Offsite Magazine Issue 32

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ROSIE TOOGOOD Legal & General Modular Homes’ CEO on delivering the next generation of sustainable offsite living


BE-ST CSIC rebrands but keeps technology and transforming the built environment as its core direction


BIM & PRECAST How can the precast concrete sector incorporate more digital technology into its construction workflow?






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PUBLISHING FRONT COVER VOLUMETRICTM - ModulhausTM PRINTED ON: PEFC 16-33-576 paper stock by Buxton Press PUBLISHER: Offsite Magazine is produced and published by Radar Communications: ©Radar Communications Ltd. Radar Communications Ltd, 101 Longden Road, Shrewsbury, Shropshire, SY3 9PS T: 01743 290001 SUBSCRIBE TO RECEIVE OFFSITE: This magazine is a bimonthly publication and the annual subscription fee for UK postage is £29.70 plus VAT for all six 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. The publisher does not accept any liability of any loss arising from the late appearance or non-publication of any advertisement. Content including images and illustrations supplied by third parties are accepted in good faith and the publishers expect third parties to have obtained appropriate permissions, consents, licences or otherwise. The publisher does not accept any liability or any loss arising in the absence of these permissions for material used in both physical and digital editions. No part of this publication may be reproduced or stored in a retrieval system without the written consent of the publishers. All rights reserved.

LEVELLING THE LAND Welcome to the latest issue of Offsite Magazine. Flicking through recent back issues I find it hard to find one of these intros that doesn’t begin with a reference to a crisis: the latest is the cost-of-living crisis and how to ‘level up’ the UK. Brexit, COVID-19, supply chain shortages, house prices and more shortages, the ongoing climate emergency, Ukraine and now rising inflation, energy costs and the general hike in the cost of food and fuel dominate national headlines. Amid all this the construction industry generally and the offsite sector in particular, keep trying to innovate and find answers to some of these challenges. ‘Levelling up’ is more complicated than providing increased numbers of low carbon and sustainable housing. Wider economic, employment and investment strategies are as critical. But housing has become a key indicator of where many problems rest. Earlier in the year, a Levelling Up Opportunity Index using research from zerocarbon housebuilder Etopia Homes, highlighted locations in England (outside London) that could make best use of the Government’s levelling up funds and offer significant capacity for new economic growth. For those interested, Bradford emerged top of the list, Wolverhampton second, Coventry third, Sheffield fourth and Luton fifth.

Another busy issue inside, as we have many materials and offsite technologies playing their own specific role in improving our built environment to report on, including the role that BIM and other digital tools and techniques are playing in cutting edge offsite design. Many thanks again to all our contributors, advertisers and supporters. Enjoy…

Gary Ramsay

Consultant Editor Email:

• • • • • • • •


Andrew Shepherd, Managing Director of TopHat, echoed this recently saying how the Levelling Up & Regeneration Bill showed the Government’s willingness to adapt to new technologies. “With neighbourhood plans, development and land use all now having to contribute to the mitigation of, and adaption to, climate change, the case for precisionengineered, energy-efficient modular homes has never been greater.” Hopefully some of that thinking will be adopted and transferred to Bradford et al.




This issue we hear from LHC Group interim Managing Director, Elaine Elkington on how offsite manufacture can play a huge role in that levelling up agenda, with public sector policy wanting to speed up output in lower carbon homebuilding and make offsite techniques part of our “homebuilding DNA.”

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





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32 | Searching for Maximum Efficiency


Seismic’s platform approach offers a new way for construction and offers: “tangible evidence of what the future of construction looks like.”


40 | Using the Power of Offsite


Against intense competition MODULHAUS™, was crowned ‘Winner of Winners’ at the 2021 Offsite Awards. With house prices and rent costs increasing, how can this innovative approach help ease the pressure?


Legal & General Modular Homes are one of the major names transforming offsite housebuilding in the UK. Chief Executive, Rosie Toogood spoke to us about how they are helping deliver next generation sustainable and stylish living.

LHC Group interim Managing Director, Elaine Elkington investigates how the offsite approach can solve housing problems and support the Government’s ‘levelling up’ agenda. 42 | Certify and Validate The Light Steel Frame Association’s new Technology Validation Guide includes a wealth of information and guidelines to support manufactures and specifiers of light steel framing systems. 44 | EPD: Proving Sustainability voestalpine Metsec recently published an Environmental Product Declaration covering its purlins and framing systems, underlining its commitment to sustainability.




46 | Long-lasting Construction



Sam Hart, Head of MMC programmes, Built Environment – Smarter Transformation – the rebranded Construction Scotland Innovation Centre – sees the public sector playing a huge role in boosting the adoption of MMC technology.

Craig Johnson, Business Development Manager – Detailing & Manufacturing at Trimble (UK), outlines how the precast concrete sector can benefit from incorporating digital technology into the construction workflow.



08 | Industry News

28 | Powering Offsite with Digital Technology Richard Hipkiss, Development Director for the MPBA, discusses the role digital technology plays as offsite construction rapidly becomes a preferred delivery model. Plus how the government and the wider public sector can play a pivotal role in facilitating the uptake of more MMC.

News and developments from across the UK offsite industry and wider construction arena including: Building Better select the first firms for its £600million social housing programme, Vision Modular Systems wins a prestigious global ‘Excellence in Innovation’ award and a landmark CLT project completes at the Gramophone Works.

Fundamental to good design is that buildings should be safe and sustainable. But as Steve Thompson, Managing Director for specialist steel framing manufacturer EOS, explains, longevity is also an essential environmental requirement. 52 | Rebuilding the Construction Landscape Steve Cole, Head of Make Modular, outlines why the new organisation is required and where it sits in a constantly evolving construction and homebuilding world. 58 | The Nearly Real Thing Technologies such as AR and VR are becoming common tools in the built environment and bring a new dimension to the construction sector. But are they being adopted at meaningful levels? 62 | Understanding Mass Timber A new report calls for industry action to overcome regulatory and perception challenges, unlock the market for mass timber construction and overcome a huge barrier to decarbonisation. 68 | Make Sure of Your Mark Manufacturers of construction products are being urged to start the UKCA process now to achieve certification in time for 1 January 2023 deadline. Niresh Somlie, Principal Technical Officer at BM TRADA explains why.

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Against intense competition MODULHAUS™, a new concept in volumetric modular interim homes, was crowned ‘Winner of Winners’ at the 2021 Offsite Awards. With house prices and rent costs increasing, how can this innovative approach help ease the pressure?

1 Declared a resounding success in terms of design and execution, since picking up the trophy last September, VOLUMETRIC™ – the team behind this achievement, have gone from strength to strength. MODULHAUS™ launched at a time of crisis and great need. The pandemic was having far reaching implications and the NHS was struggling to cope. Against this backdrop VOLUMETRIC™ have expanded their lean manufacturing facilities to keep up with demand and have launched a new market-leading dual occupancy module with an expanded configuration. Focusing on ergonomics and style, a fully furnished set up and commissioned two-person MODULHAUS™ home is now on display at the VOLUMETRIC™ HQ. This has been designed to meet the specific needs of the public sector and provide a low cost, high quality residential solution for keyworkers that are struggling to find accommodation close to their working environment. 6

Keyworker Accommodation With housing prices on the increase and rents on the rise coupled with exponential growth in energy costs – for many keyworkers owning or renting a home is extremely challenging. One of the biggest obstacles currently facing the NHS as defined in their long-term plan, is the gap in workforce numbers as recruitment and retention declines. Based on current trends, the total shortfall of healthcare staff by 2030 could reach 250,000. Much of this can be attributed to a lack of accommodation in areas of greatest need. With the demand for keyworkers never greater, MODULHAUS™ offers an alternative to ongoing hotel and long-distance travel expenses. Solving the issues of accommodation scarcity in understaffed areas and supplying safe, secure and low energy housing for long or short-term keyworker requirements.


Versatile and Economical The needs of keyworkers are changing. Adaptable and secure, MODULHAUS™ can be installed on NHS and Local Authority sites to create on-the-spot residential accommodation. Stackable accommodation modules make the most of unused space and can be located using an elevated sub-structure above car parks. The fully non-combustible structure with Secured by Design doors and windows together with double-lined external walls – create a home from home living space that performs from fit to finish. MODULHAUS™ is being cited as a flexible asset, making it perfect for alternative use as offices or administration spaces if needs change. NHS Estate Managers are turning to MODULHAUS™ as a rapid, reliable, and highly cost-efficient interim housing solution. The VOLUMETRIC™ team can work closely with project

COVER STORY VOLUMETRIC™ designers and site managers to ensure full potential is reached for any space. Looking towards the future needs of NHS Estates, VOLUMETRIC™ can provide a long-term solution to fit many unique requirements. Where Sustainability Meets Performance Two years design and development, sustainability and energy efficiency are at the heart of the MODULHAUS™ innovation. Right from the initial concept stages, the decision was reached to develop a modular solution that would exceed the Future Homes Standard to relieve the burden of ongoing expenses associated with traditional temporary accommodation and negate fuel poverty. LABC Assured with a 60-year BOPAS Certified design-life, MODULHAUS™ homes are future-proofed for Building Regulation changes and achieve lower whole-life carbon impact than equivalent timber frame dwellings of the same size. Arriving 100% complete ready for simple site connection and

commissioning – design features include ergonomic internal fully fitted living space with furnishings, bedrooms, shower-rooms and kitchens complete with white goods. Modules are provided on a turnkey basis, fully equipped for immediate occupation. Available in a range of claddings and colour combinations, MODULHAUS™ sits on six low-impact foundation pads to minimise groundworks and requires only electric, water and waste connections via an innovative ‘plug and play’ solution in conjunction with a modular Energy Centre that facilitates low-energy living. Walls are double-lined with noncombustible (high impact) boards to provide fire and acoustic performance, whilst encapsulating insulation to meet energy efficiency requirements with exceptional U-values (as low as 0.09W/m²K) and airtightness to work with the integral mechanical ventilation and heat recovery (MVHR) system. The future-proof energy strategy for MODULHAUS™ is designed to exceed the Future Homes Standard with Environment B and

A rating and emissions as low as 229.5Kg CO2/year. Significantly exceeding energy efficiency and sustainability requirements. MODULHAUS™ homes can be purchased outright under a full turnkey package. Alternatively, they can be supplied under a lease-purchase agreement or leased under a longterm arrangement for a variety of packages to suit different sites and budgets. VOLUMETRIC™ adopts a partnership approach and works in close collaboration to develop bespoke MODULHAUS™ homes to meet individual site briefs and budgets of NHS Estates Managers. For more information and to see examples of recent projects visit: Images: 01-03. MODULHAUS™ meets the challenge of providing fast, reliable keyworker accommodation

BRAND NEW TWO-PERSON MODULE LAUNCHED The new two-person MODULHAUS™ unit has been an exciting addition to the product portfolio and showcases the new and improved interior that VOLUMETRIC™ has worked on in collaboration with the IKEA design team. Focusing on ergonomics and style, as well as the availability of components, the specification has been evaluated with internal fittings and kitchen units upgraded to create an efficient and stylish living space. Full ovens now come as standard, along with upgraded internal doors and fan lights to increase natural light throughout. Through the development process, the relationship with IKEA has been greatly strengthened and VOLUMETRIC™ look forward to working with them more in the future and are currently discussing plans for MODULHAUS™ display units to feature in some larger IKEA stores around the UK to increase further interest in the concept. Fully furnished, set up and commissioned, the two-person MODULHAUS™ unit is now on display at the VOLUMETRIC™ HQ in Shrewsbury, along with the new style Energy Centre. The display unit offers an opportunity to see the home ready for occupancy, complete with finishing touches like soft furnishings and electrical goods. To book your viewing please email :


3 7

UK INDUSTRY NEWS First Firms Selected for £600M Social Housing System

Building Better, an alliance of 29 housing associations and councils, supported by the National Housing Federation, has appointed an initial six manufacturers to its new dynamic purchasing system (DPS) for MMC category 2 construction systems. Future Built, LoCal Homes, Project Etopia, Roe Timberframe, Sigmat and Starship Homes are the first firms selected by Procurement for Housing and Building Better to provide 2D panelised systems, assembled on-site. The DPS is worth £600m over four years and will run in parallel with Building Better’s first MMC framework which launched in July 2021 and covers category 1 volumetric 3D systems. The alliance aims to give members access to a range of different MMC solutions so they can find the right one for their site. Building Better took the decision to create a DPS, not a fixed framework, so panelised manufacturers can join at any point during the term of the DPS. The category 2 segment of the offsite market is evolving rapidly with new products and manufacturers emerging all the time. By setting up a DPS, social housing providers can access the latest solutions and suppliers as they come to market.


Over 215,000 homes are managed by the 29 housing associations and local authorities that make up Building Better. Since the launch of its volumetric framework in 2021, alliance members have put nearly 40 schemes through it, getting costs on over 900 MMC homes. With the launch of its DPS, Building Better will help the social housing sector to produce around 5,000 MMC properties by 2026. Manufacturers wanting to join Building Better’s DPS must first be certified by the Buildoffsite Property Assurance Scheme (BOPAS) or assessed by building warranty provider National House Building Council (NHBC) and their products must aim to meet the Future Homes Standard. Once they have passed an additional selection procedure, looking at their commercial, social and sustainability credentials, manufacturers can bid for opportunities via a tender call-off. This process has been streamlined for social housing providers too, with members receiving a tender template pack and hands-on support from Procurement for Housing. Trina Chakravarti, Project Director of Building Better said: “The emerging nature of this part of the MMC


marketplace means that social housing organisations have, to date, been wary of category 2. Some told us they were anxious about committing to a panelised manufacturer – not knowing if the company or even this form of MMC would be around in four years. Because of this, we knew a different procurement approach was needed, one that would still provide high standards and ease of access like our category 1 framework, but a solution that didn’t ‘clip the wings’ of manufacturers operating in such a fluid environment.” John Bellamy, Category Manager for Construction & Sustainability at Procurement for Housing added: “A major benefit of setting up a DPS is the learning. As an alliance, we’ll be able to grow our understanding of what housing organisations actually require with category 2 and the technical solutions they gravitate to. Creating a framework now would have meant guessing the answers. But a DPS allows us to gather data and feedback on products and manufacturers, educating ourselves and helping us to normalise offsite and use it at scale across the sector.” Source:



From interim housing for the homeless to on-the-spot overnight accommodation for keyworkers – MODULHAUS™ provides award-winning, safe and secure accommodation which has been rigorously tested to ensure outstanding performance and quality.



ADAPTABLE AND SUSTAINABLE SINGLE AND DOUBLE OCCUPANCY MODULAR ACCOMMODATION Designed to the Future Homes Standard Energy costs of less than £5 per week BOPAS certified structure with 60-year design life LABC Assured Building Control approval Fully non-combustible structure Renewable energy technology Stackable to two storeys Delivered 100% complete Relocatable with over 95% recoverability and re-use


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UK INDUSTRY NEWS MTX Announce Latest Healthcare Win Modular healthcare specialist, MTX, has announced its latest project win, with the multi-million-pound Dame Clare Marx Building at Colchester Hospital. Dame Clare Marx picked up the first spade-full of earth and dug in on Wednesday 11 May 2022 as work began on the multi-million pound centre for planned orthopaedic care which will open in 2024. With long patient wait times, which were apparent even before the COVID-19 pandemic, and growing demands and pressures placed on the NHS, there was a need for further operating facilities at the hospital. The threestorey modular building will house the new orthopaedic centre for the East Suffolk and North Essex area. Once complete, the brand-new facility will include six theatres, space for up to 72 beds and all the necessary ancillary spaces, including a main reception and waiting area. David Hartley, Managing Director at MTX, said: “As all the recent news has suggested, waiting times are a real pressure point for the NHS. This has only been exacerbated with the pandemic, and more than ever, it’s shone a light on the benefits of modular solutions – particularly the quicker speed of delivery. We’re excited to be working with the team on this new project and can’t wait to see it come to life and provide the end users with a real tangible benefit.”

