Offsite Magazine - Issue 7 (September/October)

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BROADMOOR HOSPITAL The multi-award winning precast concrete development


BIM Digital design and maximising building efficiency


ROUND-TABLE REPORT Offsite debate and understanding sector progress




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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 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 issue of Offsite Magazine. Recent weeks have seen offsite headlines focus on the Government’s response to Mark Farmer’s influential Modernise or Die report from October 2016. The response includes a summary of the Government’s position on the 10 key points laid out by Mark Farmer on some fundamental – and long standing – problems the construction industry has. For the future economic and productive stability of the UK, the approach of Government and for many operating within the construction industry, changes are required and for the most part the Government has broadly agreed. Everyone within construction circles agrees that renewal and rejuvenation are required – certainly the CITB has had a wake-up call – but as within several landmark reports (Egan, Latham et al) that have scrutinised the construction industry, taking all the talk and making it reality will be tough – and that is without the inevitable post-Brexit economic instability.

Some of the finest exponents of offsite were rewarded at the Offsite Awards this year. We have picked out several winners in detail and in particular, the multi-award winning Broadmoor Hospital, that won many plaudits and was judged the overall Winner of Winners. Kier Construction and partners

go a long way to prove what precast concrete can really deliver on a highprofile healthcare project. We also feature Vison and Pocket Living’s award-winning modular design at Juxon and Sail Street in Lambeth. As we went to press Pocket Living had just received news of funding support from Mayor of London Sadiq Khan, who has invested £25 million into an affordable housing scheme which will deliver hundreds of new homes using offsite construction. The cash injection comes from the Mayor’s £3.15 billion Innovation Fund and will be used alongside £33.5 million of funding from the Homes and Communities Agency. The funding will support delivery of 1,059 affordable one and two-bedroom homes for first-time buyers. Great news and alongside the Government’s positive messaging surrounding Modernise or Die, it is hugely encouraging to see that the Mayor of London has listened, been open-minded and is keen to see what offsite construction can deliver in the Capital. Across the UK it will need a similar change in mindset, supply chain development and construction habits to do the same. Special thanks to all our contributors, advertisers and supporters including Actavo for our cover story. Enjoy.

Gary Ramsay

Consultant Editor Email:








Actavo | Building Solutions designs, manufactures and installs state-of-the-art modular buildings and has been active in a range of sectors for many years. They have recently been busier than ever with a major new factory and jobs expansion alongside a range of eye-catching new projects.

Judged as the winner of the Best Use of Concrete, Best Healthcare Project and the overall Winner of Winners at the Offsite Awards 2017, the scheme to redevelop Broadmoor Hospital by Kier Construction proves what precast concrete used in a hybrid solution with steel can really deliver.





The seventh National BIM Report from NBS was published recently with its annual NBS National BIM Survey, giving a snapshot of the trends and changes driving the world of digital design in the UK. We also hear from Metsec and Prater on their BIM activity.

To try and understand more about the ways the offsite sector is developing, a Round-table Event hosted by light gauge steel frame specialists EOS Facades, gathered together some key figures to discuss offsite manufacture’s current progress and its future direction.



08 | Offsite News News and developments from across the UK & International offsite industries and wider construction arena including: the inaugural meeting of Constructing Excellence’s new Offsite Forum, M&E work at Canary Wharf and the new CITB head responds to industry change.

22 | Moving the Industry Forward Since it publication in 2016, Modernise or Die – Mark Farmer’s Review of the UK Construction Labour Model – has been hailed as a landmark report into the construction sector and for the potential for wider adoption of offsite manufacture. The Government recently published a response to its recommendations.

28 | Best in Class: Offsite Awards 2017 The Offsite Construction Awards once again celebrated the best in precision building design and delivery recently by showcasing innovation, best practice and recognising overall expertise in offsite construction. Here is a quick run through our 2017 winners. 52 | Peak Performance Farnborough College of Technology is a statement building incorporating the benefits of cross laminated timber (CLT), glulam beams and timber cassettes – all combining to create a modern teaching and learning facility. 54 | Optimum Selection for Efficient Modular Design Volumetric modular construction has gained considerable momentum over the past 3-5 years in the UK due to its positive impact on cost, programme, quality and safety. Darren Richards, Managing Director of Cogent Consulting illustrates how best to optimise it’s use. 58 | A Vision of Future Living Juxon and Sail Street in Lambeth are a two-block affordable housing project built to Pocket Living’s award-winning design and constructed using Vision Modular System’s steel framed modules. 62 | Offsite Fabrication: Quick and Efficient Glazing Mark Robinson of Sapa, discusses how an offsite approach to glazing and precast concrete, can result in significant savings when designing student accommodation where specifiers often find themselves working within a tight budget. 70 | Embedding Sustainable Thinking As the concept of the circular economy challenges organisations to re-think how their resources are managed to create financial, environmental and social benefits, the new BS 8001 has been launched to guide the way. 72 | Going for Growth A new report from WPI Economics examines some of the commonly understood benefits of offsite construction but also makes some strong economic arguments for its expanded use across the UK. 74 | ecobuild 2018: Offsite District ecobuild 2018 will see the offsite focus expand with the Offsite Construction District that will include more exhibitors and have masterclasses showcasing the latest offsite innovations alongside industry partners such as the Structural Timber Association, the Modular and Portable Building Association and British Precast.




MAKING MODULAR THE MAINSTREAM Actavo Building Solutions designs, manufactures and installs state-of-the-art modular buildings and has been active in a range of sectors for many years. They have recently been busier than ever with a major new manufacturing facility and workforce expansion alongside a range of eye-catching new projects.

1 Actavo – the UK’s fastest-growing modular building company for the past three years – has recently expanded its presence with the opening of a new 120,000 sq ft manufacturing facility in Hull, creating over 30 new jobs. The new factory, located at 30 Freightliner Road is now producing bespoke, state-ofthe-art modular accommodation for a variety of sectors, including education, healthcare, construction, commercial, rail and defence. Speaking at the launch, CEO of Actavo | Structural Division, Roger Hastie said: “This opening takes place against the backdrop of a revolution in the building industry, where modern methods of construction are increasingly being embraced. Faster, cost-effective and more flexible, there is now a groundswell of support for modular construction’s ability to address many of the challenges we face in terms of supply and demand for accommodation in both the public and private sectors.


The dramatic increase in the number of orders being taken by the team meant that it was only a matter of time before we needed to look for a bigger and better facility that could accommodate that surge in demand.” Jobs Matthew Goff, Operations Director for Actavo | Building Solutions, said the company was delighted to be establishing its new factory and generating employment in Hull. He added that the number of new jobs at the manufacturing facility would rise over the next 12 months. Providing a rationale for locating in Hull, Matthew Goff cited: “The critical mass of industry and the skilled workforce in the city and surrounding areas and looking forward to a period of sustained growth added: “Our new premises is also strategically located, adjacent to the A116 Ring Road on the western side of Hull city centre, which is ideal for an offsite construction company.”

Goff, who was recently shortlisted for the Institute of Directors’ ‘Young Director of the Year’ Award 2017 for Yorkshire and North East, is understandably proud of his team: “As a business, we have always sought to lead from the front. In addition to being the UK’s fastest-growing modular building company for 2014, 2015 and 2016, we were one of the first modular building companies to fully implement BIM Level 2 into our business. We continually challenge ourselves to think of innovative ways to do more. Working in BIM, we understand the benefits of Design for Manufacture and Assembly (DfMA) which allows us to simplify and standardise our assembly process but still remain flexible in terms of bespoke projects.”

Chairman and CEO of Actavo, Sean Corkery, commented that while the attention around any new factory launch is understandably on construction and innovative design techniques, his team’s focus was ultimately on: “the thousands of families, workers, teachers, pupils, students, healthcare professionals, patients, defence force members and others who will benefit from using these modular buildings into the future.” Actavo’s portfolio of modular solutions include designing and building bespoke single and multi-storey facilities comprising office space, ICT suites, administrative hubs, hospital wings, paediatric units, classroom blocks, science labs, kitchens and dining areas, leisure facilities, nurseries and soft play areas, lobbies, external canopies, extensions, retail units, and student and


COVER STORY ACTAVO TONBRIDGE GRAMMAR SCHOOL Tonbridge Grammar School in Deakin Leas, Tonbridge, gained access to its modular building after just 26 weeks onsite, to meet the demand for pupil places quickly and efficiently. Designed to inspire and motivate pupils, Actavo created the ‘IBarn’ – a brand-new, twostorey, sixth form hub created to improve pupil facilities and respond to rapid student growth. Rosemary Joyce, Tonbridge Grammar School’s Head Teacher, said: “Actavo has provided us with a sixth form facility that has the perfect balance between form and function. The contemporary feel of the ‘IBarn’, careful use of glass provides both students and teaching staff with an open, spacious and well ventilated space which supports the focus on collaborative, independent and reflective learning that is a feature of our school. “The study centre also provides the ideal learning space for those preparing for university and enabled refurbishment of the vacated classrooms, facilitating more flexible space for our talented musicians. As well as being architecturally attractive, our new modular facility is an aspirational space to both work and study. Proving the cost-effective and speedy solutions offsite construction offers in no way takes away from the quality of the final building.”

defence force accommodation. As well as already securing places on the NHS and various local authority frameworks this year, Actavo has also won numerous educational, leisure and corporate modular building projects in London, Yorkshire, Durham, Dorset, Hampshire, Bristol and Kent. Striking One of the most striking projects that Actavo | Building Solutions has been involved in this summer is Yorkshire Wildlife Trust’s new purpose-built visitor facility at Spurn National Nature Reserve, East Riding of Yorkshire, which is due to open in Spring 2018. The Discovery Centre has been purpose-designed to match both the unpredictable demands of the natural environment and the dual role it will play in safeguarding both it’s wildlife and the tens of thousands of visitors who travel there each year. Build features include a flood-resilient lower floor encased by recycled concrete gabion baskets, a ‘living’ roof to attract native wildlife, and bird-friendly glazed curtain walls offering breathtaking views of the estuary.


3 The modular units, provided by Actavo, will include café facilities and an education space for school groups, alongside wildlife viewing and visitor interpretation displays offering information on the variety of wildlife to be found in the reserve together with information about renewable energy and Spurn’s rich heritage. Commenting on the visitor facility, Matthew Goff pointed to the benefits of being in close proximity to Actavo’s new factory in nearby Hull, and said his team was: “delighted to be providing Yorkshire Wildlife Trust with a truly bespoke modular solution in such a renowned nature reserve.” Growth The last two years have been busy for Actavo. In that time, the company has grown significantly, having undergone a major corporate rebrand (bringing together Roan Building Solutions, Roankabin, Deborah Services Ltd, Sierra Support Services, PDC, Eventserv, Siteserv and Siteserv Access & Formwork under one corporate identity), undertaken a strategic acquisition in the USA, established international joint ventures, entered new markets and sectors, opened new depots and offices across the UK and

4 Ireland, and created almost 1,500 new jobs in the process (surpassing the 6,000 mark in early-2017). Matthew Goff believes that the offsite construction industry as a whole can look forward to a similarly intense period of growth over the coming years. “The many facets to modular building’s edge on old-fashioned methods – for example, sustainability, design flexibility, speed of build, minimal onsite disruption, time and cost-certainty and cost-effectiveness – are all dwarfed by what clients really value, namely quality. A contender for so long, the offsite arena is really only beginning to hit its stride. I’m confident that by delivering high-quality buildings, time after time, modular is set to become the norm.” For more information visit: Images: 01. Pictured at the official opening of Actavo’s new manufacturing facility in Hull were (left-right): Sean Corkery (CEO and Chairman, Actavo), Matthew Goff (Operations Director, Actavo | Building Solutions), Cllr John Hewitt (Lord Mayor of Kingston Upon Hull), and Roger Hastie (CEO Actavo | Structural Division) 02&03. Actavo is extremely active in the education and healthcare sectors 04. Spurn National Nature Reserve is due to open in Spring 2018



OFFSITE NEWS Offsite First for Constructing Excellence

Volumetric Holiday Inn Completes in Manchester A new 220-bedroom Holiday Inn Express, built offsite from steel shipping containers, has been completed at Manchester’s Trafford City. It is the first hotel in the North West to be built using this particular type of volumetric modular construction. The hotel, located next to Manchester’s EventCity venue on a 1.75 acre site, is a joint venture between Topland, Marick and Mill Lane Estates and is the first Holiday Inn Express ‘Generation 4’ in the UK to be built using a modular construction process.

