Offsite Magazine - Issue 20 (November/December 2019)

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OFFSITE EXPO 2019 The launch event saw the offsite sector gather in Coventry for two days of intense industry dialogue


HOUSING ROADMAP A client perspective on approaching offsite product development


JLR ROOFING CLT and glulam provided an engineered timber roof for the iconic Jaguar Land Rover marque


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FRONT COVER Creagh Concrete - St. Andrew’s University Student Accommodation, Fife PRINTED ON: PEFC 16-33-576 paper stock by Buxton Press

PUBLISHER: Offsite Magazine is produced and published by Radar Communications: ©Radar Communications Ltd. Radar Communications Ltd, 5 Darwin Court, Oxon Business Park, Shrewsbury, Shropshire. SY3 5AL T: 01743 290001 SUBSCRIBE TO RECEIVE OFFSITE: This magazine is a bimonthly publication and the annual subscription fee for UK postage is £29.70 plus VAT for all six issues (£4.95 per copy). Visit ADVERTISING ENQUIRIES PLEASE CONTACT: Julie Williams // T: 01743 290001 E: SEND US YOUR NEWS: Gary Ramsay // T: 01743 290001 E: BACK ISSUES VISIT: FOR OFFSITE ENQUIRIES PLEASE CONTACT: E: DISCLAIMER: The content of Offsite Magazine does not necessarily reflect the views of the editor or publishers and are the views of its contributors and advertisers. The digital edition may include hyperlinks to third-party content, advertising, or websites, provided for the sake of convenience and interest. The publishers accept no legal responsibility for loss arising from information in this publication and do not endorse any advertising or products available from external sources. No part of this publication may be reproduced or stored in a retrieval system without the written consent of the publishers. All rights reserved.

Welcome to the latest edition of Offsite Magazine and as we head towards 2020 and continuing political and economic uncertainty the offsite sector is a rare bright spot. As we went to press, construction and offsite industry advocate Mark Farmer was given the new role of Champion for Modern Methods of Construction as part of the government’s drive to make the UK the ‘global leader in housing standards’ and will also help with developing a ‘construction corridor’ in the North of England. So no easy or straightforward task. Well known within offsite circles, Farmer will provide independent scrutiny and advice to the Government on how to increase the use of offsite in housebuilding. Interestingly, Farmer will act as an ambassador overseas for the ‘UK’s offsite activities in homebuilding, using international networks and trade opportunities to attract investment into an industry.’ In a post-Brexit UK this could involve answering some tricky questions. But Mark’s appointment is hugely positive in a wider sense. The Government is criticised for its armslength approach to the construction industry. The long line of housing and construction ministers rivals the

Which brings me to modern methods of construction (MMC) and sector terminology. Various roundtable discussions throw this up as a confusing aspect to the greater understanding and take-up of offsite methods. So to clarify and answer a query that several people have contacted me about in recent months about this very magazine. MMC, Modular, Offsite, Off-site, Pre-manufactured, Prefabricated, OSM et al. In these pages and across our associated platforms we feel that ‘offsite’ is the right phrase to describe the systems and technologies that make up a very diverse, innovative, fluid construction and manufacturing approach – many of which have been around for decades/centuries. Many thanks to all our contributors, advertisers and supporters.

Gary Ramsay

Consultant Editor Email:


KEEP IN TOUCH: @ExploreOffsite offsitehub

tenure of many journeyman football managers – short-term portfolio responsibility before being shunted elsewhere. But the housing crisis has focused minds – living standards and lack of access to new and affordable homes is fraying the UK’s social fabric. Add to this pressure to build and live in a more low-carbon, sustainable fashion and the time is ripe for change. Housing Minister Esther McVey said she wanted to see ‘modern methods of construction as the new gold standard of building.’


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34 | Delivering the Optimum Solution Building boards specialist RCM recently hosted a roundtable event discussing how the offsite sector specifies and approaches the external envelope and how façade and cladding systems are crucial to building success.






With two key projects under the spotlight, we hear more about Spantherm – the innovative insulated precast concrete ground-floor system which is being adopted by a growing number of housebuilders and developers.

In its launch year, Offsite Expo certainly exceeded expectations, with universal positive feedback from exhibitors, visitors and speakers. All agreed this was the offsite event that the construction industry has been waiting for.






Lanre Gbolade, Production Innovation Lead at L&Q, with responsibility for implementing and delivering its offsite roadmap, gives a client perspective on approaching offsite product development with a collaborative approach.


Jaguar Land Rover (JLR) wished to create one of the foremost automotive design and engineering centres in the world and used timber to reflect the design quality associated with one of the UK’s most iconic businesses.



08 | Industry News

24 | World's Tallest Modular Building

News and developments from across the UK offsite industry and wider construction arena including: a new UK Champion for MMC appointed, Homes England agrees funding deals worth £38.2million with six local authorities and property giant Savills questions offsite’s disruptive future influence.

Developer Tide Construction and Vision Modular are developing a project on behalf of Henderson Park and Greystar and has recently craned into place the last of 1,526 modules which have been assembled on site in Croydon to create two towers measuring 44-storeys and 38-storeys.

42 | Living an Offsite Life A new publication from the Housing Forum aims to ‘encourage and provide practical advice to clients considering adopting an offsite approach’. Mainly aimed at affordable housing providers, what are its key messages? 46 | Rewarding Innovation – don’t’ miss out How can Research & Development (R&D) Tax Relief help fund innovation in your business? Specialist advisers Catax illustrate how critical this can be to the way you develop new products and systems. 48 | Mastering the Precast Market As part of the Inside Offsite factory tour programme, precast concrete specialists FP McCann once again opened up its Byley manufacturing facility to showcase its innovative offsite technology. 54 | Stay Safe With offsite construction taking many health and safety concerns out of the construction equation, Andy Green, Business Development Director at BM TRADA, discusses the importance of an effective health and safety management system. 56 | Providing the Expert Envelope Heath Hindmarch, Chairman of PSP Group, describes how façade and rainscreen cladding solutions produced in a factory environment are increasingly being sought after for their aesthetics and reliability. 60 | Bright Future for Blyth School Northumberland County Council has embraced offsite construction for first time with a pioneering 14-week programme for a primary school extension at Horton Grange Primary School. 64 | Understanding the Financial Obligations There are many things to bear in mind when approaching offsite construction, Amy Crick, Head of UK RE Transaction Management, Barclays Corporate Banking, outlines a few key considerations when seeking finance for modular developments. 72 | Do it Right - Moving Units Correctly The lifting of pods and modules is a critical process in the manufacture and install of offsite units, usually resulting in a more complex lift than the traditional lifting operations carried out on constructions sites. Anthony Culshaw, Technical Director at Britlift explains more.

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With two key projects under the spotlight, we hear more about Spantherm – the innovative insulated precast concrete ground-floor system which is being adopted by a growing number of housebuilders and developers.

1 Peterborough. The 11 new homes development is being built by NRI Civils and will be ready by the end of 2019. NRI Civils choose Spantherm as it is designed specifically for use at ground-floor level in residential and small-medium sized commercial projects. They opted for the work to be completed by Creagh’s expert fitting team, requiring no labour from them and saving them time onsite.

2 Spantherm is an insulated, precast concrete ground flooring system. By producing high performance insulated structural concrete units offsite Creagh have redefined the speed of installing a fully insulated ground-floor.


This is the next generation of structural flooring systems designed as the efficient alternative to labour intensive beam and block installations. Creagh’s Spantherm thermally efficient flooring has been utilised at a housing development in Warmington,

Adam Moody, Contracts Manager for NRI Civils said: “We chose Spantherm because one of the things that we are looking for as a business is to improve efficiencies, reduce costs, reduce labour and time onsite and when you’ve got a difficult site, where you’re struggling for storage, that’s exactly where Spantherm is perfect.”




3 Housebuilders are increasingly exploring the opportunities for new ideas to reduce labour onsite and boost efficiency in the build and it makes sense that they start with the ground-floor. Spantherm is installed in just minutes – not days. The initial appeal of Spantherm is clear, as a typical floor on a detached house or a pair of semi-detached homes is fitted onsite in less than two hours. Once in place and grouted, the floor achieves its full structural capability within 72 hours, however building activity can commence on perimeter walls within 24 hours. “The team have been absolutely fantastic with the support we get,” adds Adam. “Anything that we need to discuss with them, they are always on hand, so we have a great relationship. We will definitely be using Spantherm again to help our optimum goal of achieving better efficiency and reducing costs and labour times.” Creagh’s Spantherm thermally efficient flooring has also been used to great effect at a housing development in North Muskham, Nottinghamshire, where a 16 new homes development is being built by Geda Construction. With no additional site works or laying out required, a typical 90m². A Spantherm ground-floor can be installed in just 90 minutes and provides level base without camber for timber frame or block construction.

Installation is not affected by adverse weather conditions and secondary screeds with extended drying times are not required. Spantherm is designed to reduce cold bridging at wall/ floor junctions making an important contribution to Part L performance. Spantherm is available in 3 performance options designed to boost your building’s performance within SA and an achieve U-value as low as 0.11W/m2K. It is also a fabric first solution, integrating structural concrete with expanded polystyrene insulation. The tightly butted units lock in the thermal performance efficiently across the slab. “Geda used Spantherm to push the project along as its one operation that just makes it so much quicker and easier to facilitate onsite,” said Shaun Wormall, Site Manager for Geda. “We are impressed on the installation of the slabs and the time that it saves

5 us onsite. From a site management point of view it’s been really good, 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.” For more information visit: or email: You can watch the NRI Civils and Geda Construction testimonial videos at products/spantherm Images: 01. Spantherm being installed at Warmington, Peterborough 03-04. Creagh installing Spantherm in North Muskham, Nottinghamshire 05. Creagh Concrete use offsite methods to improve project efficiencies

EXPERT UK SUPPLY 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 the NRI Civils Spantherm testimonial video at: You can also watch the Geda Construction testimonial video at:



UK INDUSTRY NEWS Timber Industries Join in Offsite Push

Property ‘Rising Star’ Offsite Role

Rosanna Lawn, co-founder of London-based investment and development company YOO Living, has joined modular developer Project Etopia as its Global Brand and PR Director in a newly created role. Lawn was recently crowned Estates Gazette’s Rising Star 2019, alongside Harri John, after co-founding and launching CREation Property Network in 2018, a national networking organisation focussed on creating opportunities for those at the start of their career in property. It provides access to information and industry leading events and creates an inclusive and supportive community for young professionals.

The use of offsite construction and the timber industries will be key in helping the Government meet its housebuilding targets, according to a report launched by the All-Party Parliamentary Group for the Timber Industries (APPG). The report also highlighted the positive environmental impact timber and offsite would have in delivering these homes.

The timber industry will provide skilled jobs, it can deliver sustainable and affordable homes and it should be at the forefront of addressing the climate emergency we face. Housebuilding should be part of an environmental revolution that is firmly integrated into our net-zero emissions targets. Using timber will lock carbon within homes for generations.”

The report ‘How the Timber Industries Can Help Solve the Housing crisis’ calls for the Government to unlock finance for manufacturers to better meet the increasing demand, and also for procurement contracts to be awarded to manufacturers based on their contribution to the public good. Offsite methods have long featured in the timber industry. Timber frames are built using offsite construction methods, and are quicker, cheaper, quieter and more environmentally friendly than traditional construction methods.

Roy Wakeman OBE, Chair of the Confederation of Timber Industries, added: “We know there is capacity in the industry which can be unlocked with the right policies, regulatory framework, and partnership between the public and private sectors. By bringing together experts from across the timber supply chain all the way from the forest to the finished house – we will be able to make an even greater contribution.”

In order to meet the skills requirement needed to build more homes this way, the report recommends that Government should place an increased emphasis on construction apprentices and invest in developing construction courses, bringing together skills development with technological solutions. The report argues that using timber in construction is key to meeting emission targets and urges the Government to implement the recommendations of the Climate Change Committee by increasing the use of timber in construction. Martin Whitfield MP, Chair, APPG, said: “This report addresses an important dilemma government has: increase housebuilding whilst reducing carbon emissions.


Lawn, aged 25, who graduated with a first-class degree in Real Estate three years ago, was this year also named one of the British Property Federation’s BPF Futures Tomorrow’s Leaders and a Property Week Resi Trailblazer. Joseph Daniels, CEO of Project Etopia, commented: “Rosanna has already been making waves in the property industry, and her enthusiasm and dedication to the industry shines through. Crucially, she is also passionate about building sustainable homes which meet the highest quality. It is a coup to have her on board.”

The report follows a UK-wide inquiry the APPG launched to explore how the timber industry can contribute towards solving the housing crisis. The APPG secretariat is provided by the Confederation of Timber Industries, the umbrella organisation bringing together every aspect of the timber supply chain. It represents producers, manufacturers and distributors of timber and wood-based products across the UK. To aid the APPG officers in their research, they took evidence from representatives of the English, Scottish and Welsh timber industries during three oral evidence sessions over the course of summer 2019. In addition, timber trade associations from around the world were invited to share examples of good practice.

Rosanna Lawn, added: “Property is a rapidly evolving sector with the rise of offsite construction, so it’s the perfect time to join a company pushing the envelope in this field. Project Etopia is showing how high-quality panelised homes can tick all the boxes when it comes to build quality, technology and sustainability. Etopia will continue to disrupt traditional housebuilding, and the real winners will be consumers and the environment. It is all of our responsibility to be responding to global issues in an innovative way. I am passionate about sustainable and conscious living, and it is rewarding to be able to merge my personal interests with my career.” Reuben Brothers also recently invested £19million in the firm, saying: “The company has enormous ambition to revolutionise the housing industry, and we are pleased to support an important pioneer in the sector. The day when offsite construction arrives as a mainstream method within housebuilding is drawing ever closer.”




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UK INDUSTRY NEWS Brownfield Site Gets Modular Boost A new 73-unit housing development on a brownfield site in Blackburn, is being given a modular makeover. Modularwise Ltd of Powys worked with client Places for People to create the optimum, easily replicable solution. This consisted of two types of home: a number of detached four bedroom houses plus multiple three bedroom models. The three bedroom homes combine four distinct modules, with the bedrooms and bathrooms located in the duo pitched roof. Mike Rutland, Business Development, Professional Body Accreditation and Compliance Manager for Modularwise explains: “This is primarily an offsite timber build on a steel frame floor, with a brick slip or rendered finish 90% applied offsite, then completed onsite. When it came to the design of the building envelope, energy performance and airtightness were as vital as weather resistance and moisture control, therefore the appropriate membrane system was essential.” The modules feature the Tyvek® Supro advanced breather membrane to the roof, a product which exceeds BS5534 regulation without restriction and is suitable for all wind zones, regardless of height or topography. The Blackburn site is in an exposed location, so superior wind uplift resistance together with a dry fix for ridges and gables added to the membrane’s suitability. In fact the ingenious BREapproved wind calculator tool developed by the DuPont

Is Offsite Really Disruptive?

Building Knowledge Centre made itself particularly useful in this specification. Efficiency and expertise are at the heart of the Blackburn development, from the performance of the materials to the construction process itself. For Modularwise, once the design and sourcing processes are in place and manufacture begins, it takes approximately twelve days to complete the first pod, with new pods coming through the line every day. The completed pods are then transported to site where it takes around one day to erect a completed house. The Tyvek® membranes are fitted on the factory floor in controlled conditions, without having to battle the elements, allowing the installation to achieve optimum

A new report from Savills, ‘Disruption in Development’, argues that offsite methods are not as disruptive as the industry thinks they are and that political and environmental factors will play a greater role in reshaping housing in the future. “We see MMC more as a potential way, though not the only way, to deal with some of these disruptive factors, rather than being disruptive itself," says Emily Williams, Associate Director of research at Savills. "At the moment, MMC are only 10% of total delivery in the UK." Williams highlights barriers to entry as the key reason MMC do not feature higher on Savills' list of disruptive influences. Factors such as developers having to invest in their own factories and the public's perception of modular construction. In terms of politics, the report says that while: “the pressure to build more quickly and meet a growing range of needs will shape government policy towards the housing industry,” it is difficult to anticipate how this will play out because of the different approaches of the major parties. However, it adds, if housing supply does not increase, whoever is in power will need to: "intervene further in the planning system to force a greater diversity of product.” On the financial side, Savills says a big disruptor will be the entry of institutional investors to the Build to Rent (BTR) market as younger generations are increasingly priced out of home ownership and turn to the rental market.

airtightness. Once the individual modules are connected on site, Tyvek® specialised tapes are used to seal the laps, adding to the efficacy of both project design and building methods. In the sophisticated new world of high quality pod and modular housing there are many considerations when it comes to specification. It’s crucial not only that all building regulations are met – and futureproofed against – but also that any requirements demanded by warranties and insurance policies are satisfied. The Blackburn site is on course to be completed and ready for occupation in less than three months from the start of construction. Source:

The end of Help to Buy, currently scheduled for March 2023, is expected to exacerbate this. But the disruptor that could have the biggest long-term impact on housing development is the one Williams says is the least talked about among developers and investors. “Environmental factors are not something the sector has had to grapple with until now," she says. "There has been a bit of an assumption that it can be business as usual and they won't have to change too much. This is changing and the pressure will grow." With pressure on the government to meet its carbon emission targets and growing public interest in the climate crisis, Williams says that environmental building regulations are inevitable and that it makes little sense for developers to build homes that will soon be outdated and unsuitable. The key takeaway for developers and investors is that they need to shift their focus beyond the industry's excitement about MMC to what is happening outside the real estate world, concludes Williams. “MMC have dominated the conversation, but there are these big social, political and environmental changes that are going to have more impact on how we think about real estate and what we need it to do for us as a society. We need to start thinking about the people and what they need, rather than thinking from the property angle.” Source:



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UK INDUSTRY NEWS Housing 21 Choose Modular Retirement Living Not-for-profit housing and care provider, Housing 21 has launched modular build developments at two Retirement Living courts in Shrewsbury and Brighouse, West Yorkshire. The offsite modular construction project is one of the latest in older people’s housing and has taken place on land owned by Housing 21 at Richard Onslow Court and Ward Court. The new properties mark a step forward in an in-filling approach which provides much-needed housing by utilising existing space and minimizing disruption to neighbouring residents. The organisation worked with construction firm, M-AR Off-Site Ltd and Henry Riley LLP consultants to build the two developments of modular one bedroom apartments and bungalows specifically for people over the age of 55. Siobhan Moore, Director of Development at Housing 21 said: “We are delighted to see these new properties at courts where local authorities expressed a need for more retirement housing in the area. Modular construction allowed us to fill these requirements quickly and efficiently whilst maintaining the high level of quality our residents expect. Using modern construction methods, elements such as plumbing and electrics were able to be fitted and installed offsite reducing the amount of time on-site and disruption to residents in the existing properties at the court.”