This follows on from MTX collaborating with one of the UK’s leading providers of healthcare solutions, B. Braun Medical Ltd. B. Braun Aseptic Consulting Services (BBACS). The co-operation of the two brands is the first of its kind, combining more than 190 years of experience, bringing together the expert user knowledge in Aseptic Operations of B. Braun, and the high-specification construction expertise of MTX. David Hartley said: “We’re immensely proud to be collaborating with B.Braun and together we’ll be able to deliver world-class Aseptic solutions for our healthcare clients. Leveraging their real-world insight into cleanroom layout and operational excellence for users, we can deliver state-of-the-art facilities that carefully

consider equipment design, validation, servicing, robotics, and even automation.” Paul Bradley, General Manager, BBACS added: “We’re excited to be co-operating with MTX to deliver modern cleanroom solutions for the NHS and healthcare clients. As a supplier of compounding solutions and consumables, we have a real-world perspective of the requirements of aseptic compounding operations, and by linking with MTX and providing our Aseptic transformation knowledge, we’re confident we’ll be able to deliver an exceptional service and unmatched expertise.” Source:

Innovative New Platform for Roof Truss Delivery The Donaldson Group, is branching out with the launch of online roof truss ordering service, Donaldson Direct. The new platform provides a simple and fast way to order roof trusses, which will be delivered to site in just five working days. Available to access online for delivery direct to customers within a 100-mile radius from a dedicated site in Welwyn Garden City, Hertfordshire (AL7 1AD). This service is ideal for self-builders, small developers, independent builders, and architects in need of highquality, carefully crafted trusses. It is also valuable for timber merchants to source a range of trusses quickly and easily for their customers. Users input their truss requirements via an instant quote function on the website. The Donaldson Direct team then confirms requirements via telephone within 24 hours and issues drawings for the truss designs. Following approval, confirmation of dimensions and agreement of payment terms, trusses are delivered direct to site within five working days. Commenting on the launch of Donaldson Direct, Managing Director, Luke Roberts said: “We’re excited


to bring this new online concept to the market. Timber roof trusses are the most widely used roofing solution – they are sustainable, simple to erect and offer a flexible solution to a wide range of roofing projects such as new builds, extensions, and residential developments. With this new service you can get an instant online quote any time, day or night. We also understand that you don’t always have the luxury of being able to access lots of storage space so you can’t order materials too far in advance. Equally, you don’t want to put your project on hold waiting for key items to arrive on site. We deliver directly to you within five working days, so there are no delays and no uncertainty.”


Andrew Donaldson, CEO of the Donaldson Group, added: “Donaldson Direct sums up the Donaldson ethos perfectly – an innovative approach to meeting the needs of our customers; with the promise to deliver a high quality, sustainable product. We’ve been experts in manufacturing roof trusses for volume builders for over 30 years, so it’s great to see this expertise now tailored through Donaldson Direct with a dedicated focus on lower-volume builders and self-builders. This is an exciting new addition to the Group, and we look forward to seeing it develop.” Source:

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UK INDUSTRY NEWS M-AR Delivers Lean Green Leeds Transport Hub

MEDITE SMARTPLY OSB Facility Completes Upgrade

The upgrade of MEDITE SMARTPLY’s OSB factory in County Waterford has been completed. This new world class drying, energy and screening system will enhance resource efficiency and asset reliability for SMARTPLY OSB.

Specialist offsite contractor M-AR has created an environmentally friendly terminus building for the first fully solar-powered park and ride facility in the UK. The Stourton Park and Ride site, situated to the south of Leeds, is the third Park and Ride facility to open in the city and forms a major part of its sustainable transport strategy to reduce traffic, congestion and pollution.

with a specialist roofing contractor to determine the design details to make sure the factory-assembled modules could accommodate the green roof. More than 11,000 trees and 9,000 shrubs were also planted around the site to create an attractive environment for people using the facilities and help minimise the overall impact of the project on the environment.

A key aspect of this project, which was delivered by BAM Nuttall for Leeds City Council, was the need to minimise its overall environmental impact in terms of construction, lifespan and ongoing operations. BAM Nuttall and M-AR worked together to create an efficient offsite hybrid build solution to meet the exacting brief, while minimising the impact of the build itself. Having previously constructed the terminus buildings for both existing Park and Ride facilities in Leeds at Elland Road and Temple Green.

Sabby Khaira, Programme Executive, Leeds City Council commented: “Sustainability was a key driving force behind this project, so as well as the ultimate goal of improving the air quality in Leeds, we wanted to make sure that the project was undertaken as sustainably as possible. It was a pleasure to deal with the M-AR team who worked collaboratively with our partners to deliver this exciting, innovative project using offsite technology to meet the sustainability criteria. In particular, we were impressed with M-AR’s delivery of the complex nature of the building with the modern passenger facilities, the solar power related infrastructure and battery housing areas.”

The completed project comprises eight modules which were manufactured offsite before being installed and finished on site. Together the modules create a fully heated, safe and secure terminus hub building with seating and ticket machines, WCs, changing place room, a staff office, retail area and a secure ticket window. The modules were designed to complement the other elements of the project, which were built on-site using a traditional steel frame construction to securely house the high-tech electrical equipment including the Tesla batteries needed to support the solar panels. Another key part of the build was the green roof which was designed to increase biodiversity by creating a habitat for wildlife to thrive. M-AR worked


Ryan Geldard, Operations Director at M-AR added: “The main driving force was sustainability, so our aim was to reduce the environmental impact of the modules we provided, looking at the way they’re constructed, delivered and installed as well as how they perform over time and at the end of their lifecycle. The Stourton Park and Ride is a key part of Leeds’ sustainable transport network and we’re proud to have played our part in making Leeds a greener city.” Source:


From 2016 MEDITE SMARTPLY has been focusing on investment and product innovation. An initial investment of €59m was made to the SMARTPLY facility which saw the creation of a new forming and finishing lines with a new state-of the art continuous press. €44m was invested for this latest significant upgrade to the drying, energy and screening facility. The completion of the upgrade is a very exciting stage of development for SMARTPLY OSB. The construction of the biomass energy plant ensures that SMARTPLY will operate on 100% renewable biomass material for process drying and heating. The crucial upgrade means that SMARTPLY OSB will have an improved output, at a time when demand is high, and is predicted to grow further throughout 2022. The UK’s built environment is responsible for almost half of the UK’s carbon emissions, with the initial embodied carbon accounting for approximately 30% of this. This is a challenge as the industry is aiming to reach Net Zero. However, using renewable timber products is a solution. “We are extremely delighted with the completion of this project,” commented Chris King, Managing Director – Commercial at MEDITE SMARTPLY. “Not only will this upgrade allow us to deliver more sustainable best in class timber panel products, but the increased output of SMARTPLY OSB will enable us to support existing customer positions and develop new market sectors and opportunities as part of our strategy and growth plan.” The completed upgrade follows the successful launch of SMARTPLY SURE STEP, a T&G structural OSB/3 panel with improved slip resistance and durability. This joins a range of sustainably produced speciality and technical products, from moisture resistance to flame retardance, demonstrating MEDITE SMARTPLY’s consistent innovation and contribution to the future of sustainable building. Source:

UK INDUSTRY NEWS Rollalong Partnership Boosts Energy Efficient Homes People across Dorset, Wiltshire and Somerset will benefit from a new partnership to build more energy-efficient homes for rent and ownership. Magna Housing and Wiltshire Council have joined forces to address the housing crisis, appointing offsite manufacturing company Rollalong via the South West Procurement Alliance (SWPA) Offsite Construction of New Homes framework to build nearly 1000 new homes over the next three years. At the forefront of this work in the local area, the partners are committed to accelerating the delivery of modular homes in the UK, using offsite manufactured, precision-engineered techniques to deliver much needed homes in the local area, as well as modernising and speeding up the overall process. The latest range of homes are net zero carbon ready and net zero carbon living, supporting the Government’s objective of delivering net zero carbon homes by 2050. Paul Read, Magna’s Executive Director for Sustainability and New Supply, said: “We have been on an exciting journey leading this approach to modular homes. I am delighted that we are now seeing our hard work turn into reality with new homes now on-site and people being ready to move in. Our

priority, in addition to creating homes designed for living, is to reduce the amount of carbon in delivery and occupation of homes. In addition to creating great places to live, and beautiful homes, they are also more sustainable and cheaper to run, providing huge benefits for our customers. This partnership will not only make more homes available for local people but will lead the way in how we can transform the delivery of these.” Steve Chivers, Managing Director of Rollalong, said: “We are building the homes of the future designed for living today. It’s another great opportunity to demystify modular housing and champion the benefits that this style of housing can provide in the face of a nationwide housing crisis. This unique partnership delivers the volumes that we require using a market tested portfolio of standard designs

– we are aggregating demand through client cluster relationships and rolling out through a regional delivery model.” Mary Bennell, Director of SWPA, added: “We have worked closely for a long time with Magna Housing, and more recently with Wiltshire Council, to provide the innovative procurement solutions required to meet their housing aspirations. The demand aggregation approach used here will provide a stable pipeline of homes, via a manufacturing process, and demonstrates benefits in terms of value for money. We hope that this becomes the preferred route for all social housing clients to deliver affordable, highquality and energy-efficient homes.” Source:

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UK INDUSTRY NEWS Bryden Wood Heads to USA

Vision Modular Systems Wins Global Award

Offsite technology specialists Bryden Wood is opening a new USA headquarters in Boston, MA. Board Director Jaimie Johnston MBE (pictured), together with Phil Langley, Board Director and Head of the creative technologies division, will lead on the US expansion.

Vision Modular Systems has won the prestigious ‘Excellence in Innovation’ award at this year’s Awards of Distinction at the World of Modular Conference in San Antonio, Texas. The company, which has seen sustained year-on-year growth and is responsible for some of the world’s most ground-breaking modular buildings, was represented by its founder and chairman John Fleming, who received the award in front of over 1,000 attendees from across the globe, following an earlier presentation by the Chairman to the audience. In its 39th year, the World of Modular Convention and Awards is organised by the Modular Building Institute (MBI), the USA’s largest trade association serving the modular construction industry. The body has been instrumental in removing legislative barriers for the sector while also working with universities and research institutions across the world to advance offsite construction. Vision Modular Systems with its development and contracting company – Tide Construction – specialises in delivering volumetric, modular schemes, such as the George Street skyscraper for Greystar in Croydon, London that is currently the world’s tallest modular building. The approaches deployed by the company make it possible to achieve quantifiable savings on energy and waste, helping Vision Modular Systems adhere to its own stringent ESG criteria. Buildings are currently responsible for 39% of global carbon emissions, but Vision Modular Systems’ volumetric-led approach reduces a project’s embodied carbon levels by up to 45%.

we have a strong track record of revolutionising the way in which housing is delivered. Years of significant growth, in terms of our pipeline and financial strength, is demonstrated through our long-standing partnerships with some of the world’s biggest institutional purchasers and has established modular as a mainstream method of delivery. “It is an honour to receive such a high-profile accolade from the Modular Building Institute; an organisation that has been actively shaping the future for modular construction across the globe, and I would like to thank all those involved.” Michael Hough, Director and Founder, MJH Structural Engineers, said: “The Modular Building Institute has recognised the achievement of Vision Modular Systems and MJH Structural Engineers by inviting us to receive the inaugural Excellence in Innovation Award at the World of Modular conference. The MBI has recognised Vision Modular Systems as world leaders and for bringing modular construction into the realm of skyscrapers.” John McMullen, Director of the Modular Building Institute, added: “MBI introduced its Excellence in Innovation Award this year and I can’t think of a better inaugural project than 101 George Street. Michael and John did great work here that truly shows the potential of modular construction. On behalf of the industry, thank you and congratulations.” Source:

John Fleming, Founder and Chairman of Vision Modular Systems, said: “This award recognises Vision Modular’s sector-leading position in the UK, where



The new US HQ will allow more US clients to benefit from its market-leading offsite and DfMA approach. “This move puts us at the centre of an industry that embraces change – with large, tech-led clients working in innovative ways and moving quickly,” says Jaimie Johnston. “Being a US-registered company, with global teams, will enable us to take a leadership position for our US clients. “We’re consistently being asked the same questions by our US clients and general contractors – can you develop a kit of parts approach, and drive it using configurators? How will this approach reduce the time and costs to deliver my assets?” continues Johnston. “Clients are seeking the same benefits of continual improvement that have allowed other industries to flourish. By developing solutions that allow appropriate levels of repeatability, without sacrificing design quality, we are helping them transform their businesses.” Bryden Wood are working with: The Boldt Company, a leading contractor and lean construction expert on a major manufacturing facility in the US, major Canadian constructor Chandos and supply chain innovator and digital platform creator, KatalystDI. Using standardised sets of manufactured components will create a new, open marketplace and new supply chain possibilities. These are already being explored by forward-thinking consultants in the US who are linking their clients directly to the supply chain to map out the industrialised construction process. Phil Langley says: “Clients want more control in the way they make key decisions about their future assets. They want to get to market faster, be more productive, and achieve their climate goals. This means developing new, ownable, creative technologies to enable automated design.” Source:

CGI indicative only


BRITISH OFFSITE OFFERS A RANGE OF SOLUTIONS TO THE COMPLEXITIES OF MODERN HOUSEBUILDING BY UTILISING BEST IN CLASS MODERN METHODS OF CONSTRUCTION ALONGSIDE TRADITIONAL CONSTRUCTION TECHNIQUES. By bringing critical processes off-site, project teams can eliminate risk and take total control over their final design solutions. This, alongside traditional on-site volume housebuilding methods, results in a hybrid solution that eases the pressure of delivering world-class architecture and design. This results in development projects that benefit from: • Acceleration of overall delivery/completion • Reduced site waste • A reduction in on-site inventory (ie less breakage/wastage) • No more labour/skills shortages • Better cash-flow management • Improved health & safety issues • Reduced noise pollution & disruption

Champions of precision, born to build 137,000 sq ft second factory ready for May 2023

Think British Offsite from the offset

UK INDUSTRY NEWS Premier Modular Awarded Europe’s First ESG Certification

Following a rigorous independent audit conducted by global testing, inspection and certification specialists SGS, Premier has been assessed and certified for its management and performance in Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG). According to David Harris, Managing Director of Premier Modular: “Our aim is to radically improve the sustainability of the built environment with our approach to construction, and to generate social value across all our building projects and operations. We are therefore delighted to be the very first company in Europe to receive the new certification developed by SGS. This is the next step in our ESG journey, and it demonstrates our serious commitment to corporate social responsibility and sustainability.” “This independent endorsement gives all our stakeholders – staff, customers, supply chain, and investors – complete assurance that we are evaluating our ESG performance in line with the latest best


practice, and that our ESG data and analysis are both accurate and transparent. This has been an important initiative in helping us to advance our commitment to reducing carbon emissions within Premier and in the long-term operation of our modular buildings for both rental and permanent space. And by prioritising social value in everything we do, we have the potential to unlock a range of social, economic, and environmental benefits for the communities we work in.” Jonathan Hall, Global Head for Certification Services at SGS added: “The ESG standard developed by SGS focuses on the most important environmental, social and governance risks to a company. This enables Premier to better assess, monitor and evaluate ESG at different stages, allowing it to further reduce energy consumption across its operations, optimise material efficiencies in manufacturing, manage risk more effectively, demonstrate strong leadership in ESG, and enhance employee engagement. The Premier team has worked really hard to attain this European first and


we would like to congratulate them on this significant achievement.” A key aspect of Premier’s ESG commitment is reducing carbon footprint and several new initiatives are underway. An R&D project is in progress looking at alternative materials for modular building manufacture, which have lower embodied carbon, and Premier will be launching a new range of sustainability and fabric first options for its building rental fleet this year. Premier has a zero waste to landfill policy in the manufacture of its buildings. Its modular buildings are fully re-useable, reconfigurable, relocatable, and the steel-framed structures are infinitely recyclable, meeting decarbonisation goals. Low and zero carbon technologies can also be specified to incorporate renewable energy into its buildings for both rental and permanent space. Source:

UK INDUSTRY NEWS Supply Chain Sustainability School Awarded Queen’s Award for Enterprise Launched in 2012, the School is an industry-wide collaboration of major companies to enable a sustainable built environment through knowledge and collaboration. The School is unique – it enables collaboration between competitor companies who share a common supply chain, and a realisation that the industry cannot develop the sustainable buildings and infrastructure society it needs without more sustainable suppliers. Its free online learning platform gives 50,000 registered users access to 3,000 learning resources, 400 virtual training sessions each year, and a range of diagnostic and benchmarking tools to support companies on focusing their sustainability strategies. The School has been awarded the Queen’s Award for Enterprise in Sustainable Development because its approach has delivered significant environmental, social and economic benefits to its Members and Partners. The School has led pioneering work to set new standards in climate change, modern slavery, social value, sustainable supply chain management and more. Ian Heptonstall, Director of Supply Chain Sustainability School said: “When we first floated the idea of an

online sustainability learning platform for the built environment industry, we were told it was unlikely that competing companies would collaborate, nor would people use an online training platform. But most of all, that the supply chain was simply not interested in sustainability.

is provided by a School Board comprising elected representatives of Partners, responsible for fiscal governance and strategic direction. A Code of Ethics is signed by all Partners as part of the School Constitution and Partners lead the direction of the School content and activities through leadership groups.

“A decade on and 50,000 people have trained through the School – last year alone we had over 100,000 e-learning downloads. We’re thrilled to receive a Queen’s Award for Enterprise in Sustainable Development. I see it as thank you to all those people who have joined us to collaborate and drive real sustainable change across our industry.”