Constructing Excellence (CE), the independent platform for improvement across the construction industry, held the inaugural meeting of its new Offsite Forum at Fusion Building Systems’ design and manufacturing facility in Northampton in August. Seventeen members of the CE Offsite Forum met to learn about Fusion’s light gauge steel system, tour its offsite manufacturing facility and further discussions around how CE might influence the adoption of offsite construction methods throughout the industry, and in particular via its membership. Fusion Head of Business Development Robert Clark, presented the company’s proposition, explaining in detail the design and manufacturing process for building superstructures which are used by some of the UK’s largest developers in residential housebuilding and multi-storey accommodation. Robert stressed the importance of having integrated supply chain models for offsite partnerships to work effectively, and the need for the industry to take a product-led, rather than project-led approach. This view was echoed by members of the Forum who recognised the need for long-term collaborative working. Following the presentation, CE delegates were taken on a tour of Fusion’s manufacturing facility where they witnessed how light gauge steel was transformed from a raw material into floor and wall ‘cassettes’ ready for erection on building sites nationwide. The tour also included a demonstration of Fusion’s patented insulation system, pre-insulating panels with a fire-retardant product before they’re delivered to site. “The delegates who attended as part of the Constructing Excellence visit were some of the most influential in the industry,” said Robert Clark. “For many, this was their first hands-on experience of an offsite facility and the opportunity to examine in detail,


the products, processes, opportunities and challenges which a future shaped around offsite construction presents.” Forum members went on to discuss how the industry needs to shift its focus to a new delivery model – one which has increased standardisation and pre-manufactured content, with digitally-enabled, integrated teams and client-led procurement. Darren Richards Managing Director of the UK’s leading offsite construction consultancy, Cogent Consulting and Co-Chair of the CE Offsite Forum added: “Engaging directly with the offsite supply chain is an important ingredient in developing the future offsite industry strategy for CE. Sessions of this nature open the eyes of members that are not familiar with manufacturing environments and lead to a much greater understanding of what makes an offsite manufacturing facility tick. The most important aspects to come out of this excellent visit was the clear understanding of the need for early client engagement and the need to focus design teams on the principles if Design for Manufacture and Assembly (DfMA). Feedback from the visiting group was excellent and we are most grateful to Fusion for facilitating this session.” CE’s Offsite Forum members in attendance were; Darren Richards, Cogent Consulting; Brian Morris, BCM Consulting; Jackie Casey, Success Train; Trevor Richards, Cogent Consulting; John Skivington, LHC; Jon Lorimer, JLo Innovation; Mark Beirne, Birch Collaboration; Peter McDermott, Salford University; Robert Stacey, Heathrow Airport; Rob Ewen, Heathrow Airport; Graham Robinson, Pinsent Masons; Phil Henry, Polypipe; Maya Jani, Heathrow Airport; Ashley McGoldrick, Westfield; Don Ward, Constructing Excellence; Alison Nicholl, BRE. Source: :

Chapman Taylor’s Manchester studio, alongside the main contractor, Bowmer & Kirkland, developed the detailed design for the offsite hotel adopting a completely different design process, which was informed by the modular provider’s system. All 220 guestrooms have been constructed offsite from purpose-built steel shipping containers complete with fully factory-finished interior furniture, fixtures and fittings, including carpets, curtains, wallpaper and full-height windows. Following their delivery to site, the 125 modules were individually stacked on an in-situ built podium structure, meaning all 220 guest rooms were installed within a four week period. The modules arrived on site mid-November 2016 and were all in place by December 2016. Chapman Taylor developed a fully co-ordinated BIM model to inform the detailed design and enable the offsite fabrication to commence in line with the ambitious programme. Each module contained two fully-furnished en-suite guestrooms, complete with all building services including the light fittings. The rooms were orientated within each module to mirror one another across the corresponding section of corridor. The outer corrugated steel finish of each shipping container incorporated a vapour control layer allowing the building to achieve watertightness within a short period. The finished external envelope was then applied using a pre-finished rain screen cladding and single ply roofing system. Chapman Taylor Director, Andy Carroll commented: “This is the first modular hotel that the practice has delivered and it has been built on time and to budget. Moving forward we are excited about continuing to build on our expertise in offsite fabrication and construction methods which offer innovative new building solutions for the future.” Source:


OFFSITE NEWS SES Busy on Landmark Canary Wharf Residential Project

Knauf Insulation Launches New Automated System

Mineral wool insulation manufacturer, Knauf Insulation, has launched the UK’s first system to automate the installation of blown glass mineral wool during offsite manufacturing. Supafil Frame could shave hours off the process of insulating modular homes. It blows un-bonded glass mineral wool into wall panels at the point of manufacture and can reduce the time it takes to create a single panel while limiting waste and improving quality.

SES Engineering Services (SES), has won a multimillion pound contract to install its award-winning prefabricated service cupboards on a dual residential scheme at the New District of Canary Wharf, at the 42-storey residential building, 10 Park Drive and a 14-storey private rental development. SES has been appointed by Canary Wharf Contractors Limited. Building on its extensive offsite manufacturing experience in the Southern region, SES is due to provide full mechanical and electrical (M&E) services, including the creation and installation of its service cupboards to 519 apartments. SES will utilise its engineering expertise and dedicated offsite manufacturing facility, Prism, to design and deliver each of the cupboards which incorporate all essential M&E plant and equipment. The service cupboards include a heat interface unit, a heat recovery unit, cooling interface unit, underfloor heating manifolds, BT Home Hub and space for a washing machine. By creating the cupboard modules offsite, SES has avoided multiple trades onsite working in a congested area, along with the associated logistical and health and safety issues. The win represents a major milestone for SES’ Southern operation and is testament to the company’s reputation for delivering innovative, cost and time saving offsite manufacturing solutions on logistically challenging city-centre projects. SES was only last year awarded a major contract with Canary Wharf Contractors Limited to provide shell and core mechanical services across all 26 floors of the One Bank Street banking and office building.


David Jenkins, SES’ Regional Director South, said: “This project win demonstrates that SES is firmly considered as one of the most trusted M&E partners in the region. We’re proud to have been appointed once again by Canary Wharf Contractors Limited and are excited by the challenge of delivering our biggest ever order of prefabricated cupboards, an innovation borne from the factory floor of our Prism facility.

Developed in conjunction with Stewart Milne Timber Systems (SMTS), it saves offsite manufacturers time by removing the need to cut and install conventional rolled mineral wool or rigid board insulation in each panel. This makes the production process quicker while ensuring that there are no gaps in the insulation, which can significantly reduce performance. In contrast to ‘wet’ blown systems that use plastic-based insulation and can only be installed within a fixed temperature window, Supafil Frame works at room temperature all year round. The virgin glass mineral wool used in Knauf Insulation’s proprietary system has a Euroclass ‘reaction to fire’ rating of A1 non-combustible. The mineral wool can also be compressed by 72% – meaning it takes up a third of the space both in transit and storage compared to plastic based insulants.

“Given the scale of this project, these two high-rise towers present another unique logistical challenge and are the perfect programme to harness SES’ offsite expertise. Our Prism facility is at the forefront of M&E installations, meaning we can offer the most effective solutions to even the most technically complex projects, adding real value to our clients so we’re delighted to be able to demonstrate this again on this scheme.”

Asif Dar, Technical Support Team Manager at Knauf Insulation, said: “The surge in popularity of modular construction is partly the result of the wider industry’s aim to plug the shortfall in the UK’s housing stock. But it relies on all of the processes being as efficient and quick as possible. We worked with SMTS to implement a system that would reduce the time needed to install insulation, improve thermal, acoustic and fire performance and reduce waste.”

Set to broaden and extend the Canary Wharf Estate, adding to its vibrancy and continually expanding cultural, community and commercial offer, the New District represents one of central London’s’ largest privately owned development sites extending to 22 acres.

Supafil Frame has achieved a Gold rating for indoor air comfort from independent test body Eurofins, certifying that it is an outstanding material according to indoor air quality emissions regulations. It has also been shortlisted in the Product Innovation category in this year’s Structural Timber Awards and Building Awards.

SES Engineering Services, also recently secured two M&E contracts worth approximately £10m to deliver two new schools and community centres at Newbattle Community Campus and the Loanhead Centre. In a busy period, SES also recently promoted National Services Director Jason Knights to become new Managing Director.

Speaking about the Supafil solution and associated installation methodology, Stewart Dalgarno, director of product development at Stewart Milne Group, added: “We are really proud to be the first in the UK to invest in this innovative technology. We feel we are leading the way and are excited to see how it develops over the coming years.”




OFFSITE NEWS Under Pressure CITB Ready to Reform

“We all know our industry faces significant challenges to deliver its pipeline of work and raise its performance. Crucial to this is attracting, developing and retraining skilled people. This will get harder with an ageing workforce and the likely change in approach to migrant workers as part of Brexit. “The review being led by Paul Morell has indicated that the CITB should be retained but needs significant reform. As its new chief executive, I agree with this and have my foot down hard on the accelerator to make this happen. We still have to secure industry’s agreement to continue with the levy, but we are working hard to secure it this summer. If we achieve this, we will have the launch pad to really make a difference. But more importantly, construction is now talking more seriously about modernisation and I will ensure that the CITB is a key part of that conversation.

Sarah Beale was appointed Chief Executive of CITB in July after a period as Acting Chief Executive. Speaking in a CITB Blog she outlined how things will change under her leadership as much recent speculation has been made of the organisation’s structure and industry effectiveness.

“I also shared our vision with the CLC for how a new CITB can work closely with our industry to help it to achieve its goals. The first part of this is behaving differently. We will be much more transparent and accountable, working with employers to agree the outcomes we are targeting and the yardsticks to judge our success. We will also be more responsive. To give you one example: for a much larger part of

the funding we provide, we will work with industry to agree the outcomes and then commission bids to deliver them. “We are also reforming what we do and how we do it. We will now have a much sharper focus under the three headings of careers, standards and qualifications, and training and development. We will only intervene where we are best placed to make a difference. Last month’s sale of our awarding body – Cskills Awards – was a demonstration of this, but there will be more changes to come. “We will be more forward-looking and evidencebased in how we agree what needs to be done and how to go about it. For example, our report on offsite construction identified the skills and actions needed to realise its opportunities, while our migration research will give industry and government the evidence base to address this complex issue. “This isn’t the first time construction has discussed modernisation and I am not the CITB’s first leader to promise reform. But the prize for success and the risks from failure are now so great that we must act now.” Source:



OFFSITE NEWS Staircraft Moves into I-Joist Manufacture

Offsite a Major Theme at UKCW

Staircraft, one of the UK’s largest cut floor kit providers have announced they are now manufacturing I-Joists under their new brand. The new I-Joist manufacturing facility, situated in Coventry, enhances a complete integrated solutions service, for staircases and floor systems with all key components manufactured in-house across the group. The TRUfloorsystems I-Joist is available in fully designed and packaged house kits with ancillary products, including weatherproof decking, or in a full range of longer lengths and depths for third party cutting or fabrication. To maximise efficiency, customers are also offered market leading design software continuously developed within the Group. Available in depths from 200 to 500mm, in standard lengths of 11m and 13m and shorter length specifications, the new I-Joist will feature a bespoke OSB web and quality softwood flanges. The new high technology production line will also allow for further innovation and built-in enhanced performance to the standard joist. Andy Hamilton, Staircraft Founder and Managing Director commented: “Nothing much has changed since I-Joists were invented 48 years ago. Our investment in a high technology, bespoke production line, enables us to take I-Joist performance to a new level. Our new capability will enable us to significantly increase performance by eliminating web joints, the weakest area, greatly improving the web/flange connection strength and even build a camber into the joists to reduce deflection in the floor. This innovation will future proof our offering to the market.” Staircraft are Europe’s largest manufacturer of staircases. The 250-strong team operate from four factories in the Midlands, with plans to open four more in 2017. In the last five years, the team have achieved a four-fold increase in revenue, which has positioned them as the sixth fastest growing company in Coventry and Warwickshire over the last three years. Source:


UK Construction Week (UKCW) the largest gathering of the UK’s built environment community announces its return to Birmingham NEC from 10 – 12 October 2017, where it will host the most popular event in the construction calendar. A major theme at this year’s event will be offsite construction. There will be a dedicated theatre programme supported by the Modular and Portable Building Association (MPBA), while exhibitions will showcase the latest developments in the sector from industry experts including Portakabin, Containex, Tremco Illbruck, Tufeco and Wernick Group. The MPBA has been working closely with UK Construction Week and Radar Communications/ Explore Offsite to establish a major presence to promote this growing sector at the event. Jackie Maginnis, CEO of MPBA commented: “UK Construction Week represents a massive opportunity for the MPBA to educate the wider industry in the significant advantages of volumetric modular construction.”

