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PLATFORM SOLUTIONS The Construction Innovation Hub is helping the industry to build smarter, greener and more efficient buildings


MODULAR MIDLANDS Birmingham City Council is trailblazing the use of innovative volumetric modular homes


REFLECTING THE CIRCULAR ECONOMY Sustainability, cost savings and designing components to recycle, reuse and remanufacture


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Welcome to the latest edition and for those picking up Offsite Magazine for the first time at Offsite Expo, you should find something to grab your attention and plenty inside to spark your imagination.

ADVERTISING ENQUIRIES PLEASE CONTACT: Julie Williams // T: 01743 290001 E: BACK ISSUES VISIT: FRONT COVER Millbay, Plymouth. voestalpine Metsec

For offsite enquiries please contact: E:

The UK construction industry is often criticised by independent observers and commentators for being slow to adapt to change, adopt new approaches and being rooted in the past. Putting product development and technological advances to one side, the actual site-based process of building seems not to have moved on much in the last 60 years and this seems to have crystallised as the UK housing crisis – with low rates of newbuild completions battling against old energy inefficient buildings, poorly quality finishing and all available at inflated market prices.

DISCLAIMER: The content of Offsite Magazine does not necessarily reflect the views of the editor or publishers and are the views of its contributors and advertisers. The digital edition may include hyperlinks to third-party content, advertising, or websites, provided for the sake of convenience and interest. The publishers accept no legal responsibility for loss arising from information in this publication and do not endorse any advertising or products available from external sources. No part of this publication may be reproduced or stored in a retrieval system without the written consent of the publishers. All rights reserved.

So what are the answers? Offsite manufacture and a factory-based methodology are a large part of the answer – albeit not the only one. The benefits of offsite construction are well documented and the cold hard fact is that we now live in a fast paced technological/digital age (whether we like it or not) and the construction industry, its clients and supply chains need to recognise that more, employ a

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new mind-set and speed up. For those visiting Offsite Expo you will find yourselves surrounded by a good deal of market pioneers and ‘disruptors’, genuinely trying to make a difference to deliver a better, more cost-effective, quality driven and sustainable built environment. Certainly the range of speakers in the Masterclasses is genuinely second to none and will put the offsite sector in all its various materials into a UK and international context. One high-profile catalyst for change is the Construction Innovation Hub. Keith Waller, Programme Director, for the Hub explains in more depth inside that ‘Changing construction will be no easy feat – the sector is massive, accounting for around 9% of our GDP and it is deeply fragmented. But change is both essential and inevitable.” The Hub brings together world-class expertise from the Manufacturing Technology Centre, Building Research Establishment and the Centre for Digital Built Britain. It is this type of organisation that is required to help transform, pull and push the UK construction industry to improved levels of performance and innovation. Many thanks to all our contributors, advertisers and supporters. Enjoy…

Gary Ramsay

Consultant Editor Email:

MODULAR MATTERS conference and exhibition will create a platform to learn directly from leading sector designers, engineers, architects and manufacturers on how to apply innovative volumetric modular technology and also dispel the myths on design constraints.


22.10.2019 NCC Birmingham

In partnership with

The event provides a dynamic and interactive learning experience for all visitors and a fantastic business development opportunity for exhibitors and sponsors. TO BOOK YOUR PLACE VISIT:



Bespoke Framing Systems Steel Solutions Without Compromise

Hadley Group provides a pre-panelised stand-alone steel frame structure which is a lighter and easier to erect alternative to steel or concrete primary frames and offers distinct advantages over timber frame construction within the residential property market. Properties of up to four storeys can be quickly and effectively produced. Spans of up to 6m offer the potential to eliminate internal load bearing walls and thereby provide more options for internal space planning.

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34 | Magna Housing Gets Modular Makeover






voestalpine Metsec’s pre-panelised lightgauge steel framing system, Metframe brought a new dimension to a vibrant waterfront development in Plymouth and delivered a huge range of building and performance benefits.


38 | Champions for the Modular Construction Revolution


The Construction Innovation Hub is set to play a pivotal role in transforming construction across the UK and help the industry to build smarter, greener, cheaper and more efficient buildings faster than we currently do. Keith Waller, Programme Director, Construction Innovation Hub, explains more.

At this month’s Offsite Expo, modular construction specialists Extraspace Solutions will officially launch its new brand – ESS Modular. The company is already working hard designing and manufacturing a range of modular apartments in North London.

42 | Pushing the Boundaries for Emergency Care

Raymond Millar, Construction Director at The McAvoy Group, describes how a new ambulatory care facility was built offsite in less than a year in an unprecedented programme for the complexity of the project.

48 | Hadley Group Roundtable



Rollalong has been working with an innovative housing association to offer modular solutions that deliver improved quality of life for those living in social housing across Dorset and Somerset.


Roundtable Event discussing issues surrounding the ways offsite technology can be better promoted to the wider construction sector and what obstacles are still proving barriers to greater uptake.

54 | EOS Site Study Tour


Born by bringing together two individuals with the same passion to provide desirable affordable living space across the UK, ModPods International is working with Birmingham City Council in conjunction with Birmingham Municipal Housing Trust (BMHT).


74 | Offsite Awards 2020

Steel is one the world’s most recycled products with research showing that 99% of structural steelwork is reused or recycled. The Light Steel Frame Association (LSFA) is on a mission to explain steel’s sustainability benefits and its role in the circular economy.

The industry leading Offsite Awards will be re-launched for 2020 and for the first time, the Awards will be co-located with Offsite Expo on 22 September 2020 at the Ricoh Arena, Coventry. Learn more on what to expect.

80 | Delivering Tomorrow’s Quality Today


Gardiner Place development in Henley-on-Thames is an £11m mixed use development and this site study tour demonstrates the importance of collaboration for achieving client’s requirements.


David Russell, Director at Carbon Futures, outlines how offsite construction can deliver far-reaching thermal improvements for new UK housing.

86 | Reframing Construction 08 | Industry News

News and developments from across the UK offsite industry and wider construction arena including: a new BIM survey finds many industry gaps, the rise of CoreHaus, Connex Offsite announces plans for £2.5 million expansion and a new book examines the booming offsite market.

26 | Advancing the Possibilities for Mass Timber Construction

Newly developed components by Stora Enso are making it possible to build ever larger and more advanced structures, including CLT rib panels – as seen at Manchester’s Spinningfields Pavilion, home to a new The Ivy restaurant.

21 November 2019 De Vere, Canary Wharf - London

To book your place visit:

‘Getting onside with offsite can spark UK manufacturing’ says Jeff Maxted, Director of technical consultancy at BLP Insurance.

92 | Lessons in Collaboration

In our continuing exploration of offsite manufacture from around the world we take a look at the construction of an innovative learning centre at Caulfield Grammar School in Melbourne.

Productivity is an ongoing concern for the construction sector. The people, process and product conundrum that make up the sum of many parts influencing efficiencies are not showing any significant signs of improvement. The CONSTRUCTION PRODUCTIVITY CONFERENCE will gather together those who have the skills to define a roadmap to create a climate for change.

25% Early Bird Discount available until 30.09.19 using discount code CPCOSM





voestalpine Metsec’s pre-panelised light-gauge steel framing system, Metframe brought a new dimension to a vibrant waterfront development in Plymouth and delivered a huge range of building and performance benefits.


2 The £215million waterfront development at Millbay in Plymouth is transforming what was once an unused docklands area into a vibrant waterside community, by bringing together some 140,000 square metres of housing, workspace, retail and leisure accommodation.


Steeped in maritime history, the heritage of the wider Millbay area can be traced back to the 12th Century when tidal mills were built in this natural water inlet. Centuries later, the Corporation of Plymouth sold the lease to Francis Drake and during the English Civil War, the harbour became a vital supply route for the city, which had sided with the Parliamentarians, as it was the only one in Plymouth that was out of reach of Royalist artillery. In the 18th Century, the harbour started to take shape, with jetties, work yards and other facilities constructed. Development of the area gained pace in the 19th Century, with Isambard Kingdom Brunel designing new docks as well as introducing a railway and customs facilities. Thus, Millbay’s potential was realised, becoming an important commercial dock for freight and passenger traffic. As the area fell into disuse in the 20th Century, it was

identified as a strategic priority for regeneration in Plymouth thanks to its waterside location, proximity to the city centre and the positive socio-economic impact on the locality. Working in partnership with Plymouth City Council, The English Cities Fund – a joint venture between Muse Developments, Legal & General and Homes England – embarked on a seven-phase regeneration programme which ultimately will deliver up to 600 new homes, together with offices, retail and leisure spaces, 171-berth marina, hotel, 1,000-place creative arts school and multi-storey car park. Forming an integral part of this redevelopment is Quadrant Wharf, a £23million quayside development of split-level houses and apartments that will provide 137 new homes. Designed by architects, Ferguson Mann, the


COVER STORY VOESTALPINE METSEC apartment blocks at Quadrant Wharf include two, five and six-storey structures forming Aqua House and Lye House, while a selection of cleverly designed split-level homes make up Canola Row, providing light and airy living areas with balconies and roof terraces. The apartments offer one, two and three-bedroomed homes, including exclusive two and three-bedroomed penthouses. With external facades finished in a combination of render, shiplap cementitious board, standing seam metal and stone, the apartments present a striking frontage looking over the Quadrant Quay marina.


The buildings were originally conceived as reinforced concrete construction when the designs were passed to main contractors, Galliford Try. However, as the company’s Pre-construction Manager on the project, Diarmad Perry, explains, Metframe offered a more deliverable solution: “Previous experience with Metframe had proved the system to be economical and fast to use, and we knew that we could trust voestalpine Metsec to value engineer a solution, which would translate the architect’s designs into a quality, highperformance and robust structure.

“The pre-panelised, lightgauge steel system proved highly adaptable in enabling us to achieve the architect’s design vision and, just as importantly, delivered buildings which would meet all of the performance criteria. In addition to fire, acoustic and thermal performance, these included consideration of the fact that the apartments were in a severe coastal environment and would need to meet NHBC and building control requirements.” Metframe components were assembled into lightweight panels by BR Hodgson Framing Limited at their specialist fabrication facilities at Upton upon Severn, before being delivered to site and erected by the company’s installation team. The lightweight, loadbearing steel frame was installed above a ground floor podium deck.

4 Andy Petrie, Commercial Director at BR Hodgson, adds: “The Metframe system allows us to manufacture structural wall panels, complete with external boarding, and internal partition walls offsite. The panels are inspected to assure quality before being delivered to site ready for immediate installation by our team. “With working time on-site limited to nine-to-five on weekdays and nineto-twelve on Saturdays, construction time was at a premium and Metframe proved more than capable in allowing the project to proceed smoothly and efficiently. We cast the in-situ reinforced concrete floors and roof terraces on metal decking as installation progressed, and the structure quickly took shape – the frame was completed in a little over six months, enabling follow-on trades to complete external and roof finishes as well as the internal fit-out.”

voestalpine Metsec Framing Sales Director, Ryan Simmonds concludes: “The apartments at Quadrant Wharf perfectly demonstrate the many advantages of using Metframe. Our design team was not only able to deliver the type of value-engineered solution for which voestalpine Metsec is renowned, but also to incorporate the project’s special requirements, which included a variety of large and small balconies.” For more information visit:

Images: 01-04. Quadrant Wharf benefitted from a switch to a pre-panelised light gauge steel frame from a reinforced concrete frame to deliver a value-engineered solution



UK INDUSTRY NEWS Accord Look to Plastic-Free Houses

New Trussed Rafter Buyers’ Guide Published Housebuilders will benefit from a new guide that tells them all they need to know about trussed rafters, from delivery to site through to safe installation. Published by the Trussed Rafter Association (TRA), ‘The Buyers’ Guide to Trussed Rafters’ is relevant to both designers and onsite trades. Trussed rafters can play a significant role in making housebuilding more efficient as they offer a much faster and easier method of completing roofs. Nick Boulton, TRA Chief Executive, said: “The buyers’ guide is there to aid our members when it comes to explaining all the intricacies of trussed rafters. There is a lot to take on-board as they are a versatile product with many options. With the focus on MMC, trusses are the ideal candidate for forward-thinking roofing companies, due to their flexibility and speed of installation on-site.

Accord Housing Association is aiming to become the first in the UK to build virtually plastic-free houses in its attempts to reduce the amount of plastic used during construction. It will build 12 homes minimising the use of plastic during the construction process and use alternatives when it comes to fitting the kitchens, bathrooms and windows, as well as reducing the amount of plastic used in building materials.

The project is part of the CHARM partnership (Circular Housing Asset Renovation & Management) funded by Interreg European Funding. It is part of a partnership made up of representatives from four countries – Belgium, France, the Netherlands and the UK. Each country has been given a different project to lead on, which aims to promote a circular economy in the housing construction sector.

Accord believes this will be the first project of its kind in the UK, where a housing association is looking to minimise the use of plastic in housebuilding. The houses will be built by Accord’s offsite manufacturing facility LoCaL Homes, which offsite construction to manufacture high quality, super energy efficient houses.

Alan Yates, Deputy Chief Executive at Accord added: “Accord continues to lead the way in innovation as we prepare to build these virtually plastic free homes. We are delighted to be leading on this project in the UK and have started design work that will finish in January 2020 and we will then start the development work in 2020. Our closed timber framed houses have allowed us to build on low carbon housing development and we have developed technology to build low carbon houses – now it is about taking that technology a step forward to reduce the use of materials that are not good for the environment both during manufacture and construction and for years to come. This project will change how we manufacture our homes forever.”

Carl Taylor, Assistant Director of New Businesses at Accord said: “We believe this type of development hasn’t been done at scale before – there have been a few one-off attempts, but nobody has really looked at how we could produce mainstream houses with all the amenities without using plastic. “We particularly want to remove the plastic from the kitchens and the bathrooms, because even though a house can last for a hundred years or more, the average kitchen and bathroom is changed every few years and we are keen to avoid generating plastic waste. This trans-European project will enable us to work with our European partners to identify plastic free building products. We haven’t yet got a plastic free solution to the electrics for instance, but we will be challenging people in the building products manufacturing industry to help us find solutions.”


The building sector is responsible for more than 60% of resource use in Europe, with more than 30-50% of material use taking place in the housing construction sector. Plastic is usually non-biodegradable and can be difficult to reuse and/or recycle. It is estimated that 10% of all plastic ends up in the ocean. Source:

“We take our collaboration with the designers and installers of our member’s products very seriously and are committed to offering guidance to increase quality and accuracy wherever possible. We hope this guide will help members to reach out to a wider audience and keep trussed rafters as the go to roofing product.” The guide outlines the difference in responsibilities between building designers and trussed rafter designers. Explaining the various roofscapes and room in the roof layouts that can be achieved as well as providing wind-loading information for both Ireland and the UK. Throughout the guide there are technical drawings and 3D renders showing safe and compliant trusses at various stages of the design and installation process. Once on-site, the guide provides useful tips on how to safely store the trusses and how to correctly brace them. An essential construction checklist is provided to assist contractors and site staff responsible for installation. Information to assist with site certification for Ireland can also be found in the guide. For further information or to get a copy of the guide please visit the TRA website:


Off-site flooring in minutes not days. Rapid build off-site housing requires the latest innovative off-site ground floor system to fully maximize its efficiency. Spantherm is a high performance off-site concrete flooring system. A typical plot can be installed in just 90 minutes, cutting up to a week off the schedule.

With exceptional Psi and U values, Spantherm reduces cold-bridging at the wall/ floor junctions providing a cost effective route to Part L compliance within SAP for all build types including timber frame.


UK INDUSTRY NEWS Success for Coventry Modular Housing Project

Hadley Group’s expertise in steel framing solutions meant that the manufacturer could supply a complete load bearing stand-alone structure for the two-bedroom and three-bedroom houses. The components of the fast track, housing system were manufactured at Hadley Group’s panelisation plant in Oldbury and then delivered to Totally Modular’s factory in Cradley Heath, West Midlands. Chris Holleron, Group Product Manager – Housing, said: “We started working with Totally Modular from the concept period in September 2018, through to the delivery in April, with the construction of the house being completed in June this year. Working closely with Totally Modular’s in-house design team, we produced a design, which encompassed a 100% cold rolled solution, using our SFS platform. Once the design process was approved, we manufactured the panels, then delivered them to Totally Modular’s factory. Totally Modular then continued to construct four separate modules, which would later come together on site, producing the finished homes.”

Hadley Group’s rollformed light gauge structural framing systems have recently been incorporated in the design and build of two pre-fabricated homes. Constructed by Totally Modular in their Cradley Heath factory, the houses were then transported more than 30 miles away to the WM Housing Group development in Littlethorpe, Willenhall.

As part of a modular housing pilot project between WM Housing Group (soon to become Citizen), Totally Modular and Coventry City Council, their new homes underline the unique understanding of cold rollform manufacturing, but the project also highlights the significant potential of offsite construction in tackling the

nation’s housing shortage. The use of modular housing significantly enables faster build turnaround times and is ideal for when space is limited on site. John Connolly, Managing Director at Totally Modular, commented: “Having identified the increasing trend in the use of light gauge steel for the construction of volumetric modular buildings, we engaged with the Hadley Group sales and technical team who demonstrated a willingness and co-operative approach to designing a system that would meet the needs of our modular designs. Their commitment to deliver was noted and appreciated by all stakeholders. By working with Hadley Group on the WM Housing Group project, we got a greater understanding of their capabilities and their desire to be a major player in the supply chain – and we look forward to working with them again on future projects.” Director of Development at WM Housing Group, Richard Whittaker added: “The new homes look brilliant and there are so many benefits to this method of building. This is the future of housing with build times and time spent on site dramatically reduced. We’re looking forward to seeing how we can use modular homes in the future.” Source:

Connex Offsite Ready to Expand Newry-based Connex Offsite has announced plans to create 140 jobs over the next five years, in a £2.5million expansion of its recently established operations. Launched in February of this year, with a £1.2million investment, the company specialises in the manufacture of high-end modular bathroom pods for installation by the construction industry in hotels, student accommodation, healthcare facilities and residential markets. The pods are completely finished, walk-in bathrooms that are shrink wrapped on the factory floor and shipped to the construction site. Part of a family group of successful businesses including Doherty Developments, Re-Gen Waste, Re-Gen Robotics and Re-Eng, Connex currently employs 25 staff with a further 19 sub-contractors and operates out of a 25,000sq ft factory. An additional 60,000sq ft facility has been purchased for refurbishment, as part of its on-going expansion.

a controlled environment that is safe and warm and therefore a more pleasant place for our staff to work. The construction industry is facing a skills shortage because young adults do not want to work in construction. If we provide good facilities for them to work in, we are more likely to attract the skilled workers that we need.”

Brendan Doherty, Managing Director of Connex (pictured) said: “Offsite manufacturing is one of the fastest growing modern methods of building in the UK and is being embraced by the construction industry. It demands faster delivery of product into production lines, in some cases up to 20 times faster than traditional construction. So, not only are we reducing costs and saving man-hours, we are also manufacturing a better-quality product and providing

As part of its overall strategy, Connex has undertaken extensive market development activities and implemented new software systems to boost its competitiveness. The company has invested in state-ofthe-art equipment to maximise its operational capacity and is planning to recruit a further 17 staff members in a variety of roles, this year, to help facilitate its growth plans.


Brendan Doherty added: “We’ve just completed our first large project with the Elliot Group worth over £700k, for the delivery of 149-bathroom pods to Bicester in Oxford. Our second project delivered 24 bathroom pods to Ogilvie Construction in Edinburgh and we are currently manufacturing a further 116 pods for the Elliot Group, for Cambridge and Hammersmith, to be delivered before Christmas. Sales to date will further strengthen our competitive position and leverage future contracts. Our order book is growing rapidly, we are aiming to achieve substantial growth within the next three to five years and our ambition is to be the premier bathroom pod manufacturer in the UK and Ireland.” Source:


Modern Methods of Construction We work with industry to help deliver long-lasting quality homes. n From component materials and design, to onsite installation and connection n System appraisal and acceptance n Inspection of the whole building to NHBC Standards n Backed by NHBC Buildmark warranty and insurance

Talk to us... Call us now on 0344 633 1000 Email or visit NHBC is authorised by the Prudential Regulation Authority and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority and the Prudential Regulation Authority. NHBC is registered in England & Wales under company number 00320784. NHBC’s registered address is NHBC House, Davy Avenue, Knowlhill, Milton Keynes, Bucks MK5 8FP.