Now in its 56th year, the Queen’s Awards for Enterprise are the most prestigious business awards in the country, only awarded for outstanding achievements, entitling winning businesses to use the esteemed Queen’s Awards Emblem for the next five years. The School’s 10-year anniversary will take place on 21 June 2022. Its vision is of a built environment industry where everyone has the skills and knowledge to deliver a sustainable future.

Co-funded by over 180 collaborating companies (Partners), the School is delivered by an independent third-party consultancy, Action Sustainability. Leadership




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UK INDUSTRY NEWS Building to Net Zero Report Points to Part Z The UK Government’s Environmental Audit Select Committee (EAC) report, ‘Building to net zero: costing carbon in construction’ was published in May. The report finds that current policy inadequately addresses the need to reduce embodied carbon, develop lowcarbon materials, or prioritise reuse and retrofit. The report makes several recommendations to resolve these issues stating: “The single most significant policy the Government could introduce is a mandatory requirement to undertake whole-life carbon assessments for buildings. This requirement should be set within building regulations and the planning system. Following introduction of whole-life carbon assessments, the Government should develop progressively ratcheting carbon targets for buildings, to match the pathway to net zero.” Environmental Audit Committee Chairman, Rt Hon Philip Dunne MP, said: “From homes to offices, retail units to hospitality venues, our buildings have a significant amount of locked-in carbon, which is wasted each time they get knocked down to be rebuilt, a process which produces yet more emissions.

as timber and recycled steel, they can use. As in many other areas in the drive to net zero, the UK must have the green skills to make its low carbon future a reality. Before the summer recess in July, I urge the Government to publish a retrofit strategy and upskilling programme that can ensure the UK economy will have the green jobs necessary to deliver a low carbon built environment.” The industry-proposed Part Z amendment to the Building Regulations, outlines a method by which the Government could implement the policy suggested by the Select Committee.

the need for whole life carbon regulation in the UK. The Institution of Structural Engineers supports the call for the introduction of a Part Z of the Building Regulations, which would implement the regulation called for by the Committee.” The report also identifies that the UK has a chronic skills gap in energy efficiency and retrofit. Without these vital green skills in the UK economy, net zero ambitions will fall flat. EAC is therefore reiterating its previous recommendation that a retrofit strategy and upskilling programme be developed and published. In addition, EAC recommends that training in undertaking whole-life carbon assessments is made accessible through the education system.

“Mandatory whole-life carbon assessments, and targets to crack down on embodied carbon, provide part of the answer. Constructors and developers can then determine which low-carbon materials, such

Will Arnold, Head of Climate Action at the Institution of Structural Engineers (ICE) said: “We welcome the Environmental Audit Committee’s report, and it’s fantastic to see the Government recognising

CSIC Rebrands as BE-ST

The Construction Scotland Innovation Centre (CSIC), has announced a new strategic focus prioritising the built environment’s transition to zero carbon and improving the sector’s contribution to the fight against climate change and has rebranded as Built Environment – Smarter Transformation (BE-ST). Stephen Good, (pictured), CEO of BE-ST revealed the centre’s new direction at an event hosted at the innovation factory in April that marked the midway point between COP26 and COP27.

Since CSIC was launched in 2014, it has supported the commercialisation of more than 400 new products, processes and services, many of which focus on low and zero carbon outcomes that will help to future-proof the sector. The innovation centre has been involved in more than 350 collaborative innovation projects valued at over £34m, engaging with a range of academic, public sector and industry partners, generating over £1.3b of additional value to the sector.

The new brand and mission for the innovation centre underlines its core purpose: to accelerate the move to a more sustainable, energy-efficient and more circular built environment. The refreshed ambition also reflects its growing partner base beyond the construction sector, including organisations right across the wider built environment ecosystem, and its expanding geographical reach beyond Scotland.

Stephen Good said: “We have set out a new direction for the innovation centre, focused on delivering maximum impact and rapid transformation across the built environment ecosystem in its widest possible sense – not just the construction sector. We’ve always helped organisations explore how to do things in a more sustainable way but, from now on, this has to be our top priority. Building on that, we needed a new mission, brand and name that better reflects who we are today and, most importantly, where we’re going tomorrow. The acronym is of course BE-ST, but it’s not about us thinking we’re the best. It’s about us all working together to do our best, to find the best ideas and the best approaches.”

Estimates suggest that the built environment accounts for around 47% of all UK carbon emissions, highlighting the sheer scale of the decarbonisation challenge facing the sector. BE-ST will play an important role in driving change to achieve that ambition, with a range of programmes aligned with industry, national and policy objectives. Included among them is a roadmap for the sector to reach zero carbon, with activities focussed on modern methods of construction, retrofit, sustainability and digital transformation. 18



For more on the work of BE-ST and understanding offsite technology see page 54. Source:

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UK INDUSTRY NEWS Algeco New Website Live Algeco (formerly known as Elliott) and a longestablished brand in the European modular services and infrastructure industry, has unveiled its new website. It is the first time that the Elliott Group, Procomm Site Services and Carter Accommodation suite of portable and modular building solutions have been showcased on a single, combined brand and website platform. The new website is the latest customer facing initiative of Elliott, Procomm and Carter’s unification under a single brand, which took place at the end of March 2022. has been designed to offer the ultimate user-friendly experience, employing the latest techniques for navigation and improving functionality, allowing customers to easily view the full suite of products and services on offer. Favourites such as an internal search engine and online chat have been retained. Featuring the iconic Algeco logo and font, common across the wider Algeco European business, the website brings a fresh perspective to the UK portable and modular building sector. Created with the user experience in mind, the website incorporates more motion content to enhance user interest and engagement. Look Ahead Navigation reduces the

number of clicks which visitors have to make to navigate the site. Product Filters then allow users to easily hone down the Algeco product or service they require. Chris Coxon, Head of Marketing at Algeco, said: “The design of our new website reflects the latest updated branding of the Algeco business globally. At the same time, it brings together three UK businesses under a single, consistent brand, allowing customers to quickly browse a much wider product range on a single platform, to give us a stronger online presence.

“The new website has been accompanied by a merging of our social media channels, simplifying and creating larger networks for us to continue to develop. We now have over 13,000 LinkedIn followers – and growing rapidly. With the online strategy we have in place, we’re in a strong position to help the business fulfil its ambitions.” The new brand represents Algeco UK’s collaborative approach to finding solutions for customers, developing both its products and people to deliver leading quality service and ensuring the futures of customers, their end users and our organisation are sustainable. Source:

Net Zero Buildings Reports 300% Pipeline Increase Net Zero Buildings Ltd (NZB) has secured a new contract to deliver a £1.6m net zero in operation building at Hart School, while reporting a 300% increase in its pipeline during Q1 2022. The business was acquired by Premier Modular in summer 2021. After a period of consolidation, it has relaunched with a new management team, ambitious growth strategy and new brand identity that better reflects its ethos. Divisional Director Dan Allison is working alongside Managing Director David Harris and the wider team to drive forward its ambitious new growth strategy as it targets projects within the healthcare, education, commercial and retail sectors. Dan Allison, Divisional Director at NZB said: “We are extremely encouraged by the business’ performance as we approach our financial year end – we have a strong, strategically focused pipeline in place which reflects our focus on both zero carbon in operation buildings alongside our panel manufacturing division. David Harris, Managing Director of Premier Modular Group added: “NZB has undergone a complete transformation since the acquisition last year, which has refocused its priorities to ensure that it is in the


best possible shape. Sustainability has been a major factor in the design and delivery of new buildings for many years, but, with net zero targets creeping closer, innovation is accelerating rapidly. It’s vital that new projects coming forward really ‘push the envelope’ to achieve net zero carbon in operation in order to meet current and future expectations; particularly where ESG is a factor.”


NZB specialises in the delivery of intelligent buildings that achieve carbon zero in operation across the education, healthcare and commercial sectors. Working alongside AESG consultants, its carbon experts guide customers through their journey in achieving net zero energy buildings. Source:

UK INDUSTRY NEWS Kier Introduces Smart Solution for Site Accommodation Kier Construction Western & Wales, working with Elliott (now Algeco), has unveiled a revolutionary pilot project that uses smart technology solutions to cut carbon emissions by up to 25% on its site accommodation at the Winterstoke Hundred Academy Expansion. 432m2 of Moduflex® buildings were specified by Kier for use as welfare, offices and meeting rooms on its net zero, 900-school place Winterstoke Hundred Academy School Expansion Build in Weston-superMare. Kier’s innovative approach to cutting carbon and energy use on this project sets new standards for site accommodation. It is being hailed as a blueprint for how future construction projects will achieve endto-end carbon reduction that start from day one. Energy saving features and smart technology is being used in the Moduflex® modules to monitor, manage and reduce carbon and electricity use. This will contribute to significant carbon savings during the 80-week construction schedule. The Moduflex® modules fully furnished and ready for the smart technology. The technology will monitor energy within zones, taking readings across a wide range of parameters every few seconds to optimise energy use and identify any interventions required.

Moduflex® is made using responsibly sourced recycled PVC-U and recyclable timber from certified/ managed forests. Even the temporary foundations are made using sustainable, reusable materials that haves significantly less embodied energy compared to traditional concrete foundations. Jon Woodman, Bristol Area Manager at Kier Construction, said: “This project sets new standards for site accommodation, and it is fitting that they are deployed on a zero-carbon build. The cabins are

already installed on-site and early indications are that they are achieving impressive carbon reductions. We will gain a better understanding of savings over the next few months. The site accommodation at Winterstoke Hundred Academy School will be in place for 80 weeks and so the savings in energy and carbon will make a significant difference over the duration of the development.” Source:

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UK INDUSTRY NEWS Gramophone Works Reaches Completion

Euramax Solutions Gearing up for Growth

A leading manufacturer of uPVC windows and doors for the modular and offsite construction sectors is gearing up for 12 months of ambitious growth. Euramax Solutions, a Modular Group Investments (MGI) company that also supplies to national builders’ merchants and newbuild and holiday home markets, is growing rapidly thanks to high demand. A plan to grow by more than 35% in the next 12 months is in place, with everything from supporting and extending its existing customer base, investment, recruitment and net zero a focus to help achieve it.

GRAHAM has completed the design and build of The Gramophone Works, a new landmark development offering premium workspace in Notting Hill, London. Over the course of the construction programme, GRAHAM refurbished and extended the former home of Saga Records to provide 65,000sq ft of new and refurbished commercial space for small and medium businesses. This includes communal amenities, cycle storage, a café, large open plan working areas and green areas at ground and roof levels. The addition of a lightweight glass and cross laminated timber (CLT) and glulam structure, constructed using the latest in timber technology, emphasises the development’s commitment to reducing its environmental impact, establishing it as an exemplar of low carbon development as well as one of the largest CLT and glulam office building in Europe.

external environment through new brick and glazed façades added to all elevations, referencing both the building’s rich, industrial heritage and cultural significance. The scheme’s sustainable approach is further emphasised through the adoption of existing structural elements, reducing waste and construction activity, as well as the implementation of photovoltaic solar panels, reducing energy consumption. As a result of these efforts, the scheme was awarded the Environmental Prize Winner at the New London Awards in 2021. Rob Joyce, Graham’s London Office Director, said: “It’s great to see this state-of-the-art commercial campus come to life and officially launch to the business community. We’re proud to have played a central role in the delivery of this transformative development that we feel has set a high standard for sustainability and architecturally led design.” Source:

Located next to the Grand Union Canal in west London, the building’s architecture seamlessly integrates into the historic and social fabric of the



Emma Chapman, Euramax Solutions’ new Business Unit Director, said: “After a successful first quarter of 2022 we are in a position to push forward with our growth plans for the next 12 months. We have rapidly grown into the modular sector and are currently targeting more partnerships in the modular and merchant world while continuing to strengthen our support for our customers. We are also looking to invest in new machinery so we can not only continue to make our high-volume products but bespoke ones as well. “Due to the growth we intend to make, we need to make sure that we have got the personnel in place to help us succeed, so we will be looking at doing another recruitment drive. We are also focused on our net zero journey and our plans to reduce carbon, which will reduce costs. We’re in a growth period and we’re in a great position - and it’s only going one way and that’s upwards.” MGI CEO Nick Cowley added: “One of the reasons we acquired Euramax Solutions at the beginning of last year was because we recognised its potential and its ambitious growth plans are hugely exciting for the future. The UK offsite and modular sector is only going to get bigger and both Euramax Solutions and MGI will be at the forefront.” Source:

UK INDUSTRY NEWS Construction Minister Visits Landmark Timber Building

As the Government works to ‘build back greener’, the Confederation of Timber Industries (CTI) in partnership with Waugh Thistleton Architects recently hosted the UK Construction Minister Lee Rowley, on a site visit to the Black and White building.

As such, the CTI is actively engaging with the Government and other stakeholders via the Timber in Construction working group, set up to develop a policy roadmap to help the Government deliver on its environmental ambitions.

The Minister was taken for a tour of the engineered timber building, which is owned by The Office Group (TOG), the premium flexible workspace provider with a platform of more than 50 buildings across the UK and Germany and will be the tallest timber office structure in London when complete later this year.

Speaking on the visit Andrew Carpenter, Director at the CTI said: “Independent bodies such as the Climate Change Committee have already said that increasing the use of timber within construction is crucial to achieving net zero status by 2050, because of the low-carbon benefits of these forms of construction. The sustainable benefits of timber as a form of carbon capture and storage are widely known, and today has been about illustrating how these benefits are already being delivered safely across the UK, as well as globally, to create a new wave of low-carbon construction. In partnership with the UK Government via the Timber in Construction Working Group, and together with members of Parliament through our APPG for the Timber Industries, we are helping bring forwards the benefits of greater use of structural timber.”

Boasting a powerful sustainable agenda, the hybrid structure comprising beech laminated veneer lumber (LVL) frame with cross laminated timber (CLT) has resulted in 37% less embodied carbon than an equivalent structure built using steel or concrete, demonstrating how a shift towards the use of biogenic materials in construction could help the industry to significantly reduce its impact on the environment. Following its release of the Build Back Greener Strategy Document, the Government has signalled a clear intent to increase the use of sustainable materials, such as timber, within construction as it seeks to meet its net zero obligations. Key to the success of this endeavour, is increasing the awareness and knowledge of structural timber.

Construction Minister Lee Rowley commented: “It was fantastic to visit the Black and White building to see how this innovative approach to building, harnessing engineered timber, is helping to drive sustainability in the construction sector. The site’s construction is an excellent example of the benefits timber buildings can bring and I look forward to seeing it when it is complete and in operation.”

Andrew Waugh, Founder and Director at Waugh Thistleton Architects, commented: “It’s great to see the Government taking an interest in engineered timber construction. We need Government leadership and systemic support for the use of regenerative, low carbon construction materials if we are to have any chance of reducing the impact of our industry on the planet.” Charlie Green, co-Founder and co-CEO of TOG commented: “The Black and White Building is set to be Central London’s tallest mass timber office building. Alongside Waugh Thistleton, we have worked to reduce embodied carbon as much as possible, delivering a building that represents what future workspaces should be. It has never been more important to develop techniques and approaches that deliver buildings for a better world. Innovative construction processes and sustainable materials, like those employed here, will form a central part of the sector’s journey to net zero over the coming years. We’re really pleased that Lee Rowley, MP, visited the site today to see this evolution in practice and look forward to further engagement.” Pictured (L-R) Andrew Carpenter, CTI, Lee Rowley, Construction Minister, Andrew Waugh. Waugh Thistleton Architects Source:





Legal & General Modular Homes (L&GMH) are one of the major names transforming housebuilding in the UK with sustainability and precision quality at the core of its offsite manufacture approach. Chief Executive, Rosie Toogood spoke to us about how they are helping deliver next generation living. Q: You took over as Chief Executive mid-2017, bringing design-led manufacturing and factory experience from Rolls-Royce – how has this mindset and approach transferred to creating volumetric modular homes?

1 Q: Most industry observers would agree that L&GMH got off to a misfiring start but seems to be operating more smoothly now – what’s changed and how have you realigned the way things work? Rosie Toogood (RT): Transformation does not happen overnight. True innovation takes time. We have been creating a system to ensure that we can build the best quality homes in the most efficient way possible. We have had to get this right to start to deliver at scale. As a result, our innovative approach to housing delivery, has gained significant momentum within


the marketplace with the business commencing construction on sites at Selby, Bristol and Broadstairs last year for the delivery of 450 homes. Having also acquired land at Littlestone, Kent, North Horsham and Warminster the business is currently seeking planning permission for the delivery of over 450 homes across these three sites where construction is expected to commence this year. The factory in Yorkshire is the largest in the UK. With capacity to produce 3000 homes annually, we employ 600 people and provide the skills and training our staff need through our Modular Academy.