UK Construction Week will seek to educate and inform a wide variety of construction professionals visiting the show about ongoing and future challenges, as well as the quality of products and components that all contribute to the success of this evolving industry. Industry experts will take to the stage to discuss and debate a range of hot topics, such as what volumetric construction is and its uses in education, healthcare and residential, and why offsite construction will become the way to build in the future. Special guest speakers include Andy King (MD, Wernick Buildings), Phil Smith (Senior Estates Advisor, NHS) Bob Mears (MPBA Marketing Committee), Michael Hunter (Hemsec SIPS), Steve Newell (Director, Portakabin), Tom Bloxham (Chairman of Urban Splash), Rory Bergin (Partner, Sustainable Futures), Jackie Maginnis (CEO MPBA) and Richard Hipkiss (MD, Digital Energy). Source:


OFFSITE NEWS Fold-up Homes Open for Business

Transportable and stackable homes are at the centre of new UK start-up Ten Fold Engineering. Based in Oxfordshire, they have created a concept for the ‘truly agile’ building that moves, self-unloads, folds and unfolds wherever needed. Ten Fold units are robust, long-life and well-insulated buildings designed to be moved and moved again but with the design and performance characteristics expected of a solid building. The units are built to BREEAM and LEED international standards and designed to comply with the broadest ranges of construction codes. Adjustable legs and outriggers allow the units to be deployed safely anywhere they are required, on unprepared, sloping or uneven ground. All the expansion occurs from the central chassis thus requiring only a modest footprint of firm ground. No site power supply or complementary machinery or labour is required. Homes can be transported by lorry and un-folded based on a patented system of counterbalanced levers and linkages whereby the house pulls out in approximately 10 minutes. Founder, chief executive and architect David Martyn, believes his concept could be a solution to some of the UK’s housing issues and also help those suffering from natural disasters across the globe. Speaking to the i Newspaper he said: “The problem we’ve got today is that the young can’t afford to buy anything


New Space for Newcastle University

and the older people can’t afford to trade down. So the idea of taking the building away from the land – that represents a saving of about 30%. The core unit is designed so that you could have internal pre-plumbed pods on the outside. The technology is modular so you can fit it to your needs.” Ten Fold’s linkages drive and guide the unfolding of the floors and side walls simultaneously allowing them to deploy extremely quickly and reversibly, using surprisingly little power. The linkage system is composed of simple components without hydraulics, complex locking mechanisms or feedback systems. The units are comprised of only three components: the chassis, the panels and the pods. All services are cassette-mounted so there is no hard-wiring or plumbing. Most components can be replaced without disruption to any other, ensuring easy and economic maintenance and upgrading and low redundancy. Most components in Ten Fold units are exchangeable and multi-functional, reducing the number of parts, increasing system efficiency and reducing waste.

Work is progressing at the new student accommodation for Newcastle University. Space Architects, as lead consultant/project architect, was appointed by Galliford Try to deliver the project costing approximately £68 million that will see rooms for 1,277 student made available. These will be housed in six individual accommodation blocks, each containing clusters of six to eight en-suite study bedroom apartments, which will share a lounge, kitchen and dining facilities. Established in 1834, Newcastle University has a mission to achieve a global reputation for academic excellence, and their new student village is a key strategic project to meet its growth targets for incoming students and is part of an overall University-wide strategy central to its future plans. The majority of the development is delivered using offsite manufactured modules. The first modules began arriving on site in early April and Paul Bandeen, Head of Residences at Newcastle University, said: “After a long period of careful planning, it’s extremely exciting to see the first modules arriving and the accommodation starting to take shape, the speed of which they can be installed is impressive.” Paul Milburn, Project Director, Galliford Try, added: “We’ve worked closely with all stakeholders to ensure the transition of module design conception to delivery and installation on site is as seamless as possible. The end scheme is something everyone can be proud of.”

Alongside the benefits of factory manufacture the homes include clever use of technology. “This is the first new bit of lever engineering in many hundreds of years,” said David. “That is a hugely positive step. It’s the ultimate bit of Victorian engineering but with the modern advantages of steel and things like that.”

The modules used in the development are manufactured by CIMC-MBS and are a result of collaboration between Space Architects, the University and Galliford Try. The new accommodation is due to be completed in August 2018.




OFFSITE NEWS Precast for Lancashire Police HQ Designed to be a landmark building and procured through Scape’s flagship £7 billion national construction framework, the new West Division headquarters is the largest investment in a new building Lancashire Police has ever made. Willmott Dixon has worked closely with PCE and its M&E contractor SES on the custody suite. PCE has also worked with Willmott Dixon on a number of its custody suites and were appointed as specialist contractor on a design and build basis. The leading international and interdisciplinary property consultants McBains Cooper are also providing architectural and engineering design services for Lancashire Constabulary. The three-storey headquarters, which combines office space with a custody suite will house a 42-cell custody suite, a public enquiry desk, an investigations hub, and a range of specialist teams to serve not just Blackpool but the whole of the Fylde coast, including Lancaster and Morecambe. The 1,020sq m facility consists of a number of reinforced precast concrete units consisting of 95 internal walls, 26 corridor walls, 52 duct units and 87 solid slabs. The overall

expected erection period onsite including finishing is eight weeks and the maximum number of PCE employees on site at any time will be no greater than 12. The aerial image shows the external 5m high sandwich panels, exercise areas and slabs sitting on the internal walls. A clear line of vision is essential to enable a clear line of vision for all corridors from the charge desk area. The type C finished sandwich

panels achieve a U-value of 0.27W/m²K with the window openings cast in for site fit-out of window units at a later date. The M&E openings were also incorporated into design and manufacture to allow louvres to pass through on the first floor. The stateof-the-art new HQ will replace Bonny Street Police Station when completed in 2018. Source:





Building Bloks Scale up Modular Living

Metsä Wood Launches ‘Open Source Wood’

Metsä Wood’s Open Source Wood initiative is a call to action to architects, designers and engineers to join forces, share innovation and contribute knowledge about large-scale, modular wood construction. By creating an open innovation platform around modular wood construction, Metsä Wood’s aim is to connect the local wood construction industry with global knowledge to facilitate collaboration and growth. Open Source Wood is a continuation of Metsä Wood’s project Plan B, launched in 2015 as an ambitious blueprint to explore the possibilities of using wood in urban construction. Metsä Wood’s Executive Vice President, Esa Kaikkonen, explains: “Not enough knowledge about modular wood design and building is shared, so wood construction remains niche. There is plenty of innovation but it is difficult to find, so Open Source Wood is our solution. We believe that with open collaboration the industry can achieve significant growth.” Seattle startup Blokable plans to use modular units – called Bloks – for new housing construction with the goal of cutting 30 to 50% off build time and saving developers approximately 10% on costs. The company’s single- and multi-family housing will be made of modular units ranging in lengths from 18 feet to 38 feet. Customers will also be able to add basic and premium bathrooms and kitchens, as well as other modular additions like stairs, railings, and window units. The price per square foot is expected to range from $150 to $300. Finished units are estimated to cost between $25,000 and $100,000, depending on size. Blokable’s CEO, Aaron Holm was a product manager for Amazon’s bookstores and also helped develop the checkout-less Amazon Go convenience concept said: “While I was working with Amazon on Amazon Go and Amazon Books I started to connect the inefficiencies of custom built architecture and construction with what I was seeing with homelessness and housing affordability in Seattle. There was a huge need for new housing but no


way to place an order. Every build was a custom job that started from scratch and took many months or years to build even the simplest of projects. The process was incredibly inefficient – like hiring a team of people to take a year to build you a car in your driveway. It seemed obvious that someone needed to build a housing product that could be ordered, built just in time in a factory, delivered on a truck, and installed onsite in a matter of months or weeks.” Bloks are built to meet or exceed current energy standards and because each Blok comes with advanced smart home technology, each controls the efficient use of electricity, water, and interior climate. Bloks can be stacked up to five stories or over a site built podium. Rather than targeting the luxury home market, Blokable plans to colonise affordable housing projects for students, teachers, and low-income families. Source:

The initiative takes its inspiration from open source ideology, championed by the software industry, to drive innovation further and faster and to increase speed to market. Metsä Wood is taking the first step by sharing its own intellectual property for modular Kerto® LVL wood elements, making them available freely for everyone. Additionally, Metsä Wood will award innovation in modular element design by offering 30k euro in prize money during 2017 to exceptional designs, submitted as part of the initiative, using its Kerto LVL material. Eric Karsh, an engineer at Vancouver-based Equilibrium Consulting, adds: “We fundamentally need to challenge the way we build. Timber technology is now progressing so fast that knowledge transfer is often the bottleneck. Those of us who have expertise have a responsibility to share, and the fastest way is an open source approach promoting knowledge and innovation from all corners of the world.” Learn more about Open Source Wood and how you can participate at:



INSIDE OFFSITE FACTORY TOUR PROGRAMME FILLING UP The Inside Offsite Factory Tour programme has already seen a busy 2017 with factory tours recently delivered on behalf of leading offsite manufacturers EOS Facades, FP McCann and Kingspan Timber Solutions, with the next tour scheduled to take place at EOS Facades 21 September.


1 Now part of Etex Building Performance – a new division of the Etex Group – EOS Facades combine their expertise with the solutions of two other prominent manufacturers – Siniat and Promat. The EOS Facades tour will guide visitors through the whole offsite manufacturing process from design to completion. Starting with a presentation by the estimating team of how the EOS ‘lump sum’ quote is generated, followed by a demonstration of EOS’ design software, leading to a tour of the factory showcasing the only Howick FRAMA machine in the UK. The factory manager will talk delegates through the quality control, labelling, floor coding and traceability processes rounding off with EOS/Siniat external through wall system types and samples of the finished EOS product.


EOS Facades Managing Director Steve Thompson says: “We were overwhelmed with the level of interest and the calibre of delegates who were keen to learn more about the benefits of light gauge steel frame. These tours have allowed us to personally meet so many construction professionals and pave the way to forming new partnerships.” The Inside Offsite series focuses on opening up the manufacturing facilities of some of the UK’s leading suppliers of offsite technologies including light gauge steel frame, timber frame, SIPS, precast concrete, pods or volumetric modular solutions. The tours are geographically spread throughout the UK, with a different technology and host each time. These half-day sessions include technology presentations as well as the physical tour itself and allow plenty of time for Q&A and networking.