Farmer Appointed MMC Champion

The apartments at the Housing 21 courts are complete with kitchens and shower rooms and were transported by road, before being lifted into position where external finish and roof construction took place. Ryan Geldard, Head of Operations at M-AR Off-Site commented: “Bungalows are an offering that has not traditionally been delivered in an offsite way. So, for us, we had to challenge a lot of convention to make this work. To look at it, you wouldn't see that there was anything different to what a normal building would be but ultimately that building's now becoming a home for people to retire into and get some assisted living. That's something that really strikes a chord with what we're trying to achieve as a business”

Dan Macpherson, Senior Associate at Henry Riley LLP consultants added: “The adoption of light gauge steel frame modular construction on the two projects delivered all of the perceived benefits that this form of construction brings: 60% saving on programme, minimal disruption to existing residents as well as adjacent properties and school, high quality and reduction in waste driven from a factory controlled environment and adoption of innovate construction methodologies and materials.”

Well known within offsite and construction circles, Mark Farmer brings 30 years’ experience in construction to the role and will provide independent scrutiny and advice to the Government on how to increase the use of offsite in homebuilding. He will also be charged with developing the ‘Construction Corridor’ in the North and promoting wider innovation in the sector and part of the drive to make the North of England the world-leader in the creation of modern, green homes.

Mark Farmer added: “I am delighted to have been asked to carry out this new role. This is a really important time for the construction industry and there is an urgent need to rethink how we build homes, delivering better quality, improved safety, carbon reduction and an array of exciting new career opportunities. I look forward to working with both industry and Government to make sure we now accelerate the uptake of modern methods of construction.

Farmer will also act as an ambassador overseas for the UK’s offsite activities in homebuilding, using international networks and trade opportunities to attract investment into an industry that could be worth an estimated £40 billion once mature. It follows a major funding deal with the government injecting £30 million into ilke Homes, the biggest ever government investment in an offsite factory.

Mark Farmer has been given the new role of Champion for Modern Methods of Construction as part of the government’s drive to make the UK the global leader in housing standards.


Housing Minister Esther McVey said: “I want to see modern methods of construction – the new gold standard of building – being used up and down the country to usher in a green housing revolution. That’s why it is such fantastic news that Mark Farmer has agreed to be our new MMC Champion – to really drive forward innovation, and to help the government deliver a new generation of green homes.”


Russell Pedley, co-founder at Assael Architecture who co-chairs the Urban Land Institute UK Residential Council with Mark Farmer, said: “Mark is the perfect ambassador for the sector and this welcome appointment shows ministers are really prioritising ways to build cleaner, better quality homes more quickly in factories.” Source:


UK INDUSTRY NEWS New Tracking System for Heathrow Offsite Hubs As Heathrow prepares to select its final four Logistics Hubs a cutting-edge centralised tracking system for expansion has been revealed. The technology will serve as a nerve-centre, enabling a network of separate offsite construction centres to work in unison throughout the project. The technology will track and monitor millions of component parts of the expanded airport, providing updates to the construction sites and keeping the incredibly complex expansion project moving. The concept was successfully pitched by Siemens Digital Logistics as part of the Heathrow Innovation Partners process, which threw open its supply chain inviting any organisation to share ideas on how expansion could be delivered more efficiently and affordably. Last year, over 150 organisations initially expressed interest in partnering with Heathrow, and now Siemens Digital Logistics being named as one of the businesses that will see its idea become integral to the airport’s offsite strategy, potentially transforming the way that major infrastructure is delivered in the UK. With expansion, Heathrow will be using offsite assembly on a much bigger scale on more sites

across the country. This technology will help to track the movements of many pieces and processes that make up the expanded airport, keeping the sites in sync as they work to deliver Britain’s new runway. Heathrow’s Innovation Partner search is just one of the ways that the airport is looking to spread the benefits of expansion to across the UK, whilst mitigating the project’s impact on local communities. Since 2017, the airport has been looking for communities keen to become Logistics Hubs, construction centres that pre-assemble parts of the expanded airport offsite before transporting them to west London in consolidated loads just as they are needed. The final four sites, which are set to be announced next year, will use this centralised

tracking technology for the efficient management of the project. Emma Gilthorpe, Executive Director of Heathrow Expansion said: “This announcement sees two exciting opportunities coming together, as we green light a ground-breaking solution from an Innovation Partner with the final step in our search for Expansion Logistics Hubs. The Expansion project can benefit communities and businesses way beyond West London, so it’s great to see more partners joining us in our relentless search for opportunities to unlock value across the UK, as we deliver this once in a generation project.” Source:



UK INDUSTRY NEWS Modular Apprentices for Berkeley

A consortium of training providers and FE colleges has been created to develop a bespoke digital construction apprenticeship, for Berkeley Modular. As innovators in its field, Berkeley Modular started to look for an equally innovative solution towards the end of 2018, in how to attract and train exceptional talent to the business. The result was 10 new Design Apprenticeship positions, with a bespoke digital construction training package. The four-way partnership consists of Berkeley Modular Ltd, North Kent College, Dudley College of Technology and the Construction and Design Centre of Excellence (Cadcoe). Berkeley Modular Managing Director Graham Cleland, has taken a totally new approach to training the new apprentices through creating a working partnership between a combination of FE colleges and training providers to ensure the 10 apprentices receive precision training tailored to the exact requirements of the role they will be carrying out. Candidates will initially complete an intensive training programme in digital construction and design via Cadcoe and Dudley College, followed by a broad programme of further development in Digital Engineering delivered by North Kent College. The successful apprentices joining the programme will be permanent, direct employees of Berkeley Modular Ltd and will receive an attractive remuneration package, continued professional career development opportunities and the chance to work on some of the most technologically advanced projects within offsite. 14

“As a new business, employing apprentices is key to our future success, said Graham Cleland. “It is of utmost importance that those apprentices understand their value and the role they have to play in placing Berkeley Modular at the forefront of offsite progress and innovation. Through working closely with our training partners, we have successfully recruited a group of high-achievers with exceptional digital skills” “The new apprentices are from a range of backgrounds, including those who possess A-Levels, construction related degrees and top performing maths students. I have a strong belief that if we are to successfully engage with the talent of tomorrow, we

have to understand what their needs are, and what makes work stimulating for them.” Pictured: L to R: Jade McPhun and Michael Ellis of Berkeley Modular Ltd, Mark Andrews North Kent College and Declan McDonnell, Cadcoe. For further information about the training partnership, apprenticeships for offsite or how to get involved contact Cadcoe on:


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UK INDUSTRY NEWS BSI Report Highlights Common Standards

Those are the findings of ‘The Role of Standards in Offsite Construction’, a report by the British Standards Institution (BSI), undertaken by Loughborough University. The study follows last year’s House of Lords inquiry into offsite’s potential benefits and challenges, which concluded that “the government should promote the adoption of recognised standards for offsite manufactured components by working with bodies such as BSI.” The research, which sought to assess the relevance, usability, completeness and level of consensus across current offsite standards, involved interviews and workshops across the main material sectors of precast concrete, steel and timber, including supply, design and construction communities. The research identified several common challenges, including that contractors and suppliers were often working to different tolerances in offsite construction. In some instances these tolerances were out of date and at other times manufacturers, contractors and installers were developing, but not necessarily communicating, their own tolerances. As a result, challenges were often encountered during installation and assembly.

Using common standards across all offsite products can help the sector thrive, argue the authors of a new BSI report. Adoption of offsite manufacturing could be increased through purpose-designed standards, along with a more collaborative approach across the construction industry.

New standards could help alleviate these challenges by ensuring all parties work to the same or suitable tolerances. BIM could facilitate this type of collaboration by making early contractor involvement easier. The connections between offsite elements and interfaces could also benefit from increased standardisation.

Currently, common materials sourced from different suppliers do not necessarily share common connections, with structural interfaces also posing similar connection challenges. Standardising connections for materials and interfaces have the potential to reduce challenges at the construction and installation stage, particularly if a holistic approach is taken. This would involve standardisation across manufacturers, interfaces and connections between different materials, for example steel to timber, and could be facilitated by prototyping. By taking a pan-sector approach, offsite’s benefits could extend across a wide range of construction projects, beyond housing. For example, a single floor interface specification in a bathroom pod could apply equally to student accommodation, a hospital or an airport. This “platform” approach is gaining significant traction, with the Infrastructure & Projects Authority running a call for evidence which closed in February. By creating common standards across tolerances and interfaces, knowledge may be better shared across the offsite sector, leading to improved build quality and fewer assembly challenges. The challenge remains that far more information is expected from offsite suppliers than for most other sectors in construction. This deters transparency, to protect intellectual property, and needs to be addressed so the potential benefits of knowledge-sharing can be realised. Source:

Bristol Ready for BoKlok BoKlok UK Ltd, the sustainable, quality and low-cost home provider jointly owned by Skanska and IKEA, has announced plans to develop 200 homes in south Bristol with Bristol City Council. Subject to planning permission, construction is expected to start in autumn 2020. Bristol City Council, who owns the Airport Road site, has committed to pursuing the development of this partnership with BoKlok as part of the five-year Bristol Housing Festival which is trialling innovative offsite housing solutions across the city. The proposed development will be the first BoKlok community in Bristol. About 140 of the homes will be for market sale under the BoKlok brand. The remaining homes will be for social rent and shared ownership. Marvin Rees, Mayor of Bristol, said: “At the festival’s launch a year ago, we said we would invite ideas from all over the world and be imaginative in solving the city’s housing emergency. This is exactly what BoKlok will bring with these exciting plans. We are also exploring how Bristol City Council might acquire a number of these new homes as part of our commitment to providing more social housing.”


BoKlok has more than 20 years’ experience and has developed about 12,000 homes in the Nordics. Jonas Spangenberg, CEO of BoKlok, said: “When we entered the UK market we pin-pointed Bristol as a key city, and now we are excited to move ahead with the plans for Airport Road. We are here to stay for the long-term, making it possible for more people with average incomes to realise their dream of owning their home.” BoKlok is jointly owned by Skanska and IKEA. Gregor Craig, President and CEO, Skanska UK said: “Skanska’s purpose is to build for a better society and BoKlok will broaden our offer in the UK with sustainable, quality homes at a low cost. Skanska has been

actively involved in Bristol for many years, building or re-furbishing over 50 schools in the area. So, I am delighted that these plans for BoKlok would extend our association with the city.” BoKlok homes are built primarily from timber and manufactured offsite using a smart and industrialised process. BoKlok, had the most satisfied customers in the residential sector in Sweden 2017 and 2018, and aim to set new customer satisfaction standards in the UK market. Source:


UK INDUSTRY NEWS New Machine Adds Significant Capacity To Hadley Group Following the acquisition of Hadley Steel Framing (HSF) in 2018, Hadley Group has further strengthened its position and improved its capabilities in the steel framing market by investing in a new purpose-built machine at its Oldbury production site. The purposed built Steel Framing machine joins Hadley Group’s extensive portfolio of world-class equipment and will allow the company to offer greater speed and flexibility in producing steel framing products. The new machine takes steel coil and processes it through a linear system of equipment, adding features to the strip before it is cold rollformed into a series of shapes, such as U’s, C’s and Z sections, angles and odd legged channels (either pierced or plain), depending on individual customer requirements. The custom rollformed profiles are then supplied for the construction of steel frame structures and buildings. The coil-fed system offers superior product quality control of hole positions and end flare, which enables the components to be functionally fitted together with greater speed. Investment in many connection features within the punch system allows it to support low, medium and high rise framed buildings.

The machine can produce all types of metal framed profiles from S250 to S550 structural steels and in lengths from 200mm to 12m, all with individual ink jet marks for product traceability. Working closely with the supplier, the Hadley purposed built Steel Framing machine came to fruition after a 10-month design and build process. The manufacturer collaborated with the Hadley Group to ensure that the machine would be able to optimise profiles and production processes to suit the company’s needs. The machine is now fully integrated into Hadley Group’s Building Products Division, based at Oldbury, and reduces scrap by more than 25%.

James Bishop, Regional Director of Operations – International, at Hadley Group said: “This is an exciting investment for Hadley Group, enabling us to strengthen our position in the steel framing market during such uncertain times. It streamlines the production of framing profiles, going from enquiry to production in a matter of hours and enabling profiles to be delivered to the customer efficiently. It will also strengthen the integration of the recent acquisition of HSF into Hadley Group and ensure that Hadley Group stays at the forefront of steel framed structures in the UK.” Source:

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UK INDUSTRY NEWS Showcasing Sustainable Offsite

A new exhibition in Glasgow is showcasing sustainable buildings factory-made from wood, demonstrating how innovative timber engineering methods can overcome traditional construction challenges. Supported by Scottish Forestry, Engineering and Built Environment students from Edinburgh Napier University have this week launched a new exhibition entitled ‘Timber Offsite Construction - Sustainable Communities Premanufactured from Wood.’ As a growing industry with a number of offsite manufacturers either based or considering investment in Scotland, innovative design and construction techniques using timber can deliver a greater number of greener homes. Featuring the work of students – alongside showcase examples from leading Scottish construction partners Carbon Dynamic and CCG(OSM) – the exhibition explores why 85% of new homes in Scotland are built using timber and its benefits in terms of new construction sector jobs, environmentally efficient houses and faster building times thanks to the use of digital tools and smart technologies.


The exhibition also shares individual student stories as part of the Built Environment Exchange, an innovative industry partnership programme established by Edinburgh Napier University to accelerate change in construction culture. Andy Leitch, Scottish Forestry's Economic Growth and Skills Development Advisor, said: “Today's timber products combine the qualities of a natural resource with the high performance of modern building materials. Wood delivers on innovative design, speed, cost and resource efficiency, health and wellbeing, and offers a path to a low carbon economy. “Wood is nature’s most versatile and sustainable building material and modern engineering methods expand possibilities for its application beyond traditional uses, as well as locking up carbon for the life of the building. Offsite timber construction and new engineered wood products are ideal options to produce good quality low carbon buildings and communities.

“Edinburgh Napier University's exhibition highlights some of the innovative ways the construction talent of the future can use sustainable wood products and systems to address current and future building challenges supplying good quality affordable housing whilst responding positively to the climate change emergency." Timber Offsite Construction runs until mid-January 2020 within Architecture & Design Scotland's Materials Library at the Lighthouse, Glasgow and is free to enter. (Pictured) Professor Robert Hairstans, Head of the Centre for Offsite Construction + Innovative Structures within Edinburgh Napier's Institute for Sustainable Construction, research assistant Carola Calcagno, and Scottish Forestry’s Andy Leitch. Source:


UK INDUSTRY NEWS Rollalong Reveals Modular Designs for Housing Rollalong has unveiled plans for 600 new homes which it is building for affordable housing provider Magna Housing. Rollalong’s Managing Director Steve Chivers and the Magna Housing team revealed the designs for the new homes, which will be built offsite at Rollalong, during an open day at the former’s manufacturing facility in Wimbourne, Dorset. Paul Read, Head of Development and Sales at Magna, said: “We have a five-year development strategy to deliver a programme of 600 affordable homes. We are delighted to be working with Rollalong to expand our capacity by building affordable homes.” The collaboration between the two south west-based organisations aims to tackle the current challenges of housing affordability and quality, by bringing together five decades of manufacturing knowhow and extensive knowledge of what people want from their homes.

overwhelmed by the positive comments about the build, particularly with regards to the finish we have achieved. This has also been a great opportunity to demystify modular housing for some and champion the benefits that this style of housing can provide in the face of a nationwide housing crisis.”

Steve Chivers said: “The open day gave us a chance to showcase what we’re planning to deliver for Magna to the wider housing community. We are proud to have been awarded the contract to design and build these modular homes that will provide a range of high-quality, affordable housing for everyone. I’ve been

The team at Rollalong commenced manufacturing the first phase of 52 homes in August. The company’s in-house design team have developed four housing designs for the initial call-off order of 25 homes, which are expected to be completed by the end of September, ready for onsite installation. Selina White,

Chief Executive at Magna Housing, said: “Magna is committed to creating great homes together with our partners and this is exactly why we have chosen to work with Rollalong, the largest permanent offsite construction company in the south of England. Throughout our tender process they demonstrated a clear understanding of our vision and commitment to providing quality homes to be proud of, where people choose to live.” Source:

Centrepoint Look to Affordable Homes With a mantra: “a job and a home” for homeless young people and providing 16 to 25-year-olds with a stable future, the charity has launched the biggest capital investment plan in its 50-year history and is set to deliver 300 new modular homes across London and Greater Manchester by 2021 in order to help young people into affordable accommodation, training, and employment. The £50,000-per-unit plan seeks to address the current shortage of affordable homes for young people who are ready to move on from the charity’s services across the country but cannot afford to do so, even if they are in work. To support young people in low-paid employment or who are undertaking training programmes such as apprenticeships, rents will be capped at no more than one-third of their income during their tenancy, which will last up to five years. One of the advantages of modular housing is the ability to transport them between sites to reduce the costs of development due to high land values. Centrepoint is already working with landowners to identify potential sites where they can work in partnership to deliver these much-needed homes for young people. Centrepoint estimates that 103,000 young people approached their local council last year because they were homeless or at risk.

Centrepoint Chief Executive, Seyi Obakin, said of the exciting new investment plan: “To mark our 50th anniversary this year, Centrepoint is embarking on our most ambitious project yet to help young people into a home and a job. Lower benefit rates for under-25s, and a shortage of affordable housing in many areas means that even if they are in work, many of the young people we support cannot afford to move out of our services and into a home of their own. Over the coming months we are looking forward to building new partnerships with landowners, potential funders, and politicians to turn these ambitious plans into reality for the homeless young people we support.”

It has always been Centrepoint’s aim to provide more than just a safe bed for the night, instead helping young people turn their lives around by gaining essential life skills. These modular homes will be a huge step towards Centrepoint achieving its goals of ending youth homelessness. Source:



UK INDUSTRY NEWS Homes England Hand Out More Cash

Work Completes On University Energy Centre

Homes England has agreed funding deals worth £38.2million with six local authorities to speed up the construction of at least 2,072 homes across the country. The deals are the latest to be awarded through the Government’s £450million Local Authority Accelerated Construction (LAAC) programme, which was launched to help unlock public land and increase the speed of delivery on local authority housing schemes.

NG Bailey has completed work on a new £14million energy centre at the University Hospital of North Tees, marking a fundamental milestone in the regeneration of the site. The new centre is a key part of the North Tees and Hartlepool NHS Foundation Trust's investment plans, after it secured £25 million to renew its ageing infrastructure. Managed by NTH Solutions (the Trust's subsidiary and provider of estates and facilities services) was proud to select NG Bailey as its principle contractor after a rigorous selection process.

To remove the most labour-intensive works from the hospital site, NG Bailey manufactured major elements of the internal services offsite, at its specialist assembly facilities in Bradford, saving more than 5,000 hours of labour on the site and reducing health and safety risks.

The energy centre is part of the Trust's ongoing Sustainability and Transformation Plan to provide capacity for future development on site. Sitting within the busy existing hospital estate, the centre houses a new primary intake substation N+1emergency generators; a combined heat and power (CHP) unit; three steam boilers producing 5,600kg of steam per hour; new water storage tanks; oil storage tanks, as well as associated mechanical and electrical infrastructure.