RT: So many industries, automotive, aerospace, electronics to name but a few, have proven that modern manufacturing techniques significantly improve quality and speed of delivery whilst reducing cost and improving the product. Volumetric modular manufacturing has the potential to do the same for housebuilding but it is not easy. Typically, it takes many years of significant investment in people and culture as well as equipment and engineering to do it well and build to scale. The automotive industry for example has taken 100 years to get where it is now. Few businesses have the investment capacity, capability and skills needed to do this, many like to stick to the status quo. However, I’m pleased to see the volumetric modular industry in the UK maturing. We are committed to investing into this industry which will transform the housing industry. As we increase our output over the next few years we will create thousands of jobs, employing people directly in our factory and on construction sites as well as in the UK supply chain creating a new industry with meaningful jobs. Q: The UK housing market has faced a shortfall in new homes for decades with an increasing number of ‘market disrupters’ offering various answers – how does L&GMH fit in to this dynamic? RT: Society currently faces a dilemma. On the one hand, we have a decade to prevent catastrophic climate change.

ROSIE TOOGOOD On the other, there is a chronic housing shortage that requires the provision of new homes – but building with conventional methods would only increase carbon emissions. It is possible that by transforming the way we build homes in this country we can also reduce emissions. There has been much talk of the benefits of volumetric modular technologies, but it has yet to really capture the public imagination. Beyond the pandemic, though, modern methods of construction can enable the construction of beautiful, high-quality homes at speed and – importantly – with lower carbon emissions than traditional methods.


Q: The ‘traditional’ way of housebuilding construction – masonry and site-based operations – is increasingly seen as outdated. Can offsite delivery, DfMA and factorybased methods really deliver lasting industry change? RT: Absolutely. We believe that there will be many ways in which we build that would significantly benefit traditional housebuilders. Like how we have taken learning from industries such as the automotive industry, there are so many ways that we can be more efficient and innovate when it comes to housebuilding. For example, our way of building, by using a precision engineered system, ensures minimal snagging and results in a higher quality product. We can produce homes quicker by using offsite construction. We have a chronic housing shortage so one thing that is clear is that we can’t stick to the status quo. Q: How integral to the future of homebuilding is the understanding and use of digital tools and technology to develop energy efficient new homes and increase quality and productivity levels? RT: The use of digital design tools is fundamental to our approach, and we have and will continue to invest heavily in their development, enabling us to broaden our product range and increase the efficiency of operations within our business and the supply chain. Our objective is to fully integrate our key business systems enabling a flow of information from design, through the procurement process, into production, construction and ultimately to customer support. This

3 approach has transformed operations in other industries, and we are well on the way to doing so in our business with many of the resultant improvements in productivity and quality already being seen. Q: In general, carbon reduction is central to everything we do in society, but there is an additional construction focus on understanding embodied energy more. How is L&GMH delivering its homes with sustainability issues and net zero targets in mind? RT: At Legal & General, we have pledged to make all our new housing stock net zero in terms of operational carbon by 2030. Legal & General Group is therefore working to improve the thermal performance of

homes and incorporate low-carbon technologies that will reduce the amount of energy used. This will be implemented in a phased approach across all homes in which the groups invests or that it builds. As we move towards net zero, modular housing provides us with an immediate advantage. L&GMH is already net zero regulated carbon capable and we will deliver our first ‘net zero’ homes at our site at Bonnington Walk Bristol later this year. The combination of thermally efficient materials, air source heat pumps and solar panels, results in homes that are highly energy efficient with a greatly reduced carbon footprint both during construction and across the lifetime of each home. It also means significantly reduced heating bills for residents.




4 To put this into perspective our modular homes are 60% more efficient to run for the homeowner than a Building Regulations compliant newbuild home and our apartments are up to 30% cheaper to heat and run than the average apartment. If you also look at the cost in use and the amount of carbon used over the lifetime of the property, the results are impressive. Using one of our homes over a 100year period would result in about 85 tonnes of carbon over that period. A similar newbuild home would emit about 213 tonnes. That’s 40% less carbon than a Building Regulations compliant newbuild home. This is important as we need to be building homes that will last and keep up their quality and sustainability credentials throughout their lifetime. Q: Can you say a little about the materials used for the volumetric modules – timber/light gauge steel/ hybrid – what does each house comprise of and what stage of completion do the units exit the Sherburn-in-Elmet facility?


RT: Our houses are made primarily from cross laminated timber (CLT) with a steel floor on the ground floor sitting on the foundations. Our apartments are constructed of concrete and steel. The modules leave the factory fullyfitted, with bathrooms and kitchens fitted and walls painted. If you stood inside a module shortly after it landed at site, apart from some minor plastering required at the points where the modules joined, you would feel like you were in a completed new home. Q: You have several projects at various stages of completion, including a new neighbourhood at Bore Hill Farm in Warminster. What feedback are you getting from developers and clients on the volumetric modular process? RT: The feedback has been really positive with regards to the placemaking, quality of build, and space and light provided. Our site at Bonnington Walk, Bristol won a design award and our site at Selby was the regional finalist in the prestigious NHBC Pride in the Job awards.


Q: How do you see the offsite and volumetric modular sector developing over the next 18 months and what ideally do you want to see change from a L&GMH perspective? RT: Our pipeline is growing rapidly and fundamentally the market’s acceptance and perception of modular homes is definitely changing. Customers are excited to buy, rent and live in a home which embraces the best sustainability technologies available in the housing market, provides a real community feel with great placemaking and accessible open space for them to enjoy within the developments and saves on fuel bills as a result of the energy efficiency of the homes. For more information visit: Images: 01. Rosie Toogood, Chief Executive, L&G Modular Homes 02-03. The newbuild modular homes are high quality energy efficient homes 04. The factory environment provides precision DfMA results



Continuing Howick’s focus on advocating for better ways of building, the company is bringing a unique event to London for June 2022. Howick CEO Nick Coubray says the venue is iconic, offering spectacular panoramic views of the London skyline. It is the ideal setting for guests to ponder how technology may be shaping similar vistas in years to come, he says, as the STEEL HORIZONS event will explore the future of modern construction. This exclusive event will feature guest speakers representing a range of leading-edge construction disciplines offering international as well as UK perspectives on the industry and its future. Joining Nick as speakers are

Nicola Moriarty, Director of Structural & Civil at Bryden Wood - The Forge – an inside look on the platform approach of DfMA – the successes and lessons learnt

Matthew Teague, Senior Architect & Project Manager at Tata Steel – Design led, manufacturer enabled, how DfMA can make better buildings Dave Cooper, Co-founder & Host of Dave Cooper Live - Out from behind the mic: A global view on innovation in the built environment

Chun Qing Li (Lee), Founder and CVO of KREOD – Digital Master Builders, using design, innovation technology and Intelligent Automation (IA) to create changes in the AEC space

A full overview of the presentations and programme for the event can be found on the event website at Attendees will have the opportunity to put questions to the experts following each session, and the event will wrap up with drinks and hors d’oeuvres so guests can mingle with industry peers and speak to our presenters.


STEEL HORIZONS | London 2022 New Zealand High Commission’s New Zealand House, Penthouse Suite, 80 Haymarket, London SW1Y 4TE Thursday, 23rd June from 2 to 6pm To join Howick and guests for this unique event, register your interest on Numbers are strictly limited, so attendance is by invitation only. Everyone who registers will receive access to videos and materials of the presentations following the event.

Scott Mitchell, Founder of STUD-IO - Computational Construction and pushing the boundaries of light steel fabrication to unlock capabilities and explore innovative uses in complex construction projects





Richard Hipkiss, Development Director for the Modular and Portable Building Association (MPBA), discusses the role digital technology plays as offsite construction rapidly becomes a preferred delivery model.

1 The government and the wider public sector play a pivotal role in encouraging and facilitating the uptake of modern methods of construction (MMC). Progressive building systems that deliver at scale and increase productivity are now in great demand. Historically, manufacturing operations have been considered extensions to construction processes instead of an integral and important part. This perception is changing. As offsite construction becomes an increasingly dominant force that utilises high levels of technology, the lines between manufacturing, engineering and construction have become blurred – creating a need for new skills and redefining existing ones.


Positive impact Volumetric modular technology offers benefits that have a huge positive impact on the construction industry, bringing longstanding traditional practices up to date. The first key shift away from traditional methods is that build processes take place in controlled factory conditions. The farreaching implications of this require a change of mind-set and approach. At the core of volumetric modular production, Design for Manufacture and Assembly (DfMA) protocols and Building Information Modelling (BIM) enable optimal configuration of offsite solutions by connecting multi-discipline and multi-tier teams right from the beginning of the design development process.


DfMA facilitates early design detail and three-dimensional design information, while BIM minimises the risk of errors by eliminating the time-consuming process of translating engineers’ information into cutting lists and assembly drawings. BIM also enables the optimising and testing of designs in virtual and pre-production environments. Technology is ever evolving, and the volumetric industry is now integrating BIM and digital design specifications with Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) and Material Requirement Planning (MRP). This technology permits manufacturing simulation and visualisation, clash detection and virtual onsite assembly modelling, which can be enhanced using augmented and virtual reality.


2 Digital technology is as relevant to the offsite manufacturing process as it is to design and architecture. Gaining considerable momentum Offsite technology encompasses a variety of panelised and volumetric methods of construction. At the forefront of offsite techniques, volumetric manufactured buildings have a remarkable impact on reducing costs while increasing quality and safety measures. Having gained considerable momentum over the past few years, modular construction makes up 60-70% of offsite techniques and reduces build times by an impressive 50-60%. Module selection is influenced by transportation dimensions and shipping distances. A number of other factors are also holistically considered to achieve optimal design efficiency. Connection details for example together with specific site logistics such as foundation/transfer deck requirements, installation and crane costs. The demand for customisation has led the manufacturing industry to develop methods for adaptation during mass production while meeting specific customer needs. Each individual material can be selected specifically for its performance characteristics, tailoring every inch of a modular build. Eco-friendly materials are often specified, and waste is recycled or reused.

3 As units are factory manufactured, stringent quality control processes can be undertaken within these well-managed environments. These in-house conditions also prevent weather from inhibiting the manufacturing process, guaranteeing efficiency. On top of this, modular construction enables site work and building processes to be completed simultaneously, reducing labour costs and build times. Repeatable quality and safety Volumetric modular practices augment the construction industry with a multitude of benefits that span from greener, healthier environments to maximised sustainability, heavily reduced costs and quick build times. With modular construction all data can be validated and co-ordinated as part of a structured process, which helps provide accurate and reliable information for clients at the point of handover. It also means it is easier to identify what products and material specifications were used on previous projects should any legislation changes occur. By verifying the materials and products to be used on a construction scheme and by simplifying the onsite assembly process, volumetric modular construction offers developers an opportunity to avoid many traceability issues. Modular construction helps ensure client satisfaction and product assurances through the certainty and quality embedded into the build process.

With its powerful combination of controlled deliverables and customisable outputs, modular construction provides the repeatable quality and safety needed to meet client demands. Education and training As the construction industry starts to emerge from this pandemic, it is important we lay the foundations for a more rapid and sustainable building programmes, where the focus is on quality and delivering buildings that are fit for the future. To assist the MPBA has launched a new Training Centre delivering education programmes where young and mature students can learn key skills relevant to the industry. The facility – located in Coventry, West Midlands – offers a comfortable environment for industry experts to share valuable knowledge away from the pressures of the workplace. The Training Centre provides the MPBA with the ability to deliver a consistent high level of informative technical and best practice programmes for members. For more information visit: Images: 01. Volumetric modular development at Desborough Road. Courtesy Premier Modular 02. BIM modelling is paramount to offsite precision. Courtesy McAvoy Group 03. Modular factories produce quality and predictable outputs. Courtesy Wernick Buildings




THE INNOVATIVE ALTERNATIVE TO TRADITIONAL TIMBER FRAME WALLS ITW Construction Products Offsite, using their proven method of Customer-Back Innovation and listening to market challenges, have created a brand new industry solution – Gang-Nail Truss Frame*. The Shift Towards Offsite Manufacturing The Gang-Nail Truss Frame wall elements are designed to be made offsite, meaning they can be manufactured in a controlled environment. This helps meet the government’s pre-manufactured value (PMV) threshold of 55% for the Affordable Homes Programme. Efficiencies in Manufacturing Since the Gang-Nail truss Frame wall elements are made offsite in a controlled environment where the process of making the panels is the same every time, efficient manufacturing is pretty much guaranteed. With the elimination of cutting and nailing of OSB, potential bottlenecks in the production process are removed. The need for double sheathing is eliminated and safety is enhanced as there is no possibility of nails hitting nails.

1 Known as the innovative alternative to traditional timber frame walls, Gang-Nail Truss Frame recently won the ‘Best Brand New Product’ in the Housebuilder Product Awards 2022. This new solution is a system of standardised wall elements made offsite, that combine into larger modules on-site. The Gang-Nail Truss Frame wall elements are made up of timbers pressed together at the joints using Gang-Nail nail plates. This new solution has been in development for over two years and addresses many market challenges including: Shortages and Cost of OSB Gang-Nail Truss Frame gains its structural strength and superior resistance to wind-loading from the


design and the use of Gang-Nail nail plates for the joints of the timbers. This eliminates the need for OSB, currently used to provide structural integrity to traditional timber frame walls. This means the elimination of panel nailing and OSB, and the associated use of synthetic resins and waxes. U-values The Gang-Nail Truss Frame structure allows a lesser amount of insulation to be wrapped around the wall panel’s external face, eliminating thermal bridges and saving on material. U-values of 0.18 W/m²K and lower are easily achievable, meeting new Part-L standards.


Complexity in Design Calculations Gang-Nail Truss Frame structural elements have pre-defined values based on external testing of the panels. This means building designers can rely on the published values all the way through from design to onsite construction. This also simplifies calculations in case of re-design, saving time and reducing complexity. *Patent Pending To find out more about ITW Construction Products Offsite’s innovative Gang-Nail Truss Frame solution please email: Images: 01. Gang-Nail Truss Frame gains its structural strength and superior resistance to wind-loading from the design and the use of Gang-Nail nail plates for the joints of the timbers

Brands for the offsite industry

Gang-Nail Truss Frame* The innovative alternative to traditional timber frame walls The award-winning Gang-Nail Truss Frame system offers true design flexibility. Gang-Nail Truss Frame gains its structural strength and superior resistance to wind loading from the design and use of Gang-Nail nail plates for the joints of the timbers. This means less requirement for steel goal posts and the elimination of sheathing, which allows for more freedom in house design, such as open plan living and larger apertures. *Patent Pending +44(0)1592 771132 ITW Construction Products Offsite @ITWCPOffsite ITW Construction Products Offsite



Seismic’s platform approach offers a new way for construction, with Sam Stacey, Challenge Director for Transforming Construction at UKRI, saying that it offered: “tangible evidence of what the future of construction looks like.”

1 Delivered by a consortium of seven companies, including offsite experts, manufacturers, and consultants, the results for Seismic are impressive – projects can be delivered up to 75% faster, 70% lower in carbon and 47% better value, when compared with traditional construction. The standardisation even allows it to compete with other modular solutions, with an improvement of around 30% on speed. It makes for a compelling offer, according to the project team. “The direction from UK government is that we need platform-based construction solutions for the industry to achieve the targets outlined in Construction 2025, hit net zero and meet projected demand,” explains Richard Crosby, director at consortium lead blacc. “Seismic is a huge step towards achieving this. The consortium has demonstrated that a platform-based approach is faster, better quality and


better for the environment. Crucially, this is not theoretical – we have a market ready solution that clients can use now.” A two-part journey Seismic is the culmination of a fouryear project, delivered in two phases. Alongside blacc, the consortium included offsite manufacturers Algeco (formerly known as the Elliott Group) and McAvoy, Tata Steel, the Manufacturing Technology Centre (MTC), the National Composite Centre (NCC) and Specific (part of Swansea University). Phase one focused on the design of a standardised, lightweight steel frame and connector block. Completed in 2020, the natural next step was to look at the design and construction of core components that would work with the frame, starting with wall, floor, ceiling and roof cassettes.


The ambition was an ‘all-in-one’ solution for clients that would be suitable for a range of sectors. In practice, this would allow clients to commission a project that uses the Seismic platform, working directly with the relevant manufacturer to specify the building that they wanted. Modules would be configured to achieve the desired floor space and then, depending on the performance levels desired, the client would select the appropriate floor, ceiling, roof and wall cassettes. For example, the client could choose a thicker wall option to up the thermal mass or want to use more sustainable components within the build, such as the Vitromite floor option which is made from recycled glass. There are a range of aesthetic options too, with multiple cladding alternatives, internal fit out choices, and both flat and pitched roof solutions.