3 Free to attend, these tours are designed for architects, contractors, developers and clients to learn about the manufacturing process, how a manufacturing business functions and to appreciate the requirements of design for manufacture and assembly (DfMA). All sessions account for five hours CPD time and a certificate of attendance is provided post-event. If you are interested in attending any of the Inside Offsite Factory Tours, go to to register your free place. If you are an offsite manufacturer and would like to find out more about hosting your own Inside Offsite tour, please contact Julie Richards at: julie. Images: 01. EOS Factory Tour 02-03. FP McCann Factory Tour


OFFSITE NEWS Protect Membranes Awarded STA Assure Gold Accreditation Protect Membranes, the construction and roofing membranes company, has been awarded the highest level of membership accreditation to the newly launched STA Assure scheme after assessment by the Structural Timber Association (STA). Achieving Gold Level status, this recognises the range of internal quality standards, management systems and external product performance certification a company holds to provide complete customer assurance in the construction, offsite build and timber frame build sectors. As the largest UK trade association within the structural timber sector, the STA has established three levels of accreditation to highlight the different specialisms and certification held by members Gold, Silver and Bronze. Formally recognised by two of the industry’s leading structural warranty and building control bodies, LABC Warranty and Premier Guarantee, STA Assure offers clients total supply chain transparency in future construction projects and a Gold Accreditation demonstrates the commitment of member companies to meet or even exceed current legislation and regulatory requirements.

As a product supply chain member of the STA, Protect Membranes fully meets the requirements of Gold Accreditation by offering an extensive range of independent certification and quality standards. This includes fully audited internal quality procedures to ISO 9001, ISO 14001 for sustainability procedures and OSHAS 18001 for H&S procedures. It also includes a comprehensive technical support service backed up by a thorough product performance testing programme to ensure CE Mark and Declaration of Performance compliance as well as third party independent certification to BM TRADA Q-Mark for its range of construction membranes, airtightness products and roofing underlays and accessories. John Mellor, Product Manager of Protect Membranes comments: “As a proud member of the STA, we are delighted to be awarded the STA Assure Gold Accreditation, the highest accolade that is achievable. Meeting this accreditation criteria gives us a platform to offer added reassurance to our customers.”

For details of how Protect products could be incorporated into your build, please visit, email or call 0161 905 5700, quoting ‘STA Assure’.




SUCCESS IN THE SOUTH WEST The inaugural Explore Offsite event in the South West got off to an auspicious start with over 150 delegates attending the conference and exhibition which took place at the Westpoint Arena and Exhibition Centre, Exeter.

The event brought together a range of offsite technology supply chain specialists and industry leaders to discuss the uptake of offsite construction in the region and the opportunities for developing regional offsite manufacturing capacity. Organised by Explore Offsite, with event partner Constructing Excellence South West (CESW) the event attracted product manufacturers, architects, engineers, contractors and clients together with several public-sector organisations. In his welcome, Andrew Carpenter, Chief Executive of Constructing Excellence South West, emphasised to the delegates that he believes we are now at a turning point in the industry, with significant opportunities for the region to embrace offsite construction technology through collaboration and knowledge sharing activity.


Most significant in the South West is Hinkley Point C – Europe’s largest construction project, which took centre-stage as a significant adopter of offsite construction to deliver the critical project infrastructure. ‘Powered Up to Deliver Accommodation at Hinkley Point C’ – presented by Peter Redshaw and Ian Russell of Premier Modular – illustrated how they are delivering offsite manufactured accommodation at Hinkley Point C to counteract the logistical and weatherrelated challenges encountered by a project of this size and scale. Nick Tune of CoBuilder, detailed the vast range of data present within the construction supply chain, in his presentation ‘Delivering the Digital O&M with BIM’. Nick urged the industry to collect data throughout the design and construction process and not just on completion, adding: “It is time to ‘set the data free’ – the use

of structured data sheets and asset tagging is a prerequisite to facilitate cost savings,” highlighting that offsite processes would enable greater BIM uptake and a much more efficient use of data assets. In his presentation, ‘Can Offsite Manufacturing Transform the HouseBuilding Industry?’ – Darren Richards, Managing Director of leading offsite construction consultancy, Cogent Consulting, outlined the ‘big three benefits’ of offsite construction – faster delivery, better quality and safer working sites. He highlighted the challenges of continued technology development and the underpinning of the offsite construction argument by better use of data capture to evidence the real benefits of changing the way we build. “We must win the ‘offsite argument’ for new housing based on hard facts not anecdotal evidence and ensure that the rationale for embracing


EXPLORE OFFSITE SOUTH WEST the various technology options is based on sound information/advice and not on the whim of the client or the project team.” ‘Custom Build and the Opportunities for the Offsite Housing Sector’, presented by Jon Sawyer of Igloo – illustrated that there is a need to improve the offsite market to meet custom-build demand. Igloo have created trios of designers, contractors and offsite manufacturers for custom-build housing projects. This method can be used for a single one-off home commissioned by an individual, through to a group of homes – all built by developers, but with the offer of bespoke design for the individual. John Skivington of LHC – a leading provider of free-to-use framework agreements used by local authorities, social landlords and other public sector bodies to procure works, products and services for the construction work on social housing and public buildings, outlined the scope of offsite for small site projects and build to rent schemes, exploring the need for new models of delivery for new housing supply. The UK government has set a target to deliver 200,000 affordable homes annually, equating to a £20 billion market sector and LHC framework provider F1 Modular, believe that there is a strong demand to develop high quality affordable housing and to deliver this target quickly using volumetric modular housing solutions. Wayne Morgan of F1 Modular covered ‘Offsite Housing Technology to Service the UK Housing Framework Requirements’ – explaining its ‘smarterquicker-faster’ philosophy. “The LHC New Homes Framework provides a unique opportunity for the public sector to directly procure volumetric modular offsite housing via a fully audited framework,” said Wayne. “F1 Modular is the only company to be awarded all eight regions of England and Wales for the delivery of volumetric offsite products under the framework and we are up for the challenge of meeting demand.” Focusing on other non-residential sectors, ‘Getting your Hotel ‘ShipShape’ – Container Volumetric’ - by John Colvin of Stride Treglown, explained how volumetric technology is supporting hotel design and presented examples of prefabricated hotel projects, revealing the architectural variety and the exciting potential of ‘Lego-like’ modular offsite construction.

There are many different solutions in the offsite product portfolio and ‘A Light Gauge Steel Frame (LGSF) Perspective for the Retirement Living Sector’ – delivered by David Ellison of SIGMAT & PAW Structures, was created to raise awareness of the benefits and applications of LGSF. LGSF offers significant improvements in design capability and as an offsite manufactured solution delivers both cost and programme certainty. One of the UK’s leading manufacturers of bathroom pods, Offsite Solutions are based in the South West. Roly Ward, Specification Manager at Offsite Solutions, spoke about their technology, sharing invaluable advice on ‘How to Specify Bathroom Pods to Drive Construction Efficiency.’ Roly explained how a new generation of ‘flat-pack’ panellised systems opened up new markets for higher quality products, such as the private rental sector and urged those choosing a bathroom pod to visit factories and talk to other customers about their experience. Finally, “The Imperative for Offsite” presented by Andrew Dobbs of Willmott Dixon showed how the construction industry could learn from the automotive industry and be inspired by its technological transformation. He said: “Offsite construction allows us to design, construct and operate better – the

problem that many clients have is the ‘low bar’ in terms of expectations of standards and quality…the time has come to move on.” Darren Richards of Cogent Consulting, closed the conference saying, “This event is an illustration of the potential for offsite techniques within the construction industry. It is there for the taking, and offsite manufacturing can directly address where the construction sector is underperforming in four key areas; productivity, certainty of delivery, skills shortage and data transparency. Offsite manufacture for onsite assembly can overcome these issues – offering predictability and time savings of up to 60% when compared to traditional construction building schedules.” The event collaboration between Explore Offsite and CESW is the first of many new offsite initiatives planned in the South West under a three-year agreement which will include the delivery of Inside Offsite Factory Tours, Offsite Round-table events, research around regional capacity and the development of new procurement models and legal contracts to reflect the dynamic nature of the offsite sector. For more information visit:





1 Since it publication in 2016, Modernise or Die – Mark Farmer’s Review of the UK Construction Labour Model – has been hailed as a landmark report into the construction sector and for the potential for wider adoption of offsite manufacture. The Government recently published a response to its recommendations. Possibly appearing sooner if not for the General Election earlier in the year, the response includes a summary of the Government’s position on the 10 key points laid out by Mark Farmer in his report that laid bare some fundamental – and long standing – failings of the construction industry. For the future economic and productive stability of the UK, the approach of Government and for many operating with the construction industry needs to change and restructure it habits and mindsets like never before. In the introduction to the response, Government ministers David Prior, Alok Sharma and Anne Milton say: “Since its publication in October (2016), we have been incorporating the review’s findings and recommendations into policy


development. In particular, Mark’s recommendations influenced the measures in the Housing White Paper to support increased housing supply, and helped inform the review of the Construction Industry Training Board (CITB). Alongside its recommendations to government, Modernise or Die poses a stark challenge to industry to up its game on skills, embrace new and more productive ways of working, ensure the quality of design and workmanship and be more innovative. The challenging context of an ageing workforce, alongside the need to deliver a step change in housing quality and output and major infrastructure improvements, highlights the importance of rising to this challenge.”

“Modernisation is not just about offsite construction it is about a much wider ‘design for manufacture and assembly’ ethos which brings lean thinking to construction and overcomes the non-collaborative failings of our industry in terms of fixation with bespoke design and construction separated from design by an inefficient transactional interface.” Mark Farmer


FARMER REVIEW GOVERNMENT RESPONSE Skills improvement were pivotal to Modernise or Die and the focus has fallen firmly on the CITB and the need for it to be comprehensively reviewed and reformed. The decision to retain the CITB and expand its importance is critical. The response says: “CITB has an important role to play in supporting the industry, including small businesses, to meet the challenges it faces, and the industry needs to provide stronger leadership to make sure it gets what it needs from the CITB. The CITB is now embarking on a major reform programme to reduce the size of the organisation and make it more focused on those aspects of the skills agenda where there is a clear market failure or where a collective approach to training can deliver real benefits to employers.”

“The UK is in real danger of accelerating workforce shrinkage creating capacity pressures not seen before in any previous economic cycle. There will come a point when this will potentially threaten the basic ability to deliver economic growth and critical national infrastructure programmes.” Mark Farmer “CITB can and should make an important contribution to the construction industry developing the skills it will need in a modernised future, including through its grant scheme. We recognise, though, that CITB can only do this effectively in the context of a wider industry commitment to modernisation, led by the Construction Leadership Council (CLC) and the professional and other industry bodies. The industry needs to support the development of standards and invest in providing apprenticeships, placements and training opportunities for people looking to develop the skills to work in the modernised, digitally-enabled industry of the future.” For the offsite sector the focus fell on Mark Farmer’s report Recommendation 8 that states Government should act to provide an ‘initiation’ stimulus to innovation in the housing sector by promoting the use of

pre-manufactured solutions through policy measures. This should be prioritised either through the conditional incentivisation of institutional development and investment in the private rented sector, the promotion of more premanufactured social housebuilding through Registered Providers, direct commissioning of pre-manufactured housing. It should also consider planning breaks for pre-manufactured approaches. The response outlines: “Government has announced over £25 billion of investment to increase housing supply. This investment is across a range of housing tenures and types that reflect the needs of different housing markets across the country. The Housing White Paper sets out measures to stimulate innovation and increase the use of modern methods of construction (MMC) in housebuilding, including: stimulating the growth of modern methods of construction through our Accelerated Construction programme and the Home Builders Fund, as well as wider support for Custom Build, Housing Associations and Build to Rent, Supporting a joint working group with lenders, valuers and the industry to ensure that mortgages are readily available across a range of tested methods of construction, Considering how the operation of the planning system is working for MMC developments; working with local areas who are supportive of this type of manufacturing to deliver growth, provide jobs, and build local housing more quickly alongside the Home Building Fund, considering the opportunities for offsite firms to access innovation and growth funding and support and the financial incentives for them to grow.