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UK INDUSTRY NEWS Positive Results from BIM Survey

Sellhousefast found that professionals view reduced rework through better co-ordination and clash detection (76%) as the biggest advantage of harnessing BIM. From BIM – internal and external stakeholders can access a shared model to see where possible clashes may occur (e.g. pipework running through steel beam etc.) and then, co-ordinate between them to rectify the issue before construction even begins.

state the use of BIM has given them a key competitive advantage to attract new clients as well as retain existing clients.

Thereafter, 72% feel the enhanced visualisation from BIM enables them to positively elevate the planning and design process as the 3D modelling element of BIM can provide a detailed real-world imaging of entire floor plans prior to starting building work. In third position, 68% of the experts believe BIM decreases errors/ information loss/duplicate data entry. Whilst, 66% think the tech has a good impact financially, as it improves cost estimations and budget control.

From this, Sellhousefast discovered that professionals place workers having a lack of BIM training/knowledge (68%) as the primary reason as to why the technology is not being used far more than it currently is. Subsequently, 63% attribute the little use or absence of BIM in certain organisations because they don’t have enough in-house expertise to provide adequate assistance and guidance on the functionality of BIM. Contrastingly, just 39% blame the unprogressive culture of some companies as the principle factor stopping them from adopting cutting-edge technology such as BIM.

Since BIM allows for documentation to be easily changed by all parties involved in a project to account for any new information/changes (e.g. site conditions etc.) – scheduling/sequencing activities can therefore be communicated and planned more accurately. In doing so, lead to shorter project cycles according to 54% of professionals.

Interested in ground-breaking ‘PropTech’, housing agents surveyed 602 architects, engineers and construction professionals to identify what they think are the biggest benefits of using building information modelling (BIM).

Interestingly, 47% appreciate the capabilities of BIM to recognise hazards in the pre-construction phase, thus when the time comes – minimising the occurrence of health and safety risks on the actual building site itself. Conversely, only 22% believe BIM gives them greater control to find which aspects of the project can be more environmentally friendly (e.g. use less energy and carbon etc.). Slightly above, 35% of professionals

Additionally, asked the 602 professionals surveyed what they thought were the main barriers preventing the wider use of building information modelling (BIM).

Robby Du Toit, Managing Director of Sellhousefast. uk said: “BIM is rapidly becoming more and more prominent. The technology is letting organisations construct buildings virtually before they are physically completed. As a result, BIM unlocks the opportunity to seek out more efficient approaches towards the planning, designing and construction phase of different projects. This research certainly shows that BIM has left an encouraging impression on professionals who have used the technology.” Source:

Caledonian & ENGIE Together in Hereford Caledonian, working with ENGIE, has secured a £10million order for new student accommodation at Station Approach, Hereford. The project will provide Hereford College of Arts and the city’s new NMiTE University with 178 student bedrooms each with its own study area and en-suite bathroom, along with other areas of accommodation. All the modules will the pre-finished by Caledonian at its 40-acre site in Newark, Nottinghamshire. Caledonian’s advanced design and manufacturing capabilities maximise the extent of offsite works enabling modules to be delivered to site with each room 95% of complete, resulting in a significantly faster site inspection and handover than traditional build. Once completed the accommodation will be indistinguishable from a conventional build and will be ready for occupation by students in September 2020. Herefordshire Council is carrying out the project with development partners, energy and regeneration specialist ENGIE and Cityheart Partnerships. Hereford College of Arts (HCA), which has a proven need for good quality student housing to support its growth plans, will be the main customer of the new accommodation. 12

Paul Lang, Chief Executive Officer at Caledonian Modular, said: “This is the latest multi-million pound project win for us and further strengthens our already strong presence in the student accommodation sector. We are looking forward to working with all the project partners and local stakeholders to deliver this exciting project.” Councillor David Hitchiner, Leader of Herefordshire Council, added: “The new student accommodation will provide high quality purpose-built facilities, making Herefordshire an even more attractive proposition for young people looking to study here. We are delighted that this will support our local higher education providers and promote Herefordshire as a great place

to study and live. Station Approach is a key project within the council’s Development and Regeneration Programme (DRP) which will support economic development in the county.” The project will be financed by an external provider and operated by a specialist company. The freehold of the site will be retained by the council. Caledonian has achieved significant growth and now has a turnover of over £50m. The company has recently achieved Tier 1 Level 2 BIM accreditation, in accordance with PAS 1192-2 from BSI. Source:


UK INDUSTRY NEWS CCG OSM Help with 2020 Vision Taylor Wimpey, one of the UK’s biggest and most wellknown housebuilders, is looking towards the future with ‘Project 2020’ along with CCG OSM. In 2016, the company launched the ‘Project 2020 Design Competition’ in partnership with the Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA). The two-stage competition invited architects from across the globe to design new house type typologies with the brief of being innovative, adaptable, sustainable, capable of high-quality production and would appeal to future customers and their changing needs. With over 100 entries from 14 countries, it was the ‘Infinite House’ designed by Open Studio Architects that was chosen with the design being utilised across nine prototype homes that are located across the UK, each using a different build methodology for its construction. In Scotland, two prototype homes were constructed in Dargavel Village, Bishopton – one utilises an open panel timber frame system, the other an enhanced closed panel system with a view of comparing cost, quality, energy performance and site-based efficiencies. CCG OSM was responsible for the enhanced system, utilising their ‘iQ’ Timber System inclusive of windows, doors, insulation, internal wall linings and service zones, alongside their bespoke floor and roof cassettes for the ‘Infinite House Type C’.

Design and manufactured under factory controlled conditions from the bespoke OSM facility in Glasgow, the ‘iQ’ Timber System has been utilised in the construction of nearly 10,000 mixed-tenure homes since its inception in 2007 and is capable of being specified to Passivhaus standards of performance. The ‘Infinite House Type C’ is a 143.57m2 detached property that achieves enhanced levels of air tightness with a permeability rating of 3. It also has a vast reduction in thermal bridging – 0.038W/m2h – ensuring that heat loss is diminished and when complemented with energy-saving components, carbon emissions are reduced by up to 27%. Delivered to site inclusive of components, the ‘iQ’ Timber System can be installed and erected at speed with this particular property being fully wind and

watertight in just six days. This also greatly improves on-site management including health and safety, a reduced requirement for storage and a lower risk of damage. Steven Earlie, Managing Director of CCG OSM said: “The use of closed panel systems is not widespread in the national housebuilding sector but with growing demand for new, sustainable homes it is set for wider adoption over the next decade. The product is proven – the CCG Group has shown that quality, energy performance and speed of delivery can be achieved on any project of any scale and we were delighted to showcase the ‘iQ’ Timber System for Taylor Wimpey, a company whose commitment to offsite technologies and influence on shaping the industry should be commended.” Source:

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UK INDUSTRY NEWS CoreHaus on the Horizon

Ambitious North East housebuilder Homes by Carlton is trialling an innovative modular house type that could have a major impact on the new homes market and the environment. The County Durham-based property developer is currently building two of the new designs on its latest new homes site at Cathedral Gates, a mix of 14 three and four-bed detached and semi-detached homes at Chilton. These new-style designs – called CoreHaus – will significantly reduce construction times, build costs and have less impact on the environment than more traditional homes. They offer the flexible combination of being part modular, with a standard, engineered core that can then be configured to different sizes. While different in the build stage, CoreHaus, looks the same as the more traditionally built homes at Cathedral Gates. All properties are built to the same exacting standards, combining hand-built craftsmanship, character and a high attention to detail. Simon Walker, Managing Director at Homes by Carlton, said: “The CoreHaus looks no different to the traditional house types once fully built. Interiors can be the same and exteriors will use the same block and brick. It’s just a more modern way of building that should be kinder to the environment and have energy benefits for the homebuyer.”


CoreHaus is a joint-venture company between Carlton & Co Group, the parent company behind Homes by Carlton, and Fusion21, specialists in public procurement for the built environment. It is hoped that once trialled and tested the CoreHaus designs will offer a different approach to tackling the shortage of innovative, affordable housing in Britain. Simon Walker added: “It is well-known that there’s a huge shortage of high quality, and affordable homes in the North East and other areas of the UK. CoreHaus homes are designed to make it easier and more cost-effective for developers to deliver environmentally efficient homes with a unique design and contemporary feel. They’re larger than many new three-bedroom homes on the market and we believe offer a higher standard of finish than many traditional house types being built elsewhere.” The principles of the CoreHaus comprise a modular core including a pre-finished kitchen, downstairs toilet, staircase, bathroom and central heating system being manufactured offsite before being delivered to the development. Assembled in factory-controlled conditions, this energy-efficient housing ‘pod’ can help reduce onsite construction time by 50%, increase flexibility in the

design of the home and cut CO2 emissions. Two homes on the recently launched Cathedral Gates scheme at Chilton are being built to CoreHaus standards, while others are planned for future developments at other sites throughout the North East. Dave Neilson, Chief Executive of Fusion21, added: “Currently 340,000 new homes are needed to be built each year to meet government targets. At current development rates these shortfalls will not be met. A transformational approach is required to ensure we can support this demand – and that’s where CoreHaus can help. Our unique construction method delivers faster build times and makes it economically viable for developers while greatly reducing environmental impacts.” Source: For more information on Light Steel Frame technology visit the FOCUS ON FRAMING Seminar taking place in November in Central London. Full details on page 65


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UK INDUSTRY NEWS New Book Examines Offsite Market

As interest in offsite and modular construction continues to grow, a new book – ‘Offsite Production and Manufacturing for Innovative Construction’ – by authors Jack S. Goulding and Farzad Pour Rahimian, assesses the current state of the market. This book builds on the success of a number of initiatives, including formative findings from literature, research and development and practice-based evidence (success stories). It presents new thinking and direction from leading experts in the fields of: design, process, construction, engineering, manufacturing, logistics, robotics, delivery platforms, business and transformational strategies, change management, legislation, organisational learning, software design, innovation and biomimetics. This book is particularly timely, as it brings together a number of areas under one collective ‘umbrella’. Each of these chapters contain original findings, all of which culminate in three Key Learning Points which provide new insight into the cross-cutting themes, interrelationships and symbiotic forces that exist between each of these chapters. This approach also provides readers with new contextualised understanding of the wider issues affecting the offsite market, from the need to embrace societal challenges, through to the development of rich value-laden solutions required for creating sector resilience.

Content includes a balance between case studies and practice-based work, through to technical topics, theoretical propositions, pioneering research and future offsite opportunities ready for exploitation. This work includes: stakeholder integration, skills acquisition, new business models and processes, circularity and sustainable business strategies, robotics and automation, innovation and change, lean production methodologies and new construction methods, Design for manufacture and assembly, scaled portfolio platforms and customisability, new legal regulatory standards and conformance issues and offsite feasibility scenario development/integration. Jack S. Goulding is Professor of Construction Project Management at the University of Wolverhampton and Joint Co-ordinator of CIB W121: Offsite Construction. He works closely with industry developing new business models, strategies and change programmes, including technology transfer, organisational learning and offsite manufacturing. Farzad Pour Rahimian is an Associate Professor at Northumbria University, with expertise in the mainstream areas of: BIM, IT integrated design and construction, virtual reality, automation, simulation and optimisation. Offsite Production and Manufacturing for Innovative Construction is available at:

Housing Minister Visits Modular Factory As interest in volumetric construction continues to grow, Liverpool-based Ideal Modular Homes has played host to Housing Minister Esther McVey who visited the company’s manufacturing facility. Returning to her home city, the Minister viewed the 150,000ft2 factory in Speke, which will deliver up to 500 new homes each year. Ideal Modular Homes’ design and development facility can produce homes using cross laminated timber (CLT) hybrid and glulam timber systems with zero waste. Production begins once architectural plans are agreed and from then on, quality is tracked throughout every stage of the manufacturing process. Ideal Modular’s system creates a digital and photographic record of the construction process that catalogues progress from start to finish and also provides a continuous level of quality control during site installation. Up to 10 completed homes can roll off the production line every week. Ideal Modular Homes can complete two-storey family houses in four working days. This means that local authorities, social housing groups and developer partners can offer new housing within a week. With its first projects in progress, Ideal Modular Homes’ CEO Luke Barnes is positive about the valid contribution volumetric construction can make to the UK’s housing market, saying: “We need more homes all across the UK. Factory made homes are faster to produce, better for the environment and once sited,


are cheaper to run and more energy efficient. This is housing at its most advanced. Although the UK has been slow to adapt to change, if we continue to support modular construction as a business model, we will begin to see the housing gap close.” Housing Minister Esther McVey added: “I am proud to be able to visit my hometown and see the latest approaches to construction in action – building the homes our country needs whilst at the same time creating vital skilled work. The Ideal Modular Homes factory is a fantastic example of two Liverpool entrepreneurs, Luke Barnes and Graham Owens,

creating jobs and opportunities for local people, and it was great to see their state-of-the-art operation.” Ideal Modular Homes can manage the volumetric design and manufacture process from start to finish. The team has an established network of skills and experience in property development, manufacturing and engineering systems and operational software that can be employed under a 24-hour operating license. Every home is certified by BOPAS to the maximum lifestyle standard and comes complete with a 10-year warranty, just like any other new home. Source:


Delivering efficiency and competitive advantage using offsite construction technology and DfMA principles We develop and improve: Business strategies Product & service portfolios Manufacturing operations Supply-chain integration Business processes Management systems

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UK INDUSTRY NEWS Project Etopia Unveils First Completed Eco-home

The first home in London’s only modular commuter village, Etopia Corby, has been completed inside and out. The superstructures of the first three-storey townhouses in Corby, Northamptonshire, were completed in just 34 days, and the first house — the scheme’s showhome — has now been decorated and furnished. Etopia Corby is a 47-home eco project in Priors Hall Park consisting of 31 houses and 16 apartments. They are all equipped to produce their own energy, coupled with an earth energy bank/GeoStore system, which stores heat energy while batteries store electricity. This means residents enjoy little or no energy bills. Etopia Corby has been chosen as one of five Building for 2050 research projects funded by the Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy and is a model of how villages of the future can be developed quicker and more affordably.


Project Etopia homes are designed to deliver performance similar to the ‘Passivhaus’ energy efficiency standard to complement their eco-friendly technology. The developer uses a panelised build system, which means wall panels are produced in a factory and delivered to site for assembly. This reduces construction time, lowering the cost to homebuyers. The panels have a thermal efficiency U-value of 0.13, which is superior to the 0.16 U-value for a typical well-insulated wall in a new build brick property. Most importantly, the panels’ air tightness is markedly more effective at maintaining heat within the home than traditional build solutions. The scheme embraces the CHESS SETUP (Combined Heat Supply System by using Solar Energy and Heat Pumps). The Corby project is the only UK location working with the CHESS SETUP. The technology reduces emissions by using hybrid solar panels to generate heat that can then be stored and used by the ground source heat pump for hot water and heating.

The energy earth bank/GeoStore system stores heat energy while batteries store electricity. Joseph Daniels, CEO of Project Etopia, commented: “Opening the doors to the completed house for the first time was an exciting moment for the whole team. It’s the realisation of months of hard work. When prospective buyers visit, we expect they will be surprised to learn these homes are all modular. There are no obvious giveaways and they look just like any other modern, spacious property, with a lot of natural light and outside space. “The fact they use the latest offsite construction techniques is hard to discern, inside and out. This house is evidence that modular housing delivers desirable homes for everyone in no time at all, with all the cost, labour and time savings that help us keep prices at an affordable level.” Source:


ARE YOUR PRODUCTS AND SYSTEMS APPROVED? As part of our warranty application process, developers and builders must ensure that the products and systems they use on site are approved by us in line with the requirements of our Technical Manual. Using products and systems that are not approved by Premier Guarantee may lead to lengthy delays on-site and could result in the development being rejected for structural warranty cover. Our product and system approval process has been developed to help manufacturers gain accreditation under our technical requirements, allowing them to be promoted as an approved system provider, giving customer’s confidence in using their products and systems on sites registered with Premier Guarantee.

construction, giving developers and lenders the confidence and trust in your product. As a leading provider of Structural Warranty in the UK, being approved by Premier Guarantee would: • Enable your product to be approved for use to over 2000 Premier Guarantee registered Developers and Builders throughout the UK.


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UK INDUSTRY NEWS Bristol’s Park Street Gets Urban Creation Urban Creation is behind a pioneering approach to construction that will see pre-built homes craned into an existing building on one of Bristol’s most famous thoroughfares. It is this is believed to be the first time in the UK that homes have been specially made to fit into the shell of an existing building. The site – 50 Park Street – was formerly a nightclub but was vacant and in a dilapidated condition when Urban Creation bought it in in 2018. Whilst most of the buildings in Park Street are Georgian, 50 Park Street was built in the 1950s after the previous building was bombed during World War II. The building team stripped out 50 Park Street, removing the internal floors and walls, stabilised the shell of the building with a steel structure ready for the big lift-in. Over three nights, from August 11 to 13 between the hours of 8pm and 5am, nine pre-built apartments were lifted into 50 Park Street through the open roof into the cleared shell of the building, after having been driven by lorry from a factory in Southampton. Urban Creation has teamed up with modular construction specialist Go Modular on the project, which has created bespoke, ready-to-go homes built specially to fit into the building. This is an unusual approach as usually modular

units are created in uniform shapes and sizes. The apartments are already fully-fitted out and decorated with kitchens and bathrooms already in place. Urban Creation’s approach shows what’s possible in tight urban sites, which could help meet the need for homes. Jonathan Brecknell, Director at Urban Creation, said: “We’re very excited to be taking modular

construction to a new level, using a highly innovative approach that could have huge implications for home building in the UK.” The homes at 50 Park Street will be let to the student market. Source:

WHG Explore Modular Potential Leading Midlands landlord whg is exploring the potential of modular homes to tackle the housing crisis, thanks to a £1 million research grant. whg has been awarded the grant from Innovate UK to fund a two-year research and development project into offsite housing construction. The social housing landlord has been awarded the grant from Innovate UK to fund a two-year research and development project into offsite housing construction. whg hope to trial the designs, which will be built in a factory before being transported to their final destination, on some of its unused sites within the borough, before rolling out a wider programme of the homes. Plans have been submitted to Walsall Council for a number of sites in Walsall. These include derelict garage sites, where modular homes offer an ideal opportunity to bring them back into use. Chief Executive Gary Fulford said: “These homes are quicker to build, quicker to install and a lot more energy efficient, while still maintaining the high quality of our traditional newbuilds. By collaborating with experts from across different industries we will be exploring the best ways to design, manufacture and assemble homes using these new building techniques. This


exciting project will see us work towards creating high performing houses that can address the rising demand for homes both locally and nationwide.” whg is working in collaboration with industry experts on the two-year research and development project. These include Birmingham City University, Energy Systems Catapult, Northmill Associates, Hadley Group

and QM Systems. The project aims to explore the most effective types of advanced methods of construction and develop a working model. Subject to planning permission, whg hopes to have the first homes in place later this year. Source:




For over 50 years the A. Proctor Group has served the construction industry with an extensive portfolio of technically advanced thermal insulation, specialist membranes and vapour control layers, providing an extensive range of superior high-performance products suitable for modular and offsite construction.

1 The basis of best practice in modular construction comes from an understanding of the relevant building regulations and a holistic approach to the building design. In doing so we consider six core aspects in the process related to the balance of Heat Air Moisture Management (HAMM): building, weather, occupants, heat, air and moisture Building – the first area to consider is the type of building fabric involved. Concrete, steel and timber-based buildings all respond differently to moisture and contain different amounts of construction moisture that must be allowed to dry out. For example, buildings with a lot of in-situ concrete can take several years to fully dry out, this excess moisture load must be accounted for at the design stage. Weather – construction moisture can also come from the weather and this must also be taken into account, along with the weather conditions the building will be subjected to once complete. Being weathertight earlier in the construction process and generally being composed of drier materials, offsite construction has an important hygrothermal advantage.