SEISMIC Martin Harvey, Head of Design and Technical Services at McAvoy, said: “The advantages of a platformbased approach are huge, with reduced delivery programmes, consistent quality, and more cost certainty for clients. And, whatever their requirements, the relevant components can be ordered and installed to the frame.” For the manufacturer, working to a consistent platform also reduces design time, helps speed up procurement as key materials can be held in stock, and results in a shorter build programme. Manufacturing processes add value Seismic has been designed on an efficient grid, optimised to reflect sizes of existing materials and logistics capabilities. Work led by the MTC focused on the factory set up to determine the most efficient layouts and equipment for delivering modules at a higher volume, alongside analysis in areas such as quality assurance, future workforce requirements and opportunities for continuous improvement. This process, focusing on the design of the modules and the factory capability, has resulted in a new standard for a smoother manufacturing process, with the Seismic team removing as much waste and unnecessary work as possible. This approach improves quality, with repeatable, standard components manufactured consistently in a controlled, safe environment. It is something that makes Seismic unique in the market according to Algeco’s UK Technical Director, Jim Cowell. “You could argue that every building is a prototype, designed and built once. Seismic takes that away. Everything is comprehensively tested together, it is produced in factory conditions and what arrives on site is exactly what was asked for, at a higher quality standard and with a much faster and smoother handover process.” Reducing risk for clients A further advantage of a standardised system is that it is compatible across a range of manufacturers. This removes significant risk for clients as they are not “locked in” to one solution. For example, if the building needs to be extended in the future or adapted for a different use, the client can go to any manufacturer that works to the same


3 platform. And, if new and improved components become available, there is nothing to stop clients switching them in at some point in the future as part of their normal maintenance activity. “What we are describing is a new way to think of buildings,” says Alex Small, BIM and Digital Platforms Manager Construction and Infrastructure, at Tata Steel. “A platform-based approach makes it easier to disassemble and reassemble buildings, whether moving them to a new location, changing their purpose or making improvements. We can’t keep taking the traditional view that a building lasts for 60 years and just demolish it and move on – we need to consider the full lifecycle of every element.” To show people what has been achieved, the consortium has built

4 a demonstrator building at the BRE Innovation Park in Watford. The building combines components from the three manufacturers in one, and merges two systems. While a normal project would not usually be delivered in this way, it proves that the concept works – everything was produced in different locations before being seamlessly combined on-site. To find out more visit: or email: to register your interest in visiting the demonstrator. Images: 01. Seismic Demonstrator Building 02. Phase one connector block 03-04. Over 100 people attended the launch of the demonstrator building at the BRE Innovation Park





Since the Dame Judith Hackitt Report on building safety in 2018, the construction industry is changing its perception of how fire safety should be undertaken. The golden thread initiative now means that fire safety will be designed by architects and specifiers at project design stage, to safeguard our future city environments.

1 Passive fire protection solutions have become vital elements within modern offsite construction and as with all fire safety systems and products, they need to be rigorously tested to ensure that they meet the appropriate regulations. Global building solutions provider, Sika, has developed a range of passive fire protection systems that can now be incorporated into offsite solutions. With modern buildings populated by a plethora of multi-configurated utility and network services such as cables, pipes and ventilation, the opportunity for fire-spread through linear joints and penetrations in walls, floors and ceilings is abundant. Fire isn’t the only threat, however. Gaps and joints between building elements also provide a passage for heat and toxic smoke to wreak havoc with potentially fatal consequences. Providing crucial safety time Although unable to extinguish a blaze, passive fire protection measures are nonetheless effective in retarding the spread of fire and heat by sealing gaps through construction joints and where services run. Fire spreads quickly so containment in the form of passive fire protection provides vital extra time


for occupants to evacuate buildings unharmed and for firefighters to safely carry out their duties. Passive fire protection systems save lives and should be considered at the earliest stages of a building’s design. Passive fire protection applications for building compartments can be divided into three main categories: linear joint seals, penetration seals and cavity barriers. Each solution should be thirdparty tested and certified according to relevant international standards. For the UK and Europe, these standards are EN 13501-2, EN 1366-3/4, BS 476-20, UL EU, UL 2079, Sika products solutions are fully compliant with the relevant standard to each product. For testing the fire resistance of its linear and penetration sealants, Sika creates real world scenarios in which the products are assessed as part of entire wall and flooring systems. With regards to modular construction panels, this involves testing sealants with surrounding pipes, cable work and insulation. The elements constructed together are then placed before a furnace to assess their resistance the extreme heat and fire.


Simplifying the fire-resistant sealant specification process Sika has recently developed an online programme that’s designed to support the product selection process in relation to fire-resistant penetration sealants. Its Fire Stopping Solution Finder simplifies the search for the appropriate fire sealant through taking the prospective customer/specifier through a series of questions that are based on where and how the sealant is to be used and what type of type of fire resistance it needs to display. Unlike other programmes of this ilk, if the customer is unable to provide all of the required information the search process can still be completed. This may mean that a number of products are offered rather than one definitive solution but, in lieu of the missing data coming to light, this still provides the customer with a clearer idea of the fireresistant sealant required. If using an external contractor, this document can be logged by the architect and applicator to form part of the ‘golden thread’ of information that Dame Judith Hackitt called for in her post-Grenfell ‘Building a Safety Future’ report. This thread of data is seen as crucial to improving fire safety in buildings, as it will contain information that proves a building complies with all applicable building regulations during its construction. It will also provide evidence that it meets the requirements of the new building control route. For more information visit: Images: 01. Sika has a range of fire stopping and fire protection products


A Member Of:

Offsite Alliance

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

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



Following the unprecedented success of the 2021 event, the Offsite Construction Awards returns later this year and will take place at Offsite Expo – the UK’s largest offsite technology event in the construction calendar. Taking centre stage at Offsite Expo on the evening of 20 September 2022, the Offsite Awards will be a major gathering of the industry where over 500 guests will come together to celebrate ground-breaking achievements and the pioneers who are developing radical new offsite technologies, innovative product developments and landmark projects using factory-based methods.

Winner of International Offsite Project - Forta Pro

The entry deadline for the 2022 Offsite Awards has been extended to 5pm on 10 June 2022. In order to claim the extension, you must provide the below information to the organisers no later than Wednesday 08 June: I am submitting my intent to enter the Offsite Awards in the following category/ies: Category/ies: Project/s: Company Name: Please send this information to Rhian Morris at:

Entries in to the 2021 Offsite Awards were record breaking with over 200 entries and the profile and coverage gained by all the finalists and winners has helped to propel the sector to another level. This event is the ideal opportunity for construction professionals to maximise industry exposure by demonstrating what separates them from their competitors. So, if you are proud of your exceptional team, project development or product innovation, there are just five questions to answer to grasp the opportunity to take centre stage at the 2022 Offsite Construction Awards. Being shortlisted for the Awards will earn the recognition within the offsite community and the wider construction industry – opening doors to securing new business development opportunities.







20.09.22 CBS ARENA - COVENTRY Co-located with


The winners of the 2022 Offsite Awards will be announced on 20 September 2022 at Offsite Expo. Many of the sponsorship packages have already been snapped up by savvy companies wanting to take advantage of the opportunity to promote their company and maximise industry exposure. For more information on how to get involved in the Offsite Construction Awards, please contact Rhian Morris at:

All 25 categories are free to enter, and the submission deadline is 10.06.2022 – simply visit to start your submission today.




















Gartree High School appointed modular provider Wernick to supply a standalone building to accommodate an increase in students. Gartree’s Deputy Head Ben Rackley and Assistant Head Edward Wilson, describe the project and their experience of working with Wernick.

1 Requiring a seamless transition with minimal intervention from teaching staff and timely student occupation, the building also had to look the part and mimic the school’s existing building. With decades of experience within the UK education sector, Wernick specialise in the design and build of modern school buildings, with each project managed by Wernick’s dedicated construction division to ensure a thorough service and the utmost levels of health and safety. “Before obtaining our new building, all Gartree’s classes took place within one large building,” says Ben Rackley. “Student numbers have increased, and it was time to increase capacity by adding at least four new classrooms. A modular classroom block made sense to us due to the timescales involved. We were aware of neighbouring schools who have chosen this route, and they helped to demonstrate the speed and aesthetics achievable with this building method. “It was vital to us that the new addition matched the look and feel of the existing building, with green, metal window surrounds and brick cladding. Inside the new building would be two science classrooms and two ‘allpurpose’ rooms.


“During the procurement process, Wernick’s designs were the closest match to the school’s brief – ‘they looked like Gartree’. Wernick Buildings quoted for a two-storey, 414sq m block and it was well within our budget – in fact, the quote gave us some room to specify additional features, such as reinforced flooring, triple glazing and PIR lighting. “Wernick really paid attention to every detail on the project. For example, I was pleasantly surprised to see that Wernick had included elements of the existing building in the new block without being asked. Feedback from users of the building has been hugely positive. “I’m lucky enough to teach in the new building and a few things are really clear,” says Edward Wilson. “First of all, we’ve noticed no difference in the behaviour of the children and students who are working in the building, which is exactly what we want. “Teachers find the new building very comfortable – air conditioning throughout ensures a consistent temperature year-round, which is something they are not used to. Rooms are also more spacious, the whole building has an open feel to it. Triple glazing creates a peaceful environment which is ideal for pupils sitting exams.


2 The quality of the finish is really excellent, it’s a lovely place to work in and we’re finding that teaching here is a real pleasure.” “I wanted people to see this as a permanent building,” adds Ben. “That is exactly what we have achieved. The modular building fits in perfectly and the finish gives it that ‘wow factor’ when you walk in.” Wernick provided a bespoke, onplan building that followed the school’s wish for the new building very closely and they have been genuinely impressed with what they have supplied. “I had absolutely no time or inclination to manage a traditional building project,” says Ben. “But Wernick’s dedicated Construction Division managed the project from start to finish. A Project Manager attended site every day – this was a major selling point for me. The team on-site were brilliant and having the same point of contact throughout was invaluable.” For more information visit: Images: 01-02. Gartree High School has exceeded client expectations and proves what a modular approach can provide for the education sector

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Modern methods of construction (MMC) are increasingly viewed as a way to deal with the UK’s many housing problems. LHC Group interim Managing Director, Elaine Elkington investigates how this approach also supports the Government’s levelling up agenda.

1 Michael Gove’s recent comments about housing targets and the newlyannounced levelling-up legislation has brought fresh interest in the role of MMC in meeting our future housing needs – in both quantity and quality. According to No 10, the Government has confirmed it is still very much committed to building 300,000 new homes a year and has also stressed the importance of building housing of the right type and quality. The Government has now also published its Levelling Up and Regeneration Bill, with plans to devolve more powers locally in England in the hope that frequent local opposition to new housing schemes can be overcome. Mr Gove, Secretary of State for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities, said: “We’re going to do everything we can, but it’s no kind of success simply to hit a target if the homes that are built are shoddy,


in the wrong place, don’t have the infrastructure required, and are not contributing to beautiful communities.” But what if we can have it all – a steady production of well-designed new homes in a range of tenures, built in the right places and to consistently high-quality standards. What if these homes could also help residents cope better with current cost of living pressures? LHC’s vision for public sector housing would achieve this, and widespread use of MMC would also drive progress towards net zero targets and tackle fuel poverty. MMC as saviour for levelling up? Current planning policy has been regularly namechecked by Government as blockage to housebuilding progress but LHC’s report, ‘How public sector procurement aids the levelling up agenda’ explores some different solutions. Bringing together sector


2 experts from LHC, the Home Builders’ Federation (HBF), Northern Housing Consortium (NHC) and industry equality, diversity and inclusion campaigners, the report looks at levelling up through a housing and procurement lens. The report recognises that raising regional housing standards and moving numbers beyond the current 244,000 homes built annually requires a significant shift in the way we build homes in the UK. MMC and offsite building have the potential for reaching the right volumes, of the right quality and at future-ready energy efficiency standards. Procuring for lower carbon homebuilding Procurement has a pivotal role in helping secure greater numbers of MMC and sustainably-built homes – alongside traditional methods still very much a major focus in LHC’s

LEVELLING UP frameworks. However, by working more closely with clients and suppliers, framework providers can illustrate MMC’s social, economic, and environmental benefits and make it a significant feature in the tendering process. We can also increase connections between social housing providers and the wider homebuilding and construction supply chain to make collaboration and risk sharing happen. The Government and Homes England have identified MMC for its potential to alleviate housing shortages, with the Affordable Homes Programme now requiring projects to deliver 25% of homes using these methods. To ground these aims, wider adoption of offsite technologies is needed alongside a willingness to educate and change the way homes are designed, procured and delivered. This is in addition to a clearer, longer-term pipeline of work to engender the necessary confidence in MMC, which can produce ‘the right sort of houses’ Downing Street refers to.


Making MMC mainstream The policy impetus is now there to speed up output in lower carbon homebuilding and make MMC and offsite techniques part of our homebuilding DNA. From 2025, the Future Homes Standard will require new homes to reduce their carbon emissions by 75-80% compared to today’s requirements. Constructed in quality-controlled factory environments, MMC homes are airtight, warmer and more energy efficient than traditional brick builds – and quicker to build. They can also help tackle carbon emissions by providing homes at EPC band B or higher. LHC has so far supported more than 5,300 MMC-build social homes, including an inner-city housing renewal scheme in Anderston, Glasgow providing 542 new dwellings mainly for social rent. Delivered by Sanctuary (Scotland), Glasgow City Centre and the Scottish Government, appointed offsite specialist C-C-G used MMC through its IQ timber frame system to yield better thermal and energy efficiency. In Parsons Cross, Sheffield – an area with a recognised need for affordable homes – four, four-bedroom family

4 homes were completed for Sheffield City Council in 10 months. Partnering with modular builder M-AR through a Consortium Procurement Construction (CPC) frameworks, the development was precision-engineered in a qualitycontrolled factory environment in compliance with ISO9001 procedures. MMC at present is only being used by early adopters – and not yet to its full potential. But the sector may be on the cusp of real progress with the Levelling Up and Regeneration Bill and rhetoric from Government about building the right quality homes, in the right place. Now, explicit acknowledgement that MMC-built homes are a solution to building in numbers, reducing fuel

poverty, and reaching low carbon targets is needed. This would crystalise confidence in the market and encourage collaboration and aggregation of projects from housing providers to help raise living standards for those who most need it. For more information visit: Images: 01. LHC Group interim Managing Director, Elaine Elkington 02-04. Offsite construction can play an important role in the UK’s ‘levelling up’ agenda




CERTIFY AND VALIDATE Launched earlier this year and developed by the Light Steel Frame Association (LSFA) – a new Technology Validation Guide outlines accreditations that certify system performance, robust testing protocols and informative guidelines to support those manufacturing and specifying light steel framing systems.



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1 Light steel frame (LSF) technology is widely utilised throughout the UK construction industry and LSFA (Light Steel Frame Association) members have demonstrated that the construction method is a durable, highly efficient alternative to traditional construction methods. Whilst light steel frame systems are often seen as innovative or as a modern method of construction, they are actually a proven, established method with high levels of certification, backed-up by rigorous testing.


The new document outlines the certifications that can be obtained to validate system performance, the type of testing required and sets guidelines to help both those manufacturing and specifying systems. It has been deliberately set as a high-level overview and is intended to point the reader to places where further information is available. As a proven and well-established offsite manufactured technology, light steel frame is trusted and widely


used throughout the UK across all construction sectors however, this document covers residential and commercial bedspace only. The type of certification selected for LSF technology is determined by the type of system, the sector in which it is being used and the design parameters of the structures. Validation is provided by a variety of organisations, who carry out an assessment of the build system. There are numerous types of providers, and

STEEL whilst the majority relevant to LSF construction are included, it should be noted that there may be other providers who offer an acceptable level of validation. Certification is underpinned by supporting data which validates the system, the level of data is driven by the type of system used and complexity thereof. A highlevel overview of the certifications, warranties etc. in relation to the use of light gauge steel frame is given in the Guide in relation to the three main system types. These include:


SFS Infill/Oversail Systems SFS Infill/Oversail systems generally require a lower level of certification and therefore validation through testing is less onerous as these are typically non-loadbearing elements of structure. That said these systems can benefit from achieving the majority of available certifications.

Panelised Systems Walls in panelised systems can be either open or closed frame technology. In closed walls, this is a full through wall system which will include either the external or internal linings, or potentially both. The prospective certifications for both systems are the same, however the level of fire testing for validation purposes is higher for a closed panel system. Where the external façade is included as part of the system other areas of assessment such as weathertightness and loads imposed by the façade need to be taken into account. In panelised systems walls and floors are generally tested as individual, standalone elements.