“The stakes are high here. Unlike in previous reports and reviews into the failings of our industry, my assertion is not that modernisation would be good and beneficial for our industry, it is that we now have no choice.” Mark Farmer

Across the board, the Government is mostly supportive of all recommendations in Modernise or Die apart from Farmer’s Recommendation 10 that centres around Government introducing a charge on business clients of the construction industry to influence commissioning behaviour and to supplement funding for skills and innovation at a level commensurate with the size of the industry – potentially at no more than 0.5% of construction value, with a clear implementation timetable.

“One of the outcomes of the publication of my review, alongside the emerging support from government for modular housing, has been an extraordinary uplift in media interest in offsite manufacturing.” Mark Farmer

“Government agrees that involvement of the construction industry’s clients in addressing underinvestment in skills and innovation is crucial to improving the sector’s productivity. However, the introduction of a client charge to encourage and fund modernisation could risk damaging developer confidence and increasing costs, at least in the short term.” For many construction industry insiders the big unresolved questions surround timescales. There has been much written, recommended and agreed on paper but the real pressure is on the industry bodies, those operating in the manufacturing and delivery supply chains to making the changes that have – on the most part it seems – been agreed by all. The full Government’s response can be found at: Images: 01. Factory manufacture may hold many answers to UK construction productivity. Courtesy Portakabin





Judged as the winner of the Best Use of Concrete, Best Healthcare Project and the overall Winner of Winners at the Offsite Awards 2017, the scheme to redevelop Broadmoor Hospital by Kier Construction proves what precast concrete used in a hybrid solution with steel can really deliver.

1 Broadmoor Hospital is one of three high-security psychiatric hospitals in England and is internationally recognised for its work with patients and extensive research activities and provides assessment, treatment and care for men in conditions of high security. The project consists of the construction of five buildings – including 10 wards with 164 bedrooms – within the grounds of a fully operational secure hospital and required a different approach to construction. An exact approach to quality was vital whilst the live site limited people movement and the remote location reduced labour availability. At tender stage Kier switched design from traditional ‘frame and façade’ to a 6,000 component precast concrete solution.


Building on experience of using precast concrete in the mental health and custodial sectors, Kier brought together a team that had successfully collaborated before (notably on HMP Oakwood which featured 14,000 precast components). The three new, precast ward buildings, central therapy building and entrance building, all meet the High Secure Building Design Guide, with the ward and entrance buildings all being built using over 6,000 components in a precast concrete frame. A large proportion of the mechanical and electrical (M&E) services were cast within the panels or componentised and installed as the buildings were erected, making construction even more efficient.

Rather than a traditional ‘turnkey’ offsite, Kier and supply chain partner PCE Hybrid’s approach to precast and hybrid frame solutions was to use the best components for the task. This requires a skilled and diverse precast supply chain, made up of consultants, suppliers and individuals. The secure mental health environment needed absolute attention to detail both in the design and execution of the works. Kier engaged early with experts PCE Hybrid, who possess long term precast experience in concept design, integrated management and onsite erection.




3 Broadmoor Hospital is a large complex site of 15,000m2, with numerous activities running concurrently. The challenge of constructing a large retaining structure within the hospital’s secure perimeter presented numerous challenges. The Kier team provided a precast concrete solution for the three ward buildings and the entrance building. The scheme incorporates 9,000m³ of concrete with over 280 different types of pre-cast elements used and over 6,000 precast components. BIM was also used extensively to aid with accurate tracking, validating and capturing of data, which will provide a number of FM benefits. There is a lot of repeatability in the precast components and the buildings were designed with that intention. The ultimate purpose was to provide a robust environment for the high secure hospital. The original in-situ design included 18 joints in each bedroom. This was reduced to just four, giving a seamless wall finish so patients could not secrete objects in cracks. Quality and attention to detail was of paramount importance throughout the project. In addition to BIM visualisations, a series of prototypes were used before the precast moulds were commissioned.


First a timber mock-up was erected in the live hospital environment to facilitate the redevelopment team, the clinical and security teams and patients appraising designs. Once the geometry (no right angles is a design requirement), shape and size were agreed, a full working precast concrete prototype was built. This was fitted with various components including beds, wardrobes and all services. Appraisals were repeated and feedback encouraged and actioned. Highly prescriptive testing was carried out using the high secure building design guide to ensure components could not be damaged and are safe for patients. The precast solution gave confidence in delivery and thus confidence to achieve budget. It reduced daily site operatives by 200, whilst improving safety and quality. A very strict and controlled regime of inspecting the concrete units in the offsite factories was used. A quality expediter visited factories across Europe as a control measure, which ensured that when the concrete arrived at site there were no surprises or delays. Information was all managed and recorded within BIM with an inventory of concrete panels produced in advance.

Due to the project scale, Kier procured by component (not turnkey), enabling the use of the most efficient components for the task with the right suppliers making the components they are best at making. This drives cost benefits, reduces capacity issues and provides predictability to quality and programme. Kier used eight precast suppliers to reduce capacity risk and allow an uninterrupted programme. To maintain pace, components were all delivered in a very detailed programme with 100 deliveries a week onsite, which were installed by four 160 ton crawler cranes with circa 80 operatives at peak from supply chain partner PCE. The precast frame gives a factoryfinished quality that minimises onsite finishing and removes time-consuming plastering. It includes cladding, giving a finished concrete frame ready to receive finishes and waterproofing. This was used for all external walls to wards and the entrance building, light wells, lift shafts, stair core walls and stair flights, bedroom partition walls and secure line walls between wards and non-patient areas. Timely completion of the ward buildings allowed site wide services to be installed earlier, bringing forward heat and power on dates. “The offsite precast construction has provided huge benefits for us. Most of all the




4 speed at which the programme has been able to progress, and of course that brings benefits in terms of cost,” Adds Vivienne Mowatt. Sustainability benefits of using precast concrete included less waste generated from production, greater use of recycled and secondary aggregates, more efficient structural elements and less road traffic. The façade was developed from a multi-element onsite-rendered solution to a structural sandwich panel utilising reconstituted stone. The component-led procurement strategy also allowed Kier to also use a wide range of SMEs in the supply chain. This coupled with the long term robustness and use of BIM for the entire lifecycle delivers a truly sustainable building. Moreover, the Asset Information Model (AIM) will facilitate efficient maintenance work, repairs, refurbishments or upgrades, replacement. During the extensive enabling works programme for Broadmoor Hospital, we not only created safe habitats for displaced wildlife but also recycled of over 4,200 tonnes of concrete from the Trust’s decommissioned hospital buildings. We also installed a combined heat and power unit to make future energy consumption much more efficient.

As a high security hospital, Broadmoor required a unique and highly prescriptive design in order to ensure quality, robustness and safe components. The steel roof is the final component which holds the precast concrete frame all together. Through BIM Kier realised the architect’s complex design for the roof, allowing natural light to flood into all areas of the hospital. The team pushed advances in BIM to develop a fully coordinated design, track quality checks and validation, schedule deliveries and visualise erection sequencing. An asset information model will be exported directly into the Trust’s computeraided FM system. BIM was used to coordinate geometrically complex and heavily loaded connections and accurately position pockets, cast-in sockets and grout tubes. “The offsite precast construction has provided huge benefits for us,” said Vivienne Mowatt Redevelopment Programme Director, West London Mental Health NHS Trust. “Most of all the speed at which the programme has been able to progress…what that has also brought about is the robustness and the consistency in terms of quality because of the offsite construction.” For more information visit:

6 JUDGES COMMENTS “A well-considered pre-cast solution that met a detailed employer’s requirement.” “A compelling technical solution combined with well-considered delivery strategy and logistics.” “Impressive collaboration with the client. An excellent example of the benefits of offsite construction determined by project requirements.” “Very interesting and great solution for unusual requirements.”

Images: 01. The first precast concrete panel arriving onsite 02. The scheme has a steel roof to make a hybrid offsite solution 03. The Kier team provided a precast concrete solution for the three ward buildings and the entrance building 04. The project consists of the construction of five buildings – including 10 wards with 164 bedrooms 05-06. 2017 Offsite Construction Awards with the Kier Construction tweam collecting their award.





The Offsite Construction Awards once again celebrated the best in precision building design and delivery by generating a record 300 high-quality submissions, making it a tough challenge for the judges to pick the winners. The competition was extremely tough in many categories, reflecting the huge shift in the development of the offsite industry and the significant growth in the uptake of offsite technology across a wide range of sectors. The profile of offsite manufacture has never been higher and the bar is now being constantly raised on quality and scope of delivery.


For more details and images of those collecting their Awards visit: Many thanks again to all those that took the time to enter this year. 2018 Offsite Construction Awards will be open for entry from 01 October 2017. Full details online.

Broadmoor Hospital is one of three high-security psychiatric hospitals in England and is internationally recognised for its work with patients and extensive research activities and provides assessment, treatment and care for men in conditions of high security. The project consists of the construction of five buildings – including 10 wards with 164 bedrooms – within the grounds of a fully operational secure hospital and required a different approach to construction. At tender stage Kier switched design from traditional ‘frame and façade’ to a 6,000 component precast concrete solution.

Sponsored by:


Kier Construction – Broadmoor Hospital Redevelopment



BEST USE OF STEEL Vision Modular Systems & MJH Structural Engineers – Apex House Apex Tower in Wembley is set to be Europe’s tallest modular development rising to 28 storeys and taking just 12 months to complete. The 560-bedroom student accommodation block comprises 679 separate modules, including 242 modules in two eight-storey wings on either side of the tower. The volumetric modules were delivered fully kitted out with a kitchen and bathroom, services, light fittings, switches, socket outlets, internal finishes, even the bases for the beds are installed.

Sponsored by:

BEST USE OF TIMBER Wiehag – Crossrail Railway Station, Abbey Woods Wiehag’s design, supply and installation of the ‘free-form’ roof structure over the new Crossrail Railway station at Abbey Woods in London is an eye-catching and structural triumph, comprising single and double curved glulam, cross laminated timber (CLT) and steel to form the distinctive manta ray shaped roof. This station has become one of the ‘pin ups’ for the whole Crossrail project and is an ultra-complex design pushing the boundaries of what’s possible using timber with glulam members curving in two directions.

Sponsored by:



OFFSITE AWARDS BEST HYBRID CONSTRUCTION PROJECT B & K Structures – Farnborough College of Technology Farnborough College of Technology is a statement building incorporating the benefits of cross laminated timber (CLT), glulam beams, timber cassettes and steel – all combining to create a modern teaching and learning facility. As the main entrance to the college, the new two-storey structure incorporates an open plan reception, large group and independent informal study areas, seminar spaces for teaching and learning, together with a small number of rooms offering adaptable space along with a cafe, state-of-the-art library and a quiet study area.

Sponsored by:

BEST USE OF VOLUMETRIC TECHNOLOGY Vision Modular Systems – Juxon and Sail Street Juxon and Sail Street in Lambeth are a two-block affordable housing project built to Pocket Living’s award-winning design and constructed using Vision Modular System’s steel framed modules. The delivery of a quality product both internally and visually appealing externally was a priority. The 70 homes – which range from one to two bedrooms used 162 modules in total and the development was completed from site clearance to handover within a 14-month period.

Sponsored by:

BEST USE OF MEP PREFABRICATION SES Engineering Services – Gasholders Development Set in King’s Cross – one of the largest areas of central London to be developed in the past 150 years – the circular Gasholders project is a pioneering example of cutting-edge offsite manufacturing and prefabrication. Containing 145 luxury apartments and working alongside main contractor Carillion and developer King’s Cross Central Limited Partnership, SES is delivering full M&E works on three groundbreaking circular residential buildings which will sit within the original Grade II-listed, cast-iron gasholder guide frames.