Occupants – by reducing the initial moisture loading on the building fabric, the design can be more precisely tailored to manage moisture associated with the occupants of the building and the uses the building will be put to, leading in turn to a more efficient fabric envelope and building system.

control in favour of an external air leakage solution we remove the associated material and installation costs, and more importantly, we remove the need to seal all the service penetrations, meaning we have a more reliable air barrier and can reduce the air leakage rates applied at the design stage.

The influences of these three aspects can then be assessed in terms of the heat, air and moisture movement within the building. This takes into account the heating of the building, as well as the air leakage effects and response of the building fabric to the absorption and desorption of moisture. Factors such as the position and performance of the fabric insulation can also be considered.

In modular systems, incorporating an external air barrier is simple and brings several benefits over traditional mechanically fixed membranes. Wraptite membrane can be applied to the panels in any orientation, and being self-adhered requires no mechanical fixings. This adhesion reduces the potential for membrane damage both during the module assembly process and while in transit to the site. The panels are then assembled and the joints taped using Wraptite Tape, ensuring no adhesion issues or tape compatibility problems, and the panel assembly is now resistant to air leakage. The wall, roof and floor panels can then be assembled into modules, and Wraptite split-liner tape used to complete the airtight seal between adjacent assemblies. The completed modules can then be transported to site with full protection from the elements.

To ensure our design adequately manages these complex interactions, we undertake a hygrothermal analysis of the building fabric using software called WUFI. This breaks the building elements into individual layers and calculates the temperatures, moisture flow and degree of water storage at any point in the building fabric. This detailed analysis allows us to consider solutions that may mean that the internal vapour control layer can be removed altogether without creating a condensation risk. This is made possible by the use of an external vapour permeable air barrier membrane. The Wraptite® membrane self-adheres to the external face of the sheathing and provides a robust airtight layer without compromising moisture movement through the wall assembly. By removing the vapour

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Images: 01. Modular systems incorporating an external air barrier are simple and bring several benefits over traditional mechanically fixed membranes





The Construction Innovation Hub is set to play a pivotal role in transforming construction across the UK and help the industry to build smarter, greener, cheaper and more efficient buildings faster than we currently do. Keith Waller, Programme Director, Construction Innovation Hub, explains more.

1 It’s easy to take for granted just how crucial buildings are to all our lives. Think about the hospital you were born in, the home you grew up in, the school you were taught in and the building you work in. Buildings of all types have a profound impact on each of our lives, as indeed they do on the environment around us. But the way we create these buildings needs to change and that change is becoming ever more urgent. Just imagine for a moment if, for every car in the world, designers went back to the drawing board each and every time. Picture the major car manufacturers using a bespoke design and different supply chains just to get one car off the assembly line. The consequences are not hard to imagine. Costs would quickly rise, and quality would vary widely with greater safety and environmental risks. This couldn’t work for the automotive sector and in truth, it doesn’t work for construction either. The sector is less productive than the economy as a whole – the focus on project build


2 cost means we do not get the best value for users, society and in the long term, the economy. Added to this, the sector’s carbon footprint is far too high and with an ever-growing public focus on climate change, the sector’s green credentials will come more and more into the spotlight. Changing construction will be no easy feat – the sector is massive, accounting for around 9% of our GDP and it is deeply fragmented. But change is both essential and inevitable and the Construction Innovation Hub, which I’m privileged to lead, has been given the task of being the catalyst for that change. ‘So what?’ you might reasonably ask. Haven’t we all heard many times before the clarion calls for radical transformation in construction? What’s different this time? These are perfectly reasonable questions. Allow me to set out what I think sets the Construction Innovation Hub apart from what’s come before

and why I truly believe we can deliver what we’re setting out to do. First and foremost, we have strong backing from Government, through the comprehensive Construction Sector Deal, with £72million of funding allocated to deliver our programme. This may not seem like a huge amount, considering how much has been put behind other sectors of the economy. It is, nonetheless, the largest tranche of money Government has ever put behind construction. That, in itself, I would say is evidence of just how seriously Government wants us to succeed. Secondly, from the conversations I’ve had thus far, I think there is a genuine appetite for change amongst the sector. There may be disagreement on how we get there and how far we need to go, but all across construction there is a recognition that the sector needs to modernise, embrace new and better ways of delivering outcomes and be ready to face the challenges of the future. We should aim to be


CONSTRUCTION INNOVATION HUB a sector where sustainability is the modus operandi rather than just an aspiration. Upskilling and training must be prioritised so that young people leaving school or university see construction as an exciting place to work, rather than just hard hats, muddy building sites and cement mixers. Just last week, we kicked off a critical phase of our transformative programme, with an Open Call to industry to work with us develop a Platform Solution. You could see this as the ‘car chassis’ upon which critical government buildings will be based in future. Whitehall departments like Education or Health spend around £15billion each year on buildings such as new schools, hospitals, social housing and much more. At Budget 2017, Government announced that by 2019, these, and several other government departments like Justice and Defence would adopt a presumption in favour of offsite construction. The Construction Innovation Hub, through our Platform Solution, but also our wider programme, is working to help make Government’s ambition a reality. In the coming months and years, we’ll be working with industry to identify and co-develop a platform solution that can be designed, manufactured and installed on a structural carrier frame and are able to be used across multiple building types – again, think of schools and hospitals. In one sense, our Open Call is a rallying call – if your business has an innovative product, be that a wall panel, roofing system, floor panel or cladding solution, we would like to hear from you. We don’t expect businesses applying to our Open Call to have all the solutions - what we are trying to do is bring together the very best of what is already out there to develop a new ‘kit of parts’ in the same way that automotive does. This will help ensure our buildings – from foundation to roof – are delivering the best outcomes for not only the clients who procure them, but crucially the end users (students, soldiers, hospital patients) and of course the environment around them. To kick-start the process, we have entered an eight-week phase that

3 we are terming a ‘sandpit phase’. We will use this period to encourage applicants to form consortia between themselves to help deliver a component that can be integrated on to the platform. Businesses that are successful in making it through our Open Call process can look forward to a full range of support and mentorship from the very best of expertise from across the three partners of the Construction Innovation Hub – the Manufacturing Technology Centre (MTC), the Building Research Establishment (BRE) and the Centre for Digital Built Britain (CDBB). We’ll be working side-by-side with companies every step along the journey, but in return we do expect a significant commitment in terms of time and resource. Rome wasn’t built in a day – even if they’d had modern methods of construction back then, it’s unlikely they’d have pulled it off. Similarly,

transforming construction will not happen overnight – it’ll require determination, commitment and, above all, collaboration. But the long-term outcomes we can look forward to will certainly be worth some heavy lifting in the short term. Our buildings will be built using methods that are faster, cheaper, safer and more sustainable. We will deliver greater value from how we create new buildings and the benefits will be felt far beyond the construction sector by society and the environment. For more information visit: Images: 01. Keith Waller, Programme Director, Construction Innovation Hub 02. Factory-based construction means higher quality control. Courtesy shedKM 03. Advanced manufacturing techniques are central to future construction improvements. Courtesy MTC

CONSTRUCTION INNOVATION HUB The Construction Innovation Hub brings together world-class expertise from the Manufacturing Technology Centre (MTC), Building Research Establishment (BRE) and the Centre for Digital Built Britain (CDBB) to transform the UK construction industry. With £72 million from UK Research and Innovation’s Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund, it will change the way buildings and infrastructure are designed, manufactured, integrated and connected within our built environment. We will be a catalyst for change. We will drive collaboration to develop, commercialise and promote digital and manufacturing technologies for the construction sector. We will help build smarter, greener and more efficient buildings much faster and cheaper than we currently do. Research will help us understand how the industry must change in terms of skills, product standards, capacity and innovation. This will be combined with an academic programme to create the security-minded frameworks and rules that will underpin the future digital built environment and grow exports for UK know-how.





Experts from the structural timber sector will come together on 6 November 2019 in London to address timber’s use in the construction industry as a versatile and natural material undergoing a contemporary design resurgence. The groundswell of interest in engineered timber is driven by both technological advances and concern for the environment and sustainable construction practices. It is undergoing a ‘revival’ where it is used in widespread applications delivering high-quality architecture to the realisation of cutting-edge structural engineering. Over the last decade structural timber has entered a new dimension with the development of new building systems and design strategies and one company at the forefront of innovation is Stora Enso – one of the world’s largest manufacturers of cross laminated timber (CLT). Gareth Mason, UK Business Development Manager at Stora Enso, will be presenting a case study on Ellerslie Road Development, Glasgow’s tallest CLT building. Built on the banks of the River Clyde at Yoker – just west of Glasgow – Ellerslie Road provides 42 one, two and threebed contemporary mid-market rent apartments for Sanctuary Homes.

1 Timber Talks will shine a spotlight on the ‘best of the best’ in structural timber featuring stellar guest speakers from the 2018 Structural Timber Awards winners, highly commended and finalists. This will give the audience the chance to hear more from the project delivery teams and for them


to demonstrate the best in innovation, best practice and diversity across a range of sectors. The seminar will also provide a valuable networking opportunity where guests will be able to gain insights from industry leaders who are shaping the future of the construction industry.

Successful residential developments are not the only timber projects under the spotlight. Kelly Harrison, Associate at Heyne Tillett Steel alongside Tom Foster, Design Director at Studio RHE will be presenting a case study on The Import Building. This new destination workplace has been created as part of the wider Republic masterplan in East India Dock, Tower Hamlets. Once the project is complete, the 650,000sq ft high-quality, low-cost commercial space will transform the workplace experience and is specifically designed to appeal to the world’s fastest growing and dynamic businesses. The project is an excellent example of how the use of timber in commercial developments can provide an efficient, economical solution to an otherwise challenging brief without compromising design quality.


TIMBER TALKS case study on the new Center Parcs accommodation at Elveden Forest, which consists of three waterside lodges that are sensitively integrated on the bank of a beautiful lake. This new Center Parcs development complements the landscape and is the first accommodation to sit beside and overhang the lake at Elveden Forest. Inspired by the curved hulls of boats, the architect used arches to create the elegant shape with engineered timber the natural choice when compared to other materials.

2 Another market sector featured during this seminar will be leisure where Frank Werling, Head of Technical Engineering and Design at Metsä Wood, will be presenting a

Glulam and CLT technology also feature in the award-winning education project engineered by Eckersley O’Callaghan. Director Toby Ronalds will be speaking about the £8 million building, which houses the 25 metre swimming pool and teaching area at Freeman’s School, Ashtead. This project is a brilliant example of project team collaboration, with architects Hawkins Brown, supplier Wiehag and main contractor Gilbert Ash, working together to deliver an exemplar building that has set new standards in quality and design.

BOOK YOUR PLACE NOW – READER DISCOUNT Timber Talks in taking place at the Building Centre in London on 6 November and is open to architects, engineers, clients, contractors, local authorities, housebuilders and developers. It will feature highcalibre speakers discussing the aesthetic, commercial and technical possibilities of structural timber through case studies and awardwinning projects. For a full speaker line-up and to book your delegate tickets visit: Tickets can be purchased online at £95 plus VAT but Offsite Magazine is offering a 10% reader discount. Simply enter discount code OSMAG10 when booking. Offer ends 30 September 2019.

Images: 01. The Import Building. Courtesy Studio RHE 02. Freeman’s School Swimming Pool. Courtesy Hawkins Brown

TIMBER TALKS will shine a spotlight on the ‘best of the best’ in structural timber. This seminar will feature high-calibre speakers who will discuss the aesthetic, commercial and technical possibilities of structural timber through case studies and award winning project examples.



BOOK YOUR PLACE NOW – READER DISCOUNT: Tickets can be purchased online at £95 plus VAT but Offsite Magazine is offering a 10% READER DISCOUNT. Simply enter discount code OSMAG10 when booking. Offer ends 30 September 2019.




Global mass timber manufacturer Stora Enso has recently announced a feasibility study into the investment of €90million for a fourth cross-laminated timber (CLT) mill to be built in the Czech Republic. Eve Dennehy finds out what it takes to maintain position as a global leader in the highly specialised mass timber construction industry. the combined production capability of both CLT and LVL enables Stora Enso to deliver on a key area of strategy to develop and introduce new massive wood components that will expand the range of applications possible for timber construction.

1 The announcement follows the launch in June 2019 of Grüvon CLT Mill in Sweden – the Company’s third stateof-the-art facility with a capacity of 100,000m3. Stora Enso has a current overall production capacity of 240,000m3 across three CLT facilities all with adjacent sawmills, and this will rise to 360,000m3 once Mill number four comes online. Since entering the UK CLT market in 2010, the Company has delivered more than one million cubic meters of CLT for projects around the world. Stora Enso’s decision to invest in Grüvon CLT Mill was announced soon after the launch in 2018 of the bespoke


laminated veneer lumber (LVL) Mill at Varkaus in Austria, which has production capacity of 100,000m3 of LVL. This significant investment of €43million into LVL production was a strategic move aimed at meeting growing urban construction needs and enabling Stora Enso to serve new geographic areas and markets globally. LVL is one of the strongest woodbased construction materials relative to its weight. It is ideal for handling high loads and is commonly used for lintels and beams, large spanning floor and roof components and columns under high load. Crucially,

“We are working at the cutting edge of the switch from traditional construction materials to wood,” says Mathieu Robert, Head of Building Solutions at Stora Enso. “This trajectory is based on the high sustainability agenda in international cities and the priority from investors to invest in long term sustainable targets. We believe that we can take market share where existing materials have reached their limits and replace concrete with CLT and steel with LVL.” Gareth Mason, Stora Enso’s UK Business Development Manager expands on this: “Stora Enso is a company that is continually innovating for the future. We can see the rising global demand for timber so we have to keep growing. We’re continually developing new and additional components that add value to our existing offering, and this is helping to change the face of construction as we see our mass timber components increasingly specified for pioneering projects around the world. “Modular construction is a key area for us in the UK. We’ve been working since the early design stages on the delivery of Beechwood Estate for NU Build (part of Swan Housing Association) where 260 new volumetric homes



2 are being delivered.” Designed by architect Pollard Thomas Edwards, the two, three, four and five-bedroom family homes are fully customisable with over a million possible variations. “The modular homes at Beechwood are a real success story,” adds Gareth.

“They prove that volumetric construction and design excellence do not have to be mutually exclusive. They allow homeowners to have a say in the design of their home while retaining optimised structural design. Watt’s Grove by Waugh Thistleton Architects, which will be the UK’s largest modular CLT residential scheme, is also under construction.” Newly developed components are making it possible to build ever larger and more advanced structures out of wood. The use of CLT and glulam rib panels has been a key design element at Manchester’s highly innovative Spinningfields Pavilion (now home to The Ivy restaurant) by Shepperd Robson Architects working with specialist timber engineer, engenuiti. Not commonly used in the UK so far, CLT rib panels provide a sustainable alternative to the steel and concrete composite decks routinely used for commercial floors with large spans. The Pavilion is a four level structure formed of an externally expressed glulam frame, based on a regular 6m grid pattern which reveals the entire structural concept when viewed

externally. Uninterrupted 6m spans have been achieved by the use of rib panels that were designed by engenuiti and manufactured by Stora Enso, and CLT depths reduced by up to 50% when compared to a standard CLT panel. Stora Enso CLT rib panels are the industry’s first to be available with European Technical Assessment (ETA 17/0911). Recently used at two pioneering projects in Finland, Stora Enso’s new LVL-G is a re-glued wall panel formed of sheet LVL that is vacuumed pressed to form large panels. It has similar properties to CLT wall panels, but remains 15% thinner, therefore adding valuable additional GIFA in the same building footprint. At The Lighthouse, a 14-storey student accommodation block at Joensuu in Finland, three layer LVL-G has been used for the walls and works together with CLT floor panels to form the superstructure. It is the first project internationally to use this hybrid system and is an exemplar for this innovative method of construction. “R&D has always been a main focus for Stora Enso and what we’re working on now in R&D will define our strategy for the future,” says Gareth. “We’re making it easier for architects, engineers and even site managers to design and build with mass timber. Our current focus is on ‘end-to-end’ design and delivery with digital tools such as our BIM Library, 7D BIM site data and CLT 360 App which enables site managers to easily and accurately locate panel positioning, and capture site data during the build”

In a joint venture with Helsinki based Trä Group, Stora Enso has formed The Heal Lab (Healthy Environment and Affordable Living), a specialist proof of concept company which is developing concepts that aim to change the way people design, build, buy and maintain houses. The team at HEAL is currently working on a series of Track and Trace technology which is attached to panels and components in order to track the precise whereabouts, both geographically and in the construction process, of a particular element. By simply scanning a specific panel or component, project teams can access BIM and performance data such as fire resistance details, how moisture levels have changed during construction, and basic component information. Pre-installed sensors will also be able to monitor moisture, VOC, humidity levels and CO2 data during the life of the building, meaning important performance data of the building can be monitored for further future improvements in building physics design. Stora Enso works with partners including B&K Structures, Eurban and G-frame Structures to deliver projects across a wide range of building sectors. For more information visit: Images: 01. The Ivy Restaurant, Spinningfields, Manchester. Courtesy engenuiti/Smiling Wolf 02. Lighthouse, Joensuu, Finland. Courtesy Stora Enso





The whole Verksbyen area in Norway represents the future of sustainable living with Metsä Wood’s Kerto® LVL (laminated veneer lumber) playing a huge part of the story with prefabricated elements used in the construction of a block of environmentally-friendly apartment buildings.

1 Fredrikstad’s new green neighbourhood, Verksbyen, will become home for 5,000 people within the next 10 years and aims to be Norway’s most innovative housing project. In the long run, the developer, Arca Nova Bolig, has ambitious plans to change the housing market in the same way as Tesla has transformed the car industry.

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They strongly believe in growing demand for sustainable construction, which is the backbone of Arca Nova’s

Future Living concept. “We have managed to reduce CO2 emissions in a variety of ways,” says Ruben D. Hansen, CEO of Arca Nova Bolig – part of the Arca Nova Group. “The houses are built with timber elements according to the Passivhaus standard, and electricity is produced with solar energy and heating with solar thermal energy. Smart-house technology with voice control adds an extra touch to all of this. As a result, the inhabitants will not only live sustainably, but enjoy reduced living costs too.”


STRUCTURAL TIMBER Metsä Wood is an important partner in the project as the constructor Arca Nova Bolig uses Kerto® LVL products. The constructor also had help from Metsä Wood for developing its own construction concept to build tall timber apartment buildings. Arca Nova Bolig is building a total of five five-storey apartment buildings incorporating Kerto® LVL Q-panels and S-beams in the wall and floor elements. The buildings are situated in the Capjon Park area in Verksbyen, close to a beautiful lake called Sorgenfridammen. The first multistorey building will be finished by the end of 2019 with the rest complete by the end of 2020.


Ruben D. Hansen also highlights the lightness and load-bearing capacity of the Kerto® LVL products as a success plus why building with sustainably sourced wood is so important.