Modular Systems Certifications, testing etc. for modular build systems are similar to panelised systems and the same principles can be used. However, as the wall and floor/roof elements are formed as one structure in addition to separate wall and floor fire tests there are opportunities for fire testing of the whole module.

the structure. Testing is required for the structural elements along with building physics data for fire, thermal, acoustic, and structural performance, for example. The types of testing along with the organisations who can carry out this work are highlighted in the document along with the relevant test standards.

Freely available to download from the LSFA’s website, the Technology Validation Guide includes the accreditation pathway determined by the type of system, the construction sector and design parameters of

Established to influence legislation, regulation and to support the overall objectives and growth of the sector, the Light Steel Frame Association is raising awareness of the cost, performance and productivity benefits and supporting the specification of light steel framing systems.

The Validation Guide provides a concise high-level overview which signposts construction professionals to valuable and trusted sources where further information is available. For more information on the LSFA and to download the Light Steel Frame Technology Validation Guide, go to:

Images: 01. LSFA Technology Validation Guide 02. Sandgate Pavilions, Courtesy Ayrshire Metals





voestalpine Metsec has recently published an Environmental Product Declaration covering its purlins and framing systems, underlining its commitment to sustainability. making the news, these targets could well encompass the entire design, construction and ultimate demolition of a building, including reuse of the materials from which it has been constructed. “In such a scenario, all materials and processes used in construction would need to meet criteria designed to assure net zero carbon emissions. Along with other parties invested in the project, materials manufacturers will need to state and prove the environmental credentials of their products and systems.”

1 Assurance of a system’s environmental credentials comes from a manufacturer’s Environmental Product Declaration (EPD). Verified by independent EPD authority, EPD Hub, the declaration provides designers, specifiers and developers with comprehensive information to include in a project’s sustainability assessment. Compiled in accordance with EN 15804+A2 and ISO 14025/ISO 21930, the EPD covers all aspects of the products’ environmental credentials, from manufacture, transport and installation to end of life. The EPD includes a life-cycle assessment and environmental impact data comprising core environmental impact indicators, use of natural resources and end of life information. voestalpine Metsec’s publication of the EPD underlines the company’s commitment to sustainability and follows swiftly on the heels of its parent company, voestalpine AG, announcing a major initiative to achieve net zero carbon emissions in its Metal Forming Division by 2035, some fifteen years ahead of the targets set by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. 44

At design stage, steel framing systems offer the potential for zero material wastage as all components are designed and manufactured to exact dimensions and assembled to strict tolerances. This precision transfers to the construction phases of a project where lightweight steel framing reduces the burden on foundations and assures maximum efficiency in installation and logistics as components can be delivered and installed immediately. In addition, whereas many other building materials are not readily recycled or repurposed at the end of their working life, steel has a re-use and recovery rate approaching 100%, making it one of the most recyclable materials on earth. Sales Director of voestalpine Metsec’s Framing Division, Chris Holleron comments: “In the not-too-distant future, architects, specifiers and developers could well find themselves having to meet carbon emissions targets for new developments. In addition to policies such as the much-vaunted ban on gas-fuelled heating systems that is currently


As the UK’s largest designer and manufacturer of constructional steel systems, voestalpine Metsec has always been at the forefront of the industry when it comes to setting, adopting, maintaining and verifying the most rigorous standards across all of its operations. Key to its carbon net zero commitment is not only the continuous interrogation and improvement of its processes to achieve net zero by 2035 but also providing designers and contractors with confidence that voestalpine Metsec systems, and their efficient installation, are as environmentally responsible as possible. The publication of EPDs is a key part of this policy. Whilst the process of making and converting steel into building components may appear carbon intensive, the advantages it offers can mitigate the building’s carbon footprint and once embodied within the steel carbon is not readily released. For more information visit: Images: 01. The EPD includes a life-cycle assessment and environmental impact data comprising core environmental impact indicators, use of natural resources and end of life information

EPD IS REQUIRED ON MAJOR DEVELOPMENTS IN LONDON Meet the London Plan 2021 requirements with voestalpine Metsec’s Environmental Product Declaration

Architects, developers, building services engineers or sustainability engineers will require an EPD to ensure the energy strategy for any major projects in London, meets planning requirements at design stage. Verified by an independent EPD authority, the declaration provides designers, specifiers and developers with comprehensive information to include in a project’s sustainability assessment.

voestalpine Metsec plc



Fundamental to good design is that buildings should be safe and sustainable. But as Steve Thompson, Managing Director for specialist steel framing manufacturer EOS, explains, longevity is also an essential environmental requirement.

1 Buildings should not only be intrinsically safe but should also be constructed to last a long time and therefore be inherently sustainable. Buildings are responsible for almost half of the UK’s carbon emissions and around a third of its landfill waste. This means that the UK’s sustainable development targets cannot be met without a major change to the way in which buildings are designed, constructed and operated. Manufactured from the most abundant component on earth, steel can be recycled or reused endlessly without detriment to its properties. This unique characteristic gives steel a high value at all stages of its lifecycle.


The recovery infrastructure for steel recycling is highly developed and extremely efficient and has been in place for decades. Current recovery rates from demolition sites in the UK are 99% for structural steelwork and 96% for all steel construction products – figures that far exceed those for any other construction material. Offering the best strength-to-weight ratio improves efficiencies – you get a lot of structure for relatively little weight which reduces embodied carbon. This is where steel cannot be beaten. Lighter structures not only reduce material consumption but also concrete in the ground. This means that foundation loads and sizes


are reduced by over 70% relative to concrete and block-work construction. Low and zero carbon buildings as well as commercial developments with high BREEAM ratings are readily achievable using steel construction. An excellent example of this is a project EOS were involved in to create a prestigious £25million flagship Travelodge hotel in London that was developed as a declaration of renewed confidence in the brand following substantial investment. The aim was to deliver a fully clad offsite manufactured panelised steel frame system, complete with the sub frame of SFS infill panels, pre-fixed to a lightweight innovative stone cladding solution


2 which not only looks outstanding but also achieves a highly energy efficient, non-combustible building envelope. Once delivered, the fully formed panels were craned in and fixed back to the substrate. The impressive eight storey, 395room property is built to BREEAM Excellent standards and delivered through innovative engineering combined with technically advanced offsite manufacturing. The greater efficiency and quality associated with sustainability is also helping to make this Travelodge more commercially successful. There is growing evidence that BREEAM Excellent buildings provide increased rates of return for hotel operators. BIM Level 2 technology combined with Design for Manufacture and Assembly (DfMA) protocols reduced errors onsite and snagging – as well as enhancing the energy performance throughout the lifecycle of the building. When the cost of operating a building for 30-years can be four times greater than that of designing and building it, it is no surprise that those who own and maintain buildings are keen to find in-use savings. Now we have more sophisticated research available, the equation of ‘build them high build them cheap’ – simply does not stack up from an owner operator’s perspective – this is why steel framing systems are

3 favoured by the residential, build-torent, education, healthcare and other public sector buildings. The UK leads the world in steel construction both commercially, technically, and in terms of quality. The industry has made dramatic improvements in technology, productivity and efficiency. According to research carried out by independent consultants Construction Markets – steel continues to be overwhelmingly the structural framing material of choice with their survey showing that steel now has a 72.5% share of the multi-storey office market and a 60.9% share in the ‘other multi-storey buildings’ which includes retail, education, leisure and healthcare sectors. Quality, safety and sustainability are at the very core of our organisation. Reducing carbon emissions and increasing energy efficiency in both our own operations and the built environment is vital to helping tackle the impact of global climate change. This involves promoting and developing design solutions that minimise energy use in operation and are climate change resilient. By controlling and influencing our direct and indirect impact through ongoing strategies, measures and changes across all of our own activities, we aim to be Carbon Neutral by 2025.

4 For more information visit: Images: 01-02. Travelodge, London City 03-04. Light gauge steel frame is an overwhelmingly popular choice for several market sectors



20-21 SEPTEMBER 2022


Taking place at the Coventry Building Society Arena on 20 & 21 September 2022 – OFFSITE EXPO is the focal-point of innovative building and digital construction technologies. Presenting a compelling proposition, OFFSITE EXPO will feature a combination of advanced manufacturing approaches and smart digital construction technologies. With innovative displays, live demonstrations, and pioneering speakers – the event will play host to leading experts, offsite manufacturers and component suppliers showcasing a broad spectrum of panelised, volumetric modular, pod and prefabricated MEP solutions.

Showcasing the greatest display of offsite building and digital construction technologies under one roof, OFFSITE EXPO aims to attract circa 4,000 delegates and is geared towards creating the ultimate visitor experience. OFFSITE EXPO is the place for people to engage with key industry contacts, acquire new knowledge and network in vibrant surroundings.








BRONZE PLUS Building offsite solutions in timber




Maximise your business development potential at the UK’s biggest showcase of offsite manufactured construction technology and solutions. To join the above exhibitors, sponsors and featurebuilds book your stand today by contacting Julie Williams on 01743 290042 or email





From inspirational slimline ceramics to behind the wall frame systems, Geberit and Twyford’s solutions for bathroom pods offer the complete package whatever your project or budget.

1 Geberit’s range of ceramic and bathroom furniture includes a range of different styles and options, opening up a world of design possibilities. The space-saving Selnova Compact and Renova Plan series, for instance, offer a suite of compact and slimline furniture options, including short projection WCs and smaller-depth basins. Both ranges also incorporate a number of smart storage solutions, such as vanity units, tall shelving and mirror cabinets, helping add value and design appeal to your project. Wall-hung ceramics Geberit’s wall-mounted furniture and ceramics options meanwhile create the illusion of ‘floating’ above the floor, helping to open up the washroom space to create the appearance of more space. The premise is simple. Wall-hung toilets are made possible in bathrooms thanks to the inclusion of quick and affordable pre-wall frame systems, such as Geberit Duofix. By concealing the cistern behind a stud wall, a wall-hung toilet reduces the


outward projection of the ceramic. In smaller pods, opting for wall-hung ceramics can make a real difference – the ability to conceal the cistern and lift the toilet’s footprint off the floor can make even the smallest of bathroom spaces instantly appear bigger. Servicing and access to the cistern is also made easy via the flush plate. Commercial projects As a market leader in the commercial sector, Twyford’s eco-basic bathroom ranges are an integral part of the ceramic offering. The Alcona and Option bathroom collections offer a choice of affordable, design-led options whilst the versatile Doc.M range increases accessibility in the bathroom through features such as robust grab rails, raised height toilets as well as long projection toilets and accessible washbasins. Added value Geberit’s complete bathroom offer enables pod manufacturers and bathroom designers to add value


2 across projects. Its Duofix odour extraction unit, for instance, can be installed in all concealed cisterns from Geberit’s Sigma range. Indeed, with over 200 flushes to choose from, Geberit's wide range of flush plates and buttons can meet the demands of any project. Peace of mind From hotels to student accommodation, choose Geberit and Twyford every time for complete compliance and total peace of mind. Putting our customers first, Geberit’s dedicated OEM team work closely with pod manufacturers, applying their product know-how and technical expertise every step of the way. For more information visit: Images: 01. Renova Plan bathroom 02. Sigma range Duofix concealed cistern

Structural Post Connection, Evolved. Introducing the new PBWS single piece post base for post-to-concrete connections. With the same load-rated capacity as a standard post base, the unique folded build uses 45% less steel, making it better for the environment and easier to handle. And our innovative ZPRO coating provides the same protection against the elements as a hot dip galvanised coating, but with a neater, shinier finish. Extending the life of outdoor structures, economically. For more information visit



Steve Cole, Head of Make Modular, outlines why the new organisation is required and where it sits in a constantly evolving construction and homebuilding world. Make UK, under whose umbrella Make UK Modular, sits has an excellent reputation for producing evidencebased policy work which means it regularly engages with the most senior levels of government and business. We intend to take the same approach, and indeed make use of the expert economists and public affairs specialists within the wider organisation.

1 For as long as I’ve worked in housing, modular has been the coming thing, the innovation which will save the housing industry from low productivity, an ageing workforce, massive carbon footprint and poor build quality. But somehow, it has never quite happened, even though everyone in the industry knows that:

• The UK needs more homes, and fast • It needs homes which are green to build • It needs homes which use less energy • It needs homes to be great quality and good value • And it needs new people to build them. It needs homes: greener, better, faster and this is where Make Modular comes in. The modular sector is at a tipping point as it moves from an innovator to early adopter market. If we’re going to finally move UK housing out of perpetual crisis mode, our sector has


the key role to play. Make Modular, the new trade body, has been formed to support the sector in making that transition. Everyone in the sector knows modular means greener, better, faster housing delivery. The tricky bit is ensuring those outside the sector ‘get it’. Launched in parliament in December 2021, Make Modular was founded by Ilke Homes, TopHat, Urban Splash, Laing O’Rourke, L&G Modular, Vision Modular Systems, and the trade body for the manufacturing sector Make UK. Most trade bodies, very reasonably, are focused on stability and incremental growth. With ‘what we have we hold’ being, very reasonably, the dominant mentality. Make Modular was set up for exactly the opposite reason. The intent is for the new trade body to act as the voice for the volumetric modular housing sector ensuring that Government and stakeholders understand what the sector has to offer the country and the support it needs to transform our housing market.


Over the last five months we’ve focused on building our relationship with Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities (DLUHC), Homes England and wider political stakeholders. We want to be the first port of call for Government on all things modular and with regular meetings with civil servants, MPs, and think tanks are making great progress on that front. Our recent joint workshops with DLUHC on warranties, standardisation and data are just one example of this. Unlike the social housing or housebuilding sectors there is currently only limited data available on the volumetric modular sector. This means we are an industry with a limited overview of ourselves. We don’t really know how many modular homes are being built, what standard they are being built to, and what is being invested in the sector. This is a gap we aim to fill. Our recent work on the sector’s capacity gap is one example of this. We now know that the UK has seen nearly £1b of investment in modular factories, prototyping and systems in the last five years. We also know that there is sufficient capacity in place today to deliver more than 20,000 modular homes a year by 2024. The sector is at a crucial point in its development.


2 Government must capitalise on this investment and capacity, it won’t have this opportunity again. We need government to accelerate delivery ensuring the viability of the investment made and the jobs created by removing the remaining barriers holding the industry back. These are moves which can only be delivered by government, and do not require new money. These include: • Sustainability: enhance housebuilding sustainability by introducing more a robust commitment to and targets for netzero • Scale: dedicate 40% of the Affordable Homes Programme to MMC, and 50% of this to volumetric modular • Planning: create a fast-track planning route for net-zero homes • Land: government to require a minimum percentage of its land bank to be allocated for modular homes • Levelling Up: create a modular capacity strategy linking new factory location, high housing demand areas, and levelling up priority regions

3 However, Make Modular can’t deliver this on its own. That’s why working in partnership with our members and growing our membership is so important. Our membership already covers around 70% of the modular homes delivered in this country but we want to ensure we can speak confidently and accurately to Government on behalf of the entire sector. I’m confident that with the right evidence base, strategy, and the modular sector pulling together we can ensure the Government delivers

4 the best possible environment for modular industry to deliver the transformation the nation’s housing so badly needs. For more information visit: Images: 01. Steve Cole and ilke Homes’ Dave Sheridan at Make Modular Launch 02-04. Modular manufacture has the means to transform UK housebuilding





Manchester United won the league title, Tony Blair was Prime Minister and Harry Potter became a literary phenomenon. Yet 1997 was a landmark year for another reason – Premier Guarantee was launched. Now 25 and the second largest provider of structural warranty in the UK, Premier Guarantee has become a major player in offsite construction. LoCaL’s closed panel system offered an exemplar of how MMC system manufacturers should engage with the supply chain.

1 Premier Guarantee’s first recorded use of modern methods of construction (MMC) was for a custom build home at the self-build development in Graven Hill, Oxfordshire, in 2003. Since then, the UK’s second largest provider of structural warranties has worked on hundreds of developments using MMC elements, from complex skyscrapers to closed panel timber frame low-rise homes. Offsite elements and MMC make up a growing proportion of many UK construction projects. In working on such developments, Premier Guarantee has created a system acceptance process to ensure specified systems meet our warranty performance standards. Manufacturers can take advantage of our four-step acceptance process, beginning with initial triage, detailed review, factory inspection and trial site assessment. Once a site has shown that a system can meet our warranty requirements, the product or system will be granted Premier Guarantee system acceptance for one year. At that stage renewal will be required, to ensure changing technical requirements and the current legislation can be met.