Sponsored by:

HOUSING PROJECT OF THE YEAR Places for People & Urban Splash – Smith’s Dock Places for People and Urban Splash are committed to see the fortunes of brownfield land transformed across the UK. Smith’s Dock is a former shipbuilding yard where Places for People worked with Urban Splash to create a viable scheme which would become a community for local people, filled with housing, amenities, workspaces and leisure facilities. The first residential opportunity at the development are 24 modular family homes – all constructed in a factory environment adopting Urban Splash’s hoUSe blueprint.

Sponsored by:

INFRASTRUCTURE PROJECT OF THE YEAR Atkins – Custom House Station London’s new Elizabeth Line will feature a number of striking buildings. One will be the new station at Custom House. The strategy for Custom House’s construction included pre-fabricated and standardised structural components, with a ‘kit of parts’ forming the platform, columns, concourse slab and roof. The station development is made up of two parts: a new 24-hour public route from Custom House to ExCel and the Royal Docks and the Crossrail station itself.

Sponsored by:



OFFSITE AWARDS OFFSITE PROFESSIONAL OF THE YEAR HTA Design HTA Design are an award winning interdisciplinary design consultancy to the residential sector championing the use of offsite construction. Over its 48-year history, they have always sought innovative technical solutions, exemplified by a portfolio of prefabricated projects from the last decade. Completed projects range from low-rise developments using structural insulated panels (SIPS) to large-scale volumetric solutions for affordable, private sale, private rental, hotels and student homes. In all these completed developments total over 2500 homes from two to 20 storeys.

Sponsored by:

EDUCATION PROJECT OF THE YEAR KLH UK - Blackdale Student Residences Phase 1 of the Blackdale Campus project comprises two cross laminated (CLT) residential blocks, ranging from three to seven storeys and has been designed to provide new residential quarters for the University of East Anglia (UEA) in Norwich. Designed by LSI Architects, the 30,400m2 blocks went from concept to completion in 62 weeks with the CLT superstructure finished in only 17 weeks, with KLH UK operating a four-team, four-crane approach, that also included the installation of 520 pre-manufactured bathroom pods.

Sponsored by:

PRODUCT INNOVATION AWARD coBuilder – goBIM goBIM is a tool for manufacturers allowing them to digitise their data in a structured way, aligned with national, industry-wide, legal and market-specific requirements and regulations. This is an integral part of goBIM’s Product Data Template (PDT) methodology since coBuilder’s data templates are based on product-related information as described in CEN, CENELEC, ISO, national standards, or data required by market actors. goBIM’s Product Data Templates allow manufacturers to digitise their information-rich PDFs/ brochure and paper documents through filling in a user-friendly data ‘questionnaire’ for each construction product.

Sponsored by:

COMMERCIAL/RETAIL PROJECT OF THE YEAR B & K Structures – Nandos Cambridge B & K Structures were appointed to design and construct a concept ‘ecological’ restaurant for the well-known high street food chain in Cambridge. Nando’s Cambridge is the company’s first UK ‘Next Generation’ restaurant, which was designed as a prototype to trial a number of new sustainability measures which will be further utilised across the company’s wider estate. The structure incorporates the benefits of cross laminated timber (CLT) panels, glulam beams and timber wall cassettes to create a 100% eco-friendly restaurant.

Sponsored by:

PROJECT MANAGER OF THE YEAR Gerard Donnelly – The McAvoy Group A graduate of Construction Engineering and Management from the University of Ulster at Jordanstown, Gerard has a sharp eye for detail and approaches every project with the same meticulous planning and innovative mindset. His many personal innovations have led to a significantly improved delivery of service to McAvoy clients. His mode of management extracts the best from his teams, and his service to clients not only raises the bar on project delivery but also helps propel his company’s reputation to ever greater heights.

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The seventh National BIM Report from NBS was published recently with its annual NBS National BIM Survey, giving a snapshot of the trends and changes driving the world of digital design in the UK. The sway that BIM holds over the construction and design sectors has ebbed and flowed since its inception but with a massive emphasis now being placed on more efficient and collaborative working practices, it would seem that BIM awareness has become “near-universal” if nothing else. Add to this that BIM Level 2 data delivery is now a contractual requirement for work within the public sector, the use of BIM is becoming unavoidable “This is the first NBS National BIM Report since the introduction of the UK Government’s BIM mandate,” says Richard Waterhouse CEO, NBS. “It is significant, therefore, that BIM adoption has reached a high point this year. The UK BIM mandate has added an impetus to BIM adoption in the UK. BIM Level 2 looks to be well established: the normal way for most practices to carry out design work. Over 60% now use BIM and 95% expect to within three years. To change a relatively static industry like construction in such a short period is nothing short of astonishing.”


In the age of digital data and information overload, it is ironic that one issue flagged up in the 2017 report is a requirement for more information, CPD and training on BIM benefits and working practices. “Whilst some clients lead the way on BIM, many others need further support and careful explanation of the process and its benefits,” adds Richard Waterhouse.

preceding this report have seen the most rapid BIM growth since 2014, suggesting that the UK Government’s BIM mandate is having the intended effect. There are areas for attention though, particularly in the education of clients and the enforcement of the mandate. In the longer term, there is a need for BIM to more fully move out of the design stages and into the maintenance of buildings. Perhaps the significant changes of these last twelve months have been as important as the introduction of the BIM mandate. In politics and economics, we are seeing era-defining change, through Brexit and the uncertainty that it brings across the design and construction sector.”

In a customary in-depth and wideranging report, areas of most interest surround current BIM usage and what the future holds. “Awareness is nearuniversal, with 97% telling us they are aware of BIM,” says Adrian Malleson, Head of Research, Analysis and Forecasting at NBS. “Over the six years we have been running the report, BIM adoption has increased over 8% each year, on average. The twelve months

“Of course, adopting BIM does not necessarily mean using it for every project. For the first time, we explored the percentage of projects that were designed using BIM. We asked those who had adopted BIM: ‘Approximately what percentage of projects have you used BIM for in the last 12 months?’ We found that 18%, nearly one in five, use BIM on every project they work on and 29% use BIM not on every project,


but on more than 75% of their projects. Once BIM is adopted, it is usually the design methodology of choice.” As the report makes clear, BIM adoption in the UK is growing in both extent (more people are using BIM) and in depth (people are moving up the BIM Levels) but there are still areas of concern, particularly in the education of clients and the enforcement of the BIM mandate. BIM is more than a passing trend of industry fad. Easier design iterations that BIM Level 2 has created will lead to ‘iterative building production’, as in-use data refines building design. As such the value will increasingly be held in the information about that asset, rather than the built asset itself. For more information and to download a copy of the National BIM Report 2017 visit: Image: 01. Birmingham New Street, BIM rendering. Courtesy Tekla/Trimble



IF YOU FAIL TO PLAN, YOU PLAN TO FAIL Metsec was the first Tier 2 designer and manufacturer certified to BIM Level 2 for Design and Construction in the UK by the BSI. Ryan Simmonds, Sales Director of Metsec Framing, explores the processes involved in BIM and how time is a crucial element in its successful deployment. must be calculated separately, which in turn adds to the overall project time. Conversely, with BIM, the time invested to ensure smooth running and efficiency needs to be front-loaded. Amendments to the design need to take into account the impact they can have on lead times.



Building Information Modelling (BIM) Level 2, came into force in 2016 as a requirement for public sector projects but, despite becoming a compulsory requirement in large public projects, research suggests there is still a significant number of organisations that don’t fully understand the complexities and time involved in a successful BIM project.

in five years. If these projections are realised, BIM will become routine and near universal.

The notion of BIM is the process of designing, constructing or operating a building, infrastructure or landscape asset using electronic information. In practice, this means that a project can be designed and built using data sets and images digitally, even before the first spade goes in the ground. The objective of BIM is to satisfy the three components of a successful project: namely time, cost and quality, by managing the project using a more efficient and reliable method of work. Whilst statistics show a substantial increase in BIM adoption with 13% of projects using it in 2010, increasing to 54% in 2015, the RIBA NBS report also suggests a lot of uncertainty still of what BIM is, when to engage and its standard practices. However, the report also shows that BIM is on a steep trajectory. Within one year, 86% of people expect to use BIM on at least some of their projects, this number rising to 95% in three years and 97%


With this increased use of BIM, it is vital that all parties fully comprehend all the factors involved in the success of a BIM-modelled project. The most critical overarching consideration, and that which can have the biggest impact, is time. Historically, extra time was factored in through a project. With BIM projects, working the majority of this time into the initial design stages increases the likelihood of a smoothrunning and on time and budget delivery of a project. Essentially, BIM enables you to build a project ‘piece by piece’, adding all components together at the design stage. Historically, using basic CAD drawings, elements of the building that were altered during the design stages could be amended quite easily, with a designer altering the height of a window or the location of a door, and then submitting these changes to the client within a relatively short time frame. Whilst this is a quick process, using basic CAD drawings doesn’t allow project managers to cost the project, understand the impact the changes to design will have on the overall cost of the project, nor the timings. The figures

Key to success of BIM is to frontload the time at the design stages to ensure all parties have agreed on the specification of the project, the products required and the building methods to be used. This results in fewer design stages and amendments, removing the risk of any potential delays. Whilst an increased timeframe in the early stages of the project can make project managers nervous, BIM is a new way of working, and that time will be saved in the later stages. For BIM to have a real impact, clients must be encouraged to engage in the opening stages of a project to audit what solutions and products are on the market which could be used in the project. This promotes collaboration throughout the process and to have all parties working together from the opening stages means fewer alterations required in later stages. This way of working confirms the government target of 33% reduction in cost by reducing waste, and 50% overall reduction of project timescale. For those who adopt BIM, the impact on the business is designed to be positive, increasing competitiveness, transparency and efficiency across the board. For more information visit: Images: 01-02. 66 Queen Square, a BIM-designed project



OFFSITE DESIGN AND DETAIL Stuart Whiting, Technical Director for specialist contractor Prater, reviews how offsite manufacturing is having a positive impact on keeping large scale projects to schedule.

1 The use of offsite manufacturing has proven particularly effective for both large-scale projects, or indeed any that experience a high level of traffic onsite. It enables the contractor to co-ordinate manufacturing and delivery in-line with the building sequence, as well as help to minimise the required storage space on sites. Assembling building components away from the construction site, in a controlled environment, has also been proven to limit health and safety risks by reducing both the amount of people and handling onsite. Furthermore, by having work take place in an offsite facility, the quality and integrity of building systems and components can be checked prior to installation, pre-empting any issues that could occur – significantly reducing potential disruption onsite. In the last year, we have been proactively investing in our two existing fabrication plants to facilitate and develop offsite solutions even further. An excellent example of our offsite approach has been at the North Terminal extension of London Gatwick. With work taking place close to live operational areas, taking elements of the build offsite helped us to reduce installation time, minimise disruption to the airport and allow the interior fit out to commence ahead of schedule. Furthermore, as an advocate of BIM for several years, Prater were one of



the first specialists to receive Level 2 accreditation in 2016, which has become a real asset, particularly in assisting with offsite manufacturing solutions. Both 3D & 4D modelling helps ensure that all those involved in the project can easily interrogate and understand the design information and construction methodology. It can also highlight potential challenges before components reach the offsite manufacturing stage, further increasing the efficiency of the build.

Using the supplied 3D model of the station, it was identified that the only way to deliver successfully and on time was to unitise the roofing package. Therefore, the decision was made to also invest in and build a full-scale constructability prototype of a 56ft long platform section in North Yorkshire. The Prater team were able to take the architect’s 3D model and collaborate with our key supply chain partners – notably Bailey and Severfield – to develop the design offsite.

Combining both methodologies also allows for more complex geometries to be used, pushing the design scope for future roofing projects, whilst ensuring successful delivery with an efficient installation process. The process provides project teams with the confidence to elect for more challenging geometries as it allows all information to be collated and procedures can be tested to ensure components come together with ease when onsite.