“Constructing with prefabricated elements using Kerto® LVL products, we reduce both building time and CO2 emissions quite substantially compared to the traditional way of building with steel and concrete. Also, the dimensional accuracy of Kerto LVL is a benefit, as the materials do not shrink during construction,” says Hansen. Thanks to the prefabricated elements, Arca Nova Entreprenør is building at a fast pace in Capjon Park – one floor a week. That is just five weeks for a building. In the first three floors, the load-bearing structure consists of wall elements, which are made with 67mm thick Kerto® LVL Q-panels. In addition, Kerto® LVL S-beams have been glued and screwed on the outside of the elements to stiffen and stabilise the construction. The S-beams are also used for installing an insulation layer. In the two top floors, there is a traditional timber frame construction reinforced with cross-laminated timber (CLT) plates to take up the loads. “We have a stiff, yet elegant and slim structure, which transfers the heavy wind, snow and seismic loads to the foundation made of concrete,” points out Hansen. The intermediate floor consists of elements that form a stiff plate to transfer the loads to the end

4 walls and the walls in between the apartments. Each element consists of Kerto® LVL Q-panels on the top and Kerto® LVL S-beams as ribs and bottom flange. The unique structure allows floors of up to 9m in open span. Various steel plates and parts, bolts, screws and glued-in rods are used together with the floor and wall elements to create a stiff, stable construction. The wall elements of these multi-storey buildings are connected with bolts to steel plates on the bottom, and the beams are assembled in between the elements with strong steel angles. The frame is connected to the floor elements with adjacent steel parts and massive bolts. The multi-storey apartment buildings are built according to strict firesafety regulations. The building has a sprinkler system installed. The exterior walls are constructed as R90 walls, and the intermediate floor elements are constructed as REI60 floors. Part of the

fire concept is the use of Kerto® LVL, which has 60 minutes fire resistance, which is combined with gypsum boards to provide fire protection layer in the floors. Arca Nova wanted to develop its own construction concept to build tall timber apartment buildings and was impressed with Metsä Wood’s Kerto-Ripa® design system. “They have supported our learning with their help and knowledge, adds Hansen. “It was great to visit Metsä Wood’s mill and see showcase buildings in Finland. Our co-operation has been vital for our success to create a new design system for the Norwegian housing market.” For more information visit: Images: 01-04. Metsä Wood’s Kerto® LVL is central to sustainable and offsite construction methods.





With the government’s presumption for offsite technology for public sector projects, together with major new entrants into the UK market such as Japan’s biggest modular housebuilder Sekisui House – the offsite manufacturing sector appears to be on the up. Offsite expert from Cogent Consulting, Darren Richards, shares is perspective on the future of factory-based building technology. dynamic and fast-moving pace of the sector and the excitement that can be engendered when delivering truly ground-breaking technology to construction sites – resulting in a weathertight structure in a matter of days or weeks rather than months or years.

1 The offsite manufacturing sector is gaining traction like never before. The challenge now is to get a decent foothold in the traditional construction market and to ensure that manufacturing volumes hit such levels that it is no longer cost competitive to go back to ‘conventional’ construction methods if the predicted recession happens. Only by achieving this foothold, of say greater than 15% market share of construction newbuild activity, will the UK offsite manufacturing sector be able to maintain a constant position in the industry and not be seen as a passing trend. Present market share figures vary widely and are somewhat dependent upon which market sectors are being analysed, but overall the offsite manufacturing sector has in the region of 10-12% market share, so we have a long way to go to reaching that critical foothold position. At last the government appears to have made the connection between construction and manufacturing and we are therefore seeing great potential within the ‘industrial strategy’ for offsite 30

manufactured solutions. There is an old adage about ‘taking advantage of the opportunity of a lifetime in the lifetime of the opportunity’ and we think this is the mantra that the offsite manufacturing sector should now adopt. The Japanese understand manufacturing investment, after all they pioneered world-class manufacturing techniques. Sekisui entering the UK offsite sector is a game changer. The time we have spent in Japan working with Sekisui, Toyota, Daiwa, was truly inspirational and the volumes they achieve are astonishing. The learnings from Japan is key – it is still the benchmark in our eyes – and perhaps this current cycle of offsite manufacturing in the UK will enable us to put more of these learnings into practice. We don’t need to baffle businesses with lean manufacturing jargon or world-class manufacturing terminology to make them improve. We need to demonstrate best practice in other sectors and apply a common-sense approach. We have to convey the

The rewards for building successful offsite manufacturing businesses and delivering quality products and systems to site are incredible. It is time that we shouted louder about the opportunities that exist and make people in other sectors see the real potential that lies in us creating a world-class offsite manufacturing sector in the UK. About the Author Darren Richards, MD of Cogent Consulting – the UK’s leading offsite construction consultancy - is an offsite manufacturing expert with 25 years of world-wide experience developing offsite businesses, processes and products. Cogent is a specialist building technologies consultancy focused on new construction product/ system development, manufacturing strategy, lean manufacturing and process improvement within the offsite manufacturing and offsite construction arenas. For impartial advice which embraces the whole supply chain and range of construction technologies and products, visit Images: 01. Darren Richards, Managing Director of Cogent Consulting



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Born by bringing together two individuals with the same passion to provide desirable affordable living space across the UK, ModPods International is starting to play a central role in easing the national housing crisis. Off the back of an existing relationship with Birmingham City Council, Andy Cornaby worked in conjunction with Birmingham Municipal Housing Trust (BMHT) to develop a prototype, a twostorey, two-bedroom pod that exceeds NDSS minimum living space standards as set by Homes England to house up to four people. Andy and his team in conjunction with BMHT finally secured the prototype design that lead to planning permission approval and the transformation of a piece of derelict wasteland in the heart of Hockley, Birmingham. Transforming this piece of land and lowering into position a state-of-the-art ModPod allowed the transfer of a tenant and his son to downsize from a four-bedroom family home to a two-bedroom property.

1 Just Solutions Group was set up in 2007 and CEO Peter Farrelly joined forces with Andy Cornaby in 2017 after they realised they shared the same passion and formed ‘ModPods International’ to create the key USPs to exceed client expectations and went on to design six unique architype pods to help satisfy the UK’s demographic challenges.


• Compliant and accredited • Offsite factory built • Lift, load and lowered in place • Click and use services – same day occupation • Desirable to live in • Spacious, airy and modern • Affordable.

The BMHT Heaton Street project for Birmingham City Council (BCC), consisted of a two storey, twobedroom pod. The ground floor was delivered and sited at 12.30pm followed immediately by the first floor, docked, services instantly connected and by 4pm ready to occupy. Delivered with all the furniture already installed and kindly donated by ‘Family Fund’. Received with excitement by Steve Dalloway and his development team from BCC who had been instrumental throughout the journey of initial design to final placement, the future vision of contemporary modular housing in Birmingham suddenly became reality and later endorsed by Birmingham City Council’s dignitary, councillors, planning committee and Homes England. A proud moment for ModPods and a future secured. With the recent success of the BMHT prototype, BCC now intend to role out variations of the ModPod range across the city and currently have various sites identified and submitted to planning.



2 ModPods International with the combination of Peter Farrelly and Andy Cornaby’s vast knowledge and understanding of the social housing sector, allowed the detail of the design to meet current legislation and compliance, maximise thermal insulation qualities and meet the needs of the BMHT design specification and asset management profile. ModPods are ranked highly by Homes England and have gained enormous interest globally as a solution to the housing needs of local authorities, housing associations, private developers and charitable organisations, offering an affordable and rapid solution to their housing shortages.

“No one should be living week in week out in cramped bed and breakfast conditions very often with just the clothes on their back,” says Andy Cornaby. “They should be offered the same opportunity as anyone else to thrive in a secure and habitable space, that offers individuals and families the capacity to focus on their futures and create stable lives for themselves.” Whilst ModPods were initially designed to supply a solution to the national social housing shortage, the need for affordable living space is equally as desirable to the private housing market, ModPods are available to the private sector and mortgageable via BOPAS accreditation that offers them


a maximum two mortgage terms of 60 years and offers a wide rage of variations and optional extras, allowing social housing and house buyers the opportunity to create their own style of pod to fit their needs. In order to tackle fuel poverty, ModPods offer the optional extra of applying photovoltaic self-adhesive technology that offers the resident cost-free electricity and the option to store power and sell any excess back to the grid, rendering the pod completely energy self-sufficient and having an ‘A’ energy efficiency rating. The pods have attracted interest from social landlords, major developers, the leisure industry and global charitable and disaster recovery organisations to provide rapid housing solutions that can be promptly built and quickly despatched and sited, housing thousands of homeless spanning from the UK to war-torn third world countries that desperately need homes, support local employment and infrastructure to rebuild lives and allow communities to thrive. ModPods unique click and use services option allows the ModPod to be delivered and ready to occupy the same day. By working closely with service providers ModPods International have created a unique way of having the power and water supply – and broadband if required – ready and accessible on the day the pod is sited. Having a pod that is built completely offsite to completion allows us to pre-prepare the foundation,

4 infrastructure including services ducting and finished landscape including lawns and shrubs, complete, prior to the pod being delivered. This eliminates site theft that happens regularly on building sites, moving the tenant in the same day allows the property to be secure from day one. ModPods International whilst based in Coventry have no intention of maintaining a single base for manufacture, and depending on volume will set up pop-up factory manufacturing hubs around the country to satisfy demand, supporting the local economy, reduce transport costs, maintaining affordability and support local employment and social enterprise. For more information visit: Images: 01-04. ModPods can be simply craned into position and have already been successfully used by Birmingham Municipal Housing Trust






1 3 2 Rollalong has been working with an innovative housing association to offer modular solutions that deliver improved quality of life for those living in social housing across Dorset and Somerset. The UK has been in the midst of a housing crisis for the last 15 years. Key economists are citing the creation of more social housing as one of the most effective ways to get the country back on track. In response to this, housing association Magna Housing recently announced plans to build more affordable homes in Dorset and Somerset for people to rent and buy. Magna has ambitious plans to accelerate its current brief to build 200 new affordable homes a year over the next decade and is taking a modularfirst approach to offsite to deliver this. Rollalong – one of the largest offsite design and build contractors in the south, has been selected via the LHC suite of frameworks to support these plans. One of the benefits of offsite production is the speed at which the build can be completed. As Rollalong manufactures the modular houses in its quality-controlled factory, the groundworks can begin 34

on site simultaneously. Steve Chivers, Managing Director at Rollalong Limited, sees this as a golden opportunity to support the reversal of the housing crisis locally. “For many years people have been struggling to get onto the property ladder,” explains Steve. “Or have found the lack of appropriate social housing has led to them living in unsuitable accommodation. In partnership with Magna Housing we’re looking forward to providing a wide range of highquality options to suit a variety of housing needs.” Rollalong’s in-house design team has developed four housing designs for the initial call-off order of 25 homes that are expected to be complete by the end of September 2019, ready for onsite installation. Paul Read, Magna Housing’s Head of Development, said: “Getting predictable quality and achieving the standards we look for means we have to tackle the now well publicised performance gap in traditional construction. Our customers and communities are demanding that we build homes, drive down the cost of living and reduce the environmental impacts in the whole life cycle of homes. Rollalong were

selected because of their decades of experience and investment in systems and processes that demonstrate their commitment to delivering quality time and time again.” Modular buildings offer a valuable opportunity to housing providers as 85% of the build can be completed offsite, leading to a reduction in waste and lower carbon emissions during the build process. Both companies are dedicated to keeping the environmental impacts of the build, both off and onsite, to a minimum. Dorchester-based Magna Housing operates in Dorset and Somerset and five of the initial sites are within a one-hour radius of Rollalong’s manufacturing facility. The close proximity to the final sites means minimum transportation impacts for the modular buildings, as they are transferred from Rollalong’s factory to the building site on the back of lorries. The onsite works are due to begin later this year with the first new homeowners or tenants taking up residency in early 2020. For more information visit: To find out more about the new homes available from Magna Housing visit: Images: 01-03. In partnership with Magna Housing, offsite construction is delivering quality social housing for a range of tenures



Building your community matters to us... Our OJEU-compliant framework agreements provide public sector organisations with easy access to procure works, products and services for the construction, refurbishment and maintenance of social housing, schools and public buildings. LHC strives for excellence in the services provided to their clients and aims to deliver the best solution to suit every project’s individual needs. Our dedicated Client Support and Project Support teams are on-hand to assist throughout the life of the project. For more information on how our frameworks can work for you, get in touch.




After nearly a decade of very little residential construction, cranes have now returned to the skylines of Spain’s major cities. We take a closer look at how AEDAS Homes is helping grow the offsite industry in Spain.


2 The recent surge in activity belies serious endemic problems in the construction sector, which affect productivity, capacity and reliability. In response to this challenging landscape, residential developers in Spain, who face increasing costs and potential delays due to a shortage of workers, are starting to embrace industrialisation as a way


to deliver higher-quality homes to their customers much faster. AEDAS Homes, one of the country’s leading publicly-traded homebuilders and the first to launch large-scale modular developments in Spain, is spearheading the charge to modernise the sector by investing heavily in offsite and championing the DfMA mindset.

In 2018, AEDAS Homes started its offsite business line, and by the end of this year, the company will have put more than 180 modular homes on the market in Madrid and Costa del Sol for a total gross development value of €92 million (£83.7million). At present, the offsite line accounts for only a fraction of the 4,000 mid to mid-high end units the developer currently has under construction in five major regions, but it plans to scale this up significantly, with the goal of precision-building 10% of all its deliveries in dedicated offsite factories by 2022. In the Madrid region, the company has three single-family, modular townhouse developments that are under construction or nearing completion: Merian I and II (28 units) in Torrejón de Ardoz, a growing suburb just 20 minutes east of the city centre, and Etheria (41 units) in El Cañaveral, a newly-created district within the city limits. Construction on modules for three additional developments in Madrid –



3 Merian Gardens in Torrejón (26 units), Tinné in Boadilla del Monte (14 units) and Gaetana, also in Torrejón (21 units) – will begin in autumn and early next year. Further south, on the sun-drenched Costa del Sol, modules for the 53unit Vanian Valley development will start being craned into place this autumn, and in the coming months, the company has plans to expand its offsite business line by launching modular developments other Spanish cities where it operates. In order to quickly ramp up its modular production, AEDAS Homes has formed strategic alliances with two leading local modular manufacturers. For the Merian and Gaetana developments in Madrid, which are comprised of a total of 450 precast concrete modules, AEDAS Homes is partnering with Homm, a part of Velatia, a Basque family-owned industrial consortium. The key reasons for choosing Homm lie in their industrial capacity and extensive experience and expertise in manufacturing concrete modules. The modules for the Etheria and Tinné projects in Madrid, and Vanian Valley in Costa del Sol, are being fabricated by Neoblock, which belongs to Bauen, a large Spanish construction group. Neoblock’s purpose-built factory 80 km south of Madrid is where the 373 volumetric 3D steel modules with steel-reinforced cast concrete slabs for these three developments will be produced.

4 Angel Fernandez, who manages the AEDAS Homes Offsite line, explained: “As residential developers and the owners of a large, well-positioned land bank, we see it as our responsibility to push the construction sector to modernise. We are heavily investing in finding new ways to deliver topquality homes to our customers faster, and we are actively working with manufacturers and suppliers to expand the offsite industry in Spain.” David Martinez, CEO of AEDAS Homes added: “Going forward, precision building in factories — whether that means fully modular developments or incorporating more high-quality prefabricated elements into our traditionally-built developments — is going to be key in terms of matching supply to demand and rotating our assets faster. At the same time, it will lessen our impact on the environment, and foster safer, more stable long-term employment for workers. In short,

building offsite benefits everyone involved in the construction process, and we will continue to invest in offsite to encourage growth in the sector.” AEDAS Homes was launched in 2016 and went public in October 2017. It operates in Spain’s most dynamic residential markets: Madrid; Catalonia; Alicante, Valencia and Mallorca; Costa del Sol; and Andalusia. The company will deliver approximately 3,000 homes between 2019 and 2020. For more information visit: Images: 01. Merian I (Torrejón de Ardoz, Madrid) 02. Open-plan living area at Merian I 03. Etheria (El Cañaveral, Madrid) 04. Rooftop terrace at Vanian Valley (Estepona, Costa del Sol)





At this month’s Offsite Expo, modular construction specialists Extraspace Solutions will officially launch its new brand – ESS Modular. The company is currently designing and manufacturing a range of modular apartments in London.

1 Speaking about the rebrand, Paul Tierney, Managing Director, ESS Modular says: “We are incredibly proud of what Extraspace Solutions has achieved over the last three decades. From modest beginnings in 1989, we are now an industry leader in modular construction, employing over 170 people across multiple sites across the UK and Ireland. ESS Modular captures our heritage by keeping the same colours and design features, illustrates our growth and scale with the addition of more modules, and specifically describes what we do as a leading MMC modular contractor.

private and residential and social and affordable. One of these schemes is a private development consisting of 43 apartments in a residential area in North London. The three storey apartment block will be constructed above an underground basement on the site of a now demolished derelict building. The precision manufacturing process will commence offsite this month and onsite completion will take approximately 12 weeks. Our modular construction process allows for enhanced quality control and minimal disruption to local residents during the onsite construction phase.

Residential Expertise ESS Modular will showcase its residential expertise at Offsite Expo by installing a complete two-bedroom modular home in the Ricoh Arena, Coventry. Visitors can walk through the house, assess the quality and discuss the various design options with the ESS Modular team at the show.

Transforming Communities ESS Modular was recently appointed as the sole provider by the PanLondon Accommodation Collaborative Enterprise (PLACE) to manufacture modular housing units for homeless families in London. The contract will see ESS Modular deliver over 200 new family homes by 2021. Developed by the London Housing Directors’ Group and supported by the umbrella body London Councils, PLACE is managing the delivery of these family homes

The company has secured a number of high-profile residential projects over the last few months in private sale,


2 on behalf of a number of Councils throughout London. Paul Tierney, Managing Director, ESS Modular added: “We are delighted to be supporting PLACE’s mission to provide high-quality, local accommodation for people needing a home. We are thrilled to be helping deliver this exciting initiative, showcasing modern modular solutions in the residential market. This scheme will combine our innovative design with a community feel. Our precisionmanufactured modular will assist in combating the homeless challenge and provide comfortable family homes, meeting all of the latest GLA space standards.” Visit ESS Modular at Stands B7 and B13 at Offsite Expo or to find out more visit: Images: 01. A design for the modular apartments in North London which are being manufactured by ESS Modular 02. Accommodation for homeless families in London Borough of Tower Hamlets designed by ESS Modular



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With a vision to create vibrant and innovative educational spaces, Premier Modular are working hard to provide better buildings for future generations to learn and thrive.

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2 With the autumn term in full swing and many parents are considering their options for next year’s school places, headteachers and local authorities are battling budget and space constraints to provide places for growing population demands. We believe that offsite solutions can support these demands whilst developing inspiring learning environments for future generations, and we’re not the only ones. With the Department for Education creating their offsite-focused framework it feels like offsite construction is going to be at the heart of education developments for some time to come. The industry is still haunted by the ghosts of temporary classrooms from the past but solutions like the


temporary decant classrooms we offer, are of such a high standard now that teachers and students hardly notice that it’s not a permanent classroom. For the permanent build we can create a bespoke design for an aesthetically beautiful learning space. Partnering with an architect can produce schools that take their plans off a traditional build and can turn a one-form entry school to a two-form entry school in a fraction of the time. It also goes beyond classroom build. We recently delivered eight, awardwinning schools in Manchester with our partner ISG. Those schools included sports halls with high ceilings and catering facilities worthy of any professional kitchen. We’d encourage education clients to collaborate in the process so they can plan and build a bespoke response to their brief that innovatively covers all elements. We understand that headteachers need to provide school places quickly and with minimal disruption. Offsite takes the project off the traditional critical path. That is one reason why it is becoming more popular in education. Site works can be simultaneously completed as the

building is manufactured in the factory, so it means less overall construction time and less overall disruption in comparison to a traditional build. The factory process also means we can run the projects at any time of the year and our factories were busy with several school projects whilst those schools were closed for the summer break. Along with minimising disruption, offsite minimises wastage too as much of what we build is manufactured from recycled or recyclable materials. By doing most of the build offsite you also minimise the traffic pollution at the school and the carbon footprint of the build. This reduction in environmental impact could be a focal point for learning and we’re happy to take students through building processes that are better for their future. We often welcome schools and their students to our site not just for environmental education but so they can witness how we build their school. We are keen to showcase offsite construction as a career path. With many disciplines to choose from, it’s a level playing field for men and women and chances of career progression are strong. For more information visit: Images: 01-03. Modular construction can streamline the process of school building and provide super quality



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Raymond Millar, Construction Director at The McAvoy Group, describes how a new ambulatory care facility was built offsite in less than a year – an unprecedented programme for the scale and complexity of the project.