2 In addition to factory visits, site inspections start at foundation stage and combine typical build-stage visits with risk management inspections, based on an initial assessment and according to the risk factors of the development. It’s important to note that Premier Guarantee warranty system acceptance does not constitute a third-party product approval from a UKAS-accredited testing body and is designed to recognise that a product or system used can meet our warranty requirements. LoCaL Homes closed panel timber frame Using timber frames, specialist insulation, pre-installed claddings and a range of innovative techniques, LoCaL Homes manufacture a sustainable, environmentally conscious, low carbon alternative to more traditional brick-built structures. Run on social enterprise principles through social housing provider GreenSquareAccord, LoCaL Homes is committed to communities as well as the environment. Clifford Davis, Technical Innovations Surveyor at Premier Guarantee, said the warranty provider’s acceptance of


He said: “LoCaL is just the kind of company we want to work with, as they strive to produce a high-quality product and are happy to work with us to improve their own standards, which in some instances already exceed current building regulations. “They have invested heavily in a new factory and machinery to improve and protect their product. All timber elements are cut and nailed by automated machines to ensure a high level of accuracy. Coupled with this they have good QA processes, multiple checks and supervision through-out the construction process, ensuring a consistent level of quality". Premier Guarantee’s range of structural warranties provide cover for 10 or 12 years and can include mechanical and engineering defects for plant installations as well as structural defects. Also typically included is cover for contaminated land, alternative accommodation and professional fees. For more information visit: our-services/system-acceptance email: systemacceptance@ or call: 0800 107 8446 Images: 01-02. Premier Guarantee has worked on hundreds of developments using MMC elements over the last 25 years

We brought a structural warranty monopoly to an end when we launched in 1997. 25 years on, we are a major provider of warranty and building control services in the UK.

Join the party



Sam Hart, Head of Modern Methods of Construction (MMC) programmes, Built Environment – Smarter Transformation (BE-ST) sees the public sector playing a huge role in boosting the adoption of MMC technology.

1 While robotic excavators and autonomous vehicles might be some of the first things that spring to mind when people think of automated construction, these are somewhat futuristic illustrations of the types of advanced technologies most likely to be used on construction sites. Digital transformation is well underway, however, with artificial intelligence (AI) becoming an increasingly important tool for enhancing efficiency, improving safety and eliminating human error. A number of companies have brought robots to construction sites, for instance, with robot ‘dogs’ or remotely operated vehicles (ROVs) similar to those used by the subsea and oil and gas sectors supporting tasks like data gathering, measurements, remote monitoring and 3D mapping.


Initial studies have shown that these robots can easily navigate potentially hazardous conditions to collect different types of information through sensors, cameras and scanners. Last year, we also saw the first automated bricklaying robot secure accreditation from NHBC, giving formal recognition that the robot could deliver work to the same standard as a human. A recent study suggested that the number of robots used on construction sites could rise to around 7,000 over the next five years, but as most construction sites begin to embrace enhanced digital technologies, one area where the adoption rate is already standard is in offsite manufacturing. In fact, intelligent, automated technology is already playing an important role in offsite and modern


methods of construction (MMC) with some of the UK’s major housebuilders investing heavily in new equipment and digital infrastructure to support the increasing demand for more advanced industrialised build systems. There is one client in a unique position to drive change: the public sector is one of the industry’s largest ‘customers’ so to speak, responsible for around £26b of new projects in 2020, including schools, hospitals, infrastructure and other types of construction activity. Rising public sector demand for offsite projects and the introduction of frameworks and policies that promote the use of advanced offsite manufacturing methods are acting as a catalyst for investment and development – particularly among the major contractors in England.

SMART TECHNOLOGY For example, the recently launched Offsite Construction Solutions framework being delivered through The Crown Commercial Service (CCS), is a £10b framework to be used by all UK public sector bodies providing access to manufacturers of offsite solutions. The proposed seven-year agreement is planned to supersede the existing £500m CCS framework launched in 2019 for offsite construction. The intention is that it is used by central government departments, their arm’s length bodies and the wider public sector including local government, health, education, police, fire and rescue, housing associations and third sector. With a greater focus on MMC in public procurement practices, we will see more contracts being awarded to offsite specialists who can invest further time and resources in innovation and new technology. These larger public sector contracts are likely to be awarded to some of the bigger contractors, but if robotics and automated technology become the norm for them, it will ultimately filter down to smaller companies and the wider supply chain too. Of course, change won’t happen overnight and, particularly for the public sector, it requires an evidencebased approach. For those of us already working closely in offsite and MMC, we have seen the benefits first-hand – and we need to be able to effectively communicate these to decision-makers. Initiatives such as the Advanced Industrialised Methods for the Construction of Homes (AIMCH), Edinburgh Home Demonstrator, and Transforming Timber – all supported by Built Environment – Smarter Transformation (BE-ST) – are intending to do just that, building an evidence


3 base that can be used across the built environment. Perhaps most importantly, each of these projects also take account of the carbon savings and environmental benefits that come from offsite manufacturing combined with the use of natural alternative materials such as engineered timber. With data and scientific evidence in place, public procurement practices could be updated further in favour of MMC across other parts of the UK, leading to more work for offsite manufacturers. In turn, this will enable them to invest and develop their offering even further to include robotics and AI.

CSIC = BE-ST Built Environment – Smarter Transformation (BE-ST), formerly Construction Scotland Innovation Centre (CSIC), has a new strategic focus prioritising the built environment’s transition to zero carbon and improving the sector’s contribution to the fight against climate change. The new brand and mission for the innovation centre underlines its core purpose: to accelerate the move to a more sustainable, energyefficient and more circular built environment. The refreshed ambition also reflects its growing partner base beyond the construction sector, including organisations right across the wider built environment ecosystem, and its expanding geographical reach beyond Scotland.

Digital transformation is a process that we have to approach stage by stage and it will take time. We can’t jump straight from building houses by hand to having robots and automated technology on every project – and that might never happen – but we have an opportunity to maximise the role of digital transformation in offsite manufacturing. We already know that waste is minimised, productivity improved and accuracy enhanced through the use of MMC, so we can make some assumptions as to how the greater use of robotic technology could influence these elements too. As with any kind of innovation, we need to evidence scalability and surety of pipeline demand to drive widespread investment. In the case of offsite manufacturing, it could quite feasibly be the public sector that holds the sustainable fuel to supercharge change at scale. For more information visit: Images: 01-03. Digital technology underpins the offsite sector and will play a huge part in future construction projects





Technologies such as augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) are becoming common tools in the built environment and bring a new dimension to the construction sector. But are they really being adopted at meaningful levels?

1 Giving construction workers access to technology such as AR will not only combat soaring resource costs but will help attract young people to construction roles noted GlobalData – a leading data and analytics company – recently. But while AR could give the industry a much-needed reinvigoration, many executives are seemingly not planning to invest.

According to GlobalData’s report, ‘Augmented Reality (AR) in Construction’, around 55% of construction industry executives they surveyed in late 2021 intend to invest in AR within the next two years. However, the same survey reveals one third have no plans to buy into the technology.

“Getting people in the right place at the right time is a constant problem in construction,” says Robert Penman, Analyst for the Thematic Research team at GlobalData. “Technology adoption will help attract the talent needed to invigorate the industry. Those that are not looking to invest will miss out on the many benefits that AR can bring, including increasing project accuracy, supporting collaborative design, and enabling stakeholder engagement. If these are to be achieved, money must be put in the hands of contractors, so they can determine the technology necessary to improve efficiency.” Exciting breakthroughs in AR and VR can allow construction teams to visualise many aspects of a building before its creation using a special helmet – who has not seen or worn the ubiquitous Oculus headset? Innovative visualisation tools allow architects to drop in various interior

MACHINE LEARNING AND BUILDING Getting your head around the latest digital technology can be a tough ask but AI/AR/VR platforms are making many aspects of the construction industry more efficient, saving money and revolutionising how the construction industry operates and importantly how it is perceived by a new generation of workers. • AI can prevent cost overruns by comparing project costs and predicting where future cost overruns may occur. Predictive models can show where potential errors may happen so resources can ne planned more efficiently • BIM and 3D modelling need AI for better design of buildings and take into consideration architecture, engineering, mechanical, electrical, and plumbing (MEP) and how they are sequenced • AI can reduce risk and automatically assign priority to project stages for core teams and sub-contractors • Robots and AI could stop late and over budget construction projects. An AI technique called ‘reinforcement learning’ allows algorithms to learn and assess endless combinations and alternatives based on similar projects • Construction companies are using AI to plan for distribution of labour and machinery across projects – construction firms could boost productivity by as much as 50% through real-time analysis of data • Construction is awash with data. AI systems can analyse endless amount of data to learn and improve project and process flow constantly. Big Data generated from mobile devices, drone videos, smart sensors, BIM) create a huge pool of information • Building managers can employ AI in post-construction and occupancy assessments. AI can be used to monitor developing problems and offer potential solutions to prevent problems.



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SMART TECHNOLOGY expected from $9b in 2021, to $152b by 2030. Not only does this show its popularity as a product, but also its resourcefulness. Looking at the construction industry specifically, GlobalData’s report has identified several emerging AR use cases with huge potential.

2 elements and layouts into their design or pull in 2D drawings to build 3D models to provide an immersive design experience that accommodates important feedback early in the design process. GlobalData notes that contractors constantly face challenges in securing people, materials, and equipment. Not only did COVID-19 lead to staff shortages due to illness, travel restrictions, and supply issues, but delays and other procurement processes inevitably drove up project costs. “The construction industry is suffering from supply chain issues and soaring resource costs,” adds Penman. “Firms have seen project expenses increase steadily in the past few years, and this is unlikely to change.” So, how can AR help combat these challenges? Well, firstly, the global AR market is exploding. Growth is

AR is particularly useful during a project’s design and construction stage due to the number of different operatives and disciplines that could use these devices. AR enables building models to be positioned on-site through headsets or smart glasses, so they can be compared to the construction site. A user will easily notice errors before further work occurs, avoiding unnecessary rework and using additional expensive materials. However, the construction industry has been suffering from thin profit margins that have undoubtedly made investing in technology difficult recently. Prices for key construction materials have been under significant upward pressure, with the recovery of construction activity in 2021 increasing demand for materials. “This is especially pressing, given that COVID-19 disruption triggered supply shortages,” says Danny Richards, Construction Analyst at GlobalData. “The fallout from the Ukraine war has exacerbated these inflationary pressures, severely impacting contractors working on fixed-price contracts. With supply disruptions

likely to prevail in the coming quarters, and the ongoing challenges that contractors will face, investment in technology in the short-term could be limited.” The more we can understand the impact of digital technology on our relationship to place and space, the better we make a real and positive difference to the actual development of our built environment. “The more complex mechanical, electrical, and plumbing (MEP) elements a project requires, the more the project will gain from AR,” says Penman. For the offsite sector in particular the use of ‘mixed realities’ where combinations of digital tools are used in the factory environment can deliver massive benefits and is worth significant investment. Quality and productivity need to be improved at many levels and one thing is for certain - Industry 4.0, the internet of things and digital developments are only going to expand in the next decade. For more information on the GlobalData report, ‘Augmented Reality (AR) in Construction’ visit: Images: 01. The use of digital technology will only increase. Courtesy AMRC 02. McAvoy has used VR to huge success across its projects. Courtesy McAvoy Group 03. The Atom enables construction teams to view and position models hosted in BIM 360 to millimetre accuracy

THE MIGHTY ATOM Construction technology company, XYZ Reality recently announced the official integration of its Engineering-Grade AR headset, The Atom, with Autodesk® BIM 360®, a construction management solution that is part of Autodesk Construction Cloud®, a portfolio of software and services that combines advanced technology, a builders network and predictive insights for construction teams.


For the first time ever, construction project stakeholders can achieve unrivalled on-site accuracy using The Atom’s powerful AR technology. Seamless data sharing between BIM 360 and The Atom increases productivity and efficiency, whilst also allowing teams to benefit from a hybrid workflow. Combining a construction safety headset, augmented reality displays and in-built computing power, The Atom enables construction teams to view and position models hosted in BIM 360 to millimetre accuracy on-site. Construction teams can now use The Atom to create, visualise and manage issues and tasks, and instantly assign them to project stakeholders in BIM 360. Users can share rich, up-to-date details, pictures and videos linked to a precise location on-site. Crucially, design and construction teams can also create and view Issues in either BIM 360 (including in Navisworks models) or The Atom. XYZ Reality’s Engineering-Grade AR headset is already demonstrating its effectiveness in the field, with global construction companies such as PM Group, Cundall and Mace using it to reduce rework and deliver projects on time and within budget. For more information visit:



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A new report calls for industry action to overcome regulatory and perception challenges and unlock the market for mass timber construction and overcome a huge barrier to decarbonisation.

1 Published by the Alliance for Sustainable Building Products (ASBP) it sheds light on the major challenges faced by developers in their attempts to reduce carbon emissions in new building projects. It also recommends a series of potential solutions that could unlock significant carbon savings through an increase in the use of mass timber. ‘Mass Timber: Challenges & Potential Solutions’, presents a summary of the research carried out through the ASBP’s Timber Accelerator Hub (TAH), a project initiated in response to the unfavourable market conditions that engineered wood products have been facing in recent years. The project investigated the primary barriers preventing the wider uptake of mass timber and outlined how industry might overcome difficulties obtaining


2 insurance, and the prevailing negative perceptions around fire performance and prohibitive regulation. “To create places that are truly fit for the future we need to think and act in a fundamentally different way across the built environment sector, said Mario Lara Ledermann, International Technical Lead, Lendlease. “We need to design innovatively to facilitate efficient assembly and disassembly of buildings, using a range of materials that can be used repeatedly, and ultimately recycled to eliminate waste. We must decarbonise ‘traditional’ materials such as concrete and steel, but we also need to accelerate the adoption of inherently low-carbon technologies such as engineered timber. And we need to collaborate, reflect and share lessons more proactively as we will only succeed if we learn together.”


Barriers to development The report draws attention to a number of industry-led initiatives seeking to overcome these barriers, documenting a thriving ecosystem of organisations working to unlock mass timber construction through research, design innovation or cross-sector collaboration. An example is the New Model Building, a project led by Waugh Thistleton Architects and funded by Built By Nature, which aims to create a pre-warrantied standard design for a six-storey mass timber housing block. The New Model Building approach is expected to be published in the coming weeks for use by the wider industry, which could spark a renewed use of mass timber in UK residential development. The report urges developers and building designers to collaborate to define further design

STRUCTURAL TIMBER standards and common approaches to mitigating risk that could address insurer’s concerns. “It appears there is currently a lack of confidence in certain elements of the construction industry generally,” said Sam Liptrott, Director, OFR Consultants. “At the vanguard of the construction industry, however, there are extremely competent and visionary developers, designers and contractors who want to achieve net-zero in a safe and sustainable way. The question is whether there is enough time to let this knowledge cascade down to the whole industry, or whether a catalyst is needed. In my view, industry and government need to show courage and willingness to invest otherwise the industry will flounder in its critical pursuit of net zero. The obvious answer is to develop a rapid and extensive research programme to better understand innovative building materials and methods.” Calling for the mantra in coming years to be “test, test, test”, the report calls on Government to work handin-hand with industry and rapidly scale-up fire testing programmes and provide clarity, following a string of divergent standards and policies released or drafted by the Greater London Authority, the British Standards Institute and the Government itself that have fuelled negative perceptions around timber’s fire performance. The Road to decarbonisation Report author Joe Giddings emphasised: “The urgent need to address the climate emergency combined with the necessity of adequately addressing fire safety concerns creates an imperative to act fast and demonstrate fire performance through testing, especially given the timescales involved in undertaking large-scale fire tests and creating appropriate standards and regulations.” The wider policy context has shifted dramatically since 2017 with the UK now legally committed to net zero emissions by 2050. The Government is well aware that to get there, the construction industry will need to dramatically reduce embodied carbon and there is now wide recognition that mass timber has an important role in this.

3 In the medium to long term, industry needs to work closely with Government towards the development of more advanced regulations, standards and statutory guidance documents that encourage mass timber construction whilst ensuring the highest degree of building safety and property protection in mass timber buildings. We’re not there yet, but ultimately the ambition to mitigate constructions contribution to climate change will require us, somehow, move beyond the prohibitive regulatory environment we currently have. This report proposes a potential roadmap for this. The Timber Accelerator Hub (TAH) was established by the ASBP, with funding from the Laudes Foundation, Timber Development UK and Swedish Wood, to work with a network of key construction industry stakeholders to investigate current barriers and explore potential solutions. The project has been steered by a

wider group of leading practitioners and experts drawn from a number of key partner organisations, acting in an advisory capacity including Wood Knowledge Wales, Structural Timber Association, Cambridge Centre for Natural Material Innovation, Lendlease, Chase Underwriting, Gallagher, Gardiner & Theobald, British Woodworking Federation & OFR Consultants. The full report is available to download from the ASBP website, where you can also find out more about the Timber Accelerator Hub project - asbp-tah Images: 01. The report ‘Mass Timber: Challenges & Potential Solutions’ 02-03. Tall timber in the UK has been stymied by confused concerns over building safety. Courtesy Waugh Thistleton





The Structural Timber Association (STA) recently released a white paper demonstrating the vital role timber has in helping the UK achieve net zero status by 2050 and the role it can play in offsite construction.

