality and robustness as well as its flexibility and delivery certainty of the solution and on-going low maintenance costs. PCE’s innovative manufacturing approach allowed different finishes for each college, including the casting in of bricks and reconstituted stone finishes for the traditional John Snow College and concrete patternation for South College which was created from the mould during the casting process. PCE’s flexible delivery model meant that an inclusive build strategy could be adopted with everything, including the foundations, being manufactured offsite which resulted in significant reductions in the construction period, on-site work hours and site deliveries compared to that of a traditional construction approach. Manufacturing offsite allowed sample panels to be created and quality inspected and agreed ahead of mass production, which ensured the highest quality and zero defects. The system chosen also significantly improved health and safety by removing on-site risks through factory installation, e.g. window fitting, eliminating the need for scaffolding or works to take place at height, and reducing the number of trades and equipment needed for the build. The concrete panels were a substantial part of the project, taking 25% of the total project cost. For this reason, it was imperative that the panels achieved all style, quality and maintenance requirements. The design delivered two colleges, which looked significantly different but equally impressive. The use of concrete provided the versatility to explore different styles while giving assurance to the quality. The option to create sample panels provided an


2 opportunity ahead of manufacturing to agree/change styles and approve the finish ensuring that all issues were removed ahead of anything arriving to site, reducing waste and providing cost assurance during production. The installation was much quicker than a traditional build, achieving a watertight structure of four-storey and 174 bedrooms in 12 weeks. The M&E installation was factored into the precast concrete design through pre-formed risers and cast-in conduit. The design also allowed for substantial repeatability across both college styles and the replication of segments throughout maintained quality while also allowing the re-use of factory moulds, minimising waste and cost. The manufacturing method of installing bricks into the concrete and patternation of panels during production provides a long-lasting high-quality finish without the need for re-pointing or sealing during the life of the building. Using the offsite manufacturing process provided a number of environmental performance benefits not only during the construction period but also over the whole life of the buildings. During construction the offsite process significantly reduced waste on-site through the delivery of

3 finished internal and external panels inclusive of insulation. This reduced the need for a number of trades on site, reducing the carbon footprint from deliveries as-well-as from the travel for operatives. The reduction in waste was significant. It was noted as Excellent by the Considerate Constructors Scheme and was recognised by the Community Wood Recycling Scheme, who awarded a Timber Recycling Award for the diversion of 150tonnes of wood waste for re-use/recycling Due to the high thermal mass of concrete it can also provide more consistent internal temperatures through its ability to retain heat which is then slowly released resulting in warmer rooms in the winter and cooler rooms in the summer, reducing energy costs by up to 15%. Reduced raw material use was also achieved through many re-uses of the factory moulds. The ‘craning in’ of the

4 concrete panels removed the need for any scaffolding or works to take place at height, providing increased safety on-site. The use of concrete provided the versatility to explore different styles while giving assurance of the quality of finish through the production of sample panels, allowing approval ahead of any works commencing on-site. Achieving our clients desired completion date was a key factor of the project. The offsite manufacturing process provided this certainty. For more information visit: Images: 01-04. The offsite solution provided a significant reduction in programme when compared to a traditional construction method, including a reduction of 24,000 hours of brickwork. Courtesy Interserve





The University of Warwick’s new Interdisciplinary Biomedical Research Building (IBRB) wanted to push the boundaries of what is possible in construction, and with a key driver to minimise disruption to the live campus, committed to 50% of the build being completed offsite. each section was rotated in the factory to allow safe access and assembly. All eight sections were then ‘dry test fitted’ in the factory to ensure perfect alignment between modules. This is the biggest riser NG Bailey and Willmott Dixon has ever manufactured and installed, with additional offsite solutions for the building services, 9,000 labour hours were removed from site. 100% of welded pipework was moved offsite to the NG Bailey dedicated weld facility, with no on-site hot works.

1 IBRB is a state-of-the-art environment that supports and fosters research for the School of Life Sciences and Warwick Medical School at the University to fight human diseases. The 7,000sq m building is being constructed by principal contractor Wilmott Dixon, with NG Bailey working with them to deliver on the challenge of using offsite methods for 50% of the construction and building services. Willingly embracing offsite early meant the decision to consolidate multiple smaller risers into one centralised core (creating a mega riser) ensured maximum positive impact on the onsite construction activities and programme. Collaboratively working with the design team, NG Bailey developed a 3D model that allowed designers to build off the model to ensure the right product, zero defects, and right first time installation. The ‘mega riser’ was installed in just two days. Within this period the primary


services and weatherproof riser cap (at roof level) were all installed, enabling this element on the programme’s critical path to be drastically reduced – a huge positive impact. The 22.5m high multi-service riser provides services distribution from the plantroom. It has a separate electrical compartment with distribution boards for busbar, tap offs, and containment, a weather cap (split into eight boxes) that sits on top providing watertightness – and includes a structural frame with flooring, plus encompasses the thermal expansion and anchoring of the heating and chilled water pipework. Additionally, the 22.5m (H) x 5m (W) x 4m (D) module includes: supply and extract ductwork: fume extract ductwork, laboratory gases, domestic water services and rainwater and above ground drainage. The riser was manufactured in the factory in eight sections, and due to the physical size