Jon Crank, Pre-contract Manager in NG Bailey's Engineering division, said: “The completion of the infrastructure upgrade is a fundamental milestone in the regeneration of the University Hospital of North Tees site. The new services infrastructure and energy centre we've developed will be more reliable, it utilises modern and more efficient plant and equipment, reducing the Trust's energy consumption and carbon footprint.”

Acting as Principle Contractor, NG Bailey led on the superstructure and forming of the energy centre building, as well as two new reinforced-concrete below-ground walkways to link the new energy centre into the existing hospital infrastructure. The engineering and services firm also completed a major upgrade to the electrical infrastructure with the creation of three new substations, and replacement of the high voltage (HV) network cabling and then new low voltage (LV) electrical distribution to re-feed the various switchboards and distribution panels around the site.


The project also included the provision of 250kW of solar voltaic panels on the roof of the energy centre which are anticipated to generate 5-10% of the electricity that the hospital site requires.

Steven Taylor, Assistant Director of Estates and Capital, NTH Solutions said: “We selected NG Bailey to work with us on this project because they have a keen appreciation for our values - putting patient experience and safety first. Together, we developed creative, flexible solutions that ensured continuity of service. I'd like to personally thank the team for going the extra mile when needed and we look forward to working together in the future.” Source:

The funding will be used by the local authorities to invest in infrastructure and enabling works to get 13 sites – from Somerset to Cheshire – ready for the development of new homes. Local authorities awarded funding are encouraged to use both local SMEs and offsite construction – from factory fabricated components to 3D modular construction – on their sites, to reflect the Government’s commitment to investing in infrastructure and widening the use of smaller builders on publicly owned land. New sites set to benefit from LAAC funding include land at Locking Parklands, Weston-Super-Mare, where North Somerset Council will receive over £9.8million LAAC funding for infrastructure to bring forward 425 new homes, at least 30% of which will be affordable. Another of the sites, in Winsford, Cheshire, will benefit from over £4.5million LAAC funding to accelerate the construction of 310 homes, including a 60-home extra care scheme. Stephen Kinsella, Chief Land and Development Officer at Homes England, said: “This funding will enable local authorities to prepare their sites for development and to bring forward the construction of homes. New homes will then be built out at pace using modern methods of construction.” Homes England is looking to work with other ambitious local authorities where LAAC funding can help unlock sites for development and bring much-needed new homes to market. Local authorities interested in the Local Authority Accelerated Construction programme should contact AcceleratedConstruction@


UK INDUSTRY NEWS Aquarian Deliver Birmingham Cladding Success Leading external cladding supplier Aquarian Cladding Systems has provided the perfect solution for a £17million project in Birmingham. Main contractor Colmore Tang selected the experienced ALD Group from the Aquarian Approved Installer Network to install Aquarian’s unique insulating brick cladding system Gebrik on the Granville Lofts development. Overlooking the Birmingham canal network, the seven-storey Granville Lofts development comprises of 112 one-and-two-bedroom apartments in an upand-coming area within the vibrant city centre. Chosen for its exemplary aesthetics, reliability and speed of installation, Gebrik was also vital in overcoming several challenges. With the site situated between the railway and canal, deep foundations were restricted therefore the building was piled which meant the overall construction needed to be relatively light. Further restrictions were imposed by Birmingham City Council’s Planning Department, who insisted on a masonry façade due to its historic city location. ALD Group Contracts Manager Andy Wood explained: “With over 3,700m2 of brickwork to install, Gebrik provided a quick and efficient cladding solution. Most of the cladding was installed during the autumn and

winter, and because Gebrik is not affected by weather, we were able to continuously install come rain or shine. Logistically, the city centre site was a real challenge, but with Gebrik arriving in up to 600m2 single loads, vehicle movement and site storage was reduced to a bare minimum, meaning less impact on our neighbours and a safer environment for all.” The 3,727m2 of Gebrik cladding, plus the fullyinsulated Fusion structural SFS system, contributed to the completion of the entire scheme in less than 40 weeks. Aquarian were on hand with their technical expertise, ensuring that insurers and Birmingham City Council’s Building Control were satisfied that the

construction complied with the system’s BBA certificate and current fire regulations. For Aquarian’s Managing Director Paul Richards, Granville Lofts is yet another success story for Aquarian and Gebrik. “We’re extremely proud of our robust, intelligent and innovative brick cladding system and its ability to adapt and thrive in challenging environments,” said Paul. “We were thrilled to have been involved in a project as high-profile as Granville Lofts and the installation by ALD was one of outstanding quality. It’s yet another perfect example of Gebrik.” Source:

Shropshire Architects Win Homes Award Greenspace Architects from Ellesmere, Shropshire, have been awarded a High Commendation against international competition in the New Civil Engineer TechFest Awards 2019 at a gala awards dinner in London. The Award, in the ‘Cities Visionary’ category, is for work undertaken with Shropshire Council on the visionary ONE Housing Scheme in Shrewsbury and celebrates how technology and thoughtful, personcentred design can combine to help people live better, independent lives, regardless of age or ability. The entry was a close second to winners City of Helsinki 3D+ who went on to receive the overall Judges Award for the best entry across all categories so it was tough competition. Only eight out of the 18 categories recognised a Highly Commended entry in the 111-strong shortlist. The judges' comments noted: ‘strong synergies between the themes, scalable and positive impact on community and its people.’ Kevin Slack, Director of Greenspace Architects, recognised the role the Council has played in this achievement, both in the innovative, aspirational ONE Housing Scheme brief and the work being done to harness digital technology across four Centres of

Excellence that has been incorporated. “We have risen to the challenge of an exemplary brief,” said Kevin. “The outcomes of pioneering work such as The Broseley Project to create an exceptional masterplan as a model to help Shropshire meet its housing needs in a low carbon, low energy economy. The well-being of the residents is at the heart of the brief, based on light, airy accessible homes set in car-free green spaces with good opportunities for social interaction and food production.” Andy Begley, Shropshire Council’s Executive Director Adult Services, Public Health & Housing, added:

“The ONE Housing Scheme is something that we’re particularly proud of and we’re so pleased that it has been recognised as one of the best in the world. As many will know, Shropshire has an aging population and we’re keen to address this by providing homes that people can and want to live in for longer. These proposed homes offer something really quite different to what’s on the open market today – they will be designed around the people who will live in them, built with thought and care, and within a welcoming community setting.” Source:





As the UK looks towards offsite construction to address the housing supply shortage, manufacturers are seeking to install high-performing air barrier systems as an essential component in controlling air leaks. structural penetrations to be sealed, and less room for error.

1 Air leakage through cracks, gaps, holes and improperly sealed elements such as doors and windows can cause a significant reduction in the performance of even thermally insulated building envelopes. As thermal insulation requirements have increased over the last few years, the proportion of energy lost through air leakage has become more evident. The ever-increasing thermal insulation required will, however, be rendered largely ineffective unless the airtightness of the structure itself is addressed. Air leakage greatly reduces the effect of thermal insulation; therefore if energy efficiency is to be improved within buildings, this is the most critical area to focus on. In addition to improved insulation, energy efficient heating systems will also be ineffective if warm air can escape the building and cold air can seep in. This is reflected in the fact that total space heating costs in an airtight construction may be considerably less than in a leaky one. The two main ways to achieve airtightness in the building envelope are internally or externally, or in other terms, ‘inside of the services zone’ or ‘outside of the services zone’.


In offsite manufacture, the use of traditional internal air barriers can be more complex and costly to install, due to the need to accommodate building services such as electrical, lighting, heating and drainage systems. An internal air barrier is only as good as it’s installation. If all the service penetrations are not adequately sealed, performance will be compromised. For many years, external air barriers have been commonly used in North American building design and construction. By moving the air barrier to the external side of the structural frame, external air barrier systems such as Wraptite® from A. Proctor Group, allow for an almost penetration-free airtight layer, which can be installed faster and more robustly. This offers an effective but simple system comprising a self-adhesive vapour permeable air barrier membrane, plus vapour permeable sealing tape, Wraptite Corners and Wraptite Liquid Flashing, and provides effective secondary weather protection while preventing trapped moisture and air leakage. Far simpler than internal options an external air barrier system like Wraptite will maintain the envelope’s integrity, with less building services and

The traditional forms of VCLs and airtightness membranes will often require mechanical fixing. In the case of timber structures using steel staples, and on concrete using a separate double-sided adhesive tape. The selfadhered nature of Wraptite allows for a simple and fast installation process, minimising the use of additional sealants and tapes, and requiring no specialist contractors to achieve a robust result. This one-step solution provides both a damage-resistant air barrier layer and effective secondary weather protection in one installation process, allowing a wind and watertight envelope to be achieved more quickly than using traditional methods. One of the UK’s leading modular housing manufacturers TopHat has successfully incorporated Wraptite into the design of its high-quality timberframed homes. Wraptite is a patented external air barrier membrane system, which offers manufacturers and designers of modular and offsite buildings the ability to reliably and comfortably exceed current airtightness requirements. Wraptite is the only self-adhering vapour permeable air barrier certified by the BBA and combines the important properties of vapour permeability and airtightness in one self-adhering membrane. For more information visit:

Images: 01. TopHat has successfully incorporated Wraptite into the design of its high-quality timber-framed homes



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Croydon has given birth to world famous models, musicians and artists including Kate Moss, Stormzy and Tracey Emin respectively. Now, it is home to one of the world’s greatest feats of engineering as the tallest modular building on the planet nears completion in south London.

1 • UK-based developer installs final module in 44-storey tower, only 35 weeks after first module was installed • Scheme delivering 546 rental apartments • Delivered in half the time of a traditional skyscraper, thanks to efficiencies of manufacturing homes in a factory Developer Tide Construction, which is developing the project on behalf of Henderson Park and Greystar, last week craned into place the last of 1,526 modules which have been assembled on site in Croydon to create two towers measuring 44-storeys and 38-storeys. The 136m scheme – equivalent to the London Eye – will house 546 ‘Build to Rent’ homes that will be managed by Greystar. By manufacturing the


buildings inside a controlled factory environment, together Tide and Vision Modular Systems, Tide’s offsite manufacturing company, will complete the project in just over two years – half the time it would have taken using traditional methods of construction. Vision Modular Systems’ factory, in Bedford, just outside of London, manufactures apartments on a production line, assembling fully completed modules, similar to how cars are created. The modules are fully completed internally – including kitchens and bathrooms - and are then transported to site. All of the apartments that roll off the production line are fully certified and accredited, backed by the UK’s leading certification bodies, to ensure that every home is fundable, mortgageable and insurable.

Britain’s success building homes in factories will be welcomed as the country looks to establish its credentials as a world-leader in engineering and manufacturing. And it comes a couple of weeks after housing minister Esther McVey told MIPIM UK, a property conference, that Britain needed to “become the world leader in modular housing within the next 10 years.” Tide, however, believes that the UK should already be proud of its accolade as the global leader in modular housing as it is now home to three of the world’s tallest modular buildings. Some of the main benefits of modular housing include: Speed – homes can be completed in half the time and arrive on site 95 per cent complete with pre-installed kitchen, bathrooms, plumbing and wiring. Following the installation of modules, it took fifty workers just a week on each of the towers’ levels to complete finishing touches such as floor fitting and painting. Sustainability – homes built in factories are twice as energy efficient as the average UK home because the factory environment means modules are more airtight than homes built traditionally. Digital technology allows precise estimations for materials, cutting waste by 80 per cent, with 80 per cent less traffic movements to the site, resulting in carbon emissions savings of approximately 50 per cent compared to traditional construction.



2 Skills – production lines enable companies to take apprentices and train them on specific tasks with high levels of quality. Modular manufacturers tap into different types of skills allowing different trades to seamlessly work together. John Fleming, Chairman of Tide Construction and Vision Modular Systems, said: “While we’re proud to have delivered the world’s tallest modular tower, this isn’t about breaking records, but finding innovative ways to build better, sustainable homes, more quickly. There is a critical window for the planning system to encourage more factory-built homes. Using a production line can offer far greater certainty around quality and cost. What we, as developers, need is far greater certainty from the planning system itself – ideally with a presumption in favour of consent where a scheme meets the main demands around size and use.” Christy Hayes, CEO of Tide Construction, said: “Construction of the towers began in February 2018 after planning consent was gained back in November 2017. From there, the 1,526 modules were stacked on top of a concrete podium linking both towers at ground floor level. Once the concrete cores of the two towers were complete, Vision Modular Systems’ pre-fitted, preplumbed and pre-wired modules began arriving on site. We successfully installed the last module in just 35 weeks - 3 weeks ahead of an already tight schedule - after the first was craned into place. As we reach this exciting milestone, already 80% of the glazed terracotta façade has also been completed.

3 Tide Construction has extensive experience delivering high quality developments across the residential, student accommodation and hotel sectors. It currently has over 1,800 residential homes under construction across the Greater London area, over 5,000 student accommodation units and has delivered hotels for the Premier Inn and the Four Seasons. Councillor Paul Scott, Croydon Council’s cabinet lead for planning and regeneration, said: “With a thriving tech sector and great leisure offers such as Boxpark and Fairfield Halls, Croydon’s transformation is ongoing. We’re delighted to be a global leader in modular housing and are incredibly proud to have supported Tide Construction deliver this recordbreaking and award-winning development in under two years.” Nick Weber, Founding Partner of Henderson Park, said: “Croydon has a long history as a strong business, retail, leisure and residential destination and the town is currently enjoying a real renaissance driven by significant sums of inward investment and infrastructure works. This programme of investment will further increase demand for homes and 101 George Street, with its fast modular building methods, will soon deliver much needed supply of high quality rental accommodation across all levels of affordability.” Mark Allnutt, Senior Managing Director at Greystar Europe, said: “As the global leader in rental housing, we are delighted with the quality and remarkable pace of delivery of 101 George Street which will have gone from conception and

planning to construction in just over 3 years. Our Build to Rent developments here and across London represent our commitment to finding innovative solutions to help to address London’s housing shortage. Croydon is emerging as an economically-vibrant and culturally dynamic centre and it’s going to need high-quality rental homes to support this stellar growth. 101 George Street, as well as claiming the title ‘tallest modular tower in the world’, will set a new standard for rental accommodation in south London, with fantastic facilities for residents as well as civic space for the local community.” Simon Bayliss, Managing Partner at HTA Design LLP, said: “What Tide and HTA have achieved at 101 George Street is a perfect example of what modular construction can do to deliver housing at speed, without compromising on architectural quality. Modular housing is set to play a major part in addressing the UK’s housing shortfall but cannot do so without a concerted effort to reform the planning system. The current planning process doesn’t provide the certainty and stability required to scale up modular construction. If we are to take the industry into a new age of digitisation and innovation, central and local government must bring planning into the 21st century.” For more information visit:

Images: 01- 03. World's tallest modular building in Croydon





Milbank Concrete Products are one of the UK’s leading manufacturers of precast concrete products and were heavily involved with the redevelopment of the Kia Oval – home of Surrey County Cricket Club.

1 For more than 70 years, Milbank have been dedicated to helping customers succeed and from design and manufacture to delivery and installation, Milbank offers the most comprehensive service throughout the UK, providing a range of specialist bespoke and standardised precast concrete products to a wide range of industries including: beam and block flooring, hollowcore flooring, insulated flooring, curved and helical stairs, straight stairs, standard and curved landings, stadia products, bespoke retaining walls, thermal break balconies, silage clamps, ground beams, rail products and sea defence/ flood prevention solutions. Clients originate from a range of industries including commercial and residential construction, rail, health, energy, environmental and the public sector and its products are routinely used for a range of applications. From creating steel frame supporting precast ground beams at commercial developments, such as the Warner Brothers Harry Potter Studios, to terracing units, walls, stairs and floors at stadiums and the Kia Oval cricket ground. Milbank were responsible for the design, manufacture, delivery and installation of over 700 precast components, consisting of terrace




units, stairs, gable and vomitory walls, leading to the completion of the new stand which has a capacity of 6,300 seats, increasing the grounds overall capacity to 25,000.

gable end of the stand. These had to be specially designed to hang off the side of the structure. In all, Milbank provided over 80no precast concrete walls.

Due to the oval structure of the stadium, each tier of terrace units was a different length and had splayed ends to form the desired circular layout. The detailing, planning, delivery sequence and setting out therefore required special attention to detail. As the gradient of the terrace was low, as is typical for a cricket stadium, this resulted in a small riser height in each tier. The terrace units therefore required deep downstands to enable spans of 7.5 metres and above to be achieved. 480no terrace units were provided in total, with the inclusion of over 200 individual precast concrete step units for the circulation areas.

Installation was complex as the restricted access meant that the precast could not be installed in one visit. Close co-ordination with the main contractor and steelwork contractor was required to enable the precast to be installed in four visits with precast installation alternating with the steel frame installation. Due to early discussions on the project, Milbank were able to share the crane hire with the steelworker which resulted in a smooth transition between their works and the steel installation. Milbank worked closely with the local council for road closures and putting diversions in place for an extremely busy road network area. The development also provided a wide range of new facilities for members and fans including a new rooftop terrace to host guests and member’s events.

The five vomitory areas included a range of precast concrete walls up to 4.3 metres high and stair units with 13 risers, 1390mm wide, to enable access to the terrace from the concourse. The stairs had integral top landings resulting in them being over five metres long with each weighing over 4.5 tonnes, more than twice the weight of a 2018 Range Rover Autobiography. Precast walls were also provided to the camera pit area and also to one

For more information visit: Images: 01-03. A range of precast wall and floor products were used at the Kia Oval


Offsite Concrete Solutions Concrete systems and elements are a proven construction method that can contribute to the pre-manufactured value (PMV) of any building and infrastructure project. Concrete is the Modern Method of Construction (MMC) with a UK supply chain, proven structural performance and versatile aesthetic. Choosing offsite concrete solutions provides the inherent performance benefits of concrete: it does not burn; it provides energy-saving thermal mass and resilience to climate change risks such as overheating and flooding; it is 100% recyclable at end of life.

The Concrete Centre has published a new guide on the benefits and solutions of offsite concrete construction. Download at publications @concretecentre Arena Central, Aston Place Development, Birmingham is 22 storeys high and houses 324 apartments. Image courtesy of Creagh Concrete Products Limited.



As predicted, the UK’s build-to-rent (BTR) market is set to grow. Property agent Savills recently estimated that the sector will increase in value from £9.6 billion today to a potential £543.6 billion once it reaches maturity. Steve Thompson from steel framing specialists EOS, discusses the BTR opportunity for the offsite sector.