1 The white paper ‘Increased Use of Timber’ explores the stark reality that, without intervention and meaningful change, climate change and its effects will continue to worsen. Contributing an estimated 50% of the UK’s total carbon emissions, it is little surprise that the Government has placed a particular emphasis on the built environment in its efforts to reach net zero. The UK has positioned itself as a world leader in the fight against climate change, becoming the first major economy to legislate a net zero target by 2050, with an interim target of 78% reduction by 2035. Achieving these ambitious goals will require decarbonisation across every aspect of UK industry. The STA’s white paper highlights the key role that timber will play in enabling the construction industry to meet the challenges of industrial decarbonisation and deliver net zero by 2050. It explains why timber has been singled out, by highlighting its exceptional sustainable properties, including its ability to sequester 0.9


2 tonnes of carbon per metre cubed, as well as its stance as the only truly renewable building resource. It also looks at the construction advantages of structural timber, such as fast build times, and how these can assist with current issues, including the UK’s housing crisis. Demand for housing continues to increase and, despite recording a 33year high of 240k new houses in 201920, development still falls short of the government’s housing supply target of 300k homes/ year by the mid-2020s. Some estimates suggest that as many as 345k homes/year will be needed to tackle the housing crisis. This need for a substantial increase in the number of new houses must be balanced against the goal of achieving net zero, which means that the role of timber in construction will become ever more important. According to NHBC, timber frame is used in about:

• • • •

9% of newbuilds in England 92% of newbuilds in Scotland 22% of newbuilds in Wales 30% of newbuilds in Northern Ireland.


England, by far the largest market, lags well behind the other home nations, but the solution already exists - according to the STA, timber frame manufacturers have the capacity to deliver up to 70,000 timber frame houses per year in the UK. This presents a major opportunity to reach the government’s target while driving down carbon emissions, as well as satisfying DEFRA’s England Trees Action Plan to: ‘work with Homes England and delivery partners to explore ways to increase timber use in the delivery of housing programmes.’ “We have reached a tipping point in the fight against climate change,” says the STA COO Andrew Orriss. “It is clear that for the UK to succeed in its efforts to achieve net zero status by 2050, we must see an increased use of timber within construction. We are aware of the barriers that have to be overcome, particularly regarding safety concerns, so we are increasing dialogue with the insurance sector. The STA continues to conduct research into fire safety and timber construction and is also a key member of the Timber in Construction Working Group, tasked with developing a policy roadmap to help the Government deliver on its net zero commitments. Education for all involved is key and the STA can support the construction industry in better understanding of the use of structural timber through its technical guidance and research.” To download the whitepaper visit:

Images: 01. Andrew Orriss, STA COO 02. The wider use of timber in construction can boost the numbers of newbuild homes and help secure net zero targets

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Over the last eight years an astounding 520 companies have entered the Structural Timber Awards and over 115 have picked up a trophy on the night. Don’t miss out on this bumper night out with colleagues and customers.


Winning an industry award is without doubt a big deal, demonstrating to all that you are a leading light in the sector. On 12 October 2022, the construction industry will come together once again at the National Conference Centre, Birmingham to celebrate those who inspire, innovate and demonstrate excellence at the Structural Timber Awards.


But this is not a stuffy ceremony with lots of formal speeches, it’s a fun and vibrant event where everyone has a great time and the evenings celebrations are rounded off with a casino night where the stakes are low – playing with phony chips – so everyone is a winner. As world leaders grapple to find solutions to combat the impact of climate change, sustainable structural timber systems are acknowledged as critical in the battle to reduce carbon emissions in the construction sector. This, combined with enhanced speed and performance benefits, are just


some of the reasons for the abundance of exceptional projects. So, it is easy to see why these awards are experiencing exponential growth and each year the industry turns out in force to reward and celebrate this success. Showcasing Excellence This event is the ideal opportunity for construction professionals to maximise industry exposure by demonstrating what separates them from their competitors. The winning organisations will be promoted to a national audience, giving entrants the opportunity to make their mark on this strategically important market.


2 Entering the Structural Timber Awards allows the most innovative achievements in timber to be showcased by the industry alongside those considered the nation’s best. Earning ‘highly commended’ or winning an award will earn entrant’s recognition within the construction community, leading to an abundance of new business prospects for each company. Award Categories Timber continues to stand at the centre of many sustainable construction projects. This year’s awards will recognise excellence in all sectors, from self-build, private housing and social housing to education, healthcare, commercial, retail and leisure. Project individuals will also

be celebrated, with categories open for clients, architects, installers, contractors, engineers, project managers and industry pioneers. 2021 Success Last year, over 60 companies and project professionals were shortlisted from a selection of nearly 250 entries across all categories. The 2021 ceremony saw Arup collect the prestigious Winner of Winners award for the IQL Pavilion, London. Other award winners included: Constructional Timber, Eurban, Greencore Construction, Hewitt Studios, Heyne Tillett Steel, Innovare Systems, Maccreanor Lavington Architects, Mae Architects, SNUG Homes, TopHat and University of Warwick.

3 Images: 01. Pictured (L-R) Sponsor: Jemma Harris, Actis Insulation, 2021 Category Winner: Greencore Construction and Host: Mark Durden-Smith 02. 2021 Structural Timber Awards Guests 03. 2021 Structural Timber Awards Trophies, created by Piveteaubois

GET INVOLVED – ENTER THE 2022 STRUCTURAL TIMBER AWARDS Do you have a project or construction professional that you think is worthy of winning a Structural Timber Award? If so, the deadline is fast approaching in June, so the countdown is on and a choice of 17 categories to enter – the time is right to gain the opportunity to take centre stage at these prestigious awards. There are no restrictions or cost barriers – companies are actively encouraged to submit multiple awards, as entering is completely free of charge. Enter free-of-charge at: Contact Amy Pryce on: or 01743 290001 for more information.





Manufacturers of construction products are being urged to start the UKCA process now to achieve certification in time for 1 January 2023 deadline. Niresh Somlie, Principal Technical Officer at BM TRADA explains why. longer the delay in getting the process started, the more likely manufacturers are to be caught up in a race for sampling and test space availability.

1 Manufacturers who have not yet started or completed the UKCA certification process are warned that the 1 January 2023 deadline risks providing a ‘false sense of comfort’ given the time required to successfully conclude the process.

2 bodies, manufacturers who have not yet started or completed the process may find themselves in a ‘race for space’, according to one of the UK’s leading testing, inspection and certification providers.

Following the UK officially leaving the EU in December 2020, UKCA certification became mandatory for all new construction products placed on the market in Great Britain as of 1 January 2021 and will be mandatory for all applicable construction products placed on the GB market as of 1 January 2023. It covers all products that fall within the scope of the UK Construction Products Regulation and Designated Standards, and directly replaces CE certification for products placed on the GB market.

Although many manufacturers have successfully achieved UKCA certification, a sizeable number have not. The UKCA certification process is very dependent on the assessment and verification of constancy of performance (AVCP) level of the product. AVCP information can be found in Annex ZA of the designated standard. For example, products that fall under AVCP Level 1+ and 1 require involvement of the approved body in sampling and initial type testing (ITT) of the product at an approved laboratory.

UKCA certification can only be issued by an approved body listed on the UK government’s database. As there are only a small number of approved

Lead times for sampling and laboratory availability are currently long and are likely to be even longer towards the end of this year. Therefore, the



In addition to sampling and testing requirements, products that fall under AVCP Level 1+, 1 and 2+ require a factory production control (FPC) audit. The UKCA certificate can only be issued once the audit of the factory is successfully completed. Once again, audit lead times are currently long and if the certification process is not started now, it is likely that the factory audit will not be completed in time for 1 January 2023. Ultimately, while the deadline for achieving certification is 1 January 2023, it could provide a false sense of comfort for manufacturers thinking that they have enough time until the end of the year to get sorted. Leaving any applications until later in the year could result in the certificate not being issued in time. If the product is not UKCA certified on 1 January 2023, it cannot be placed on the GB market. This will have severe implications on business operations and trading capabilities. My best advice to any manufacturer who has yet to start the UKCA certification process would be to act now to ensure a smooth certification process in time for 1 January 2023. This will also keep any disruption to an absolute minimum. For more information on UKCA certification visit: Images: 01. Niresh Somlie, Principal Technical Officer at BM TRADA. 02. UKCA certification can only be issued by an approved body listed on the UK government’s database


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SIDEY CELEBRATES ENROLLING FIRST APPRENTICES INTO NEW TRAINING ACADEMY Sidey has officially enrolled it’s first two apprentice installers, Josh Neary and James Dickson, into the Sidey Training Academy, as part of the company’s new apprenticeship programme. Donna Montgomery, Sidey’s Community Benefits Manager commented: “Investment in our people is at the heart of Sidey and we recognise the value that apprentices bring not only to our business but also to our economy and society as a whole. The new Sidey Training Academy Apprenticeship Programme will allow us to address any potential skill shortages, whilst also enabling us to develop a diverse future workforce.” Brian Moultrie from RT Resources will be assessing the apprentices work on site over a 12-month period as Josh and James work towards gaining their SVQ Fenestration Installation SCQF Level 5.

James Dickson Jnr said: “I’m really excited to be taken on by Sidey as an apprentice and look forward to where the journey takes me. In five years’ time, I would like to be fully qualified and part of my own team.”




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Craig Johnson, Business Development Manager – Detailing & Manufacturing at Trimble (UK), outlines how the precast concrete sector can benefit from incorporating digital technology into the construction workflow.

1 With precast concrete being offered as a cost and time savings solution, while simultaneously maintaining the high production and finished aesthetics, time is always of the essence. As such, anything that contributes to an efficient manufacturing process and helps maintain the speed and quality of production is essential, ensuring that precast manufacturers can continue to offer improved building schedules and time savings to their clients. This is where digital technology and BIM can come into play. By utilising a 3D model-based workflow, precast contractors can benefit from enhanced visualisation and accuracy, with great levels of detail contained within the central model. As well as offering automatic clash detection, helping to reduce the likelihood of rework being required further down the line, this digital approach can also help to facilitate greater data integration 72

between different stages of a project. For example, the data contained within the 3D model can be automatically fed into the fabrication machinery in accordance with the central model’s associated production schedule. This level of automation can be key, helping to reduce the likelihood of human error, increase rates of production and streamline the overall process, ensuring that the precast components are delivered to site right when they are needed. When it comes to offsite construction, you want offsite manufacturing that fits the on-site constraints. As well as ensuring just-in-time deliveries, considering the installation process is also important, with this final stage in many ways just as important and instrumental as the initial detailing and modelling. After all, one of the primary


benefits of the offsite methodology is that it offers a simpler and more streamlined process, including a faster assembly process on site. While precast concrete can bring with it the perceptions of excessive weight – in turn, translating into challenges when trying to manoeuvre and install on-site – this certainly isn’t the case. With developments in digital technology helping to facilitate a smoother installation, BIM software can be used for planning crane layouts and assembly sequencing. As well as analysing the centre of gravity of concrete components and using this information to better plan crane lifts and crane locations, precast contractors can take this insight further still. In fact, as early as the detailing stage, teams can plan ahead and considering the final assembly process during any design decision-making.




As a product, precast concrete is hugely adaptable, able to suit and fit a variety of applications and sectors. This is perhaps one of the reasons for its success within offsite, with the offsite process not limited just to student accommodation or hotels but instead covering the whole of the construction and wider infrastructure industries. As such, materials are needed that can keep up. In much the same way as steel framing systems are used, precast concrete panels can help construct the external structure of a building and form its internal layout. Precast can even have some benefits over its steel equivalent when it comes to a building’s internal structure, with its self-supporting nature making it suitable for larger spans, helping to open up spaces and create a contemporary, open plan look and feel. Indeed, in many ways, precast concrete can be seen as a limitless material. Using different aggregates, different colours and different textures, it can be used to achieve any shape and any finish – with precast panels even able to mimic brick or timber. This flexibility could perhaps be especially useful in helping combat one of the obstacles to the uptake of offsite and modular construction: mainly the perception that it leads to the creation of identical and uninspiring ‘boxes’. Given this flexibility, mixed-material buildings can be a common occurrence within construction. For example, you may have a steel framed building but with a precast brick slip façade. In these situations, having a multi-material software can be hugely advantageous. Enabling project teams to consider, analyse and visualise both the steel and concrete structure within the same model, including how the

4 different materials interact and connect with each other, can be key in helping to avoid structural clashes and facilitate more informed decision making. While important on any construction project, ensuring high levels of effective collaboration and visualisation is perhaps especially critically when it comes to offsite – particularly during the detailing and on-site installation phases of the construction sequence. At the detailing stage of a project, 3D modelling software can offer firsthand, in-house visualisation direct from the drawing office to the shop floor, assisting with manufacturing confirmations and query resolutions. What’s more, prior to manufacturing, the use of cloud-based collaboration platforms can offer enhanced insight towards the precast model for all parties involved within the approval process, from the client and architect through to the engineer, precast manufacturer and steelwork contractor. This collaboration software can be just as valuable once the project reaches site, allowing site teams to ensure a streamlined and efficient installation and assembly. Before developments in digital technology, if a clash was identified on-site, the site team would

first have to make a call to the drawing office and explain the issue. They would then have to go through the model to try and identify the clash detected on site and report back. Now, with the rise of mobile tablets and mixed reality technology, such a lengthy and convoluted process is a thing of the past, with site teams able to access the model remotely, resulting in faster on-site resolutions. As a material, concrete is still growing in popularity, favoured for its flexibility, thermal benefits, large spans and design possibilities. As offsite construction continues to grow, precast concrete is set to be an integral part of the movement, with digital technology sitting alongside it. Indeed, integrating all forms of BIM into the construction workflow can enable precast manufacturers to offer a fuller and more comprehensive precast package, further benefitting the offsite movement. For more information visit: Images: 01-04. By utilising a 3D model-based workflow, precast contractors can benefit from enhanced visualisation, accuracy and greater levels of detail



DATES FOR YOUR DIARY IN 2022 If you are interested in learning more about offsite construction and the associated manufacturing processes then the following industry events may be of interest: 21 June

Tall Buildings Conference

22 Bishopsgate, London

Back by popular demand, Tall Buildings Conference is returning in London and will assist engineers in understanding the common challenges associated with transferring standard engineering principles and knowledge from low-rise structures to tall buildings. 21 June Tall Buildings Awards

05 July

20-21 Sept 2020 Tall Buildings Awards




20-21 Sept


Tall Buildings Awards 2020



Tall Buildings Awards 2020

20 September

22 Bishopsgate, London

Tall buildings present unique challenges in terms of both design and construction. Their sheer scale demands that particular attention is paid simultaneously to strategic and detailed issues. Tall Buildings Awards is taking place on 21 June 2022 in London and will highlight design and building technology innovation in the UK high-rise sector. Climate Emergency Conference

2020 Tall Buildings Awards

Tall Buildings Awards 2020

Tall Buildings Awards

etc. Venues, Manchester

NEW for 2022 Climate Emergency Conference is designed to debate and share the work and ideas the construction sector is implementing to decrease the sector’s carbon emissions - to ensure the construction industry helps to tackle climate change and meet Government targets by 2050. Offsite Expo

CBS Arena, Coventry

Offsite Expo brings together those who are driving change in the construction sector – the event will play host to the leading UK and international offsite manufacturers and component suppliers showcasing a broad spectrum of panelised, volumetric modular solutions, pod and prefabricated MEP solutions, as well as the latest in Digital and BIM technology. Offsite Connect

CBS Arena, Coventry

Offsite Connect is an interactive Forum which offers a structured, highly effective way for buyers and specifiers to meet with new and existing offsite industry suppliers exhibiting at Offsite Expo. The Forum is aimed at senior personnel with an influence over procurement decisions or specifications with live projects or a significant pipeline. Offsite Construction Awards

CBS Arena, Coventry

The Offsite Construction Awards will reward outstanding examples of prefabrication and factory-based methods, products, systems and disciplines that increasingly strive to develop a sustainable, streamlined and cost-effective way to deliver a better built environment. ENTRY DEADLINE: 10.06.22 12 October

Structural Timber Awards

NCC, Birmingham

Returning for its eighth year in Birmingham, there has already been a large amount of attention focused on the 2022 Structural Timber Awards. The Awards once again will reward excellence, celebrate expertise in timber technology and the ways it contributes to an attractive, energy efficient and sustainable built environment. ENTRY DEADLINE: 10.06.22






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