1 Northumbria Specialist Emergency Care Hospital opened in 2015 and is England’s first purpose-built specialist emergency care hospital. However, the existing facilities did not suit the type of service provision offered by ambulatory care – which was operating in a converted ward. The Trust believed the most effective solution would be a dedicated, purpose-designed unit built offsite to achieve earlier occupation. Award-winning healthcare architects P+HS had worked with both the Trust and The McAvoy Group previously and were brought into the team to develop the design. The new building had to follow the architectural principles of the existing hospital. This has a bold, striking and simplistic design, and is finished in the Trust’s corporate colours of blue and white. Virtual reality was used to assist the user group in assessing the building design and layout. This helped to inform stakeholders about how the proposed spaces would be used on completion. Nurses could ‘walk through’ the building for familiarisation. This digital solution gave the client full awareness of the space and how different specialisms would interact. Robert Sanderson, Deputy Director of Capital Projects at the Trust said:


2 “Having a VR model of our proposed new facilities was invaluable. It allowed us to demonstrate the clinical environment to our staff and stakeholders, equipping them with all the information they needed while the project was under construction. We will aim to use VR on future development projects, following its success with this scheme.” The structure for the new wing was manufactured offsite by McAvoy in a £15million contract using the latest modular technology to minimise disruption to patient care and reduce the build programme by half. The building was craned into position just 10 months after the initial meeting with the Trust. This was a highly complex scheme on a live hospital site. The design of the existing hospital has been integrated into the extension. A hybrid solution was developed which incorporates both offsite and site-based building methods – a three-storey offsite structure with an in-situ built curved link on each floor, rooftop plant room and full-height stair towers. The project features a number of innovations. It used larger, bespoke modules up to 14.85 metre long that were specially engineered to provide a structural flooring solution that

3 seamlessly integrates the existing hospital building on each level. This met the key requirement for efficient patient flows. Mechanical ventilation, heating and cooling systems were installed in the ceiling voids in the McAvoy factory – an industry first in the healthcare sector. Dr Eliot Sykes, Clinical Director for Surgery and Elective Care, added: “The new ambulatory care unit has already made a very real difference to our patients. It will significantly enhance our ability to manage peaks in demand whilst still providing dedicated ambulatory care. Offsite construction has been brilliant in terms of build quality and the pace of construction. We were amazed at the rapid progress from our first meeting to commissioning, and for a building of this scale. Feedback from patients has been extremely positive. They love the design, the amount of natural light and the progressive model of care. This is an outstanding facility for the Trust and is really unique in the UK.” For more information visit: Images: 01. VR meant that nurses could ‘walk through’ the building for familiarisation 02-03. Offsite methods have delivered an exceptional quality, brand new ambulatory care facility


From initial meeting to building installation in just 10 months

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We work as a collaborative partner to the NHS and private sector healthcare providers, delivering patient-focused offsite building solutions in less time to help address the rising demand for services. McAvoy specialise in Smart OffsiteÂŽ design and build solutions for the education, health, commercial, infrastructure and residential sectors. Build Smart. Build Offsite. Build McAvoy.





3 Leading modular construction business Integra Buildings is capitalising on rapid growth after completing a three-year, £3million transformation of its operations. The investment involved stunning new offices – modular built – alongside new manufacturing facilities that doubled production capacity. Now the fast-growing company is pushing forward with a further £1million investment in production facilities and plans to create at least 10 new jobs, on top of more than 20 over the past year. East Yorkshire-based Integra specialises in the design, manufacture and installation of bespoke modular buildings for a wide range of uses, including sport, leisure, education, healthcare and commercial operations. Integra has established an enviable reputation for design and build excellence, innovation and project performance, working with public and private sector clients. That reputation was underlined earlier this year when Integra was named as one of just 24 contractors on the Government’s pioneering £1.2billion Modular Buildings Solutions framework.


2 It’s a far cry from Integra’s humble beginnings in 1997, when Managing Director Gary Parker, a former apprentice electrician, and a handful of colleagues began by manufacturing just two units a week. Today Integra is a £30million business employing more than 110 staff and delivering multimillion pound contracts around the UK. “We have a superb team who are passionate about ensuring every project is delivered to the highest standards and to the client’s exact requirements,” says Gary Parker. “That’s the foundation of our success. We believe passionately that modular is the future of the construction industry and we’re determined to lead the way, which is why we’re investing heavily in facilities, technology and staff development.” Integra’s clients include Kier Construction, the Football Foundation, Sport England, rail franchise owner Govia and Interserve Construction. Integra’s highly skilled and experienced staff work closely with clients at every stage of design and construction to deliver bespoke solutions. These collaborative relationships contribute to an impressive 70% rate of repeat business. Notable recent projects include a £1.1million, 16-bay office building for the University of the Creative Arts in Farnham, Surrey, which, thanks to an elegant Siberian larch timber finish, sits beautifully in its semi-rural setting. Meanwhile, £600,000 offices for Gressingham Foods, in Norfolk, demonstrate bespoke modular

building at its best, with a large openplan office space, boardroom, breakout areas and professional kitchens for food demonstrations. Integra strives to push the boundaries of what can be achieved with offsite construction. Only recently the company delivered a £1.4million project to design and build more than 30 fully-equipped modular units which will form an innovative community of self-contained studio apartments in Bristol for young people who struggle to find affordable accommodation. As Integra looks to the future, a key priority is developing its pipeline of talent. The company has made a significant investment in training, creating 10 new apprenticeships in the past year. “We pride ourselves on developing people and on creating rewarding careers,” adds Gary Parker. “We believe our apprentices can be the future of this business – and it’s an exciting future.” For more information visit: Images: 01. Gressingham Foods. Breakout spaces and a kitchen area in the modular offices Integra created for Gressingham Foods in Norfolk. The building was constructed offsite by Integra, lifted into place and finished in-situ. 02. Managing Director Gary Parker, third left, with the leadership team and staff in front of the company’s self-built modular offices. 03. UCA Farnham. Integra designed and built this attractive office building for the University of Creative Arts in Farnham, Surrey, with a timber finish to complement the semi-rural setting.


Built offsite, to delight on site Our modular projects break the mould for quality, performance and appearance. Get in touch to discover how our innovative, bespoke modular buildings and steel anti-vandal solutions can deliver for you.


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Since the last Modular Matters conference and exhibition in 2018, the sector has seen exponential investment and growth, with global brands such as Sekisui House and Goldman Sachs entering the offsite arena.

Modular construction is not a new concept, but technological improvements, economic demands, and changing mindsets mean it is attracting unprecedented attention. Today, the sector is experiencing a new wave of interest and Modular Matters – taking place at the National Conference Centre (NCC), Birmingham on 22 October 2019 – will focus on the latest developments, innovations and investments in the volumetric modular sector. The maturing of digital tools has radically changed the modularconstruction proposition by facilitating the design of modules and optimising delivery logistics. Consumer perception of prefab housing has radically changed, particularly as new, more varied material choices improve visual appeal. The need for faster, leaner and smarter construction is becoming increasingly apparent in the UK. With only 63% of site-based developments


completed on time and an even lower 49% delivered on budget, traditional construction methods are failing to meet the major challenges facing the built environment today. We are witnessing a change of approach among constructionsector CEOs, as many leaders see technology-based disruptors entering the scene and realising it may be time to reinvent and reposition. But it is not only investment that is changing the modular construction landscape, radical changes in the supply chain are also being realised. Many of the problems this sector is facing are due to the offsite manufacturing supply chain not being vertically integrated. Developers and asset managers are taking greater control of their supply chains to mitigate the risk of material and skills shortages. Now companies such as Legal and General, Persimmons, Barratt Homes and Urban Splash are gaining greater control by investing in

land and factories to offer total control and synergy throughout the supply chain to maximise income streams and return on investment. Volumetric modular solutions are becoming increasingly commercially viable – structural engineers and architects are now designing and engineering for high-rise modular buildings. It is clear that economies of scale are being realised and modular construction is becoming a truly viable alternative to traditional techniques. Modular Matters will demonstrate the application of volumetric modular technology across a range of vertical markets. The event will focus on the latest developments, innovations and investments in the volumetric modular offsite sector and aims to engage with industry pioneers from within the offsite supply-chain, leading designers, specifiers, engineers and groundbreaking clients.



Event Supporters include:

Get Involved This one-day conference will create a platform to learn directly from specialist counterparts on how to apply volumetric modular technology and breaking the myths on design restraints. The event, which will focus around technology knowledge transfer, provides a dynamic and interactive learning experience for all visitors through presentations and the wide array of exhibitors. Modular Matters provides a positive return on investment and will be one of the most focused events dedicated to the offsite manufacturing and construction industry. Modular Matters is organised in partnership with the Modular & Portable Building Association (MPBA), who play a key role in connecting all sectors of the modular and portable building industry. Key Details:

• Date: 22 October 2019 • Venue: National Conference Centre (NCC), Solihull, Birmingham B92 0EJ • Tickets: £125 +VAT, which includes refreshments and lunch

BOOK ONLINE For more details on sponsorship or exhibition opportunities go to: To book your place, go to:





On the eve of Offsite Expo 2019, Hadley Group hosted a Roundtable Event to discuss issues surrounding the ways offsite technology can be better promoted to the wider construction sector and what obstacles are still proving barriers to greater uptake.

Arguments about how to deliver an improved built environment in the UK over the next decade are complex. The housing numbers required are much repeated and albeit successfully pushed to the background by recent Governments – the pressure to develop a more sustainable, low carbon and environmentally aware brand of construction is huge. As a part of this, the role offsite construction has to play has never been more important. Over the last two years in particular, offsite has seen its status grow to an all-time high. But problems still surround lack of knowledge about what offsite can truly deliver, and why the necessity of early supply-chain engagement and collaboration during the project cycle is critical.


How can the offsite manufacturing sector engage more with institutional funders/lenders and businesses that are providing finance to projects that are using offsite technology to remove a potential ‘barrier to finance’ and facilitate greater confidence in the sector? Over recent months, the levels of investment flowing through the offsite industry has been sometimes eye-watering with vast amounts of money being injected into factory developments, product research and system design – unseen since the last hey-day of offsite in the mid-2000s. This new money will provide some answers to the giant problems faced by construction UK – especially those surrounding housing provision. Funding and cash promised by

Homes England via the Accelerated Construction programme and governments policy for ‘presumption in favour of offsite’ has smoothed progress. This public sector support has encouraged a wider interest of private equity and institutional backing entering the system, giving industry lenders greater confidence in manufacturers with much more robust balance sheets. However, both central government and cash-strapped local authorities can only provide so much money, time and expertise to bolster construction and housing market development. The long-term answers rest with industry pioneers and dynamic thinkers to use the flow of investment wisely, to deliver a successful, sustainable expansion of offsite manufacturing in a controlled manner.


HADLEY GROUP ROUNDTABLE ATTENDEES Facilitator: Darren Richards – Managing Director, Cogent Consulting Edward Jezeph – Transaction Manager, Homes England Andrew Day – Head of Sustainability, Telford Homes Michael Parinchy – Director, ProBuild360 Matt McColl – Associate, Pollard Thomas Edwards Architects Ben Drake – Associate, Peter Dann Paul Nicol – Director of AMC, WHG Ben Towe – Managing Director, Hadley Group Chris Holleron – Group Product Manager, Construction Hadley Group Mike De’Ath – Partner, HTA Design

Potential funding opportunities, ‘catapult programmes’ and wider fiscal incentives exist but there seems to be a knowledge gap – or more to the point a ‘lack of time’ gap – in tracking them down. All sorts of SME-focused offsite investment opportunities are not being understood and exploited well enough. Many clients and investors need to widen their expectations and understand that offsite adoption is about absorbing the culture of offsite manufacture into the business model – recognising the need for substantially different cash-flow models and ‘vesting’ issues that are quite different to ‘traditional’ contract funding models. Confidence levels are growing about the use of offsite – but with confidence being everything in long-term investment decisions – this is putting the pressure on disparate parts of the supply-chain to demonstrate performance standards, consider new models of technology interoperability and even the potential for exploiting shared intellectual property.

Funders have a profound influence on design decisions and greater control of the supply-chain. They are being very strategic about what they control and what brings less cost and ultimately what saves them money on the operational side.

Beyond the funding options available from public sector, the deep pockets of large private capital investment is seen as essential to sustained development and growth. Large backing is required to get to scale. It requires significant investment to grow at speed in a profitable way. That is a real challenge for the smaller players, however it is not about subsidies and funding, it is about creating a pipeline and certainty of demand. To build an offsite manufacturing facility at scale takes tens of millions of investment and some time. That is something that not every entrant into the market has. While the direction of travel is hugely positive, issues persist surrounding land banking and a fit for purpose planning system that can grasp what offsite manufacture does. Developers and clients who commission projects must start to think differently. Across Europe they have been developing offsite for decades, the technology is used more successfully and is better integrated. This has pushed the construction industry to raise the bar and create fabulous products and build them to significantly lower costs, with lower embodied carbon and with less environmental impact. The pace of change in London is quicker than at national level and the political urgency seems to be larger, driven by high-density living, the rapid growth and deployment of build-torent accommodation and the urban creep to the outer limits of the Greater London area.

For a wider uptake and interest at all levels, there needs to be a roll-out of high value demonstration/pilot schemes to engage people better and also provide the opportunity to benchmark and measure offsite’s benefits. There needs to be a big education drive around the role of offsite – whatever shape and material it takes, so that we can get the potential solutions showcased. It is not so much the general public we need to educate but the funding markets, politicians and those that are in the position of specifying within the supply chain. Now is the time to move beyond the nascent stage of the offsite manufacturing industry into the mainstream. What changes are needed to the Planning system to remove the barriers to deployment of offsite technology and for the pentup pipeline demand for offsite technology to be unblocked? Is it really just about good design rather than the method of delivery or technology involved? Planning and procurement behaviour needs to change. There is still a struggle with people trying to procure ‘new things in an old way’. There is a maturing awareness of what products and systems are available on the market but not all Boroughs or planning authorities want to be at the leading edge of technology deployment, and many still have a ‘fear of the unknown’.




To underpin greater confidence, better collaboration and more partnerships between contractors and the offsite supply-chain are required, that make the best of both worlds with greater vertical integration. What needs to be better understood, communicated and sold as a positive, is the concept of ‘moving the value of a project away from the construction site to inside a factory’ where the levels of quality and reliability can be controlled and streamlined. In the long run, everyone involved in specifying offsite manufacture wants certainty of pipeline, volume, timing and costs and then confidence will grow exponentially. There is also pressure mounting to restructure procurement practices generally and make planning a quicker, easier process to navigate – potentially incentivising and offering a fast-track option – where certain obligations can be relaxed or refined. There are cases where the time taken to process a planning application is actively hindering one of offsite construction’s key benefits. The delays surrounding planning and the length of time it can take to get a project started on the ground are frustrating. It’s not good for any aspect of the industry. What would be helpful would be creating a way to incentivise or fasttrack solutions using offsite.


How can the Government assist in removing barriers or bringing forward enablers for the greater uptake of offsite technology? Is this likely to have best effect at a National level or do we foresee Region/Sub-Regional initiatives for further investment in offsite manufacturing facilities or in creating demand pipelines? One hurdle and a deep underlying issue is that the manufacturing and traditional construction industries are entrenched in the way they work and neither fully understand what each other does. Each have different thought processes, different histories and modes of operating. Certainly the role of precision factory engineering is at odds with the traditional construction mindset. Offsite needs to be sold as precision manufacture so more of that will give more confidence in specifying across a range of projects – and not just pilot schemes of which there seems to be a plethora. Offsite technology deployment around the regions needs to be adopted at scale and not just contained within the ‘London bubble’. With skills development an industry challenge at many levels, newer entrants have gone more towards precision engineering. The building industry has always been notoriously slow to pick up new technologies. There is a huge amount of technology out there but we are slow to pick it up. It’s all about shifting perceptions and the difficulty seems to be that there is often a ‘traditional approach to a technological problem’.

As the quest for cutting edge technology and greater digitisation drives factory manufacture, there is an opportunity for regional ‘centres of excellence’ to be developed around offsite manufacturing, but the opportunity will only be realised if the leaders within the major conurbations or the heads of Local Enterprise Partnerships and Local Authorities can fully appreciate the potential to create regional circular economies e.g. regional offsite manufacturing activity to provide for regional housing demand, and in some areas the potential to ‘export’ to other regions of the country and create long-term sustainable manufacturing jobs – regaining the sometimes longforgotten industrial heritage. Is there enough focus on the training/ skills requirements of the offsite sector and what can be done to address the demand for new skills and job roles associated with offsite manufacturing and offsite construction? Offsite manufacture needs to be positioned as a ‘clean engineering product’, technologically advanced, exciting, diverse and existing in the 21st century and not – in many ways – still stuck in the 19th century. Facilities such as the Manufacturing Technology Centre and Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre are at the vanguard of where the sector is heading and the offsite manufacturing sector must engage with these organisations to tap into the advanced manufacturing culture and technology embraced by the UK automotive and aerospace sectors over the past two decades. It is









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time to make the offsite manufacturing sector ‘sexy’ and for constructionrelated manufacturing to become a career of choice. More engagement is required with education providers and students to accurately promote this wider choice of career options. A new class or ‘persona’ – as outlined by the CITB – is tied to the use of digital technology – in particular BIM modelling and the adoption of new virtual reality (VR) and augmented reality (AR) immersive environments. These digital tools are a huge part of the standardisation and optimisation process that rest at the heart of a successful offsite approach.

VR/AR is revolutionising the way that buildings are perceived and understood. Not only by those designing and constructing a building but also by occupiers. Housing or schools are now something that can be seen and experienced before the building has even started construction (or manufacture). These digital tools can also help eliminate waste within the factory and everything that can be done to take out waste is critical. Productivity needs to be a new measure of efficiency and value for money. Clients can view buildings and ensure that by the time it is manufactured any issues can be ironed out in advance. Using digital technology is one clear


way of helping deliver an ‘as built’ project ‘as designed’ and being a mainstay of quality control. This better alignment between technology and the offsite industry taps into achieving greater productivity – something that is historically poor within the construction sector. It also provides for a long-term view on building specification, with whole-life costing, future adaptation, repurposing and relocation of entire buildings becoming a viable proposition as the truth about our climate emergency is faced up to and large corporates begin to view their assets and impacts in a different way.

existing market leaders and eventually replacing them at the helm of the sector. Many thanks to Hadley Group for hosting the Roundtable event and to all participants for their time and contributions to the discussion. For more information on Hadley Group visit –

Generation X, millennials and Gen Z will place greater demands on developers, contractors, architects and manufacturers to take more seriously the opportunities to reduce embodied carbon by exploring alternative materials and building processes that will ultimately lead to offsite manufactured solutions and the shift in terminology away from construction to assembly. The offsite sector will begin to improve its brand credentials, understand how to market itself and in time become the disruptor that it has the potential to be, displacing the



For more information on the benefits of Light Steel Frame technology why not register to attend Focus on Framing in London in November. This event will shine a spotlight on pioneering projects using innovative light steel framing solutions through informative case studies; presented by those who conceived and developed the buildings that are gaining global attention. Full details are available from the Light Steel Frame Association visit;

2020 OFFSITE ROUNDTABLE EVENTS Offsite Magazine host six Roundtable events annually. If you are interested in sponsoring and hosting an Offsite Roundtable in 2020 then please get in touch via Limited opportunities available.




A select group of construction professionals were invited to attend the EOS site study tour of Gardiner Place, Henley-onThames – a new multi-million-pound retail, leisure and living destination in the heart of the town centre.

1 Taking place at one of the UK’s most prestigious mixed-use developments, the informative guided tour of the live construction site, was preceded by a CPD accredited presentation, detailing the technology and techniques used to create this genuinely unique space. Offering in-depth insights into using a system build approach, the tour focused on offsite methodologies and maximising the benefits of loadbearing light steel frame technology.


Logistics is a key challenge, as the site is backed by a busy supermarket car park with pedestrian pathways, sandwiched between the busy high street on the other side. Early integration of experts from EOS into the design and engineering teams, supported specification decisions and the development of an advanced offsite manufactured steel framing solution using a hybrid of light steel framing and hot-rolled components.

Using the resources of the Etex Building Performance group, which brings together the products and solutions of three major construction materials companies, EOS, Siniat, and Promat – the Gardiner Place project stretched the technical parameter of the building envelope by its variety of levels and roof lines, including a continuous split roof ridge to accommodate ventilation requirements and multiple party-wall configurations.