Offsite allowed for a very considered design with a detailed engineered solution. Building services installed with offsite methods are not different to what would’ve been installed traditionally, but offsite allowed for improved health and safety on-site and the live campus, protecting stakeholders, far greater control resulting in higher quality manufacture and installation and improved coordination of services, supporting client access and maintainability. David Hammond, Capital Programme Director, University of Warwick on a visit to NG Bailey’s Offsite facility said: “It’s been really interesting to visit NG Bailey. What we’ve seen is a really good collaborative process between the main contractor and supplier. It reinforces the philosophy were trying to follow in terms of offsite manufacture and the benefits it brings so it’s been really interesting and really worthwhile.” With all services co-ordinated through BIM Level 2, a complete 3D model with all building access routes was generated to make sure everything fit in place, extensively reviewed prior to manufacture. BIM Level 2 modelling

MEP & BUILDING SERVICES allows all key access points to services to be detailed on NG Bailey drawings. This combined with its pre-installation inspections ensures all inspection and isolation points are fully maintainable to aid the lifespan of the building. Every component part down to small bracketry was carefully considered, and the mega riser design was optimised for efficient and safe manufacture, transportation, cranage and final installation that provides the client with excellent access to inspect and maintain safely. Offsite delivered a ‘right first time’ installation allowing thermal insulation to be installed correctly to the entirety of the module, this ensures systems are operating at their maximum efficiency. An estimated 18 tonnes of carbon were also saved on the scheme compared to a traditional installation, based on transportation savings. Working closely with specialist subcontractors and supply chain was true collaboration. From steelwork suppliers, ductwork, and thermal insulation contractors, to in-house welders and factory assembly team,

2 everyone played their part to ensure an efficient on-time build to the highest quality. The NG Bailey factory became an extension of the site with close collaboration to ensure shared learning and no unexpected issues following delivery.

3 better quality. For us it has a better sustainable carbon emissions footprint and minimises disruption on campus.” For more information visit:

Images: Speaking about the project James 01-03. The use of offsite design and manufacture Breckon, Director of Estates, provided huge advantages on a complex University of Warwick said: “The site including the installation of a 22.5m high multi-service riser. Courtesy NG ability to do offsite construction in PROVENIN HARSHEST CLIMATIC CONDITIONS A Bailey factory environments is safer PROVENIN and HARSHEST CLIMATIC CONDITIONS ALL OVER












U in A UK in t Ar K r r M the riv Ma he iva ar al rk l ke et t




r ou m e fro ous d h ie pl are p Su K W U

N ew




Rarely does an event get such overwhelmingly positive feedback in its launch year but Offsite Expo certainly exceeded expectations. The commendations for this event were universal – visitors, sponsors, speakers and exhibitors all agreed this was the most focused, informative and progressive construction event of the year. Balfour Beatty, Galliford Try, NHS and Apex Airspace – over 330 business meetings took place and feedback from both the buyers and exhibitors has been tremendous. Get Involved With the majority of exhibitors 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.

Plans are now well underway for the next OFFSITE EXPO taking place on 21-22 September at the Ricoh Arena, Coventry. The event will be the only event of its kind taking place in 2021 and will once again feature informative speaker content but new for 2021 – there will be ‘live’ feature builds, the 2021 OFFSITE AWARDS winners ceremony and technical guided tours hosted by Cogent Consulting. Leading offsite expert from Cogent Consulting, Darren Richards, one of the curators of the 2021 event said: “Our strategy for the next Offsite Expo will be simple but effective – we will focus our efforts on compiling the most compelling content. From technical tours and feature builds, to pioneering speakers presenting

ground-breaking project case studies, underpinned by showcasing emerging technologies that are set to revolutionise the construction arena. Demand is ramping up for innovative offsite solutions and our industry intelligence demonstrates that construction professionals are looking for cutting-edge content.”

The greatest success of the inaugural 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 in the initial Offsite Connect business forum from high profile construction companies such as Mace, Willmott Dixon, Kier,

Offsite Expo will take place 21-22 September 2021, Ricoh Arena, Coventry. For more information on getting involved in Offsite Expo 2021 as an Exhibitor or Sponsor contact Julie Williams: 01743 290 001 or email:



Julie Williams, Business Development Director said: “The response to Offsite Expo has been truly astounding, as we enter a new year – and with an end to the UK’s COVID-19 pandemic in sight – the exhibition is selling fast. It is really inspiring to see the world of offsite gathering to showcase the latest technology options and innovations within the sector. The event’s positioning, content and timing reflects the mood within the construction sector and the buzz around this show is exceptional.”

2021 Do you have a project that you think is worthy of winning an Offsite Construction Award? ENTRY DEADLINE: 28 MAY 2021 ENTER FOR FREE:

the stems the


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, 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.


t +44 (0) 121 555 1300

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.




Your Trusted Steel Framing Delivery Partner Taking Complete Control 9


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.


CONTRACT AWARDED Now we are officially part of the team. We grow our established links to offer commercial, design and engineering support. Through close collaboration we work as a delivery partner to your team – managing the entire process from the early design stages right through to the project completion.



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.

CONTINUITY Offering total synergy and continuity – the same Hadley team, the same communication channels, the same plan, the same detailed approach – will be maintained throughout the design, manufacturing and installation process. Our teams will oversee the entire process through to issue of our warranty.