1 The predicted meteoric rise of BTR presents major opportunities for offsite innovators such as EOS. This sector is far from the ‘buy them cheap stack them high’ mentality of the rental homes of the past and is about demonstrating critical value to clients and investors. Productivity is King A key appeal of the BTR model for institutional funders and developers is its ability to provide long-term investment opportunities. Unlike traditional multi-residential projects, where investors recoup expenditure more quickly through sales of new homes, BTR investors take their return from rental receipts over many years, providing a steady income stream. So, what does this mean for the design and construction of BTR buildings? Firstly, boosting productivity is essential. The faster a BTR project can


be built and let, the faster investors can begin recovering their initial capital outlay. Material providers and installers should focus on improving their offer to accelerate project delivery. The repeatable design of many BTR buildings makes them well-placed to unlock the productivity gains offered by offsite construction, including many larger BTR developers that have the capital to invest in offsite manufacturing techniques. One such scheme that illustrates this clearly is a project in north-west London with outline planning consent for an 85-acre mixed-use development with major BTR elements. This development allowed the team at EOS to demonstrate our understanding of the BTR sector as a long-term asset class, and evidence how we can maximise returns for investors by putting the customer front and centre of our approach.

2 Located in the heart of Wembley Park, NW07 is a contemporary residential and retail development which sits between Page Place and Elvin Square. With 187 units of BTR accommodation, the architecture is defined by four stepped buildings, echoing the form of the adjacent, Flanagan Lawrence designed the Alto building. The facade is composed of tall, vertical frames, punctuated with balconies that allow each apartment to enjoy wide and open views. Adjacent to the main residential entrance on the ground floor, a series of community spaces are provided to promote interaction between residents. Also part of this scheme, NW08 offers 174 residential units, comprising 108 build to rent units and 66 affordable housing apartments, all located above retail space at ground level. The facades create a dynamic form with roof terraces and large projecting


STEEL Our brief for the scheme was to rapidly deliver fully-engineered steel framing infill solutions to BIM Level 2 – executed with high precision and finished to an outstanding quality. Ahead of schedule and on budget, EOS fulfilled the brief with highly cost-effective offsite manufactured steel framing systems for different building types, across one of the UK’s largest construction sites. Long-Term Value The second, and perhaps most important step to maximise returns is ensuring a steady income from residents. Customer satisfaction is what determines the long-term occupancy rates and makes a project a success.

3 balconies on the southern elevation which provide dramatic views of the stadium, and tall vertical recesses that have been carved into the thick blade walls to provide locations for windows and balconies. Both projects create key focal points on the approach to the iconic Wembley stadium.

A larger upfront investment in build quality is likely to pay dividends in the long run. One of the more obvious places to invest is in the building fabric. Installing more durable materials for walls and partitions can bring efficiencies in both maintenance and energy costs. When it comes to residents’ quality of life, these materials have a vital role to play by providing a high-quality finish and a comfortable living environment. Ensuring peace

of mind on fire safety by working with competent sub-contractors and installing tested and accredited systems is also crucial. By engaging early with BTR clients and specifiers, manufacturers can advise on opportunities to influence the design to maximise the lettable floor space – boosting room for residents and realising a significant increase in potential income. BTR is here to stay in the UK and we need to make sure we’re part of its future. With a comprehensive spectrum of products and services, including the ground-breaking Thrubuild® systems, a fully tested load-bearing, light steel solution, underpinned by a substantial investment in state-of-theart technology, EOS has the capability and capacity to meet the exacting demands of the construction industry. For more details on products and services visit: Images: 01-03. Wembley Park Regeneration Scheme

BUILD-TO-RENT – SEIZE THE OPPORTUNITY Introducing Thrubuild® – a faster way of specifying and constructing your building, complete with peace of mind

The EOS Thrubuild® system has been developed as an integrated system, using the award-winning range of EOS light steel framing, Siniat Weather Defence external sheathing board, and Siniat Frameboard, an internal plasterboard. Fully tested systems 30 year warranty Meets building performance requirements Achieves a rapid installation process Delivers cost and programme certainty To learn more about how Thrubuild® can solve your specification challenges, contact the EOS team today at



In its launch year, Offsite Expo certainly exceeded expectations, with universal positive feedback from exhibitors, visitors and speakers. All agreed this was the offsite event that the construction industry has been waiting for.

1 Industry expert and acknowledged offsite champion Mark Farmer cut the ribbon to open Offsite Expo, welcoming construction professionals from across the UK and beyond to the official launch of the inaugural event at the Ricoh Arena, Coventry. This highly focused two-day exhibition featured 40 hours of CPD Accredited Masterclass Seminars, an International Offsite Summit and the Offsite Connect Buyers and Specifiers Forum. “It is really inspiring to see the world of offsite gathering to showcase the latest technology options and innovations


within the sector,” said Mark Farmer. “Offsite Expo’s positioning, content and timing really reflects the mood within the construction sector and the buzz around the show was exceptional.” The Offsite Expo exhibition was a total sell-out, with over 100 exhibitors promoting offsite systems, technologies and services but this of course, is only part of the equation. Offsite Expo was developed as a platform to network and create new business opportunities and at the heart of the event, the Offsite Connect

Buyers and Specifiers Forum, which was open exclusively to exhibitors, was a hive of activity. With 100 buyers and specifiers registering to participate including representatives from Mace, Willmott Dixon, Kier, Balfour Beatty, Galliford Try, NHS and Apex Airspace. 320 business meetings were scheduled with buyers and exhibitors via the online diary system and of those over 300 actual meetings took place and feedback from both the buyers and exhibitors has been tremendous.


Showstopper at Offsite Expo ESS Modular made a huge impact at the Offsite Expo in Coventry in September where attendees described our fully fitted out two bedroom house as a ‘showstopper’ in the Ricoh Arena.

(l-r) Mark Sennett, Steve North and Jason Upton, Wolverhampton Homes with Paul Tierney, Suzanne Whan and Ronan Smyth, ESS Modular at the 2019 Offsite Expo

Our client, Wolverhampton Homes, visited the exhibition and the home which will be relocated to City of Wolverhampton Council as part of a new Wolverhampton Homes development. The project in Bradley, is part of the council’s successful newbuild housing programme.

Insights at Modular Matters At Modular Matters in the NCC in Birmingham in October, our MD Paul Tierney, along with Neel Khiroya from Excelsior Homes shared insights on collaborating on a private apartment development in North London and their experience in developing an innovative funding model to reduce risk for both parties. PAUL TIERNEY ESS Modular

NEEL KHIROYA Excelsior Homes

Follow @essmodular on:


OFFSITE EXPO 2019 One of the curators of the event, leading offsite expert from Cogent Consulting, Darren Richards said: “The offsite arena is an exciting place to be. The levels of investment and confidence in the long-term viability of advanced offsite methods of construction, is greater than previously witnessed. The heightened interest in all things offsite was clearly demonstrated at the event. Facilitating knowledge transfer and promoting innovation in the sector, Offsite Expo has been extremely well received.”


3 Participating buyer, Simon Stone, Supply Chain Manager for Galliford Try said: “The format worked really well and enabled me to get the most out of the event. I look forward to participating in further events.” Tom Fairlie from Walker Timber Group, endorsed this view saying: “Offsite Connect provided a fantastic opportunity for exhibitors to hold focused business meetings and discussions regarding the benefits of specifying timber frame technology and sustainable modern methods of construction.” Richard Canfer Taylor from Catax was equally impressed saying: “I’ve had numerous discussions and identified partnership opportunities, together with future appointments and I know I will write up some business within the next few days.”


But Offsite Expo was not only about securing business opportunities – the conference and exhibition was developed to inform and inspire through knowledge exchange and opinion sharing. Getting to grips with the latest international offsite methods and smart digital technologies was high on the agenda – the Offsite Construction Summit provided a dynamic and interactive experience focusing on international offsite best practice. Knowledge share and transfer was the prime objective for the Summit and the stellar speaker line-up presented some incredible developments across the global offsite supply-chain.

Over 80 speakers offered delegates the opportunity to hear from experts offering in-depth analysis and technical know-how in an extensive range of CPD Accredited Offsite Masterclasses. Presented by a host of UK pioneers in two dedicated custombuilt offsite technology theatres, the Masterclasses focused on the latest innovations. “Demand was ramping up and our industry intelligence demonstrated a need for a dedicated offsite exhibition curated by sector experts that focused on cutting-edge content, complementing our Offsite Hub and Offsite Magazine platforms,” said Julie Williams, Event Director for Offsite Expo. “The response has been truly astounding and already, just days after the event, we have 68 exhibitor bookings for 2020 – 53 re-bookings and 15 new companies looking to promote offsite technologies and services at our next Offsite Expo.”

The final word goes to Dan Soulsby, National Construction Account Manager Building Products, EGGER (UK) Ltd: “I’m sure you’ve had many comments like this, but I just wanted to say how good Offsite Expo was! We were well impressed (but not surprised) at the quality of the organisation, the content of seminars, the exhibitors and the attendees. We had some great discussions and met with some really key people and have lots to take away with us, plus all the information we gained from the seminars – most of which were standing room only!”


OFFSITE EXPO 2019 KEY STATISTICS • 2,874 unique visitors attended Offsite Expo • 40 hours of CPD accredited presentations in the Explore Offsite Masterclass Sessions • 80 UK and international speakers • 300 meetings in the Offsite Connect Buyers & Specifiers Forum • 2 Launches - Offsite Construction Awards 2020 and Construction Futures Research Centre (CFRC) • 5 Feature Builds / Seminar Theatres including:




B&K Structures Masterclass Theatre 1 constructed from cross laminated timber (CLT)


EOS Masterclass Theatre 2 constructed from light steel frame and featuring the new EOS Thrubuild® Load-Bearing System


ESS Modular – whole house build


Totally Modular – emergency housing solution


Modularwise – modular adaptation pod

Images: 01. Mark Farmer & Event Director Julie Williams at the opening ceremony 02. Offsite Summit saw international experts talk about global developments 03. Masterclass Theatre built and hosted by B&K Structures 04. ESS Modular rebranded from Extraspace and exhibited a full modular home 05. The Offsite Awards 2020 will be co-located with Offsite Expo

Plans are already underway for the next event taking place on 22 - 23 September 2020 at the Ricoh Arena, Coventry – Offsite Expo will again feature informative speaker content but new for 2020 will include ‘live’ feature builds, machinery demonstrations and by considerable demand – Technical Guided Tours hosted by offsite experts from Cogent Consulting. For the first time Offsite Expo 2020 will also host the Offsite Construction Awards. This move will give the team behind the Awards room to expand the event, after a high demand for tickets last year saw many people losing out on attending the big night. The deadline for submissions is the 15 May 2020 with the finalists being announced ahead of the Award ceremony at Offsite Expo on the 22 September 2020.

For more information on getting involved in Offsite Expo 2020 as an Exhibitor or Sponsor contact Julie Williams, Event Director: 01743 290 001 email: or visit:





The visual impact of a building and how its façade and cladding system performs is crucial to its overall success and longevity. Building boards specialist RCM recently hosted a roundtable event discussing how the offsite sector specifies and approaches the external envelope.

With UK building regulation changes and post-Grenfell pressures surrounding durability, safety and long term value for money, the construction industry has had to do some hard thinking and reflection on how best to approach the external aspects of any building – especially multi-storey developments. The offsite sector has likewise had to absorb these changes into its dynamic manufacturing and supply chains. A ‘fully integrated approach’ to the building envelope is essential to drive improved building performance and levels of productivity and while there are many challenging issues to grapple with – even for the traditional industry – there are also many opportunities ahead for offsite technology when approaching façade specification.


As ever, for a truly successful project cycle, early engagement with clients, architects and engineers is critical, but is there sufficient understanding of the need to change specification and procurement methods from the trusted ‘traditional’ procurement route to an offsite path? Crucially, is there enough knowledge about offsite to make informed decisions about what lies ahead? Building Regulation Changes Impending changes to the Part L Building Regulation will have to be part of those informed decisions. “Early engagement is always better,” says Aneel Kilaire, Façade Consultant at Wintech. “The next Part L Regulation and issues surrounding thermal bridging is going to become even more important and having an offsite

solution which is pre-designed – where the thermal bridges can be assessed and provide a standard solution – will be important.” Traditional construction is often seen as a safe option, with architects and clients picking systems based on an aesthetic or visual design appeal, without thinking too much about the system that is going to eventually provide it. Style is everything and ‘as a manufacturer you are driven down a particular specification.’ What is often overlooked at this formative stage is the understanding of standardised layouts and systems, what works and importantly what doesn’t. “For a client to make the right choice they need to be informed in the right way,” says Wayne Yeomans, Head of Business Development, McAvoy Group.



or a product specification, without truly understanding what the ultimate impact of that decision is going to be. They are not the client and it is the client that ultimately is responsible for that building, so from a client perspective awareness is everything. While an organisation such as the Department for Education (DfE) is very aware of offsite’s strengths informed by a raft of technical committees and teams exploring the market, a group of residential clients for example, may not have the same levels of expertise and knowledge and end up being reliant on the industry telling them what to choose.

ATTENDEES Facilitator: Darren Richards – Managing Director, Cogent Consulting Gurprit Bassi – Façade Engineer, Wintech Mike Fairey – Director, Fusion Building Systems Aneel Kilaire – Façade Consultant, Wintech Emily King – Client Solutions Director, Mid-Group Stuart Norris – Technical Product Manager, MPBA/Portakabin Andrew Orriss – STA Assurance Director, Structural Timber Association Ian Quinton – Managing Director, RCM Trevor Richards – Director, Cogent Consulting Alan Robb – Partner, BENX Wayne Yeomans – Head of Business Development, McAvoy Group Gary Ramsay – Editor, Offsite Magazine

“The way building regulations are changing will see an impact on cost, material types and availability, and everyone including planners need to be informed about these changes and the effect on the options available.” Planning departments in particular have come in for much criticism for a perceived inflexible approach to offsite manufacture. There is a feeling that they hold a particular mindset where they dictate the direction of a project

The quantity surveyor (QS) profession also has to change emphasis and think outside of the traditional bubble. “QS tend to deal in hard numbers,” says Trevor Richards, Director, Cogent Consultancy. “So having information that is reliable about the market and not speculative or anecdotal on performance and programme reductions is essential. As a consequence it is difficult for them to compute offsite.” Illusion of Choice The construction industry is blessed with many cladding and façade systems – all freely available for traditional building methods but for offsite systems, many of these are not viable – they can be too heavy or require another additional trade to install or ‘don’t sit within the objectives of fast track construction’. Overcoming the ‘illusion of choice’ means managing client expectations

and explaining that not everything on the marketplace is available and that offsite manufacture requires standardised solutions with only a particular palette of products deemed suitable.

“Ideally we like to have our manufacturers in the room at stage zero with the clients as you can’t know what a building is going to look like unless you know and understand how it is made.” Emily King, Client Solutions Director, Mid-Group “It’s about moving away from a project mentality for a particular scheme,” says Mike Fairey, Director, Fusion Building Systems. “Manufacturing is about creating products in evolution over a period of time, with a continuous learning and development process, over a number of projects. You can then develop a consolidated supply chain that delivers that product at the lowest possible cost with a continuity of design and interface principles.” Adopting continuous improvement and early design decisions creates a situation where you learn steadily and problems don’t become systemic. It is all about ironing out inefficiencies through collaborative working. Simply put, clients become better educated when using offsite systems on multiple schemes, where everything gathers momentum and becomes a clearer proposition for all involved. It is a tough challenge to persuade a



RCM ROUNDTABLE sceptical client that this is the right thing to do – a new ‘entrant’ could be an offsite ‘convert’ in a few project’s time, so it’s worth the effort. Educating clients is a paramount concern for the future take-up of offsite manufacture so explaining to them what can be done with a ‘modicum of responsibility’ is critical. The offsite sector needs to prove there is less space to go wrong than through traditional methods. Risk Reduction Building specification and managing risk means everyone is now super cautious, especially with façades and cladding post-Grenfell. Specifiers and insurers are more cautious around the ‘boundaries of material use.’ “One of our concerns,” says Alan Robb, Partner, BENX. “Is that we see a lot of new products and technologies coming to market that may not have been fully tested to the extremes to demonstrate durability and fit-for-purpose characteristics.” Building regulations can only cover so much ground and can be regarded as the ‘lowest point of entry’ to quality attainment – they are also seen as potentially divisive – written in isolation that change every few years and not updated in unison. “There is a focus on separate regulations – structure, fire acoustic, thermal etc,” says Stuart Norris, Technical Product Manager, MPBA/Portakabin. “But buildings are complicated things and as we face a climate emergency, they need to be smarter and fitter for the future and designed to save energy.” A concentration on ‘building specifics’ seems to be prevalent rather than the ‘building entirety’, consequently a more successful route via an allencompassing ‘holistic approach’ is really required. Building regulations deal with products and performance but rarely deal with process. The offsite sector could be pushing the government to ‘raise the bar as high as it can go’ with building performance. In controlled factory environments, higher targets surrounding quality, reliability and sustainability can be achieved without massive attaching massive premiums. Buildings designed and built on fabric first principles and energy efficient building envelope can futureproof construction and drive innovation.


A New Normal For offsite methods to gain real traction, the key is to convince clients – and in the long run the general public – that it makes no difference whether the building is based on a ‘traditional’ or ‘offsite’ model – ultimately everything has to meet the same industry-wide regulations and accreditation. Perhaps it is time to dispel the ‘myth’ that offsite is ‘different’. The terminology is confusing: ‘every time we stick a different badge on it, we make it different and it causes a disturbance in the industry.’ The crux of the argument is that offsite methods need to stop identifying as different but portray itself as an optimum solution. It is time to showcase the benefits that offsite brings with solid data, statistics and evidence to back it up the claims. This is best done collaboratively. “Collaboration between a group of organisations working towards achieving a common goal is really important,” says Wayne Yeomans, whose McAvoy Group is a key partner in the Seismic Consortium, alongside Blacc, Bryden Wood, Elliot and the Manufacturing Technology Centre (MTC). “It’s really important, whether it’s for a new form of insulation or structural frame, or assessing cladding performance, that there should be a joined-up approach to testing and overall thinking.” Increasingly there is a case to be made for several like-minded companies combining efforts. This has taken place within the Structural Timber Association (STA). “We have undertaken fire testing on behalf of our members,” says Andrew Orriss, STA Assurance Director, STA. “All

members have different ways of building but it is very standardised and commoditised. But as an organisation we have provided our members with a ‘standard’ to work to. This new tool is due to be published in January 2020. The important point is that all the members now have a reference point on how to use timber frame and have realised that it is for the greater good of the sector. It also benefits smaller companies that individually could not afford to do that level of testing on their own.” There is a commonly held view that there is a bottleneck in testing and accreditation in the UK. Waiting times for testing facility slots and final reports is far too long but there is also a gap in the training and competency of installers and how that risk is managed or regulated. Site work can see any number of interfaces between products and systems having to be dealt with onsite by sub-contractors. Does the industry need to evolve further before factory-fitted cladding solutions become viable both technically and commercially? One hinderance centres on the design pressures to make an offsite building look more like a traditional building and to ‘hide the modularity’.