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



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EOS SITE STUDY TOUR The EOS Thrubuild® loadbearing system is being deployed as an integrated solution, combining light steel frame, Siniat Weather Defence external sheathing board, and Siniat Frameboard – an internal plasterboard exclusively created for the EOS loadbearing systems. These Thrubuild® systems have been tested and assessed for compliance with the latest building regulations and fire standards to ensure robust and reliable design performance. Following the CPD session, delegates were escorted around the development by the project delivery teams. Attendees also had the opportunity to speak one-to-one with the offsite experts involved in the project.

Brian Alborough, Architect Richard Hopkinson Architects: "The most impressive aspect of this scheme and the engineering solution delivered is that the original architectural intent has not been compromised – no matter how challenging to achieve. The project has a series of challenging roof details and split levels in order to meet the local planning requirements and it is great to see that the engineering team did not compromise the aesthetic in lieu of an easier design solution on what is a complex project." Gardiner Place The development is named after Captain Edmund Gardiner, who first conceived the idea of an annual rowing event in 1839, now known as the Royal Regatta which gave Henleyon-Thames international recognition, becoming a major tourist destination and attracting people from all over the world. Gardiner Place is an £11million mixeduse project for Catalyst Capital which is set to achieve new standards in town centre accommodation. Once completed, the scheme will combine luxury living, boutique shopping and fine dining to complement the town’s existing mix. The much-needed transformation of the former Market Place Mews will provide a tranquil yet thriving space to meet and socialise,



3 completing the circuit of Henley-onThames’ retail offer. Comprising 14 residential units and 10 retail spaces, Gardiner Place will provide a new commercial, leisure and living destination for Henley-onThames. The two and three-bedroom apartments will be conveniently situated amid a 23,000sq ft retail space, brimming with premium dining and shopping opportunities. The development will also include a surface-level car park that will serve the apartments. Scheduled for completion in February 2020, the Gardiner Place development is under construction by Murphy Group.

4 Shaun Sheldrake, Murphy’s Managing Director of Construction and Property said: “This project is a really interesting mixeduse scheme in the heart of the community. We will be putting retail customers and local residents at the heart of this work and offsite construction will minimise disruption.” Designing with light steel structural systems requires a different approach, especially with the unique characteristics of this project and the hybrid hot and cold-rolled




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5 load-bearing steel specification requirements to address the complex load paths through the building. Internal and external walls become fundamental parts of the primary structure, rather than just infill pieces that only carry their own weight and directly applied loads. As a result, fire resistance requirements often increase compared to non-loadbearing steel as each element must be protected for the structures’ period of resistance, rather than solely as fire compartments. Darren Richards, Managing Director – Cogent Consulting: ‘We have worked with EOS for nearly 15 years and I have never seen the company shy away from a challenge in all that time! The Henley project could only be delivered by the total integration of the design team and the sharing of expertise throughout the supply-chain. As well as the ‘can do’ attitude of the project team, it is clear to see that the digital engineering on this project has facilitated the levels of complexity required to deliver the scheme.’


With dedicated in-house design, engineering and estimating teams, EOS ensure that explicit project requirements are delivered and can provide a budget price for feasibility, a detailed engineered solution for a final price submission – including all opportunities for value engineering and cost certainty. EOS guarantee a very competitive pricing structure, with no hidden costs for deflection heads or transport and can provide a lump sum total cost package including ancillary parts, which will not alter, providing the specification remains unchanged. The collaboration demonstrated by the delivery team on the Gardiner Place project is clear to see. Every detail of the building has been analysed and value engineered to take in to account the complex logistics and build sequence constraints, meaning that unique engineering solutions have been developed to meet the bespoke project performance and main contractor programme requirements.

Mark Appleyard, Project Manager - Kier Construction "The logistical constraints of this project are clearly one of its biggest challenges and it is clear to see that the delivery scheduling, labelling and pre-kitting protocols employed by EOS on this scheme have played a major part in helping the main contractor to operate under such challenging conditions. It is great to see such a well-integrated operation and a clean, tidy, safe and wellmanaged site." About EOS As specialists with over 14 years’ experience in the manufacture of steel framing systems for offsite markets, EOS offers a comprehensive range of services from pre-contract solutions and value engineering to design and structural calculations. By combining strength, durability and precision engineering, the EOS portfolio offers broad parameters to explore innovative solutions and optimise value engineering. As experts in offsite design for manufacture and assembly (DfMA) approaches, EOS have been actively involved in a range of privately and publicly funded research and technology development projects. For more information on innovative products and extensive services go to: Images: 01-06. EOS Site Study Tour - Gardiner Place, Henley-on-Thames


YOUR FRAMEWORK FOR OFFSITE CONSTRUCTION As pioneers of light gauge steel construction, EOS Facades specialise in the design, manufacture and supply of a wide range of steel sections for panelised or volumetric offsite solutions. Through careful design detailing and value engineering, EOS Facades is able to offer the highest quality award winning light gauge steel solutions - delivering environmentally sustainable projects on time and to budget. As an advanced high performance offsite solution, steel is a robust, rigid and dimensionally stable material that does not suffer from movement created by moisture related issues. Light gauge steel is perfectly positioned to meet construction industry demands – it is future proof and future ready. If you have a project in mind then why not challenge EOS Facades to help value engineer the most efďŹ cient solution for you?

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1 The Oaks is a 382 Bedroomed Student Accommodation in Coventry built on the site of a former college building that was demolished to make way for this new development. The building has two wings of student accommodation over four to six storeys with a mix of studio apartments and cluster bedrooms.

and reinforcement bars a substantial Quality Assurance check was carried out by MetStructures site management team before the concrete pour. The installation process was carried out utilising MetStructures independent Edge Protection System which aided the speed of installation and mitigated the requirement for a perimeter scaffold.

McLaren Construction appointed MetStructures for the light gauge steel structure as they provided an in-house service from design through to on site installation. Everything was carefully co-ordinated between the McLaren team, the project designers, follow on sub-contractors and MetStructures design team to enable a timeous site programme to be completed.

Gary Donnelly, MetStructures Project Director, stated that “Regular communication and meetings between the design and project teams led to the successful design, detailing and installation of the project. We are pleased to say that following on from the successful delivery of The Oaks project McLaren Construction are now engaging with MetStructures on a number of other projects “

The programme for the project was co-ordinated so that the just in time manufacture and delivery of the system aided the site team in delivering the structure to the build programme parameters. The pre-assembled external walls were clad with Class A1 non-combustible 12mm calcium silicate board in MS factory, adding rigidity through its racking properties and protecting the envelope from the elements during construction.

MetStructures are an integral part of the CMF Group of Companies and were formed to close the Group Manufacturing & Installation loop for Load Bearing Cold Rolled Construction Products. MetStructures design their light gauge steel framing system from their offices in Halesowen and Northern Ireland, with the manufacture and assembly of the system from their factories in Pontypool, Wales.

On a floor by floor basis the external and internal walls were erected then the composite metal decking was installed from below, the staircases were also installed to allow safe access to the floor above for when the decking was complete. The composite deck then had the disproportionate collapse bars and reinforcement bars installed. On completion of the deck 60

The MetStructures system is NHBC and SCI certified to 15 storeys in height and has been fire tested to 60, 90 and 120 minutes which meets the new Building Regulation standards for fire resistance. During their most recent suite of fire testing MetStructures paid particular attention to the external wall fire resistance from outside to inside and achieved a 120-minute fire rating for their system.

2 Main Contractor: McLaren Construction Architect: Corstorphine + Wright Project Commencement: December 2018 with completion for the 2020/21 academic intake Value: £21.9million Total Floor Area: 9100m2

MetStructures work with their clients from the earliest design stages providing design and cost advice which enables the correct decisions to be made on current information. They are currently delivering their system to numerous Hotel, Student Accommodation, Extra Care and Residential projects throughout the UK and continue to expand their already established team. Should you require any information on the MetStructures System please email or call 0121 389 1603. To follow MetStructures on LinkedIn: company/27239442 or visit their website Images: 01-02. The Oaks Student Accommodation development in Coventry using the NHBC and SCI certified MetStructures system.




22-23 SEP 2020





OFFSITE EXPO 2020! 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 and volumetric modular systems, plus pod and prefabricated MEP solutions.

BOOK Book your stand by 01 November 2019 to retain 2019 published show rates!

CONTACT Email or Call 01743 290 001

• Unique event developed by industry experts • FREE to visit • Over 3,000 targeted construction professionals attending • Dedicated Offsite Connect Buyers and Specifiers Forum • Custom-built features and Live Demo’s • 100 Offsite manufacturers and suppliers available to meet one-to-one • Over 150 speakers in the Explore Offsite CPD Masterclasses • Offsite Roundtable debates • International Offsite Summit • Free consultations with our ‘Ask the Offsite Expert’ team • Guided Technical Tours




Steel is one the world’s most recycled products with research showing that 99% of structural steelwork is reused or recycled. The Light Steel Frame Association (LSFA) is on a mission to explain steel’s sustainability benefits and its role in the circular economy.

1 A sustainable circular economy is one which reduces the burden on nature by ensuring resources remain in use as long as possible. Steel is fundamental in achieving a circular economy – components can be remanufactured, reused or recycled. With a long service life, we may have to wait a hundred years or more for steel that is in use today to be recycled or reused. Steel is a vital material in the history of construction and although it may not be in our lifetime, every single element can be repurposed.


Design for Reuse It is estimated that the UK construction industry consumes some 420 metric tons of materials annually and generates some 90 metric tons of waste of which 25 metric tons ends up in landfill. So, there is significant scope for improving resource efficiency within the industry. Recycling is one the key mantras of the 21st century, but reuse for its original or similar purpose without vastly altering the physical form, is not top of the construction sustainability agenda. As distinct

from recycling, reuse of construction products involves their repurposing with little or no reprocessing. Reuse offers even greater environmental advantages than recycling since there is no, or few environmental impacts associated in reprocessing. As with recycling, some construction products and systems are more adaptable to reuse than others and therefore designers should be encouraged to think not only about how their buildings can be easily and



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effectively constructed, but also how they can be efficiently deconstructed in the long-term. This is a new discipline for most designers. The process is straightforward. For example, deconstructed sections are inspected and tested to verify their dimensional and strength properties. The section is then shot or sandblasted to remove any coatings, refabricated and primed to the requirements of the new project. There is, however, significant scope for increasing reuse of steel construction products and work is underway within the sector to promote and facilitate this. The proportion of recovered products that are reused will increase as design for deconstruction is better

understood and a stronger market for reusable steel construction products is stimulated. The ability of the steel construction sector to facilitate these advantageous processes has been enhanced by the standardisation of components and connections. Research carried out by the LSFA’s technical partner, the Steel Construction Institute (SCI) has estimated that there are around 100 million tonnes of steel in buildings and infrastructure in the UK. This ‘stock’ of steel is an important and valuable material asset that will be reclaimed and either reused or recycled in the future.

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 performance and productivity benefits of light steel framing systems. The light steel frame sector is more agile, advanced and digitally savvy than its competitors in other offsite material sectors but up until now, the industry has not had a unified voice to promote the levels of sophistication, innovation and technical expertise within the industry. For more information of the Light Steel Frame Association and how they are developing the industry please visit email or call 01743 290 030


2 The LSFA fully supports the ‘Protocol for Reusing Structural Steel’ produced by the SCI. This valuable research concludes that the environmental advantages of reusing reclaimed structural steel are considerable. There are also potential cost savings. This protocol recommends data collection, inspection and testing to ensure that reclaimed structural steelwork can be used with confidence in a new context. There is growing pressure on the construction industry to be more resource efficient, reduce waste and to lower embodied carbon impacts. More recently, circular economy concepts are being promoted, with a roadmap developed to support a shift towards a resource efficient, low carbon economy. Increased structural steel reuse will support these aims and stimulate new business opportunities in the UK. The LSFA has been established to influence legislation, regulation and to support the overall objectives and growth of the steel frame sector. The Association works with members to raise awareness of the performance, productivity and sustainability benefits of steel.

Images: 01. Sarah Swift Building, University of Lincoln. Courtesy EOS. 02. Courtesy Eurofer - The European Steel Association





Shining a spotlight on pioneering projects using innovative


light steel framing solutions. Light steel frame is a fundamentally important solution to offsite construction used for a wide range of building types and applications from hotels to hospitals, housing to commercial offices. FOCUS ON FRAMING will shine a spotlight on pioneering projects through informative case studies; presented by those who conceived and developed the buildings that are gaining global attention. This seminar presents a great opportunity to gain insight and network with those who are shaping the future of the light steel frame industry.

FOCUS ON FRAMING provides positive return-on-investment and is one of the only events of its kind. • Strengthen your brand positioning • Generate sales leads • Build relationships with prospects • Launch new products • Survey attendees about new product ideas • Research competitors’ products and messaging • Keep up on industry trends • Meet with key clients

FOCUS ON FRAMING is delivered in partnership with the LIGHT STEEL FRAME ASSOCIATION, which has been established to support the overall objectives and growth of the light steel framing sector.

BOOK NOW Tickets to FOCUS ON FRAMING cost £95 plus VAT or £65 plus VAT for LSFA members, which includes entry into the seminar, lunch and refreshments throughout.

To find out more or book your ticket please go to or call 01743 290 030



For anyone unfamiliar with the circular economy, it is about bringing goods and resources back into the business that might be discarded from a linear economy. Stephen Boyd, Managing Director of Building With Frames (BWF) explains more from an SME’s perspective. As a small start we are always looking at using local suppliers that enhance us with a better supply chain relationship, but this also reduces the carbon delivery of their products to us. One of the long term parts of our business is supplying structural wall and roof kits to garden room companies around the UK. Which leaves us with offcuts and smaller panels that we now store as a stock item and form cheaper wall sections. These can be sold to local clients that are willing to accept that their walls and roof are made up of smaller sections for sheds, garages, workshops and temporary units.

1 The current and probably most common construction business model today is linear where the company may win a contract, then source the labour and procure the materials to build the structure. Once complete and monies have been paid the labour resources are often laid off, or their contract ends and the waste or surplus materials discarded. Climate change requires us all to play our part and look deep at how we can change for the better, our planet and the future of young people and the next generations. Analysis of materials and methods will always bring new ideas and just casually chatting with the teams and asking questions creates thought and often leads to improvement, which can be morally better and financially. Companies that embrace new methods, pioneer ideas and demonstrate considerate policies,


improve their credibility for potential clients, purchasers or specifiers and their workforce. Small regular chats, considerations and changes will eventually result in something bigger which could be the making of a business. Most importantly companies that wish to be relevant in the future need to be relevant now. First I believe it has to come from the top on a cultural level to encourage everyone within the business to consider material choices, design and methods, waste and alternative uses, then let the staff and teams bring forward suggestions that are practical within their working day. A business is like a machine and it is not always easy to change the cogs of the wheels that drive productivity. The transition from linear to circular requires cog changes in every department from sales to delivery and that is not an easy task.

This is one of a few solutions that we have adopted and has so far been financially and environmentally worthwhile. However, introducing this as another procedure has not been as simple as it might appear, random sizes do not store well, waste often gets in the way of the production of larger projects, it sits around for longer and the sales department need to be adaptable and creative to bring this business in. The benefits for us are, that there are small side-line projects for any quiet times, developing skills for apprentices, trainees, reducing our waste costs, financially and morally and often really pleasing local clients with a very cost effective energy efficient building. For more information visit: Images: 01. The construction industry is starting to look more at operating in a circular way


Guidance from The Concrete Centre Concrete is inherently suited to tall construction, with the many benefits that concrete can provide including fire resistance, thermal mass, acoustic separation and robustness. These benefits assist with the construction of buildings that are safe, cost-effective and easy to maintain or accept change-of-use. Two recently-published guides on tall buildings are available to download from The Concrete Centre website. These publications highlight the methods of construction available along with examples and benefits associated with their applications, together with case study exemplars. @concretecentre Image: 24-25 storey towers at Hoola development, London. Š Jack Hobhouse



Productivity is an ongoing concern for the construction sector. The product, process and people conundrum that make up the sum of many parts influencing efficiencies are not showing any significant signs of improvement. Whilst productivity in manufacturing sectors has virtually doubled over the last 20 years, construction productivity has stagnated and has not improved since the early 1990s.

The Business Dictionary defines productivity as a measure of the efficiency of a person, machine, factory or system in converting inputs into useful outputs. Productivity is a critical determinant of cost efficiency. According to the Government Construction Strategy, construction output in the UK exceeds £110 billion per annum and contributes 7% of GDP. Approximately a quarter of construction output is public sector and three-quarters is private sector. Although the sums quoted appear vast, profit margins are slim and all operating in the industry have a vested interest in resolving this ongoing issue. Construction 2025 outlined the Government’s vision for the future. A key priority is faster delivery, with a target of a 50% reduction in the overall time from inception to completion for newbuild and refurbished developments and a 33% reduction in the initial cost of construction and the whole life cost of built assets. 68

The aim of the UK’s Industrial Strategy is to boost productivity by backing businesses to create good jobs and increase the earning power of people throughout the country. This strategy is underpinned by an increase in the National Productivity Investment Fund to £31bn, supporting investments in transport, housing and digital infrastructure. With a shrinking skilled workforce and the ongoing saga of Brexit, the cost of inputs versus the value of outputs is proving a difficult equation to solve. According to McKinsey research, construction productivity has been flat for decades – but new systems and technologies are part of the solution. Other industries have clearly demonstrated how adopting new technologies can play a major part in modernisation, but the biggest barrier is a change of mindset from those who want to cling onto outdated construction approaches.

The objective of the Construction Productivity Conference, taking place on 21 November 2019 in London, is to gather together those who have the skills to tackle construction’s productivity conundrum and to create a platform for knowledge sharing and networking. With statistics finding that only 64% of the hours worked in construction are deemed productive, the event will focus on new technologies, logistics, supply chains, materials and waste management together with construction culture, developing human resources to establish a workforce and a sector that is fit for the future. The Construction Productivity Conference will focus on the application of a ‘productive construction factory thinking’ model and change management in the key areas of: Product, Process and People. The conference has been created to inform and support clients,


CONSTRUCTION PRODUCTIVITY EVENT contribute to productivity, not just through their primary function or by increasing economic output, but by making people happier, safer and healthier, benefits which are often overlooked and that help to make them more productive.’ Paul Nash, Former President – Chartered Institute of Building

architects, engineers, contractors, government departments, councils, local authorities, local enterprise partnerships and building technology suppliers in finding ways to address and tackle inefficiencies within the construction sector. What Does Construction Mean to the Conference Speakers?

Productivity can be difficult to measure and analyse. But what does construction productivity mean to the conference speakers? A few of the experts have shared their opinions. ‘Productivity means maximising the value delivered – the outcomes – for the investment made – the inputs.’ Ann Bentley, Global Board Director – Rider Levett Bucknall ‘Productivity is the measure of output per worker over a given period. Improvements in productivity can help ease the skills crisis and help to attract new entrants to our industry with new and modern methods of working. Improving construction productivity is a function of many things that include: skills & competencies, planning, procurement and penetration of IT.’ Mark Wakeford, Managing Director – Stepnell Ltd ‘Productivity is the ratio between the level of input resources to a process and the output results. To gain high productivity, it is necessary to follow a

structured and continuous approach to achieving more for less.’ Dr Steven Anthony Ward, Technical Director of Continuous Improvement Services – WSP ‘Productivity – the test of management’s competence in making resources productive – including the balance between all factors of production.’ Eirian Lewis, Managing Director – TEAL Consulting Ltd ‘Productivity is easily referenced but hard to define and far harder to measure. In isolation, delivering results with less time and effort is a simple principle. However, making this a reality within the dynamics of our working environment can be complex. By exploring behavioural science, I would like to demonstrate that small changes can make big differences.’ Jamie Hillier, Preconstruction Director – Kier

‘Exploiting the opportunities to radically improve productivity in the delivery of construction projects sits at the heart of a programme to improve society by providing secure, well-paid jobs, better social and economic infrastructure, and the ultimate elimination of greenhouse gas emissions from the built environment.’ Sam Stacey, Challenge Director – Innovate UK For more information and to view the full speaker programme go to:

21 November 2019

SPEAKERS INCLUDE: Alex Lubbock, IPA Andy Haig, Canary Wharf Contractors Ann Bentley, Rider Levett Bucknall Darren Richards, Cogent Consulting

‘Productivity isn’t just about doing the same thing better; it is also about ensuring what we do and how we do it supports wider social, economic and environmental outcomes.’ Keith Waller, Programme Director – Construction Innovation Hub

Dr Steven Ward, WSP

‘Construction and the wider built environment have a major bearing on how productive we are as a nation. Better buildings and infrastructure

Jamie Hillier, Kier

EXHIBITOR AND SPONSORSHIP OPPORTUNITIES Prices start from £1,000+VAT for a Standard Exhibitor Package to £3,500+VAT for the Headline Sponsorship Package. For more information on the opportunities available, contact Stuart Maunder on 01743 290050 or email

Eirian Lewis, TEAL Gary Sullivan, Wilson James James Daniel, Skanska James Illingworth, AMRC

Keith Waller, Construction Innovation Hub Mark Noonan, CITB Mark Wakeford, Stepnell/NFB Martin Feakes, Ramboll Paul Nash, Chartered Institute of Building Sam Stacey, Innovate UK





SHOREDITCH DEVELOPMENT LOOKS TO ARCHITECTURAL CLADDING Site: Shoreditch High Street, London Contractor: Montway Client: Max Barney Development Ltd. Architect: 21st Architecture Products Supplied: Brick faced and acid etched cladding panels, ‘L’ shaped precast concrete columns


2 FP McCann’s structural precast concrete building and architectural façades division has supplied the complete package of architectural precast cladding components on a brand new office and retail development in Shoreditch High Street, London. Covering an area of 35,819sq ft, the new building comprises five floors of offices spanning a ground floor and basement containing retail outlets including a restaurant/cafe. Undertaking the construction on behalf of client Max Barney Development Ltd, main building contractor Montway has recently completed the 525-day project designed by 21st Architecture, with the original design drawn as handset brickwork.


3 Working with an in-situ concrete frame, FP McCann was sent the design brief for the architectural façade panels, consisting of both grey brick and acidetched finished concrete. In total, 249 individual units were supplied from FP McCann’s Littleport factory over a 10-week period and installed using a single tower crane, eliminating the use of any scaffolding on the building. Over 33,000 individual handmade bricks each measuring 528mm long x 40mm high were cast on at the factory, making 221 cladding panels totalling 623sq m and pointed with mortar – colour as specified by the architect. The 28 acid-etched panels (243sq m) for the side of the building facing the car park were colour matched to the brick façade.

Additionally, FP McCann supplied the corner and ‘L’ shaped precast brickfaced concrete columns consisting of 130m³ of concrete. To allow for fixing of the cladding panels that were secured floor by floor, FP McCann designed and supplied bespoke brackets. The architectural façade team at FP McCann worked closely with the engineers and architects on the project to ensure all aspects of the build met the exacting client specification. Commenting on the completed project, Anthony Kelly, Project Manager for Montway says: “This method of architectural precast concrete/brickfaced construction demonstrates a number of efficiencies compared with practices associated with a traditional build. The offsite manufacturing of the building components offers significant advantages in terms of product quality and integrity. On site, speed of construction, minimising waste and the ability to work uninterrupted in all weather conditions are all major benefits. Additionally, the external façade system removes the need for scaffolding and wet trades, thereby minimising the health and safety risk factors associated with people working at height.” For further information visit: Images: 01-03. The new building comprises five floors of offices spanning a ground floor and basement containing retail outlets including a restaurant/café with architectural precast concrete/brick-faced construction





FP McCann’s precast concrete crosswall construction is a fast and convenient way to produce multi-unit structures such as hotels, student, secure and residential accommodation in a fraction of the time of traditionally built structures. Our architectural and structural precast units are manufactured off-site at our state-of-the-art Grantham and Byley depots and delivered to site, ready for final preparation and decoration. BYLEY OFFICE: BYLEY ROAD | MIDDLEWICH | CHESHIRE | CW10 9RJ | 01606 843500 LONDON OFFICE: HAMILTON HOUSE | MABLEDON PLACE | LONDON | WC1H 9BB | 020 3905 7640




1 Once in place and grouted, the floor achieves its full structural capability within 72 hours but building activity can commence on perimeter walls within 24 hours.

2 Creagh’s Spantherm thermallyefficient flooring is being utilised at a housing development in North Muskham, Nottinghamshire. Geda Construction is building the new 16-home development. Spantherm is an innovative insulated precast concrete ground floor system from Creagh Concrete that is being adopted by a growing number of housebuilders. Geda chose Spantherm as it is designed specifically for use at groundfloor level in residential and small to medium sized commercial projects. They opted for the work to be completed by Creagh’s expert fitting team, requiring no labour from them and significantly reducing the build programme time on-site. “Geda used Spantherm to push the project along as its one operation that just makes it so much quicker


and easier to facilitate on-site,” said Shaun Wormall, Site Manager for Geda Construction. “We are impressed on the installation of the slabs and the time that it saves us on-site” Spantherm is installed in just minutes, not days. By producing high performance insulated concrete units offsite Creagh have redefined the speed of installing a fully-insulated floor. This is the next generation of structural flooring systems designed as the efficient alternative to labour intensive beam and block installations. Housebuilders are increasingly exploring the opportunities for new ideas to reduce labour on-site and boost efficiency in the build – it makes sense that they start with the ground floor. The initial appeal of Spantherm is clear, as a typical floor on a detached house or a pair of semis is fitted on-site in less than two hours.

“From a site management point of view it’s been really good,” adds Shaun Wormall. “Creagh have been very responsive and the production timescales and installation has been quick and painless. We would definitely use Spantherm again, brilliant product, well-managed and well-run.” Creagh have manufacturing facilities in England, Scotland and Northern Ireland ensuring excellent coverage throughout the UK & Ireland. Every concrete piece is designed with unrivalled engineering expertise coupled with innovative production methods to deliver bespoke offsite concrete solutions with outstanding quality and reliability. You can watch more about the work being done by Geda Construction at: spantherm or contact for more information. Images: 01-02. Precast concrete systems are providing speedy solutions to housebuilding problems


Fire Stopping in External Cavities

Fire Stopping for Air Valves

Fire Stopping for Pipes

Fire Stopping for Wall / Floor / Ceiling Joints

Fire Stopping for Ventilation Ductwork

Fire Stopping for Electrical Services

Fire Stopping for Ceiling Fans

Contact TENMAT for further information

+44 (0)161 872 2181

MCS Corporate Strategies Ltd For all R&D Tax Claims / Land Remediation / Patents / General Cost Recovery

MCS Corporate Strategies Ltd For all R&D Tax Claims/Land Remediation/ Patents/General Cost Recovery

01926 512475



Following unprecedented success, the Offsite Construction Awards will be back in 2020 at a new high-profile location, taking place at the UK's largest offsite technology event in the construction calendar – Offsite Expo.

In line with the sector, the Offsite Construction Awards have experienced exponential growth and next year’s event is set to be the most prominent yet, with the Awards taking centre stage at Offsite Expo on 22 September 2020 at the Ricoh Arena, Coventry. In 2020 Offsite Expo will attract over 5,000 dedicated construction professionals across the two-day exhibition. The Awards will be hosted next year alongside the Offsite Summit, which will attract 500 industry leaders and innovators. This move will give the team behind the Awards room to expand the event, after the high demand for tickets last year saw many people losing out on attending the big night.

The 2020 Awards will be keeping the traditions of previous years, featuring an evening drinks reception with plenty of networking opportunities. However, it is not only the venue that is changing, two new categories have been announced. The Offsite Construction Awards are expanding to reflect the wider adoption of innovative technology. These new categories include Building Performance Pioneer Award, which focuses on the importance of energy efficiency post occupation, together with International Offsite Project of the Year Award – opening the 2020 Offsite Awards to international entries! The deadline for submissions is 15 May 2020 with announcement of the finalists being announced on 22 September 2020.

Entries into the 2019 Offsite Construction Awards were phenomenal 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 2020 Offsite Construction Awards. Being shortlisted for the Awards will earn recognition within the offsite community and the wider construction industry – opening doors to securing new business development opportunities. 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. The headline sponsors for next year’s event include EOS, Hadley Group, NHBC and BLP insurance – with only one package remaining for a headline position.







22.09.20 RICOH ARENA - COVENTRY Co-located with


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

All 24 categories are free to enter, and the submission deadline is 15.05.2020 – simply visit to start your submission today.




















The Offsite Hub is a well-established online information centre dedicated to keeping the world of offsite manufacturing and construction connected and up to date with the latest developments. This month the NEW Offsite Hub web platform will be unveiled with a completely refreshed, new, clean look and feel - ready to showcase the most important news, projects and events in the UK and international offsite sectors. Since its launch in early 2015 the Offsite Hub content has expanded to meet the demands of its users and this update is a continuation of this expansion. New sections are being added on a regular basis and the platform is constantly being upgraded to improve the users’ ability to find the information that they are seeking by cross-linking the Offsite Hub content and optimising the user experience. Feedback on the Offsite Hub is excellent and the growth in website visits (to over 12,000 unique visitors per month) is reflective of the way in which the industry has positively embraced this information platform.

The Offsite Hub is the number one source of industry information for anyone who wants to stay abreast of the recent developments in the sector. Updated daily, the Offsite Hub is a pivotal offsite resource offering industry news, case studies, project profiles, research reports, industry opinion plus a wider supply of technical information and learning resources; all showing the growing importance and numerous ways that offsite methods and technologies enable construction efficiencies. The Offsite Hub is the only offsite platform with all information freely available to all. As well as providing the latest and most up-to-date information on the offsite sector the Offsite Hub is the go to tool to be used by specifiers, architects and engineers looking to


identify the latest offsite technology developments and to locate the right supply-chain partner using the Offsite Directory – which lists leading companies that operate in the sector. This year the Offsite Hub has completely refreshed the look and feel of the website, focusing on making the information contained within the Hub easy to find and to access. The team behind the Hub have also focused on the developments within the Offsite industry over the past five years since the Hub’s inception; and how best to communicate them with a wider and more tech savvy audience. As the offsite industry grows and develops the Hub will grow and develop in tandem – providing exclusive industry specific content in a multimedia format.

New features include the introduction of the first and only Offsite Blog – where industry experts and leading companies share their thoughts on topical issues and the latest developments in the sector. Regularly updated these blogs provide access to information and opinions from those who are leading the offsite sector forward. Expanding into a more multimedia experience – the Offsite Hub is now launching a new Offsite Hub Podcast which will be free to download along with webinars on various topics surrounding offsite construction, productivity and training. Some of these Webinars will be CPD accredited allowing employers to use them to bridge the gap in the current skills shortage. They will allow employers to have an extra training resource for people looking to develop their skill set in the world of offsite as it expands.


We provide our customers a complete package, not only do we design, manufacture and deliver the timberframe structure, but we also supply the windows, external doors, internal door sets,stairs, architrave, skirtings, finishings insulation, plasterboard and a whole lot more.

Scotframe OfďŹ ces Sales and Manufacturing Inverurie Tel: 01467 624440 Cumbernauld Tel: 01236 861200

Regional Sales OfďŹ ces Inverness Tel: 01463 717328 Dundee Tel: 01382 561772 Swindon Tel: 01793 234503

OFFSITE HUB Offsite manufacture removes much of the construction process from the construction site, leading to several efficiency and environmental benefits, including reduced onsite labour, shorter construction timescales, better health and safety and less materialintensive activity. With the Hub refresh comes a larger focus on sustainability, energy efficiency, productivity and helping the construction sector to reduce their carbon footprint by using Modern Methods of Construction and DFMA principles.

information resources on offsite construction projects. As a focal point for offsite industry information and events it is essential to stay current and informed for any construction professional. The Offsite Hub has long been known for its association with the biggest and best offsite events such as Offsite Awards, Explore Offsite Masterclasses and Offsite Expo and this refresh is just another step in cementing the brands position as the essential go to place for offsite information.

These upgrades will reflect the thirst for more information and resources for professionals in the offsite sector and the increasing demand for more

Submitting information to the Offsite Hub is easy and straightforward, so if you have any news, announcements, case studies or job opportunities

that you would like promoting on the Offsite Hub then please email this to: or call the Hub Helpline on 01743 290001. If you want even greater convenience and would like to be sent industry news, event information and product updates on a regular basis then why not subscribe to receive update emails from the Offsite Hub. There is no cost to this service. To be listed in the Offsite Directory please email Bookmark and keep up to date on the world of offsite!



Information Centre Monthly Newsletters & Eshots Podcasts Webinars Suppliers Directory Bi-Monthly Magazine Offsite Jobs Project Profiles Blog Posts Awards & Events


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David Russell, Director at Carbon Futures, outlines how offsite construction can deliver far-reaching thermal improvements for new UK housing. constraints permit. Window openings should be designed to suit orientation, with more glazing on the southern elevation to maximise solar gain and less glazing on the north elevation to limit heat loss. It is also important not to size windows appropriately as a balance must be struck between solar gain and summer overheating. Overhangs should be designed into window openings to facilitate shading in the summer months, whilst permitting solar gain during the winter months, when the sun is lower in the sky, as this will reduce the heating and cooling demand, which is vital in order to moderate indoor temperatures for occupant comfort.

1 A recent report by the Committee on Climate Change asked if the UK’s housing was fit for the future. The report listed five key priorities for government action: performance and compliance, skills gap, retrofitting existing homes, building new homes and financing and funding. Offsite construction has the potential to deliver on all these key priorities, however I would suggest that the most important of them all is performance. With plans for 1.5 million new homes by 2022, it’s vital that we learn from past mistakes, to ensure that we deliver quality as well as quantity. If we fail to provide both, then any short-term success in terms of numbers has the potential to be blighted by long-term failures in performance. Good quality homes should be designed around five basic principles:


• Be suitably designed to reflect orientation whilst minimising overheating • Have a well-designed high performance thermal envelope • Be designed to reduce and ideally eliminate thermal bridges • Be airtight in order to reduce unwanted infiltration • Achieve good indoor air quality through the provision of well designed ventilation. The key to successfully delivering these principles is to understand that they are all interconnected, in that a weakness in any one principle will have a detrimental impact on performance. To be as efficient as possible, designers must first endeavor to orient dwellings as efficiently as possible – ideally facing north/south if the site

We must also endeavor to eliminate thermal bridging, which is an area of a building construction that has a significantly higher heat transfer than the surrounding materials. Thermal bridging can account for up to 20-30% of total building heat loss, which is significant. Any heated building should be designed and constructed to limit heat loss through thermal bridging. Whilst repeating thermal bridges are accounted for in U-value calculations, a separate calculation is required to assess non-repeating thermal bridges at all the external junctions within a building. As homes become better insulated, the importance of thermal bridging increases exponentially. Failure to address thermal bridging can increasing the risk of surface condensation and mould growth, whilst also contributing towards occupant discomfort due to the presence of localised cold spots. Infiltration or air leakage can account for up to 50% of heat loss in modern homes significantly adding to the amount of energy required to keep a home warm and comfortable, resulting in higher carbon emissions. Air leakage allows expensive heated air to escape from a home, essentially wasting


Futureproof The Evolution of CLT COMPLIANT INNOVATIVE COST EFFECTIVE With B&K Structures, the restriction on combustible materials does not mean an end to building with CLT. We achieve highly practical, sustainable structures over 18m. • Meeting the Latest Building Regulations • Panelised Hybrid Approach Integrating a CLT Superstructure • Non-Combustible Unitised Wall Panel Systems • Structural Steel Carrier Frame & Non-Combustible SFS Infill Walling • Factory Fitted Added Value Options • No Impact on Cost or Programme • Delivers a Lower Carbon Footprint Compliant System

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BUILDING PERFORMANCE Offsite construction can help deliver good quality, low-carbon homes that meet the five key principles of good housing. Building in factorycontrolled conditions helps to improve quality and performance, whilst significantly reducing waste, when compared against traditional building practices i.e. building outdoors on cold, wet, muddy building sites. This is particularly important when you consider that the UK construction and demolition industry is responsible for over 30% of landfill waste. It is also important to note that up to 15% of products delivered to construction sites are sent directly to landfill without being used.

2 valuable energy, whilst also adding to occupant discomfort caused by drafts. Poor airtightness can also increase the amount of pollutants within a building such as particulates, pollen and volatile organic compounds (VOCs) that can all have a detrimental effect on our health and wellbeing, contributing towards the high instances of asthma within the UK. Airtightness and ventilation are inextricably linked. If you spend time and money designing a home to be very airtight in order to limit unwanted infiltration, it is vital that you provided suitably designed ventilation to maintain good indoor air quality. Typical decentralised and centralised mechanical extract systems (without heat recovery) in homes suck warm moist air out of kitchens and bathrooms and rely on replacement air being drawn in via trickle vents and uncontrolled infiltration. This method results in a significant amount of lost energy as the extract fans draw heat out of the home and replace it with colder and potentially polluted air from outside. In energy efficient airtight homes with airtightness less than 3m³/hm² at 50 Pascals, mechanical ventilation with heat recovery (MVHR) is required in order


to control the indoor air quality whilst also retaining heat within the home for longer. MVHR units are fitted with filters to remove pollutants, improving indoor air quality. With its energy-efficient and sustainable credentials, timber frame has many advantages over other forms of construction, when it comes to building homes. The material itself can be sustainably grown and procured from certified sources and has much lower embodied energy than masonry, or steel frame construction. It can also be easily prefabricated in factory-controlled conditions and be erected on site significantly faster than masonry construction. Erection is also less reliant on dry weather conditions. Timber frame can also typically achieve better thermal performance, with a thinner wall construction. The disadvantages are that it can be more susceptible to condensation, rot/ infestation and the risk of fire, however these issues can easily be overcome with good design and specification. Whilst the cost of a pre-designed timber frame can be higher than other forms of construction, there is generally greater cost certainty as it can be designed and manufactured offsite prior to starting on site.

Whether we choose to use modular construction or closed-panel construction, the key is to do as much as possible offsite in factory-controlled conditions, where stage-and-gate quality controls can be implemented. The quality control measures and working environment are much more likely to help close the ‘performance gap’ and make achieving a highperformance thermal envelope, with high levels of airtightness, more readily deliverable. The design and construction industries have an obligation to deliver on the governments key priorities. Whichever way we choose to construct homes, it is vital that we follow the basic principles in order to reduce energy demand, maintain occupant comfort and reduce waste. If we are to be truly sustainable, then we must also get out of the habit of constructing poor quality homes, which are demolished 30-50 years later, to start the process all over again ad infinitum. This means that we must invest today for the long haul, by building good quality homes designed around the key performance principles. We know what is required, now is the time to deliver. For more information visit: Images: 01. A thermal model through the base of a separating wall i.e. at ground floor/foundation level 02. Offsite construction helps deliver good quality low-carbon homes


Average client claim is £52,000 Over £230m uncovered for our clients Contact us today to uncover your hidden value Catax are experts in Research & Development, Capital Allowances, Remediation of Contaminated Land and the Patent Box tax reliefs. We have been helping clients secure tax relief for over 10 years and have identified over £230m in tax benefit for our clients and partners to date. With the construction industry turning more and more to offsite construction technology, there is a huge amount of innovation that is happening in this sector. Research and Development (R&D) and the Patent Box tax reliefs are awarded to businesses that invest in innovation. The chances are you are doing R&D without even realising! Any owning entity can claim Capital Allowances on their property, so long as that entity is liable to pay UK tax. However, the identification of Capital Allowances is often overlooked due to the complex nature of this area of tax legislation.

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Modular solutions are a fast-developing trend in the residential building sector reacting to factors like the skills shortages, Brexit uncertainty and efficiency. balcony quality checks need to be made and documented, before a balcony can reach the next stage.


3 Five factors for success Sapphire believe the approach to balconies needs to include 5 key areas; 1. Quick install With many of the MMC crane time becomes the major constraint. An approach which can minimise this could drastically reduce cost and provide greater flexibility. The simplicity of Sapphire’s unique Glide-On™ approach has allowed time required for install to be dramatically reduced.