“There is a lack of capacity and speed in the testing facilities in the UK. This is stymying innovation and the slow process of getting products to market means they are in danger of becoming obsolete from day one.” Darren Richards, Managing Director, Cogent Consulting


RCM ROUNDTABLE LESSONS & OUTCOMES Repeat Clients – understanding the processes behind offsite delivery over several projects brings massive benefits Early Engagement – the offsite mantra. Schemes are still switching mid-project from traditional to offsite making things very difficult and costly Sustainable Thinking – offsite has huge potential as a cleaner, energy efficient way to build. Waste minimisation and sustainability issues are constantly rising Quantity Surveyors – along with planners, the profession needs to get to grips with offsite manufacture more, what it can do and better translate data and figures into the building cost model Trade Associations – a need for trade associations to talk to each better and create a formal singular message surrounding offsite to lobby government in unison Testing Availability – time taken to test products can become an inhibitor to innovation and a blockage to products reaching the marketplace Building Regulations – a dysfunctional set of documents struggling to deal with offsite manufacture Market Pressures – innovation is everywhere in the offsite sector. Manufacturers are willing to develop a façade system if there is proof there is a market for it.

Factory Fitting & Interfaces It comes down to the size and scale of the building involved in dictating what the building envelope choice should be. With factory-fitted facades, concerns surround the various liabilities and who is responsible for what post factory-gate. “When the facades are fitted in the factory and then moved onsite the responsibility for the performance of the facades alters,” says Mike Fairey. So there is a contractual issue surrounding the façade installation onsite from the manufacturer installing it in the factory.” Product and system performance during manufacture and installation and how it then transfers onsite all have their own contractual liabilities and testing requirements. This again highlights risk surrounding testing and assessments and having to be ‘quite bespoke’ in the product you fit to create an overall system in the factory. Quality of installation is certainly better managed when factory-fitted but when panels or units are moved onsite it is about interface management. This can open up various opportunities for criticism as the onsite finishing can end up being visually unappealing or plainly badly done. So while there is a fixation that everything has to be done in the factory, sometimes it would be easier and quicker to do part of the work onsite. The ‘happy medium

is a partial install in the factory and final finish onsite’ with high levels of standardisation and understanding where the technical challenges rest. Talking to clients and understanding what can get to market robustly in a reasonable time-line safely is the fundamental aim plus improving productivity and durability. “Having a system is one thing,” says Ian Quinton, Managing Director, RCM. “But the management of it is totally different, it is about competence, managing your end goal and to deliver that, having good key partners.” Where Next? Building the case for offsite should be easy with all of its benefits. As we face the requirements of creating a more sustainable, low carbon, energy efficient built environment, the daunting 2050 net zero carbon targets (ironically side lined and largely ignored by previous government administrations but once again de rigeur) can be met using offsite manufacture and create a real leap forward. Clients and specifiers need to take advice in project planning and settle on working closely with project partners to better understand the drivers behind offsite manufacture and what works for the building envelope – both inside the factory and on the construction site. Whilst a

considerable amount of research and development has gone into the design and construction of the internal and structural solutions within the offsite industry, the options for the external envelope are complex and varied. The building envelope starts from a visual perspective before technical and engineering considerations are factored in. Clients, specifiers and building designers need to adopt a more holistic ‘educated approach’ to assessing the uses and inherent risk of various offsite systems and the various façade interfaces. Markets are moving and shifting shape and the testing and accreditation industry needs to reflect the pioneering amount of work going on in this space. The offsite sector is fertile ground for technology investment and is changing the commercial model of construction, but building regulations are not moving at the same pace as the offsite construction industry – this is a serious failing by government and needs to be addressed. Undoubtedly procurement behaviour needs to change. There is still a struggle with clients trying to procure ‘new things in an old way’. Big questions surround low levels of productivity across UK business as a whole and although the questions and answers are difficult to fully pin down, it is vital to understand that ‘productivity creates its own currency’ and remembering that it has a direct correlation to cost. As the offsite industry booms it is important to realise the simple truth: a client wants a system that works, delivers a compliant solution that meets all requirements and regulations, at the right price and is delivered when and where they need it. But like all meaningful change this will take time. Many thanks to RCM for hosting the Roundtable Event and thanks to all participants for their time and contributions to the discussion. For more information on RCM visit: For more information on offsite related activity visit:





Navigating through the rhetoric to establish the facts is a challenge for any industry implementing change and expanding at such a rapid rate, claims Darren Richards from offsite experts, Cogent Consulting. Here he considers the effectiveness of the government’s strategy for the presumption in favour of offsite technologies on publicly procured construction projects. this limited timeframe – so can these findings be truly representative of the success of the government’s policy for presumption in favour of offsite technologies?

1 Recent reports that three of the five main government departments committed to prioritising offsite construction by 2019 did not award any contracts with an offsite component in the first eight months of the year, in my opinion needs further investigation and analysis. As ever the devil is in the detail and I would like to question how these statistics have been compiled and reported before jumping to any significant conclusion.

We must look beyond the negative headlines to establish that the Department for Education has awarded 22 contracts so far this year, all of which were through dedicated offsite frameworks. I do question whether those behind the freedom of information request have ever been involved in setting up a government framework or the procurement of large government schemes but in my opinion, a carefully selected eightmonth period does not represent the real progress that is being made, both in terms of demand and supply.

Many government projects using offsite construction technology approaches are making the headlines. For example, two offsite timber frame manufacturers are collaborating in a unique partnership to deliver 450 new homes for military personnel returning home from Germany, as part of the Ministry of Defence’s re-basing programme. The initiative is part of a wider Defence Infrastructure Organisation project which aims to deliver 917 homes on land across three sites with a frame installation rate of circa 15 units per week, which is no mean feat.

Last month it was reported that the government said it had no plans to require the use of modern methods of construction in publicly-funded housebuilding programmes, but anyone operating in this sector will be aware of the extensive collaboration and innovation taking place which means mandatory measures are simply not required. It is clear that there is a desire for Local Authorities and Registered Providers to procure offsite manufactured housing solutions with or without government mandate as clients recognise the real benefits of doing so, in terms of quality, speed of delivery and sustainability.

Freedom of information responses indicate that the health, transport and defence ministries procured no contracts with an offsite component in the first eight months of 2019, clearly this project did not fall within

I recently chaired the Modular Matters conference which featured a joint presentation from Dave Sheridan from ilke Homes and Chris Spiceley from Places for People detailing how the supplier and client affiliation has


been taken to the next level. Places for People, one of Britain’s biggest housing associations not long ago announced a £100m pioneering joint venture with ilke Homes to deliver hundreds of modular homes, as confidence in offsite manufacturing grows. In the largest deal yet for Britain’s modular housing sector, Places for People will purchase 750 units from ilke Homes, including 500 for sites it already owns and 250 for new affordable and marketpriced housing schemes that they will develop together. What a fantastic endorsement for the sector! The latest Cogent market statistics indicate that offsite technology now accounts for circa 12-14% share of total construction activity in the UK – which is a rise from circa 8% back as recently as 2015. Whilst this figure is a long way from reflecting the true potential of the offsite manufacturing sector, it is certainly heading in the right direction and is set to increase as the government’s presumption for offsite gains traction and the private sector start to place significant orders – especially in the build to rent sector. The challenge now is to maintain and grow the sector optimism so as to ensure that capital investment flows in to the offsite manufacturing arena to help fund the supply-chain capacity increases that are needed, along with greater mechanisation and automation, digital engineering investment and next generation offsite systems. For more information visit:


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Lanre Gbolade, Production Innovation Lead at L&Q, with responsibility for implementing and delivering its offsite roadmap, gives a client perspective on approaching offsite product development with a collaborative approach. In a nutshell, our approach is very much aligned with a component/ kit-of-parts based approach that will enable L&Q to design, procure and deliver homes more efficiently with a range of standard offsite manufactured products that can be applied to create variation across our emerging house and flat typologies.


2 In the last few years we’ve seen a real big push in the right direction with regards to the promotion, investment in, and uptake of offsite manufacturing and delivery within the UK. The government, through its Transforming Construction challenge to the industry (Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund), is funding a vast amount work around innovation in construction. This is beginning to positively shape the conversations around how we tackle design and construction productivity, building quality and whole-life performance.


For L&Q, as a housing association developer and long-term asset holder, the implications of what we build now will have long standing impacts, so we need to do our utmost to get it right from the outset. In 2018, following a recognition to address the need to adopt more efficient ways of delivering high quality homes, the organisation committed to establishing a strategic Production Innovation Team that would be responsible for developing and implementing a roadmap to transform our delivery operations towards one more aligned with product manufacturing and design for manufacturing and assembly (DfMA) principles.

In beginning our roadmap in early 2018, we committed to undertaking a collaborative design development process that looked at tackling our delivery ambitions strategically with a product portfolio mindset, rather than from an individual project perspective. Without significant publicised precedent in the housebuilding industry, we did also look to other sectors for guidance as to how this might work most effectively. The muchreferenced aerospace, automotive and consumables sectors provided insightful case studies of collaborative working practices to develop new products and innovations. In getting started, rather than appointing a single consultant, we engaged a small team of architects and engineers to tackle the conundrum of creating residential product solutions that satisfy the demands of our various geographic locations. The process has allowed: • • •

Each consultant to bring their own project offsite/DfMA design expertise to the table, recognising that this is still an emerging sector of the construction industry and there are few that can claim to have full exposure to the offsite market The capturing of lessons learnt and common design/construction issues, without the pressures live project programmes, costs and interfaces Consultant peer reviews in a constructive manner that draws from each organisation’s strengths and experience.


HOUSING Furthermore, to enhance the product development process, we also sought the early engagement of supply chain manufacturers to help shape the development of the L&Q Bathroom Pod and Balcony Layouts. These were the first standard L&Q Products we committed to developing largely due to the maturity in industry understanding of these components, an established supply chain and relative comfort with which they could be integrated into the design, procurement and construction process. The offsite product manufacturers engaged were selected on their sector experience, a willingness to contribute to the process, and appreciation of L&Q’s desire to develop system agnostic solutions that could be delivered by the wider market. In joining the consultants, the early engagement from the supply chain has proved so fundamental in capturing inefficiencies sometimes inadvertently embedded into early designs, where the supply chain has not been given opportunity to input their production considerations. It has also allowed all parties to openly knowledge-share and appreciate the pulls-pushes associated with other disciplines: ultimately providing L&Q the opportunity to prioritise our thoughts and ideas around DfMA delivery independently from the constraints of live projects. To ensure the development of these offsite products are well considered from a holistic perspective, as well as external collaborative engagement, we have also established internal Steering Groups to contribute department specific inputs and current or completed project feedback. The group is made up of representation from all stakeholders within the business from Land Acquisition to Design, Construction, Commercial, Sales and Asset Management. For our residential delivery model, the shift towards a product portfolio development and DfMA-led delivery approach engenders a longer-lens view and early engagement-mindset from the beginning. As a Production Innovation team, our focus is very much on providing the business with its specific needs and providing the mechanisms for feedback loops to assist in ongoing offsite production, innovation and process improvements.

3 Over the last 18 months, our first major commitments to offsite manufacturing have come in the form of a framework deal signed in February this year with Stewart Milne Timber Systems (SMTS) to deliver 1500 timber-framed homes. The long-term nature of this agreement allows for an opendialogue approach across both organisations with a collaborative, ongoing, lessons learnt spirit very much at its heart. For our mid to high-rise projects, we have also delivered the first layout designs for our balconies and bathroom/ensuite pods, and these are now making their way into the planning system. From the second half of 2020 we expect our first manufactured products to be procured through dedicated product specific frameworks. To capture optimum efficiencies from frameworks going forward, we will need repetition and volume from collaborative supply chain relationships, but this should not come at the expense of quality. Rather, we have a team mantra that says: ‘Standardise the invisible, Bespoke the visible’ to ensure that our focus remains on providing high quality product solutions that enable context specific responses. We also recognise that our roadmap is both long and ambitious, so we recognise the need to create and foster working practices that are trusting, patient and mutually beneficial. This is not always easy in a sector that has traditionally been known for mistrust and being

4 contractually adversarial, but there appears to be a growing industry appreciation for new ways of working that we might readily associate with the design and manufacturing of iPhones, Dysons and BMWs, but haven’t widely transferred to the production of houses and flats. As a team, we’ve very optimistic about the future of offsite construction and the embedding of product-thinking into construction. The subtle positive shifts in mindsets we’ve observed over the last 18 months towards collaboration gives us confidence that industry can change for the better. For that change to be permanent and deep-seated, all stakeholders need to be agents of change that are completely committed to the higher level of strategic engagement and trust required; including clients, consultants, contractors, manufacturers and the supply chain. This in turn will help deliver long-term value-based relationships in the industry, and ultimately improve productivity, the quality of our homes and built assets. For more information visit: Images: 01. Stewart Milne Timber Systems onsite at L&Q’s Birnam Mews, Tiddington 02. Collaborative Team Year 1 End Team Roundtable 03. L&Q Balcony Product Guidance Document 04. L&Q Bathroom Pod Guidance Document





A new publication from the Housing Forum aims to ‘encourage and provide practical advice to clients considering adopting an offsite approach’. Mainly aimed at affordable housing providers, what are its key messages?

1 With 150+ member organisations, from both the public and private sectors, the Housing Forum is the only cross-sector, industry-wide organisation that represents the entire housing supply chain as the voice of the industry. As such they are uniquely placed to interpret the housing market from various angles to encourage the recognition of quality homes. With Government’s commitment to 300,000 homes a year, it is only through the adoption of offsite manufacture and delivery that this kind of figure can be reached. Offsite brings quality, speed, cost-benefits and programme efficiency in a time of chronic skills and labour shortages. As such offsite delivery is a way to futureproof the UK’s housing supply, speed up delivery, reduce defects, improve building performance and reduce maintenance costs. “For those of us who have been involved in manufacturing offsite solutions for a number of years,” says


2 Mike Fairey, Director, Fusion Building Systems and Board Member. “The renewed interest in modern methods of construction (MMC) for residential development is to be welcomed. The Housing Forum’s MMC Working Group brought together experts from all areas of the supply chain – architects, manufacturers, contractors, consultants, housing associations, trade bodies, and government – to examine the challenges affordable developers face when adopting new methods. It proposes a set of principles to help overcome some of the basic hurdles around procurement, design and delivery and provides examples of good practice.” ‘MMC for affordable housing developers: a Housing Forum guide to overcoming challenges and barriers’ carries some important messages and neatly puts the benefits of offsite design and delivery into easily digestible language for the housing market to ponder. Despite offsite’s growing acceptance there

are still challenges to surmount. It is vital to choose a system and a manufacturer with care, to adopt the right procurement approach and to ensure that the whole organisation has bought into the potential advantages. Additionally, it is essential that mortgages are available for offsite homes, that finance can be secured against an offsite portfolio and that ongoing maintenance requirements have been taken into account. One of the main reasons affordable housing developers have been slow to adopt offsite is not to do with style, quality or longevity, but rather its ‘if it ain’t broke’ approach to traditional construction methods. There has also been a reluctance to change the design and build contracts by which most homes are procured, and these are not compatible with offsite. There is concern, too, about the availability of mortgages for offsite homes and the willingness of landlords’ lenders to accept the properties as security against development finance.


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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HOUSING will be spent up front at risk and preparedness to work differently and to manage risk in a more sophisticated way. Under design and build contracts, design risk is passed to the main contractor. With offsite, more risk and cost need to be absorbed in the pre-construction phase. While this is unfamiliar to most, the recommendations of the Hackitt Review encourage this way of working. It is how some of the most successful build-to-rent developers deliver great buildings quickly and profitably.


4 For those adopting or thinking of adopting an offsite approach the guide picks out ten important takeaways: • Be ready to do things differently to get benefits (e.g. procure, design, pay, manage) • Use specialist designers or consultants to advise on what, when and where to adopt as this can help avoid costly mistakes • Plan and design for MMC – it’s easier to convert to traditional than vice versa • There are MMC solutions for almost every type of project and a number of different procurement routes to get there • Efficiencies can be gained by clients working together to standardise home designs and aggregate demand • Design is crucial. Standard designs don’t have to equate to aesthetic uniformity


• • • •

Early engagement with the design team, manufacturer and delivery partner is essential Organisations are most likely to get financial benefits if they work with partners over a number of schemes More commitment up front on design and planning means quicker deployment and delivery There is great momentum in favour of MMC, many resources to help with the journey and more and more examples of organisations making it work.

The pioneers of offsite see two main benefits to its adoption – quality and speed. But they recognise that no one element will be uniformly appropriate for all sites, geographies and building types. Offsite also requires from the client organisation a change of mind-set. This entails new approaches such as understanding that more

Homeowners, and their lenders and insurers, need reassurance that a home built using offsite satisfies all the criteria of a traditionally-built dwelling. Currently there is an opportunity to improve the integration and interface between BOPAS accreditation and warrantors’ required quality standards. This is being addressed through a group set up by MHCLG and chaired by Mark Farmer. It is seeking to agree protocols which will make these elements work better together and hopes to finalise its work during 2019. The aim is to provide a scheme capable of immediate deployment in the market as a framework for underwriting mortgage lending, building insurance and for cultivating improved industry and consumer confidence in offsite. As the guide says: “Whatever route an organisation chooses, in order to get the benefits of MMC, it has to be prepared to do things differently. This means change and that can be daunting. This guide will help with that change.” For more information and to download a copy of ‘MMC for affordable housing developers: a Housing Forum guide to overcoming challenges and barriers’ visit: Images: 01. The new guide from the Housing Forum outlines why offsite methods are vital 02-03. Modular homes being installed at Hawthorne Avenue, Hull. Courtesy ilke Homes 04. Factory manufacture includes a range of build programme benefits. Courtesy ilke Homes





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How can Research & Development (R&D) Tax Relief help fund innovation in your business? Specialist advisers Catax illustrate how critical this can be to the way you develop new products and systems.