2 Sapphire is at the forefront of this trend when it comes to offsite-manufactured balconies. Thanks to their commitment to product innovation they have developed pioneering balcony design and installation techniques for beautiful, high quality balconies that can be installed faster than any other on the market with improved safety. Sapphire’s patent-protected GlideOn™ system is the first real alternative to traditional balconies, combining the benefits of prefinished Cassette® balconies with rapid installation using their own innovative connectors.


2. Lightweight MMC often attempt to reduce slab thicknesses but thinner slabs and different materials are often not as strong as traditional RC frames. Minimising the forces with a lighter balcony can reduce the strain on the connections and help ensure rigid balconies are achieved. Sapphire Cassette® frames are made using mechanically fixed aluminium, resulting in balcony can be 1/3 of the weight of a typical bolt-on steel frame. 3. Complete offsite manufacture With minimising labour on site being a key driver to modular builds, ensuring a balcony is fully assembled offsite including all soffits and fixings is essential, as well as high quality control standards. Not only do Sapphire’s ‘Balcony Passport™’ app means that

4. Standardised yet flexible Combining a modular approach with bespoke sizes means that tried and tested design details can be used to create an efficient product which still looks bespoke. Sapphire’s Cassette® balconies work to a typical 400mm module yet are made to the exact dimensions and unique aesthetic detail required. 5. Design-focused approach Offsite manufacture requires maximum coordination to achieve optimal success. Not only does this design out issues which would have been detected on site, but lessons are learnt and can be applied from the outset. Offsite in action Sapphire’s Glide-On™ Cassette® Balconies are well proven on modular construction projects, one of which is Pomona Wharf in Manchester. After hitting the target of 23 balconies in one day, installers went on to install a further 34 balconies in just 6 hours and 13 minutes. That’s average of 10.9 minutes per balcony – a new record for Sapphire and beyond the possibilities of traditional bolt-on balconies. Trinity in Salford, Manchester featured bespoke anchors cast into precast concrete panels and achieved an average of over 30 balconies installed per day and excellent rigidity. Sapphire’s Rigid.Ready.Right. brand promise guarantees balconies will achieve L/360 rigidity every time. Join Sapphire at their upcoming MMC event in Manchester! Go to to register your interest now. Images: 01-03. Sapphire’s Glide-On Cassette Balconies at the Pomona Wharf development and the Trinity project both in Manchester


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‘Getting onside with offsite can spark UK manufacturing’ says Jeff Maxted, Director of technical consultancy at BLP Insurance.

1 With traditional elements of the British manufacturing sector exhibiting stark signs of decline, it’s time for the industry to adapt and further diversify, placing more emphasis on contemporary manufacturing activity, such as the burgeoning offsite construction market. As measured by the CIPS Purchasing Manager Index (PMI), the UK manufacturing sector has languished in recession for the past three out of the last four months. Manufacturing output has contracted significantly owing to on-going uncertainties of international trade tensions, indicators of a decelerating global growth and of course, Brexit. Traditional manufacturing sectors, for example car production, continue to struggle. A more diverse, long-term manufacturing strategy is clearly needed that supports emerging technologies, and creates skilled, well-paid employment. Owing to its controlled factory environment, the benefits of offsite construction over traditional methods are clear: greater accuracy, speed and precision, reliability of materials and manufacture, improved performance and a reduction in construction costs, as units can be delivered at scale and through repeatable design. The widespread implementation of offsite construction can help bolster




the UK manufacturing industry, while positively contributing to the severe housing crisis plaguing Britain’s towns and cities. With the benefits and potential positive impact readily apparent, what’s holding back progress?

by a BOPAS-approved manufacturer and comprising over 500 flats, is on-going in Croydon, London. Emerging international players are beginning to enter the UK’s modular market, providing impetus to major housebuilders, who were initially slow to get on-board.

The construction industry can sometimes move at a glacial pace, with innovation and modernisation frustrated by short-term thinking and a reticence to invest in and implement new technologies. To help address this, the Buildoffsite Property Assurance Scheme (BOPAS) is instilling more confidence in the sector by providing long-term assurance to mortgage lenders, valuers, funders, landlords and homeowners that properties built using non-traditional forms of construction will be robust for at least 60 years. BOPAS has witnessed a 15% yearon-year rise in companies being accredited in 2018 and 2019 figures are showing further growth. There are very encouraging signs in the wider industry too with Sekisui House, a leading global housebuilder and pioneer in the modular housing space, moving into the UK market in partnership with Urban Splash. Furthermore, construction of two towers, built using modules provided

However, a more holistic, co-ordinated and collaborative approach from the government and major stakeholders is needed to push offsite construction from pockets of promising activity into the mainstream. Upskilling workers in offsite methods, engaging Homes England to encourage local authorities to allocate a proportion of large-scale developments to be delivered via offsite, and pursuing strategies to attract foreign investment and expertise into the market would be a start. If this can be achieved, the government can simultaneously provide a much-needed shot in the arm for the manufacturing industry and help alleviate the housing crisis. For more information visit: Images: 01. Pacific Quay. Courtesy Stewart Milne Timber Systems 02. Offsite construction is a central solution to the housing crisis. Courtesy The McAvoy Group 03. Savoy Circus. Courtesy Vision Modular




There is so much being discussed about Offsite Construction right now. But in one short article where to begin? And hang on: are we still calling it Offsite? Isn’t it MMC now? The landscape is ever changing, the industry is evolving and moving forward faster than ever before. Just a few subject areas to understand better include: investment, startups, disrupters, frameworks, vertical integration, new job roles, changing talent requirements and even more new terminologies. We are recruiting for many roles today, that have barely been heard of in construction. We are seeing the uptake of BIM, DfMA, and Lean, and seeing these taken to new levels. Construction is now about software integrations, precision engineering, process engineering, automation, and even robotics are

being introduced. Let’s not even start on where the industry sits within the current political climate. No one has all the answers yet but at ARV Solutions we aim to understand the questions; particularly, how all this relates to your career or recruitment programme, and we have the experience and network to help make sense of them. Contact a member of our team today to discuss all the above, and why it makes sense to use a recruitment provider who invests in the industry, champions offsite and has an experienced expert team well equipped to provide you with the

service you require. Let’s discuss which direction offsite is going in, how your business can make the most of the plethora of opportunities out there or what opportunities you should be training for to really develop your career within offsite – or should I say MMC! You can also request a copy of our latest industry Salary Guide to see where you and your business sit within the industry. For more information visit:

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With a huge passion for the construction industry, we are the UK’s leading recruitment consultancy for the offsite sector and it’s supply chain.

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On The Level (OTL) manufactures a range of wet room floor solutions and the bespoke options for modular and pod manufacturers who are looking for a turnkey service, mean that OTL stands out in a crowded market. and layouts. All bespoke formers are available and delivered within 5-7 working days. OTL’s bespoke features include:

Whatever the size or shape of the bathroom OTL’s bespoke service allows freedom of design. Formers are manufactured to suit client requirements and waste positions can be altered to fit project configurations

• • • • •

A unique modular flooring solution to suit any size project Design guidance, technical drawings and support Flexibility on shower gully location; position the gullies almost anywhere in the floor Bespoke colour match to compliment sanitary ware and colour schemes Quick and easy to install, reducing installation time, cost, and risk.

With over 30 years’ experience designing and manufacturing wet room floors, all formers are manufactured and hand-finished to exacting standards in OTL’s Bedfordshire factory. Trusted by the offsite sector, OTL offers the perfect solution for large-scale projects including bathroom pod, volumetric and offsite house manufacturers. All of OTL’s products are Made in Britain and FSC® certified. For more information visit:



Earlier this year Singapore’s Clement Canopy assumed the position of the world’s tallest modular building. Built by Dragages Singapore and designed by ADDP Architects, the residential towers surpassed the 135-metre tower at George Street, Croydon.



Across the globe the world of construction is undergoing a wave of disruption with major contractors looking to use more offsite design and delivery to introduce innovation and generational change. The pressure to build quick, cost-effective and sustainable buildings has never been greater. Add to this the aesthetic confidence – that is pivotal to any new piece of architecture – and imaginative building designers and structural engineers are continuing to stretch the imaginations about what can be constructed.

1,899 prefabricated and pre-finished modules built offsite in Malaysia. “Each module is around 85% finished offsite, before then being assembled onsite,” says Aurélie Cleraux, Head of Modular Construction at Bouygues Bâtiment International. “This includes the painting, windows frame and glazing, doors, wardrobes and MEP including water and sanitary pipes, electrical conduits and ducting, which are all totally finished before the modules arrives on-site. This method is definitely more eco-friendly. We were able to reduce waste onsite by 70%.”

The global penetration of offsite construction is difficult to quantify, with levels in continental Europe, the UK, USA and the Asia Pacific region in particular in a constant state of flux. Perhaps the only way to assess it is to monitor the increasing amount of flagship developments that continue to appear. One landmark development is in the heart of booming Singapore.

Clement Canopy contains 505 twothree- and four-bedroom apartments, with a swimming pool complex at the base. The buildings consist of two towers measuring 459 feet each – the tallest to be built in modular concrete. At 40-storey structure offers housing in the heart of a much sought after residential and student area of Singapore.

In April 2016, the Singapore government awarded Dragages Singapore, a subsidiary of French contractor Bouygues Bâtiment International, the contract to design and build Clement Canopy. Clement Canopy is a pair of 140-metre high towers made from prefabricated concrete modules and comprise of

Jointly developed by Singapore-listed UOL Group and United Industrial Corp (UIC), Clement Canopy was completed about six months ahead of schedule and it is estimated that using conventional construction methods, the towers would have taken 30 to 36 months to complete.


The towers were part of the farsighted building approach adopted by Singapore. Since 2014, Singapore’s Building and Construction Authority has stipulated that ‘selected sites offered in the Government Land Sales (GLS) programme need to adopt the use of prefabricated volumetric construction (PPVC) for at least 65% of the total constructed floor area within residential developments.’ “In Singapore, PPVC is 5 to 10% more expensive,” says Pierre-Eric SaintAndré, Deputy CEO for Bouygues Bâtiment International. “Because we’re still at the start of the learning curve. It’s a question of scale – we need the supply chain to move with us and to improve. Our objective is to be a game-changer in the industry and to do that means to be able to build at a lower cost. I believe in the very near future, it will be better.” The Clement Canopy team now plans to continue their methodology in various projects across the UK, Australia, USA, and Hong Kong. For more information visit: Images: 01-02. Singapore’s Clement Canopy is showcasing what can be done with concrete offsite manufacture. Courtesy Dragages Singapore


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In our continuing exploration of offsite manufacture from around the world we take a look at the construction of an innovative learning centre at Caulfield Grammar School in Melbourne.

1 Named as a tribute to the late Leslie Roy Hoult AM, a respected member of the local school community and former President of the Caulfield Grammarians’ Association, the new Roy Hoult Centre at the Caulfield campus of Caulfield Grammar School in Melbourne is a learning hub designed to inspire and develop technological and scientific innovation. The centre is fitted out with working science laboratories, presentation spaces and collaborative learning areas to promote skills that can be applied to higher learning or within the workforce. Designed by Hayball, the Roy Hoult Centre is the fourth collaborative project with Prebuilt for Caulfield Grammar, with Hayball novated to Prebuilt under a design and construct contract. The project follows an initial rollout of three new state-of-the-art education spaces designed by Hayball and built by Prebuilt for Caulfield Grammar, collectively known as the Learning Project, which has since gathered worldwide recognition and design accolades.


With the centre nominated to be located in a small, unused parcel of land on the Caulfield Campus, bordered by a driveway used by staff and parents, a key challenge lay in completing the build without disrupting the teaching program. Prebuilt Managing Director Rob Colquhoun observes that by designing and constructing entire building elements offsite, the company was able to produce high-quality education facilities with minimal disruption to students, along with unprecedented sustainability benefits. Significantly, the design brought with it some exacting constraints. “Hayball designed the building as an important ‘bookend’ to the school’s frontage to Glen Eira road,” says Rob Colquhoun. “As such the scale and quality requirements were much larger and more complex than any typical two storey modular school building that had been produced utilising a full height perforated screen to deliver an imposing elevation presented fresh challenges for the

screen manufacturing industry. The scale of the internal voided space leading towards the large clerestory roof chambers essentially required that the building utilised three levels of modular structure. “The design also had to address the connection to the existing middle school building with matching floor levels so that the new lift in the Roy Hoult building could then be used to access the entire middle school complex, built many years ago. Another challenge was the presence of an overland flood path that runs right under the building, requiring that clear span footings be installed at over one metre above ground.” Collaboration has been critical to the success of the scheme. In a series of projects of this type, Prebuilt has been collaborative with Hayball providing construction advice and direction while allowing Hayball to lead the design development and design direction of the project, says Colquhoun. Key among the efficiencies and program savings from using Prebuilt’s offsite



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3 orientation (a deep north south site), which were overcome by filtering western light through the perforated metal screen and designing skylights that achieve an even light distribution, reducing glare within the learning environment. “Documenting the skylight modules within a prefabrication context was a related challenge, overcome by designing the roof elements in such a way that they could be transported on trucks and then easily mounted on site.”

4 solution for this build was the ability to fast-track construction by locking down base elements whilst continuing design development of more specific items such as the science lab design, bathrooms and joinery requirements. For its part, having worked on The Learning Project with Prebuilt, the Hayball team had already gained an understanding of the niche skillset and quality of production that Prebuilt could offer in the realm of volumetric prefabricated manufacturing. Hayball Principal Harry Nicholas comments that, having been approached by the school to design the new Roy Hoult Extension, Hayball designed the procurement model to allow input from expert prefabrication contractors early in the process. Prebuilt gained ‘preferred contractor’ status following a rigorous design and tender process. “The client was on board with the benefits of prefabrication from the beginning and supported the team’s vision, allowing us to design and manufacture in tandem, providing a distinct and high-quality outcome for the school while also ensuring a permanent and landmark building for the campus.”


The materiality of the building comprises a simple steel and glass structure, encircled by a perforated metal screen or ‘veil’ element that provides a singular form and works to protect and lend permanence and mass to the lightweight structural elements behind it. Among the challenges for Hayball was a requirement to design and build in keeping with the existing look and feel of the traditional red brick campus. This was overcome by utilising colouration to the metal screen that deliberately responds to the brick context of the site, producing a lightweight building within an imposing brick and masonry context that closely echoes the colour and mass of the rest of the campus. Hayball Principal David Tweedie adds: “As with most educational projects, minimising disruption to the school was a critical requirement, which was met by using volumetric prefabricated elements, reducing the impact to the school and site by essentially erecting the bulk of the new building over a single weekend.” And he notes that there were also constraints created by the building’s

Prefabrication also answered other site issues. “This is a flood prone site; and the challenge was overcome by designing a lightweight prefabricated structure that allows water to flow freely beneath it in times of flood. Other general site constraints were overcome by working around restricted access and existing trees. This suited the idea of prefabrication and construction offsite. Thanks to a fully collaborative process between Hayball and Prebuilt plus a very committed and supportive client, this project was designed to fulfil a common vision and has resulted in a contemporary education facility that celebrates the best in design, technology and learning.” Article courtesy of Built Offsite magazine – published in collaboration with PrefabAUS, Australia’s leading industry body representing the offsite construction industry. For more information visit: Images: 01-04. By using volumetric prefabricated elements the bulk of the new building was erected over a single weekend. Courtesy Built Offsite


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Apollo Insulation’s range of reflective foils are solutions to meet the increasingly stringent thermal insulation performance requirements for buildings.

British Gypsum is the UK leading manufacturer of drylining systems, developing innovative products to help customers build better spaces to live work and play.

Highly Reflective, and Low Emmistivity, our foils have British Board of Agrément approval and have been designed and tested to last the lifetime of a house or structure.... in the UK that is 60 years. Whether in roofs, walls, under floors or on HVAC ducts, correctly installed Apollo’s membranes have been tested and proven to enhance u-values and provide significant lifelong thermal insulation benefits.

As well as leading in drylining systems, British Gypsum offer an impressive range of products developed for offsite construction, including; damage resistant, bespoke size plasterboards, moisture and weather resistant solutions.

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Our unique approach to offsite manufacture and construction is built on collaboration and exceptional people; underpinned by our corporate values and commitment to outstanding customer service. We continually drive value and efficiency through Smart Construction by promoting the intelligent use of Building Information Modelling (BIM), Design for Manufacture and Assembly (DfMA) and Lean manufacturing techniques to eliminate waste. Working either as Principal Contractor/Lead Designer or as a specialist Subcontractor, we have the capability to deliver projects from conception through to handover from the single largest offsite manufacturing facility in the UK. For more information visit:


Beyond their product range, they have experts on hand to support you throughout your projects.

Britmet are the only British manufacturer of lightweight roofing systems in the UK, offering roofing solutions for all building types from residential housing to education facilities. As well as being the only UK manufacturer of lightweight roofing systems, they also have the widest range of products on the market place including roofing accessories, rainwater goods, soffit and facia goods, and breathable membranes. For more information visit:

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Cogent Consulting – the UK’s leading offsite construction consultancy - is an offsite manufacturing expert with 25 years of world-wide experience developing offsite businesses, processes and products. Cogent is a specialist building technologies consultancy focused on new construction product/system development, manufacturing strategy, lean manufacturing and process improvement within the offsite manufacturing and offsite construction arenas. For impartial advice which embraces the whole supply chain and range of construction technologies and products, visit

Elecosoft offers a well-established portfolio of software to support the different stages of the building lifecycle world-wide. Our software and related services are used from early planning stages through to construction and facilities management - driving the performance and dayto-day operations of our customers’ businesses. Products include Powerproject, project management software that is widely used across the construction industry, and Framing, the preferred industry design and manufacture platform for timber frame and floors. For more information visit:


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Innovaré was established in 2005, our purpose is to create exemplar buildings quickly helping our clients manage time, cost and risk more effectively. We are the Market leader in delivering panelised offsite techniques to simplify the construction process, uniquely placed to be a full service technology partner bringing the speed, predictability and cost advantages of working with offsite construction. At our Specialist manufacturing facility in Coventry, manufacturing disciplines and streamlined production processes deliver greater speed and efficiency combined with flexibility to adapt to your scheme.

Kiwa supports companies and organisations to go forward as an independent, impartial and innovative partner. Kiwa’s core business lies in activities in testing, inspection and certification with related training, technology and data services. The specialists from Kiwa aim for a long-term relationship with you that is based on equality in order to help you improve your organisation, products, services, processes, management systems and employees. For more information visit:

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Innovation, performance, and quality never happen by chance. With a history going back over 90 years, there is no limit to the number of success stories that could be told about NorDan. But the most important story is the one that is unfolding on every construction site, every single day. Where high-quality Scandinavian windows and doors arrive safely and perform for years to come. That is the true and simple story of who we are, and what we provide. For more information visit:


Lasershape is a leading manufacturer in the supply of metal profiles and fabrications, specialising in laser and waterjet cutting, cold forming, assembly and powder coating services. As a business we have experience working with the offsite industry, having manufactured products such as cladding, balconies and window frames. Accredited to ISO 9001:2015, we can offer a fully certified service to our customers with an end-to-end manufacturing solution that helps maximise the quality of your parts and ensures that lead times are kept to a minimum. For more information visit:

O’Carroll Engineering specialise in feature stairs, modular balcony solutions, industrial access systems and walkways. We enable clients to manage their metalwork projects cost effectively by merging digital site information with advanced fabrication methods to produce tailored off-site solutions, aligned to modern building techniques.

Offsite Solutions is the leading and longest established bathroom pod manufacturer in the UK, supplying over 10,000 pod units every year to major main contractors and developers. It offers the UK’s largest range of pods to suit different building types – steel-framed, GRP and hybrid pods for specialist projects.

With in-house 3-D site surveying and BIM capabilities, O’Carroll Engineering can deliver fully certified fabrication services that include design through to installation (supply only also available).

It is part of a family-owned group of companies which includes the furniture and fit-out specialist, Deanestor, employing more than 500 people and operating facilities in excess of 250,000sqft.

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