1 Innovation and business development are rife in the UK, however this usually requires a significant investment from businesses which can be difficult to source, especially for start-ups and SMEs. One of the most commonly known forms of tax relief is Research & Development (R&D). This is awarded to businesses that invest in innovation, usually in the form of developing new systems, processes, products, materials, devices or any changes to the way a business works. Despite being available in the UK since 2000, it is still largely under-claimed. The latest statistics released from HMRC in September 2018 show that despite the abundance of innovation being carried out by businesses, only around 43,000 R&D claims were made in 2015-16. This is around 0.8% of the total number of businesses in the UK. The UK government is also looking to increase R&D expenditure as a % of GDP over the next decade from 1.7% in 2016 to 2.4% in 2027, so there is an awful lot of focus on ensuring companies are continuing to invest in and be given the appropriate reliefs, for developing new innovations within


2 their sector. One of the most common reasons for not claiming is lack of awareness – many businesses are unaware that they are eligible for R&D tax relief. HMRC was careful to define R&D in such a way it could apply to varied work across multiple industries – the idea was to turbocharge innovation across every sector. The offsite construction industry is one filled to the brim with innovation. With companies constantly trying to find ways to make builds faster, more cost-effective, safer and more environmentally friendly, it is more than likely that they will be eligible to claim R&D tax relief. Some examples of activities that would be eligible include: • Reducing C02 emissions • Experimenting with new materials • Modifying existing components into bespoke projects • Development on tools and materials to improve efficiency • Developments and implementation of 3D design software. With this in mind, accountants have a key role in educating business clients about the potential gains of R&D tax relief and where necessary,

encouraging them to seek out the advice of an experienced tax relief consultant who can accurately advise on what work may qualify. So far, we have helped clients claim back over £242million in tax relief, which is often invested back into the business to fund further research projects, hire new staff or to improve business premises. This is a relief that HMRC encourage businesses to claim as the money often goes back into the UK economy, so there really isn’t any reason not to try it. Catax, are an industry leading tax consultancy who specialist in this form of tax relief. They employ over 100 members of staff across the UK and can guarantee to maximise the claim that is made on your behalf. If you’re interested in finding out whether your business could make a claim, speak to Catax today. For more information visit: or email: Images: 01-02. The offsite sector is brimming with innovation and confidence but not taking up its share of tax relief on new developments


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As part of the Inside Offsite factory tour programme, precast concrete specialists FP McCann once again opened up its Byley manufacturing facility to showcase its innovative offsite technology.

1 With a focus on the structural and architectural arm of the business, FP McCann hosted a two-day, morning and afternoon factory tour showing delegates from across the construction industry the day-to-day workings of the Byley facility and how the largest precast concrete company in the UK operates. With the structural and architectural products being increasingly specified across the UK and the division growing quickly, the strength of the group has been bolstered over the last few years with a series of acquisitions including well-known brands: Bell & Webster, Bison, Charcon and Buchan Concrete Products all becoming part of the FP McCann offer. The precast division is a significant £200million slice of the company’s £250million turnover with Byley playing a fundamental part in the business’s offsite network.


2 “Offsite methods are being increasingly adopted for the speed and cost benefit it delivers and it also addresses many of the concerns behind the industrywide skills shortage,” says Daniel Westgate, Commercial Manager, Structures, Estimating & Design, FP McCann. “Precast elements are very quick to assemble once onsite so we are at the forefront of changing the way that buildings are designed and manufactured and our fastest growing sector is definitely in high rise apartments and student accommodation.” To keep up with the demands of the construction industry and increasing the capacity of the offsite sector, FP McCann has expanded and increased

the scope of its UK production facilities, with further capital investment in new machinery boosting production levels and increasing its structural precast building capacity. Central to all offsite methods is the speed of construction. Offsite construction methods ensure buildings can be erected quickly – drastically reducing construction time and associated costs and providing quicker return on investment for clients – with the benefits always maximised by early client engagement with the supplier. “Ideally we need to be involved at an early stage and for precast to be considered as the ‘first principal’ way to build,” adds Daniel Westgate. “Our early involvement with the client and design team can maximise the benefits of offsite design and with the recent building regulation changes post-Grenfell, we can advise on



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.


INSIDE OFFSITE FP MCCANN A full palette of finishes can provide an external design and architectural edge. Also in production at the Byley site is the precast crosswall structural system. This comprises of a series of concrete panels that form the entire building envelope with internal, structural loadbearing and partition walls, external walls and floor slabs.



5 non-combustible materials and insulation options to give clients confidence to specify taller structures.” Central to the success and popularity of FP McCann have been its architectural precast concrete insulated sandwich panels – seen across a range of award-winning projects including the Marriott Hotel Manchester. The insulated precast sandwich panels provide a ready-made external envelope with a variety of finishes. This eliminates many of the pitfalls associated with traditional building methods utilising ‘traditional’ techniques and employing siteintensive wet trades. The panels comprise an outer leaf of precast concrete, an insulating layer and a structural inner leaf of plain grey concrete that is ‘power floated’ to a smooth internal finish. The thickness of the insulation can be modified in order


to accommodate any required U-value. The shape, thickness and size of the concrete panels can also be made to meet the requirements of any project specifics and client requirements. These are clad either with a brickfacing or can be acid-etched to a huge array of bespoke design specification. The Byley works is currently producing approximately 12-14 wall panels a day plus 6-8 insulated sandwich panels. The panels are then cured for 28 days before final loading, transportation and installation. Architecturally and in terms of looks and finish the design options are almost endless with a brick finish is extremely popular and accounts for around 60-70% of enquiries. Finishes include acid-etching, textured, stonefaced or tile-faced, grit-blast or smooth finished including a terrazzo type feel.

The external walls can consist of just the inner leaf concrete finish or include the insulated precast sandwich panels. Precast in vertical battery moulds – panels of 4m x 10m – can be manufactured ‘like toast’ that drives costs down and improves speed onsite. They can have conduits and openings for a range of fittings pre-cut and ‘cast in’ inside the factory, such as openings for smoke detectors. Underfloor heating can also be factoryinstalled, then pressure-tested in the factory to ensure a reliable defect-free system. Window and door openings are pre-formed in the panels and the window units can be installed at the factory by suppliers to further increase quality. As 2020 come into view, plans are at an advanced stage in developing a new part of the Byley site to cope with increased capacity for its precast products. Future plans also include the wider use of recycled material and as questions surrounding low carbon construction continues to raise questions, FP McCann are now investing in new steps in adopting cement replacements and have a vision to play a large part of the circular economy and reduce the levels of embodied carbon in it products and systems. For more information visit: Images: 01. The mesh bending facility that received a £2.5million investment in 2018 has expanded and developed capacity 02. Battery moulds produce precast components 03-04. Precast wall and floor panels offer a reliable and quality precision product 05. The award-winning Marriott Hotel, Manchester









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Jaguar Land Rover (JLR) wished to create one of the foremost automotive design and engineering centres in the world and used timber to reflect the design quality associated with one of the UK’s most iconic businesses.

1 Winner of two Structural Timber Awards, the £200million expansion represents the first major construction project at one of the company’s nonmanufacturing sites in more than a decade. The development is fitting for a company with ambitious plans for continued global growth. The new facility will deliver transformational change in the company’s practices and working environment to help attract and retain the best staff. 3,500 designers, engineers, purchasing and support staff occupy the new building, which will take the overall site population up to 11,500 – the size of a small town. This development is integral to JLR’s wider expansion programme at the Banbury Road site in Warwickshire.


A diverse range of spaces has been brought together under one of Europe’s largest engineered timber roofs designed, engineered and installed by B&K Structures and encompassing 1,512m³ of glulam beams and 2,674m³ of cross laminated timber (CLT) panels, the roof makes a vast design statement covering an area of 51,097m2(GIA). JLR’s own sustainability and wellbeing strategy shaped the building philosophy together with the desire to create a defining roof structure from innovative timber technology that reflects the pioneering work taking place within. In addition, speed and ease of construction were the driving forces behind this project, without compromising the quality of design and materials.

The engineered timber roof was delivered through a design for manufacture and assembly (DfMA) processes. Such a methodology has an affinity with one of the core activities at the heart of JLR. The design and connection detailing were optimised and tested in a virtual and pre-production environment before reaching the full manufacturing process – reducing costly reworks and errors onsite. Crucial to the lean and advanced manufacturing processes involved, was DfMA and BIM. The discipline and collaborative working that these progressive approaches facilitated met the needs of early design detail co-ordination and three-dimensional design information. BIM played a critical role in the build, as most of the processes took place offsite. Panel geometry and specifications were detailed exactly through 3D modelling files which passed through the teams involved in the specification, design, and detailing stages. Manufacturing and machining of the panels were factory produced to 100% accuracy, facilitating a perfect fit, minimising transport costs and onsite waste. BIM ensured project timescales were optimised, problems relating to non-compliance and dimensional inaccuracies or clashes were kept to an absolute minimum, for fast and reliable erection. The output of the BIM design process, the IFC model was directly imported into the fabrication software eliminating the time-consuming translation of engineering information into cutting lists and assembly drawings. The hybrid industrial visual grade CLT and glulam structure was designed to deliver permanent quality and long-term energy efficiency, requiring little or no maintenance, to meet the



2 sustainability objectives. The new facility will deliver transformational change in the company’s practices and working environment to help attract and retain the best staff. Exposed timber creates a natural, inviting and calming environment with enhanced acoustic properties which dampens sound, generating pleasant and peaceful workspaces. The solid wood structure was able to meet the natural look and feel that JLR required together with the low thermal resistance and airtightness that the structure demanded to meet the challenging design brief. Stringent detailing and accuracy were critical when designing the timber elements and connection detailing. B&K Structures therefore used 3D modelling to ensure that there was no loss of performance in the final product. With a wellestablished sustainable supply chain, the correct manufacturing partners were appointed and aligned with the requirements for sustainably sourced materials that were PEFC-certified. The synergy throughout the timber supply chain enabled the partners to define structural, physical and mechanical properties, so that the designed building physics could be easily implemented and tested. The building was designed to deliver permanent quality and long-term energy efficiency, to meet the sustainability objectives. The roof’s fabric is finely tuned to optimise performance. Adopting a hybrid approach, the structure is designed to be as lean and efficient

3 as possible. Maximising performance in this way has resulted in a roof with the lowest possible amount of embodied carbon. Largely, this was achieved by maximising the U-values and airtightness in order to reduce the energy required across the lifespan of the building. Maximising offsite manufacturing methods, the project was delivered in a shorter programme than could be achieved using more traditional building methods. The use of timber proved a unique, innovative solution in comparison to other building materials and alternative methods of construction. Onsite construction would have also generated higher levels of waste, dust and noise. The timber roof will only need minimal maintenance during the building’s lifetime as the solid timber sections prevent dust getting trapped as it would with steel sections. The timber structure is designed for 90 minutes of fire resistance, protection of the galvanised steel connections was achieved by recessing within the body of the glulam and CLT. As most of the operations were offsite, the project achieved a RIDDOR free installation. The project represented the largest CLT roof deck constructed by B&K Structures, the design of the steel to glulam connections being a primary factor in the accuracy of the frame, speed of construction and the ability to safely install – the roof was constructed over an eight month period with no reported H&S incidents.

4 CLT delivered maximum programme benefits, reduced capital and lifecycle costs, whilst minimising the impact on the environment. Engineered timber is now being used as a positive means of enhancing working environments and strong evidence is now emerging on the impact timber can have on the comfort and wellbeing of occupants. Chris Elliott, Programme Director for Jaguar Land Rover, said: “The new design and engineering centre is a testament both to JLR’s British heritage of innovation and its compelling vision for future technology. The new space will centralise our design, product engineering and purchasing functions in an original and modern environment, as well as creating additional capacity for the future.” For more information visit: Images: 01-04. CLT and glulam technology provided a sustainable roof structure for the iconic automotive brand. Courtesy B&K Structures





With offsite construction taking many health and safety concerns out of the construction equation, Andy Green, Business Development Director at BM TRADA, discusses the importance of an effective health and safety management system. business costs; stakeholder reassurance; visible CSR; the strengthening of legal and regulatory compliance; and boosted staff morale. The framework underpins and reinforces key requirements, such as embedding a positive safety culture and taking a proactive approach to managing risks.

1 It comes as no surprise that the construction sector remains one of the most dangerous industries to work in. The most recent Health and Safety Executive (HSE) report states that 147 people were killed at work in Great Britain in 2018/19, 30 of whom were construction workers. Alongside this, 55,000 workers suffered non-fatal injuries. As health and safety statistics continue to make for worrying reading, construction companies must do everything they can to minimise risk. Some changes are already being considered – specifically in the timber industry, which is using more offsite construction than ever before. Reduced onsite waste, less cluttered sites and a decrease in working at height all have a big part to play in cutting down accidents onsite. With work at height accounting for almost one third of all fatal accidents in the workplace, the increase of craning in pre-fabricated panels should be celebrated. While these examples focus on the major risks, organisations must also take responsibility for their workers’ well-being, and that means knowing the risks they are exposed to day-today. In a bid to ensure that workers are safe, and to minimise detrimental


2 effects on their business, forwardthinking construction companies are embracing health and safety management systems. ISO 45001 is the global standard for occupational health and safety and could have been made for the construction industry. While it is designed for any organisation from any sector, almost half of our clients in this area are in construction. We find that most businesses in the industry are aware of – and embracing – ISO 9001 (the standard for quality management) and ISO 14001 (environmental management), but until recently there was a gap when it came to occupational health and safety. ISO 45001, which replaces BS OHSAS 18001, aligns in structure and core requirements with other ISO standards that staff are familiar with, making implementation simpler and holistic management more effective. It also mirrors many aspects of the Construction (Design and Management) Regulations 2015 (CDM 2015). ISO 45001 is a systematic approach to identifying and mitigating risks, helping to reduce the likelihood of accidents in the workplace. It offers benefits including risk prevention; continual improvement; reduced

There are lots of health and safety standards out there, but ISO 45001 is particularly good because it follows a high-level structure, which champions leadership, worker participation and engagement, and crucially, requires input from every level of the business. It also emphasises that workers of all types – subcontractors included – must be involved in any health and safety decisions which affect them and need to form an integral part of hazard identification and risk management. ISO45001 involves physically going out onsite and checking if operations are working properly and safely so the team is more likely to spot a problem. Other standards rely simply on a desktop assessment, which can be dangerous. Those in charge need to know if what they say sitting at a desk translates to actual practice. If they don’t know for certain, they are taking a massive gamble. While most business owners are aware of the risks and put safeguards in place to protect workers, many are not taking the issue seriously enough. With so much at stake in terms of human and reputational cost when it comes to accidents – can any business afford to take the risk? For more information visit: Images: 01-02. Reduced onsite waste and a decrease in working at height all have a big part to play in cutting down accidents onsite


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The offsite sector is underpinned by precision designed and manufactured components and systems. Heath Hindmarch, Chairman of PSP Group describes how façade and rainscreen cladding solutions produced in a factory environment are increasingly being sought after for their aesthetics and reliability. We are increasingly being asked to get involved with projects following an offsite approach and it is at this stage that the advice and guidance given to the project partners is invaluable. From the early design stages and advanced manufacturing processes, to the final delivery, using a highly experienced team that can truly appreciate how to bring a new dimension to your building and turn an architectural concept into an engineering reality is so important.

1 Offsite methods continue to dominate the construction headlines. Its cost, reliability and speed benefits are better understood than ever before and this is quickly filtering down to construction clients and specifiers of facade systems and those requiring a building envelope solution that can be delivered efficiently and effectively. It is now so critically important to provide a more quality-driven and sustainable built environment. There have been huge technical developments in cladding solutions in recent years and with architects and building designers demanding a more aesthetic element to the building envelope, an architectural approach is now an essential part of the mix, as well as a quality product that can be used across a complex array of building typologies.


We have made large investments in recent years and have positioned ourselves as a single point of procurement for bespoke full envelope solutions. As a leading manufacturer in our field, we understand the importance of working closely with architects, clients, customers and suppliers to build long-lasting working relationships that allow us to provide the very best engineered solutions. Over the last 20 years we have developed vast knowledge and deep understanding of what the right solutions are for each building. Experience is everything and we feel that maintaining practical capability throughout the whole design and manufacturing processes enhances the complete client experience. To reap the full rewards of offsite manufacture it is essential that early supply chain engagement takes place.

Engaging with an expert supplier means that any problems can be overcome very easily within the factory and before site work begins – site problems can cost time and money. Detailing and potential interface issues can be avoided so there is a cohesive approach towards thermal and acoustic insulation and address important issues surrounding fire and combustibility. Working in collaboration with the supply chain at the early design stages assists in achieving a truly outstanding facade solution that meets all aesthetic and technical requirements. A design driven strategy is at the forefront of all our operations, ensuring that innovation and quality are at the core of our systems. We design, manufacture and supply a massive range of products including rainscreen cladding, specialist fabrications, solar shading and facade support systems using a range of different metals to meet our customers’ bespoke requirements. Because of this, for the best results it is imperative to choose a specialist manufacturer. Our 45,000ft² advanced manufacturing facility in County Durham, which neighbours our 25,000ft² aluminium



2 factory, has capacity to handle large schemes with the latest manufacturing and fabrication technology and incorporates stateof-the-art machinery and processing equipment. Supporting our production facilities, we also have a design office that utilises computer-aided design and drafting software such as Inventor and AutoCAD to ensure we are fully BIM-ready, deliver better productivity, faster performance and expanded interoperability to the whole project team. By utilising our technical skills and ability, along with a forward-thinking approach, we are confident that we bring a quality, costeffective solution, that is considerate of the time-sensitive nature of the construction industry and the increasingly challenging design and engineering landscape. Every client and project require specific façade solutions that are tailored to their individual needs, which is why each of our products is designed with the client in mind. As an aid to this we design and manufacture a comprehensive range of integrated metal rainscreen facade systems that can be adapted to suit specific client needs to provide a visually stylish solution for almost any building. Achieving rapid installation times,


material choices include aluminium, composite, zinc, COR-TEN®, stainless steel and many others. Our systems have been CWCT tested ensuring they meet rigorous industry standards and are resilient to extreme weather conditions. We recognise that the external envelope can carry a number of different systems incorporating various renders, brick or acrylic brick slips, but we specialise and have the ability to achieve exacting tolerances on custom-made items such as steel support structures and curved profiles and have previously developed the manufacture of solid steel bars utilising a five-axis CNC solution. As a company, we truly understand the relationship between aesthetics and the practicalities of site installation, material choice and the importance of joint selection in order to achieve successful completion of any bespoke feature or design. At PSP Group we value the process of becoming a trusted member of the supply chain, and our highquality product designs focus on sustainability and cost-effectiveness. As we begin to get more involved in offsite specification our embedded design for manufacture and assembly

4 (DfMA) techniques also guarantee a premium product, reliability and ease of installation across many different construction sectors and building footprints. For more information visit: Images: 01. PSP worked with Mace to provide bespoke rainscreen cladding panels for Greenwich Square - a residential development in the heart of Greenwich set around a stunning courtyard 02. The new sports complex at Solent University was designed by Architecture PLB and constructed by Morgan Sindall using PSP’s bespoke fabrications 03. Large scale bespoke fabrications for Pump House a residential tower at the Royal Victoria Docks in London 04. Victoria Gate in Leeds was a flagship store for retailers John Lewis and PSP pushed the boundaries of manufacturing on this project with striking results





The McAvoy Group has been awarded a £5.5million contract for the offsite construction of a new three-storey Art, Design and Technology Centre at The Deepings School near Peterborough. grey windows and brickwork at ground floor level with bright accents of colour. The front elevation will have large picture windows with a projecting white framed border over the entrance, enhanced with yellow and blue cladding panels in the academy’s corporate colours. On the western stair elevations, an abstract arrangement of yellow and blue cladding panels framed by a white band will resemble a piece of artwork to reflect the building’s creative curriculum.

1 Built under phase two of the Priority School Building Programme PSBP) and in partnership between CfBT Schools Trust, Lincolnshire County Council and the Department for Education, the new facility will replace an existing 1970s teaching block that will then be demolished. The project managers are Faithful and Gould. Due to be handed over Summer 2020, the entire building will be constructed offsite at The McAvoy Group’s production centre. This solution will radically reduce disruption to staff and children during construction. Designed by Blue Sky Architects, the centre will provide an exemplar educational environment to reflect the academy’s vision and ethos, and the delivery of a balanced and creative curriculum. It will feature multifunctional learning spaces for food technology: constructional textiles, ICT and craft, design and technology as well as general classrooms. These will be arranged either side of a central circulation route and will be adaptable and flexible to support future modes of curriculum delivery and technological innovations.


Raymond Millar, Pre-Construction Director at The McAvoy Group, said: “We are delighted to be building this wonderful new facility for this progressive academy. The building is located at the heart of the school so access for traditional construction would be more challenging. Using an offsite solution gives the school the primary benefit of reduced time on site. This is a live school environment so by reducing the build programme, we are minimising any disruption to the children’s education. “We are using the latest advances in education design and offsite construction to create an inspiring environment for teaching and learning. McAvoy offsite solutions offer clear benefits for the delivery of new education facilities which include increased value for money, greater quality control and programme benefits because the construction work can advance in the factory while groundworks are put in place onsite.” This will be a high quality, contemporary building with strong lines and a palette of materials which includes composite cladding, dark

McAvoy has used the latest digital construction tools for this scheme which include 3D modelling for design and co-ordination, and virtual reality for public consultation and to facilitate client engagement in the design process. The project also involves detailed logistical planning to create a separate contractor’s entrance to the site whilst maintaining public access to the school and the adjacent Deepings Leisure Centre. McAvoy has a long track record in the delivery of high-quality education facilities for primary and secondary education, sixth form and special educational needs. The Group’s offsite construction solutions speed up construction to help meet the growing demand for school places: allow the safe and efficient development of constrained schools sites with less disruption, and offer greater certainty of completion on programme, on budget and to the highest factory-built quality standards. For more information visit: Images: 01. McAvoy are using the latest advances in technology and offsite construction to create an inspiring environment for teaching and learning




BRIGHT FUTURE FOR BLYTH SCHOOL (NHC), providing a wide range of tenant services and compliance solutions designed to protect residents and property. CPC is a partnership designed to offer each organisation’s current and potential new members an unrivalled range of procurement solutions. The result is a 450sq m extension to Horton Grange Primary School in Blyth. Three new classrooms, plus facilities required to support the influx of 105 additional pupils feature high quality finishes and are built to rigorous standards. The main corridor features a continuous full-length skylight – unique in modular building design – that floods this pivotal area in natural light, creating a welcoming learning environment. The contract was completed early in a 14-week programme and under budget.


Northumberland County Council has embraced offsite construction for first time with a pioneering 14-week programme for a primary school extension at Horton Grange Primary School. CPC – the new partnership between LHC and Northern Housing Consortium – has provided a fast and efficient procurement framework solution for the construction of Northumberland County Council’s first ever building project utilising the latest innovations in offsite construction. CPC is a partnership for public sector procurement excellence, between not-for-profit organisations LHC and Consortium Procurement. LHC is a leading provider of free-to-use OJEU compliant framework agreements for local authorities, social landlords and other public sector bodies. Consortium Procurement is the procurement arm of Northern Housing Consortium


Faced with short timescales, the council entrusted the project to experienced Newcastle-upon-Tyne project management consultants Faithful+Gould. “The council’s brief was to deliver a high-quality modular building and achieve best value for money, but also that the result ‘should not look like a modular building,” said Project Manager Mark Chicken comments. “As this was a pioneering MMC project, we engaged the procurement support of CPC. From their wide range of frameworks, one specifically introduced for modular buildings was selected. “Suppliers are appointed to this framework based on price, quality and compliance, saving precious time and providing both us and the council with the necessary confidence. CPC client support manager Ian Brown’s help and guidance through the framework was invaluable, making the whole process smooth and seamless.” The contract was awarded to M-AR Offsite. Groundworks started on 16 April, whilst construction of the building commenced in parallel at M-AR’s East Yorkshire facility. The modules were manufactured in a controlled environment, ensuring the highest levels of quality and compliance. This included all necessary services such as lighting, electrical, plumbing and a hybrid ventilation

system – plus washroom facilities, a kitchen, sinks in each classroom, blinds and floor coverings. Delivery of the building was made exactly on time six weeks later to coincide with the late spring half term break, for pupil safety and to avoid any disruption. All 13 modules comprising the building were delivered and fixed in position with millimetre precision in just 24 hours. Now on-site, M-AR’s experienced site team have started the final phase. Bricks used to clad the new building were carefully matched to the existing adjacent classroom brickwork. Module interfaces were taped and jointed prior to full decoration of the interior, whilst final connections to power, data and plumbing services were made. Finishing touches included the installation of furniture and whiteboards – all part of M-AR’s turnkey project solution. On 19 July the project was handed over, ahead of programme and in ample time for the new school term. “The reassurance of CPC’s preassessment of M-AR Offsite was immediately fulfilled,” adds Mark Chicken. “As the M-AR team’s drive and pro-active work ethos instantly gave us confidence thanks to their experience in MMC solutions. They were dedicated to achieving the vision we shared with them, guiding us through early decision making on fixtures and finishes, essential with offsite construction. The result speaks for itself. There has been no compromise to any of the three key elements of any construction project – time, cost and quality. In fact, all have exceeded expectations, creating a perfect balance. The school and community have a new building in which they can be justifiably proud, now and for many years to come. For me personally, the experience has been nothing but positive.” For further information visit: Images: 01. The modular design for the school included an innovative continuous full-length skylight


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In the twelve months since the last Modular Matters conference, the political and investment landscape has changed beyond recognition. Whilst the national media focuses on the political wranglings surrounding BREXIT and more recently, the election – it is necessary to dig deeper to uncover the major changes that are taking place in the construction industry. Splash but the largest deal by far was revealed by ilke Homes’ involving the commissioning of a second manufacturing facility based on a £100million agreement with Places for People.

And that was the objective of this year’s Modular Matters event – to bring to the fore the significant advances that are taking place in volumetric modular building techniques by gathering those who are making great transformational technical and commercial leaps to advance the construction industry. 2019 has been a year of major announcements: Banking giant Goldman Sachs investing £75million into modular housing business, TopHat. Japan's biggest housebuilder entering the UK modular housing market after striking a multi-millionpound deal that will see Sekisui House partner with Homes England and Urban Splash to bring forward thousands of properties across England. This agreement will also see a £55million investment into Urban


But beyond these big money headlines there is a lot more going on. Delegates were genuinely surprised by the level of research, detail and industry understanding that Amy Crick’s presentation from Barclays Bank revealed. Outlining Barclays’ investment and funding strategy, under the banner of Financing Modular Construction, she emphasized that addressing the housing shortage is a political priority and there is increasing policy support for innovative methods to unlock supply. (See the full report from Amy Crick from Barclays Bank on page 62) Another monumental shift that is taking place and made very evident on the day, is the transformational change in working practises. A frequent criticism laid at the door of traditional construction methodologies, is how disparate parts of build teams work in isolation with very little communication. Contemporary techniques have transformed this outdated approach and presentations involving both clients and modular manufacturers were a focal point of the Modular Matters event. Places for People, one of Britain’s biggest housing associations recently announced a £100million pioneering

joint venture with ilke Homes to deliver hundreds of modular houses, as confidence in offsite manufacturing grows. In the largest deal yet for Britain’s modular housing sector, Places for People will purchase 750 units from ilke Homes, including 500 for sites it already owns and 250 for new affordable and marketpriced housing schemes tha t they will develop together. Speakers Dave Sheridan from ilke Homes and Chris Spiceley from Places for People detailed how the supplier and client affiliation has been taken to the next level by forming a joint venture partnership which incorporates all aspects of the development including finance through a project bank account. Under the banner of Modular Manufacturing Can Drive Growth and Investment in the Regions, the duo outlined their strategy and how they intend to establish long term partnerships with shared values and outcomes. 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 sustainable alternative to traditional techniques. The change in approach is evident among construction sector CEOs, as many leaders see technology-based disruptors entering the arena and realising it is now the


MODULAR MATTERS time to reinvent and reposition. In their presentation – Minimising Development Disruption on Infill Sites for Affordable Housing Using Volumetric Modular Technology – Brian Maunder from Totally Modular together with Richard Whittaker from the Citizen Housing Association, demonstrated how their collaborative approach was minimising disruption and combatting fuel poverty. Through this alliance Citizen Housing is realising ambitions to deliver alternative high quality offsite manufactured modular homes that mitigate the risks of disruption and traditional skills shortages together with reducing the quality control issues associated with conventional build routes. In summing up they shared how this modular housing programme will benefit tenants through combatting fuel poverty and promoting longer more sustainable tenancies together with taking a solid step into the Zero Carbon 2050 journey. Paul Tierney of ESS Modular felt so passionately about their Spectrum development in north west London that he broke his ‘presenting boycott’ to take centre stage at Modular Matters to deliver a project case study alongside the developer - Neel Khiroya from Excelsior Homes. Excelsior’s vision was pure and simple: to create homes that are beautiful in design, build and finish and beautiful to live in. In their presentation Spectrum: A Modular Build – Contemporary Design, Exceptional Living, Paul and Neel took delegates through their collaborative working and funding model and discussed the developer and modular contractor’s experience and how they delivered 42 quality apartments that had the residents living experience at the centre of every decision. The conference culminated with the launch of the Volumetric Homes Group – created to represent those who are at the forefront of volumetric modular manufacturing in the residential sector. The working group will support the needs of the expanding housing sector and respond to the technology demands. Whilst affiliated with the Modular & Portable Building Association (MPBA), the Volumetric Homes Group has autonomy to set its own agenda and discussion topics engaging with government and other industry stakeholders.


Amy Crick

Robert Darrow

Stuart Gandy

Barclays Corporate Banking



John Gray

Matt Hallissey

Neel Khiroya

HTA Design LLP



Brian Maunder

Darren Richards

Katherine Saunders

Totally Modular

Cogent Consulting

Trowers & Hamlins

Dave Sheridan

Yasmin Al-Ani Spence

Chris Spiceley

ilke Homes

Wilkinson Eyre

Places for People

Paul Tierney

Richard Whittaker

Steve Wightman

ESS Modular



For more information on Modular Matters and to view the event photo gallery go to:





There are many things to bear in mind when approaching offsite construction, Amy Crick, Head of UK RE Transaction Management, Barclays Corporate Banking, outlines a few key considerations when seeking finance for modular developments. be able to provide lenders a detailed production timeline. The lender may also impose a limit on the value of materials that can be stored offsite which would be included in the facility agreement and compliance monitored regularly by their surveyor.

1 ‘Modular’, ‘Offsite’ or ‘Premanufactured’ are generic terms used to cover all processes intended to reduce the amount of on-site activity in construction. Traditional construction methods have been used for many years and are well understood by consumers and the construction industry but traditional housebuilders favour the established approach and there is currently limited adoption of offsite methods but our expectation is that will change. We are starting to see the industry embrace its potential, using PropTech and innovation to start to develop large scale propositions. And with good reason – it is a viable solution for helping address the current housing crisis, long-term decline in the physical


capacity of the construction workforce and improving environmental sustainability. As it becomes increasingly mainstream, developers need to consider how it affects their approach to securing funding. We recently published a report to help them do just that, focusing on five key areas. Title, Vesting & Monitoring Construction materials are stored and constructed offsite in a factory owned by the modular contractor therefore are not typically captured by the lender’s fixed charge over the development site. Vesting needs to be explored on each transaction, for example, it may be possible to vest ‘as you go’ at various stages during production so developers need to

Insolvency and Non-performance As there are still relatively few largescale modular contractors, being able to ‘lift and shift’ production to a new contractor is not so easy. The financial standing of the modular contractor and structure of the contract needs to be carefully considered at the outset as they can impact on securing funding. If the works are sub-contracted as part of a fixed price design and build (D&B) contract, payment and nonperformance risk is carried by the main contractor. Using a fully integrated model where the modular contractor forms part of the main developer’s structure is advantageous as a collaborative approach is more fluid and less prone to risk. There is also scope for additional security from the modular contractor. Design Freeze and Programme Longer lead in times should be expected as the design, specification and layouts are required to be fully fixed at the start of the modular process and the requirements scheduled into the modular contractor’s production capacity to fit in with the proposed build programme. This requires a significant upfront investment in time to achieve the benefits of a shorter delivery period. It will also be important to take into consideration the developer, the design team and the contractors experience in offsite construction and whether they are all familiar with, and fully committed to, the early design fix. A further consideration is whether the main D&B contractors are prepared to



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Metframe is an extremely competitive building solution when compared against the cost of timber and volumetric construction. Metframe delivers a high-quality building but importantly a major key benefit is speed of build, with Metframe structures taking under two weeks per floor to construct. Sustainability is at the forefront of Metframe buildings which offer zero waste and a low carbon footprint.

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FINANCE Working with a bank which understands the sector and the unique requirements of modular construction can help developers navigate the process and ensure construction projects start off on strong foundations. For more information visit:

SHARED GROWTH: KEY BUSINESS OPPORTUNITIES AND THREATS How can Modular Construction play a more meaningful role in addressing the housing crisis? The housebuilding industry with its existing operating model and structure looks unable to deliver the number of homes required to address the UK housing crisis. Addressing the housing shortage is a political priority and there is increasing policy support for innovative methods to unlock supply.

How can the construction industry attract and retain talent in this challenging market? There is a projected long-term decline in the physical capacity of the traditional

2 assume design risk for non-integrated modular aspects. Transit to site and putting the modular components into situ should also be considered. Delays for adverse weather must be factored in and items such as oversailing rights considered when bringing the modular components to site. Insurance and Warranties The main insurance policies for a development with modular elements are Homebuyer Warranties (industry standard 10-year cover is widely available for modular manufactured homes) and Insolvency/Credit Supply Risk Insurance. Insolvency insurance can cover any stage payments made to a manufacturer for which the developer has received no products. The policy will need to be bespoke if it is to be extended to cover consequential losses. A lender will


require its interest on the policy noted as composite insured and first loss payee. Transport and BOPAS Accreditation It will need to be ascertained which party is contractually obliged to insure modular components during the transit stage – as with insolvency insurance any lender would expect to be composite insured and the first loss payee. The Buildoffsite Property Assurance Scheme (BOPAS) is an accreditation scheme for innovative or non-traditional methods of construction. It is a risk-based evaluation which demonstrates that homes built from non-traditional methods and materials will stand the test of time for at least 60 years, giving lenders further piece of mind. As with any application for funding, early engagement with your lender is key.

construction industry workforce due to the low level of new entrants, ageing existing workforce and impact that political uncertainty may have on the future labour pool. Modular construction requires a varied skillset and offers improved safety and working conditions.

How can Modular Construction save costs through environmental efficiencies? Continuing focus on energy performance of buildings and reduction in waste will help to assist scheme viability.

Images: 01. Modular units are increasingly popular as a way to boost the level of new homes. Courtesy ESS Modular 02. Craning modules into place can be done in the tightest of locations. Courtesy Pocket Living




Leading national engineering specialist SES Engineering Services (SES) has relocated its award-winning offsite manufacturing facility, Prism, to a new 68,000ft2 facility in Coventry. people in Coventry will help take our growth and delivery to the next level. “This is particularly important as the demand for offsite solutions on MEP projects continues to rise across the country, which is why we are focused on improving efficiencies that will continue to benefit the construction industry. By using BIM and prefabrication, we can drastically improve project efficiency, working with the main contractors to co-ordinate on design and detect issues at an early stage, requiring fewer redraws, snags or defects onsite.”

1 The relocation and expansion of its flagship Prism facility from York follows a period of strong growth for the business in providing prefabricated mechanical and electrical (M&E) works to some of the UK’s largest and most complex buildings, including the development of the state-of-theart aseptic manufacturing facility for global pharmaceutical company, GSK. Moving Prism to Coventry has created an opportunity for up to 40 new operatives to be employed in M&E products, including 2D and 3D multiservice modules, plant skids, multiservice risers and sectional plantrooms. Using offsite manufacturing techniques saves thousands of man-hours, improves health and safety, enhances quality, and increases efficiency on major projects, particularly those


delivered in built-up and logistically challenging environments. Jason Knights, Managing Director, SES Engineering Services, said: “Prism has been a real growth driver for our business, with clients keen to take advantage of our excellent offsite capabilities to speed up delivery of their projects. This expansion reflects the industry shift towards prefabrication, as well as the continued success of SES as a whole.” Lewis Jones, General Manager, Prism Offsite Manufacturing, adds: “We’re incredibly proud of SES’ long and established history in producing innovative MEP offsite solutions in our Prism factory. We offer an exceptional engineering heritage and the availability of high-quality, skilled

As the construction industry faces numerous skills shortages, offsite manufacturing, such as the assemblage services provided at Prism, provide an answer through core skills training in just 12 weeks, including pipe jointing techniques, pipe cutting and bending, trunking installation, and understanding drawings. SES Engineering Services provides market-leading technical solutions for the built environment through the design, manufacture and installation of building services. With more than 50 years’ experience SES is adept at providing complex technical solutions for clients across a range of sectors. The £180million turnover M&E contractor has a successful pedigree in the use of offsite manufacturing and recently won the award for “Best Use of Mechanical, Electrical and Plumbing (MEP) & Pod Technology” at the Offsite Awards for the fourth consecutive year. For more information visit: Images: 01. Prism is one of the leading offsite manufacturing facilities in the UK


The BIM model drives the offsite solutions as we utilise a system that links the model to our procurement, scheduling, manufacture and monitoring. We are constantly striving to design once, build once and install once.


BUSINESS UNIT DIRECTOR Midlands and South West & Prism PRISM OFFSITE MANUFACTURING 2300 Coventry Business Park Dolomite Avenue Coventry CV5 6UB

Prism Offsite Manufacturing is the award-winning specialist business unit within SES Engineering Services Ltd (SES) that provides a wide range of offsite products to support MEP installations on projects. With a strong engineering heritage and experience dating back to 2007, Prism is an industry leader in utilising and realising the benefits of producing integrated building solutions through the use of prefabricated assembled products. Prism has established an award-winning reputation for technical excellence, quality and commitment to continual improvement - Winners of the Offsite Awards, Best Use of MEP & Pod Technology for four consecutive years!





Light steel frame manufacturer Fusion Building Systems have proved that when all parties in the supply chain are aligned, the benefits of working with an offsite system far outweigh those of traditional methods of construction.


2 Early engagement and supply chain integration are regularly quoted as being key to the widespread adoption of offsite methods of construction. Contracted by developer Willmott Dixon on behalf of Northampton Partnership Homes (NPH), Fusion Building Systems started on site in March 2018 at two locations in the Spring Boroughs area of Northampton. Fusion’s brief was to design and install the superstructures for 18 units – apartments and maisonettes to be built on Little Cross Street. The completed accommodation was to be allocated to local families through Northampton Borough Council and the partnership in place to deliver this can only be considered as a best practice example for the offsite industry. NPH chief executive Mike Kay had previous knowledge of offsite methods of construction and wanted to engage a local supply chain.


3 Willmott Dixon had worked with Fusion for many years, knew their system well and as a Northampton-based business, was keen for them to be the offsite provider. All supply chain partners were engaged from the outset, offsite was designated as the procurement route and Fusion’s 2D panelised system agreed as the best solution for the site. Applying best practice manufacturing principles, a standardised pattern book design was used for all units which delivered significant advantages in terms of both time and cost through design, engineering and production. Fusion started works on site on 26 March 2018 and the superstructure build time was complete within six weeks as planned. Fusion’s scope consisted of insulated external walls, internal load-bearing walls, cassette floors and flat roof cassettes, parapet panels – and to supply the crane

NPH Chief Executive Mike Kay, said: “Delivering new homes in Spring Boroughs is a significant project for NPH and for the community. Along with others on my team, I share a keen professional interest in offsite construction and the role it must play in helping to build communities of the future. Our delivery partnership working with Willmott Dixon and Fusion Building Systems embraced the advantages which modern methods of construction present and I’m pleased at how well they worked with us to deliver what the community told us they needed.” Mike Fairey, Fusion Director, added: “We’ve worked with Willmott Dixon and NPH for some time. Both are advocates of offsite methods of construction and in particular, the team at Willmott Dixon have an excellent working knowledge of the Fusion system. The main objective of this project was to build what the local community wanted. We listened to the brief, we worked with the project architects and we remained flexible throughout. As a result, we completed our structure on time, delivered considerable savings for our client compared to using traditional methods of construction and, we helped to make a significant community regeneration project possible.” For more information visit: Images: 01-03. The Fusion light steel frame system delivered an effective community project for Northampton Partnership Homes


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The lifting of pods and modules is a critical process in the manufacture and install of offsite units, usually resulting in a more complex lift than the traditional lifting operations carried out on constructions sites. Anthony Culshaw, Technical Director at Britlift Ltd explains more.

1 When lifting pods or modules there are a number of key questions that must be answered about the load itself before the safest and easiest way to lift can be selected. Anyone who has worked in the offsite sector for an appreciable period of time, will no doubt have seen many different methods of pod/module lifting. In most cases a lifting attachment such as a frame or beam arrangement is required to either stabilise the lift or avoid damage to the pod/module. Considering the following four questions will help you to determine which method is most appropriate. 1. 2. 3. 4.

Where are the pod/module lifting points located? How many lifting points are there on the pod/module? How many pods/modules are there to be lifted? How does the weight and size vary between pods/modules?




More stable lift

Less stable lift

Vertical lift required

Various methods of connection available

Potential to damage interior of pod/module

Less likely to damage pod

Riggers must work at height

Easier access for riggers

Lower cost of rigging

More expensive rigging

Considering question one – which from a safety perspective is probably the most important as it can seriously affect the stability of the lift – the two options for the location of the lifting points are simply the top or bottom of the pod. Each method has positive and negative as can be seen in the Table (see above). The biggest potential concern should be the stability of the lift. If a pod/

module is lifted from the bottom, then that pod/module may tip out of the slings if not rigged correctly. The likelihood of this will be increased if the pod is significantly heavy at one end and it has not been accounted for in the rigging or design of the lifting equipment. This does not mean that lifting from the bottom is not acceptable, it may indeed be the best way to lift your pod/module if there are restrictions to lifting from the top.


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2 It would be strongly advisable however, to gain specific guidance from the manufacturer of your lifting system (beams or frames) on the correct and safe method of rigging when lifting from the bottom.


The second question posed was about the number of lifting points. This question is also of key importance as it will help guide the selection of the most appropriate lifting attachment to facilitate the lift of the pod/module. The number of lifting points is also usually critical for the distribution of self-weight throughout the pod/ module. A ‘4-point lift’ generally best suits the use of a fixed spreader frame and is commonly used for the lighter and smaller pods. A ‘6 or more point lift’, usually requires a more complex rig involving multiple beams or a large frame capable of receiving the bending load produced as a result of lifting from multiple points. This in turn pushes up the cost of sourcing the lifting attachments – as such ‘6 or more point lifts’ are usually restricted to larger, heavier modules where it is not possible to lift from fewer points. Finally, questions three and four relate to the number of a pods and the variance in weight and size. The heaviest pods are best lifted by a spreader beam arrangement – see Image 1 – as they deal primarily with compressive forces and are a much more cost-effective option for lifting


4 heavy loads than a frame. The time required to adjust such a rig should be considered and may be mitigated via the use of telescopic systems. For speed of adjustment and particularly where headroom may be an issue, a heavy-duty frame with adjustable lifting points is usually the most appropriate solution.

For more information visit: Images: 01. The heaviest modules are best lifted by a spreader beam arrangement 02-03. A fixed spreader frame lifting a small bathroom pod 04. An adjustable frame for lifting larger modules




On The Level (OTL) is a specialist manufacturer of wet room floors, specialising in bespoke options, modular floors and complete floors for pod manufacturers, volumetric and modular projects. With growth in the offsite industry reaching new heights, the service OTL provides is a fantastic way for developers and contractors to save time on site, mitigate the risks associated with using multiple trades, and the products are easy to install and can be used with a range of floor finishes, from tiles and vinyl through to resin. Offsite Expo 2019 was a really positive show for OTL, with several promising sales leads and meeting requests coming from it. The networking was well-organised and gave OTL the opportunity to meet with specific companies which allowed better education on its products and services, as well as the chance to talk about upcoming projects and how OTL can help at design stage.

At the show OTL displayed two fullsize modular floors at waist-height so that visitors could get up close to the product and see how the floor build up worked, as well the ability to look underneath the shower floor to see the gully location and better understand the installation process. Alongside these displays OTL had smaller modular floor examples which visitors could take apart to reveal how the sections fitted together – great for those who like to get hands on to really understand the concept behind a product. All the products and services on the stand proved to be immensely popular.

a lot of people hadn’t seen before, our wet room formers and modular flooring systems. People were coming to us to learn more, ask questions, be inquisitive, and I’m pleased to say that they were genuinely interested in the products and the service OTL can offer them. The target audience was spot on – lots of architects, designers, and specialists from the offsite and modular sectors, so well done to Radar for clearly communicating to the right people about the exhibition.

James Clark, OTL’s Managing Director had this to say about the exhibition: “The show gave us the perfect platform to display something that

For more information on any OTL products visit: or email

We are looking forward to coming back next year even bigger and better!”


SELF-ADHESIVE VAPOUR CONTROL LAYER DELIVERS TIME SAVING BENEFITS Protect Membranes, UK producer of roofing and construction membranes, has introduced Protect VB200.

Protect VB200 is a reflective air and vapour control layer with an integral selfsealing adhesive backing, designed for use on walls, floors and ceilings where bonding the membrane to the substrate would be beneficial or within a flat warm roof construction. Suited to offsite and modular construction, it features a high purity foil surface on both front and back of the membrane, to provide thermal enhancement if used with an unventilated airspace. As a bitumen-free product, Protect VB200 has a reinforcement grid for added stability yet is lightweight for ease of installation and can be walked upon straight after installation on a flat roof. Cold applied without the requirement for heat, Protect VB200 does not need an additional primer in many instances, thereby providing time saving and efficiency benefits. Protect VB200 is suitable to be used in high humidity and vapour loaded areas such as swimming pools, kitchens and bathrooms. For roof applications, the product can be installed unrestricted throughout the UK and Ireland in wind uplift zones 1-5 to BS 5534. For more information visit:, email or call 0161 905 5700, quoting ‘Protect VB200.’


Leading the way in

Structural Insulated Panel Technology

B B A A P P R O V E D S U S TA I N A B L E B U I L D I N G S O L U T I O N S 0151 420 1404 |

w w w. s i p b u i l d i n g s ys t e m s . c o . u k


Building with Frames has evolved over the last decade from a timber frame, SIP and glulam frame supplier, now with extensive experience and looking to engage with clients that wish to receive more advanced products. BWF now produce wall panels with windows and doors installed and certain finishes along with completed modular units. We have an excellent record for quality in service and products and maintaining long term customer relationships. We look forward to hearing from likeminded organisations. For more information visit:

IPP is a UK manufacturer of innovative, sustainable and environmentally friendly products aimed towards the construction industry, which includes leading brand Magply. With a background in thermal insulation and roofing materials, the company has continuously evolved to where it now creates product lines for Architects and Builders, which are accessible via numerous UK distributors whom can offer technical support to consumers. Various building applications such as timber frame, loft conversions and new builds can utilize a vast range of IPP’s products into their homes such as Alumaflex, Ballytherm, Natuwool, Magply and Natuhemp. For more information visit:


Capital Allowances, Research & Development, Remediation of Contaminated Land and the Patent Box. We have been helping clients secure tax relief for over 10 years and have identified over £230m in tax benefit for our clients to date. We have worked with a number of businesses within the construction, architectural and design industries and have a team of experts dedicated to helping you find the best possible returns on your innovation. For more information visit:


Midland Steel


Midland Steel

CFRC is a research Centre based at the University of Wolverhampton and is part funded by the European Regional Development Fund. The ultimate aim of CFRC is to improve the efficiency of the construction centre by using smart productivity improvements for offsite design, manufacture and construction. Advanced tools and techniques mean that CFRC are able to simulate the entire process right through from design all the way to the operation of built assets. CFRC’s mission is to develop ground-breaking methodologies for process simulations leading to significant productivity and gains for the region, which in turn will impact housing and also major infrastructure projects. For more information visit:

Reinforcement Supplies

Reinforcement Supplies

Midland Steel are a marketing leading steel fabricator in Ireland and the UK. They offer an extensive range of reinforcing steel products and services to the UK construction sector in a diverse range of sectors. From CARES approved cut and bent reinforcement and special mesh products, through to advanced 3D detailing and prefabrication services. Midland steel have the technical capability and capacity regardless of size or complexity, to supply any reinforced concrete project. For more information visit:

On The Level are a Bedfordshire-based manufacturer of modular bathroom floors. We specialise in providing solutions for our clients, and with over 30 years’ experience we are trusted by the UK’s leading names in offsite manufacturing covering hospitality and leisure, residential, healthcare and MOD sectors. Our fully waterproofed systems are proven to speed up factory installation processes, whilst minimising risk and reducing overall cost. We offer design guidance to offsite consultants, architects and manufacturers who deliver projects using modern methods of construction including bathroom pods, volumetric and factory-built houses. For more information visit:


Quik Drive The world’s most advanced screw system. ®

Fast, easy to use and jam-free. There’s no quicker way to install screws into decking, floors, walls or ceilings. Building Safer, Stronger Structures. Connect with us: 01827 255600 | | @strongtieUK Call Phil Chambers (Quik Drive Manager) on: 07971 147961 or email:

0117 959 2008 | | With a huge passion for the construction industry, we are the UK’s leading recruitment consultancy for the MMC / offsite sector and it’s supply chain. • Exclusive vacancies • Permanent | Contract | Executive Search • Staff who are experts in their field • We work with award winning companies from market leaders to start ups Visit to download your free copy of our industry salary guide. @arvsolutions


Reco panels are the answer to tiling for Modular Construction. Our panels are invented and manufactured in the UK and are 50 – 65% cheaper than tiling. They are 80% quicker to fit than tiles, 100% waterproof and recyclable and they hold a 10 year guarantee. We can provide bespoke design with perfect consistency in finish and pre-cut to mm precision. Will not fall off in transit or in construction and have the added benefit of no wet trades. For more information visit:

ROCKWOOL Limited is part of the ROCKWOOL Group. With one factory based in Bridgend, South Wales and over 500 employees across the UK, we are the local organisation offering a full range of high-performing and sustainable insulation products for the construction industry. Rockwool’s expertise is perfectly suited to tackle many of today’s biggest sustainability and development challenges, from energy consumption to noise pollution and fire resilience. The Rockwool product range reflects the diversity of the world’s needs, while supporting its stakeholders in reducing their own carbon footprint. For more information visit:

TopHat is the UK’s leader in technology-driven modular housing manufacturing, integrating the stages of the construction process into one digital platform. TopHat’s flexible design framework offers a broad range of home types, designs and specifications. With a commitment to using technology to drive ever greater integration of design, supply chain and production, TopHat has created a scalable platform to enable fast growth in the output of new homes and serve customers across Britain, including councils, RSLs and private developers at all levels of specification. This technology-driven approach has the potential to make a significant impact on the UK’s housing shortage. For more information visit:


Through design, innovation and customer focus, Veka have continued to be the UK’s number one window systems company servicing the commercial, education, private and social housing sectors, as well as providing packages for trade users. Originally founded in Germany, Veka now have factories, offices, mixing plants, extrusion and lamination lines worldwide with more than 35 manufacturing and sales sites around the globe, including facilities across Europe, Asia, the Americas and Russia. For more information visit:

‘Smart Architectural Aluminium’ has grown to become the UK’s leading supplier of aluminium glazing systems and bespoke aluminium extrusions, as well as attaining a reputation for both the quality of their products and for their innovation, design and technical expertise. The products and systems ‘Smart Architectural Aluminium’ produce are proven in a wide range of new-build and refurbishment projects throughout the UK, spanning the complete range of architectural, commercial, public, new-build and retail applications. For more information visit:

Wernick Buildings is the UK’s oldest independent manufacturer and supplier of permanent modular buildings, with five Divisional offices covering England, Scotland and Wales. We offer a full turnkey service and can take full responsibility for your building from conception to completion. Putting your project in our hands gives you one point of contact to ensure a high level of customer service. The steel framed modular systems designed by Wernick Buildings have the flexibility to provide accommodation solutions in a wide range of sectors, including education, healthcare, custodial and even specialist requirements. It’s a proven concept that’s more costeffective than traditional building in every respect. For more information visit:




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


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


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

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

DATES FOR YOUR DIARY IN 2020 If you are interested in learning more about offsite construction and the associated manufacturing processes then the following industry events may be of interest: 29 January

Focus on Framing Seminar

The Building Centre, London

Hosted by the Light Steel Frame Association (LSFA), a series of Focus on Framing Seminars will bring together professionals from across the industry to gain insights and network with those who are shaping the future of light steel framing. 03-05 March


ExCeL, London

Over 27,000 industry influencers and shapers visit this event with world class knowledge programme alongside an immersive exhibition of 450 innovative and inspiring brands and a host of networking events. 31 March

Emerging Realities

ExCeL, London

This combined conference and exhibition is responding to the construction industry’s need to support and encourage digital innovation and digital engineering (AR/VR), innovative processes (robotics/automation) and new materials. The event will address FOUR main subject areas and challenges; Socio-demographic, Economic, Technology and Environmental. 28-29 April

2020 Offsite


Taking place on 28 & 29 April 2020 in London. The combined conference and exhibition will showcase groundbreaking offsite construction solutions and focus on the latest developments, innovations and investments in the offsite sector across a range of vertical markets.

By Boldesign for Radar Communications

13 May

Tall Buildings Conference


Back by popular demand, Tall Buildings Conference is returning on 13 May 2020 in London and will assist engineers in understanding the common challenges associated with transferring standard engineering principles and knowledge from low-rise structures to tall buildings. 13 May

Tall Buildings Awards

Tall Buildings Awards

16 June

2020 Tall Buildings Awards

Tall Buildings Awards 2020


Tall buildings present unique challenges in terms of both design and construction. Their sheer scale demands that particular attention is paid simultaneously to strategic and detailed issues. NEW FOR 2020 - Tall Buildings Awards is taking place on 13 May 2020 in London and will highlight design and building technology innovation in the UK high-rise sector. ENTRY DEADLINE: 28.02.20 Climate Emergency


NEW for 2020 Climate Emergency Conference is taking place on 16 June 2020 in Manchester. The event is designed to debate and share the work and ideas the construction sector is undertaking/implementing to decrease the sector’s carbon emissions - to ensure the construction industry helps to tackle climate change and meet Government targets by 2050.

22-232020 Sept

Offsite Expo


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

Ricoh Arena, Coventry

Tall Buildings Awards

Tall Buildings Awards 2020

EXP Tall


INNOVATION Awards 2020


22 Sept

Offsite Construction Awards

Ricoh Arena, Coventry

Relocated as part of Offsite Expo, the Offsite Construction Awards will take place on 22 September 2020 at the Ricoh Arena, Coventry and will reward outstanding examples of prefabrication and factory-based methods, products, systems and disciplines that increasingly strive to develop a sustainable, streamlined and cost-effective way to deliver a better built environment. ENTRY DEADLINE: 15.05.20 07 October

Structural Timber Awards


Returning for its sixth year on 07 October 2020 in Birmingham, there has already been a large amount of attention focused on the 2020 Structural Timber Awards. The Awards once again will reward excellence, celebrate expertise in timber technology and the ways it contributes to an attractive, energy efficient and sustainable built environment. ENTRY DEADLINE: 29.05.20 20 October

Modular Matters


Returning to Birmingham on 20 October 2020, Modular Matters – in partnership with Modular & Portable Building Association (MPBA) - 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 ground-breaking clients. 24-25 Nov

Construction Productivity


Taking place on 24 & 25 November 2020 in London - this event will gather together those who have the skills to define a roadmap to create a climate for change. With statistics finding only 64% of the hours worked deemed to be productive - the event will focus on new technologies, logistics, supply chains and materials management together with developing human resources to establish a workforce that is fit for the future.



Quality precast concrete manufacturers... for a great range and even greater value Elite Precast Concrete are one of the UK’s leading precast concrete manufacturers combining the highest levels of customer service with always being the best value option. Our focus is on driving down the cost base and then passing these savings onto our customers. This enables us to provide constant and predictable price structures which in turn underpin our ethos of developing customer relationships over the long term. Every product we make is cast from the same premium quality, high strength (50N/mm2) concrete. We were also the first and by far the largest manufacturer of interlocking blocks for various temporary works; fire breaks; retaining, blast and push walls and also, by offering three block types, you can be certain that we have the solution you are looking for.

For more information on Elite quality concrete products phone 01952 588 885 or browse

SMARTER, FASTER, QUALITY CONSTRUCTION Market leaders in Modular Residential, Hotel and Student developments



Tide Construction is a leading property development

Vision Modular Systems embraces offsite

and contracting company utilising both traditional

construction by manufacturing turnkey modules for

and modular construction. Key benefits of our system

the construction industry using lean processes and

include reduced construction programmes, less

techniques. The use of these innovative methods

onsite disruption, an earlier return on investment

results in superior standards in quality, sustainability,

and enhanced sustainability.

regulatory compliance, health and safety.

All Tide Construction and Vision Modular projects are fully fundable, mortgageable and insurable.




HOLLOWAY ROAD, ISLINGTON - 257 student beds




13 storeys



9 month total construction programme