After an extensive planning stage this was then constructed, disassembled and reconstructed to help identify any potential issues before getting to site, the first process of its kind for a rail project in the UK. The roof canopies for London Bridge were created from 12m by 3m prefabricated roof cassettes, which fit together on site into a uniform curve. The onsite team craned in 1150 individual steel roof cassettes with a margin for error of just 3mm, highlighting just what can be achieved when the supply chain is engaged early, investment is made into offsite construction and there is a commitment to collaboration to help overcome construction challenges.

Additionally, supply chain partners will be more inclined to work on more intricate designs having been assured by the success of previous projects that utilised a mixture of offsite manufacturing and BIM. A good example of this is the complex structure of the roofing canopies at London Bridge Station, which Prater played an integral role in delivering, utilising both our BIM expertise and offsite manufacturing capabilities.

For more information visit: or follow us on Twitter @praterltd Images: 01. London Bridge 02. Gatwick Airport



PERFECTING THE OFFSITE PROCESS To try and understand more about the ways the offsite sector is developing, a Round-table Event hosted by light gauge steel frame specialists EOS Facades, gathered together some key figures to discuss offsite manufacture’s current progress and its future direction. they have a lot of knowledge to pass on to clients, main contractor and subcontractors. “We need to be involved from the start,” adds Steve. “So we can pass on our knowledge and expertise earlier in the cycle and can show what can be done with LGSF at the start of the project not halfway through – or even sometimes at the end of it.”

Light gauge steel frame (LGSF) plays a fundamental part in offsite construction from structural panels to a building’s complete frame plus a variety of roofing, volumetric modular options and infill walling applications. The aim of the wide ranging Roundtable discussion was to gain a greater understanding of the patterns and behaviours of those using offsite techniques and how to get them adopted more readily. Although there are more construction materials and system choices on the construction marketplace than ever before, LGSF has proved to be fundamental and is viewed as a trusted and adaptable building material, but a common problem still rests in ‘migrating’ the offsite process to the construction site itself, as Steve Thompson, Managing Director of EOS Facades explained: “We can co-ordinate and design system solutions in the factory easily. But the co-ordination with the construction site can be a stumbling block. It is about taking a process that you control in the factory environment to the


construction site in one continuous flow. That efficient offsite process needs to keep running when the system is handled and installed. It has to be an end-to-end continuation. Rather than a process of offsite methodology to the factory gate before arriving onsite and being subjected to a traditional approach.” Offsite Knowledge Transfer A systemic lack of understanding of offsite technology is a struggle and appears widespread – getting site teams to understand an offsite system and what it delivers as they don’t ‘think offsite’. Site teams need to understand that offsite systems are different and can’t be handled and installed in a traditional way. Operatives and site managers generally have poor knowledge and understanding of the product when handling them onsite. A way to combat this post-factory handling and installation – as members of the panel all agreed – is via engagement between the project team and a collaborative approach between all those involved at an earlier stage. For manufacturers in particular

Certainly ‘education’ is required at all levels of the value underpinning offsite manufacture – not just its commonly understood long-term benefits but throughout the supply chain and how each stage of the construction cycle is touched by offsite methods – architects, clients, main and sub-contractors need to understand more about the offsite industry as a whole, including the philosophy behind its use as well as the disparate range of suppliers and products.

“In many cases the client or developer is not sure what they want in a structure as long as it is well designed and within budget. So how do we educate the clients? It is not just about the main structure but the number of components that can make up a finished building. Architects need to know how all these different building systems and components integrate, fit together and can work well. Architects need the ability to specify offsite components as part of the overall proposal for the building where it makes sense and advise clients on the best options.” Andrew Ogarzalek Partner, PCKO Architects



What seems to be lacking is an understanding of what is done in the factory. This lack of understanding is at the core of improving the critical early stage engagement of manufacturers and establishing a clearer linkage between main contractors and suppliers. The role of the architect is a pivotal one here. More architects and specifiers need to engage with offsite systems manufacturers and engineering principles including LGSF. “It is really important for any system or material to be adopted successfully and efficiently to have the architects understand how to exploit its benefits,” said James Pickard, Director at Cartwright Pickard. “So whichever project does not set off down a path of alternative materials or traditional construction, the architects can make the business case to a client or developer about what system should be used where appropriate.” Demand Design Deliver Last year, RIBA grabbed many headlines with the Design for Manufacture and Assembly (DfMA) Overlay to the RIBA Plan of Work 2013. The publication represented a major step in offering advice and encouraging early engagement of contractors and manufacturers and make it clear when offsite methods may be introduced. Although launched to a minor blaze of publicity the debate on its benefits have not been sustained long enough for people to really get to grips with it.

“The RIBA Overlay was developed for people to really understand what offsite can do and inspire architects to think differently,” says Ian Heptonstall, Director of the Offsite Management School. “There is a lack of capacity of trainers to spread knowledge to all aspects of the construction industry – there isn’t a ‘yellow pages’ you can pick up for offsite advice. Architects need to know about the variety of solutions available – steel, precast, volumetric of cross laminated timber (CLT) – they can then recommend the right solution at the right time for the right client.”

“There are restrictions to what we can and can’t design and build but from the point of view of the system and product supplier, it is critical that engagement with the client, architect and main contractor is undertaken at a very early stage of the scheme.” Steve Holtom, Technical Support Manager, EOS Facades With many competing systems and materials on the marketplace, all architects and designers are faced with the issue of making these work together successfully. Interfaces and a myriad of components can cause confusion and poor building performance and once again brings into question the demand for an improved flow of offsite processes from the factory to the construction site where thorny – and expensive – concerns surrounding onsite installation can cancel out the plus points created within the factory.

LESSONS AND OUTCOMES Better Site Understanding – onsite construction teams need to realise that offsite systems are different to traditional methods Knowledge Transfer – manufacturers have a lot of specialist knowledge to pass on to clients, main contractor and subcontractors but need to be engaged early Factory Manufacture – better appreciation of factory production methods and establishing clearer linkage between main contractors, architects, engineers and suppliers Training Provision – there is a lack of capacity of trainers to spread knowledge to all aspects of the construction industry. Architects need to know about the variety of solutions available DfMA Overlay – still to be fully embraced and understood Ask Questions to Drive Demand – clients/ developers and contractors need to question offsite manufacturers and suppliers more and decide exactly what they want Working Collaboratively – building and maintaining smarter relationships with like-minded organisations Skills Development – more ‘manufacturing construction’ professions geared towards logistics, process engineering, digital engineering and capacity planning Statistical Evidence – independent – possibly funded by Government – measurement of the offsite sector performance data Standardisation and Interoperability – fractured nature of the industry and multicomponent marketplace can be confusing and produce poor performance Quality Marks – creating a more unified approach to appraising offsite systems – BOPAS, NHBC, LABC – less duplication of effort and less cost.




It’s all about ‘manufacturing controls’ rather than ‘construction controls’ says Ken Davie, Head of Offsite Development for Carillion Building, whose role is to seek out and research offsite systems. “Integrated systems are available and interfaces have always been as issue,” says Ken. “Contractors and clients need to say more about what they actually want and thereby drive the demand. That is a really important point. There are lots of companies around producing really good products but is there a market for them?”

“We need the right design behaviours early on. But you also need the right main contracting behaviours as well. It’s about the whole process. The luxury we had on the Custom House scheme, was that Laing O’Rourke were in control of the whole construction process – quality assurance and QR coding from factory to site – was all in place and was a great success. When a contactor visits a factory they can see what they getting as a product but also can be educated on their role in the entire offsite process.” Ed Newman-Sanders, Technical Director, Atkins


There are sectors in the market where speed really matters such as the private rented sector (PRS) or student accommodation – where adopting offsite manufacture can be a key business driver and where all factory-based production methods can thrive and improve the UK’s built environment. For blue chip housebuilder Barratt Developments, one key driver to adopting offsite methods has been trying to futureproof for skills shortages and setting the housebuilding bar high. “We recognised different skillsets were needed to build more homes and offsite delivery has been seen as an additional boost to increasing the number of homes we build,” said Oliver Novakovic, Technical and Innovation Director for Barratt Developments. “Quality and the performance of our buildings has always been high on our agenda – we have obtained a 5-Star quality mark from the HBF for new home customer satisfaction for the last eight years which is very important to us. Working collaboratively and building relationships with companies that have similar business models and outlook is really important. OSM’s have to be smart about how they sell their product or system. The more they can add to maximise its value and meet the customers’ needs the better the chance it will be taken up for the long term. But ultimately relationships make the systems work.”

New Skills Required No talk of the construction industry is complete without mention of skills – or lack of them. The challenging element of the market presently surrounds logistics, process engineering, scheduling skills, digital engineering and capacity planning. Skills that are required to make everything work at optimum performance in a manufacturing facility. These seem not to be there in a meaningful way. “The manufacturing environment is far different to the construction environment,” says Rory Bergin, Partner at HTA Design. “The dearth of skills in certain parts of the construction sector is a problem easier solved in the offsite sector than the traditional sector – that is within the factory rather than the construction site – as there is closer supervision of the work and problems can be solved quickly.” If more offsite manufacturers can collaborate and integrate thinking then some of the finer issues surrounding interfaces and detailing can be solved. As Ken Davie added: “We need designers that are able to understand and use standardised products but we also need to develop better skills in communicating the information that manufacturers have to the design and construction community.”



ATTENDEES Darren Richards – Managing Director, Cogent Consulting (Facilitator) Ed Newman-Sanders - Technical Director, Atkins Oliver Novakovic – Technical & Innovation Director, Barratt Developments Ken Davie – Head of Offsite Development, Carillion Building James Pickard – Director, Cartwright Pickard Steve Thompson – Managing Director, EOS Facades Steve Holtom – Technical Support Manager, EOS Facades Adrian Storey – General Manager, Horbury Group Rory Bergin – Partner: Sustainable Futures, HTA Design LLP Gary Ramsay – Editor, Offsite Magazine Ian Heptonstall – Director, Offsite Management School Andrew Ogorzalek – Partner, PCKO/AHR Andrew Way – Associate Director, SCI Neil Ash – Managing Director, Siniat UK Gary Peters – Director of Innovation, Industrialisation & Business Improvement, Skanska Dalbir Jangra – Head of Marketing, LHC


“There needs to be reassurances that systems are being fully tested and are operating correctly. What we have to do as manufacturers is look at how our products are being used in combinations with other systems and how they perform – but that costs money.” Neil Ash Managing Director, Siniat UK Can Government Help? The Government’s Housing White Paper published in February 2017 made many bold proposals regarding the increased use of offsite construction and in particular a modular approach. The Homes & Communications Agency (soon to be relaunched as Homes England) has a clear directional policy aimed at improving the scale and pace of homebuilding with its much quoted mantra: ‘To make a home within reach for everyone.’ The Accelerated Construction Fund and its £2 billion pot of investment is one part of Government’s role in promoting offsite but can it do more than offer money and release of land to build on? One way could be to fund statistical evidence and independently measure what offsite can actually achieve. “Quantifying what offsite systems of all shapes and sizes can do would lead to a better understanding of performance – e.g. productivity. As with many industries we are rich in data but poor in information,” said Cogent

Consulting’s Managing Director, Darren Richards. Using evidencebased case studies and interpreting the monumental amounts of Big Data now being collected and recorded would provide a comparative way to overcome the offsite versus traditional nexus. Depending on the questions being asked of the data, the correct interpretation and communication of the results and statistics on building technology can be used to inform every wise developer’s next decision. All offsite systems including LGSF are operating in an exciting time for the built environment. The construction industry, always compared unfavourably with the automotive and aeronautical industries, has to change. There has never been a better time to capitalise on the raft of benefits that factory-based manufacture deliver whatever section of the wider construction industry and associated professions, modernisation is more than an option now – it should be seen as an obligation. Many thanks to EOS Facades for hosting the Round-table Event and thanks also to all participants for their time and contributions to the discussion. For more information on light gauge steel frame visit: For more information on offsite related activity and events visit:



INNOVATIVE MEMBRANES FOR THERMAL EFFICIENCY AND COST SAVINGS With the ongoing need to build more housing to meet Government targets alongside the increased requirement for energy efficient homes, offsite construction is being seen as a key way to address the housing shortage. Protect Membranes, a division of Building Product Design Ltd alongside its sister company Glidevale, is a UK producer of construction membranes and products which are designed for use in offsite construction, whether residential or commercial. Using innovative reflective membrane technology, Protect’s class leading VC Foil Ultra and TF200 Thermo products are specifically designed to enhance the thermal performance and airtightness of a timber frame panelled wall construction, delivering low emissivity and ensuring radiant heat is reflected back into the structure to minimise absorption and energy transfer. Both products are fully independently certified by BM TRADA through their Q Mark certification scheme and form part of Protect’s comprehensive range of membranes for the construction and roofing markets. When installed together in a cavity wall with a still airspace, VC Foil Ultra and TF200 Thermo provide a cost effective solution to enhance the thermal efficiency of a building by up to 25%. This is based on the equivalent of up to 60mm of 0.035W/mK insulation to the wall U-value without adding to its overall thickness, thereby maximising the available internal floor area. As well as contributing to the house structure in terms of meeting demanding U-value specifications, combining products can deliver significant cost savings on the wall build. Both membranes feature an easy to understand colour coding system to guide customers on correct installation: red print on VC Foil Ultra, the air and vapour control layer


1 (AVCL) for use on the warm side of the insulation and blue print on TF200 Thermo, a breather membrane to be formed on the sheathing board on the outside / cold side of the insulation. Traditional masonry construction can also benefit by using Protect VC Foil Ultra and a service void to give an improvement on the U-value result, with no need to parge coat the blockwork, saving time and money, an important driver in the offsite sector. The Protect membrane solution is further complemented by a range of high tack, untearable adhesive tapes. The ‘lap and seal’ range ensures that junctions between walls and floors/ ceilings are fully sealed, providing a cost effective solution to close off any necessary service entry penetrations or repair any accidental site damage. John Mellor, Product Manager for Protect Membranes says: “Based on our technical calculations, using Protect VC Foil Ultra and TF200 Thermo together in a timber frame construction with a still airspace cavity could provide a saving of over £750*

per average two-bed property, whilst still achieving a low U-value of 0.21, when compared to a standard vapour control layer and breather membrane. This represents a tremendous potential for modular build manufacturers to present a complete solution to their housebuilder and housing association clients with a focus on reduced build costs and thermal efficiency. Our technical team is on hand to provide custom U-value calculations, indicating potential savings by request”. *This cost saving is based on membranes used for an average two bedroom property built by timber frame with VC Foil Ultra used with TF200 Thermo in place of a standard VCL and breather membrane, enabling insulation savings to be made. For a free U-value calculation service to help demonstrate a complete build solution for future offsite projects, contact the Protect technical team on or 0161 905 5700, quoting ‘Offsite’. Image: 01. Installation of Protect TF200 Thermo



HEALTHCARE BUILDING FUTURE FOOTPRINTS Birmingham will be the next stop on the Explore Offsite Conference series of events where, in partnership with the Department of Health, Explore Offsite Healthcare will get to grips with the complexities of providing much needed new facilities for a sector constantly under pressure for better modern buildings. The aim is to showcase the very best of what is being delivered under the Procure 21+ & Procure 22 framework (and projects outside of the framework too) and to demonstrate how exemplar schemes are being delivered through good supply-chain integration, design for manufacture and assembly, digital integration and offsite construction strategies. Keynote speaker Cliff Jones, Head of Construction Procurement Team at the Department of Health will be on-hand to outline the latest policy and direction the Government is taking in this sensitive area of investment. With a conference programme now complete, this event will offer a wide range of experts involved with the planning, commissioning and improvement of the healthcare footprint across the UK. Offsite manufacture and delivery is set to play a hugely influential and valuable part of this new generation of healthcare buildings and alongside expert views and advice on what is happening on the ground, the event will present case studies of projects that have used offsite technology already to create new facilities, upgrades or extensions in a seamless way, on-time and onbudget working in a sensitive, inclusive and collaborative fashion. Patient, staff and visitor experience is at the heart of successful healthcare projects, and the speakers will discuss how they have met the healthcare provider and/or the NHS Trust’s expectations in providing a sustainable, energy efficient and costeffective contemporary building.


The speakers will also demonstrate how exemplar schemes are being delivered through good supply-chain integration, design for manufacture and assembly, digital integration and offsite construction strategies. The one-day conference and exhibition will create a platform for clients and their professional advisers, contractors and project managers to network with industry experts and discuss the latest offsite construction solutions that will help to deliver the building requirements of the healthcare sector. The Conference and Exhibition takes place on 20 September 2017 at Birmingham NEC. To book your place, visit:

CONFERENCE PROGRAMME HIGHLIGHTS Cliff Jones - Head of Construction Procurement Team, Department of Health Offsite and the delivery of New Build & Refurbishment of Healthcare Facilities Rosemary Jenssen – Director, Jenssen Architecture ProCure 21+/22 Framework overview, Repeatable Rooms and Modular Case study – Yeovil District Hospital Darron Haylock – Partner, Foster + Partners Maggie’s Manchester: An Essay in Timber John Handscomb – Procurement Lead, Kier Construction Digitising Offsite Procurement: A template for the future of our industry Ken Davie – Head of Offsite & MMC Research, Carillion Plc Offsite, MMC and DfMA for Midlands Metropolitan Hospital Rob Umphray – Head of BIM & Prime Delivery Partner, Deeo Design & Engineering & BIMwm Framework Delivering the MMH using BIM - The journey so far Sean McKeever – Director, Ecofund Partners Lessons Learned: Modular Installation of Laminar Theatres at Daisy Hill Hospital Sarah Denton – Health Specialist, Portakabin How to Rapidly Expand Hospital Facilities to Reduce Waiting Times Jim Marner & Nigel McClarence – Interserve Engineering Services (IES) Designed for Manufacture (DfMA) in Healthcare Stephen Wade-Palmer – Specifications Manager, Offsite Solutions How to procure bathroom pods to improve construction efficiency Peter Blunt – Managing Director, Innovare Using hybrid and structural insulated panel (SIPs) technology to deliver healthcare buildings with scale and at speed Peter Burchill – Business Development Director, Icarus LSF Lightening the load in Healthcare Nathalie Meunier – Healthcare Specialist, McAvoy Group Digitising Construction for Fast-track Healthcare Projects


HEALTHCARE CONFERENCE & EXHIBITION NEC, Birmingham 20 September 2017 This one-day conference and exhibition will create a platform for clients and their professional advisers, contractors and project managers to network with industry experts and discuss the latest offsite construction solutions that will help to deliver the building requirements of the healthcare sector.

WHO SHOULD ATTEND? The event is aimed at attracting construction clients; estates managers, local healthcare

authorities, construction professionals: architects, surveyors, engineers; facilities managers; building product manufacturers and suppliers.


Tickets - ÂŁ125 + VAT Ticket price includes entry into the conference and exhibition, lunch, refreshments and parking. To book visit There are limited Sponsorship and Exhibitor opportunities remaining, to find out more contact Julie Richards on

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1 Maggie’s Oldham – the world’s first building made from hardwood cross laminated timber (CLT) – has opened in the UK. The first ever structural use of engineered tulipwood for an entire building could be a trailblazer for future CLT adoption. Maggie’s is the well-known charity that provides practical and emotional support to people living with cancer. Built on the grounds of specialist NHS cancer hospitals, Maggie’s Centres are warm and welcoming places with qualified professionals on hand to offer a programme of support shown to improve physical and emotional wellbeing. Designed by dRMM Architects and supported by the American Hardwood Export Council (AHEC), Maggie’s Oldham is constructed from 20 panels of five-layer cross laminated American tulipwood, ranging in size from 0.5m – 12m long. American tulipwood CLT was pioneered in 2013 by dRMM, AHEC and Arup for its unparalleled strength and lightness, speed of construction and sustainability and tulipwood CLT is one of the most sustainable timber species because of how fast it replenishes, through natural growth alone. American tulipwood is approximately 70% stronger in bending than a typical CLT grade softwood with the structural CLT panels for Maggie’s Oldham developed by CLT specialists, Züblin Timber.


“From the Oldham project inception we knew it was the right material for Maggie’s, not only structurally and visually, but conceptually,” says dRMM co-founder Alex de Rijke. “An elevated, open plan, all-timber and glass building – with trees growing through it and every detail considered from the perspective of use, health, and delight – was always going to be special. The applications for sustainably grown hardwood, particularly fast growing tulipwood CLT is endless. For AHEC, Maggie’s Oldham is one of the most important developments in a decade of research and development into structural timber innovation and one that could broaden the use of CLT in the construction industry. “This structure proves that hardwoods have a role to play in the timber construction revolution,” says David Venables, European Director of AHEC. “All our previous projects – Timber Wave, Out of the Woods, Endless Stair and The Wish List – have been significant projects but this centre proves that a building made of tulipwood CLT is possible and it can be done on a strict budget and in record time.” A difference between the Endless Stair and Maggie’s panels was that the former were handmade, while the panels were machine-produced by seasoned German CLT manufacturer Züblin – who also produced tulipwood CLT panels for AHEC’s The Smile – a 34m upward curving rectangular tube designed by Alison Brooks. Some

3 panels used in Maggie’s Oldham were also curved. They also included custom cut-outs and a routed recess detail, so doors could close flush without additional door frames. The centre stands atop 4m steel legs on concrete pads within Royal Oldham Hospital grounds. Its garden slopes down before and panoramic vistas stretch to the Pennines. dRMM chose tulipwood for the design of Maggie’s Oldham for the positive influence wood has on people. Wood is known to significantly reduce blood pressure, heart rates and recovery times: it has more health and wellbeing benefits than any other building material, according to Wood Housing Humanity Report 2015. Among those won over is Maggie’s Chris Watson. “Our initial nervousness about using this wood this way proved ill-founded,” he said. “It was an extremely efficient construction process, completed in a year, due to the large amount of offsite fabrication and absence of wet trades the timber structure allowed and the tulipwood’s grain provides a beautifully warm appearance.” For more information visit: Images: 01-02. Thermally modified American tulipwood clads the exterior of the building. Courtesy Alex de Rijke/AHEC 02. Detail of the CLT American tulipwood that forms the building’s wall panels. Courtesy Jon Cardwell/AHEC




PEAK PERFORMANCE structural steelwork was also treated with a factory applied intumescent paint. The roof and floor diaphragm provide stability to the structure in combination with steel frame moment connections and vertically braced bays. Cream coloured bricks act as the primary material on the external elevations with decorative timber fins fitted to the external brickwork of the east and west wings. The projecting point at the rear of the structure shields the outdoor terrace of the cafe, whilst internally the building is naturally lit by the sloping roof lights and feature glazing.

1 Farnborough College of Technology is a statement building incorporating the benefits of cross laminated timber (CLT), glulam beams and timber cassettes – all combining to create a modern teaching and learning facility. Farnborough College of Technology offers a wide range of further and higher education programmes accredited by the University of Surrey. As the main entrance to the college, the new two-storey structure incorporates an open plan reception, large group and independent informal study areas, seminar spaces for teaching and learning, together with a small number of rooms offering adaptable space along with a cafe, state-of-the-art library and a quiet study area. The building has been purposely developed with bright open spaces specifically for students to work, study and socialise. The geometry of the building, with rising and falling slopes, together with designing the interfaces of the wide range of materials used proved challenging for the project team. The rectangular building is formed from two triangles separated by a centrally positioned roof light. Each triangle gently slopes upwards towards the apex which extends beyond the base of the opposing triangle. The central roof light gently rises and falls between the two sections of the building peaking in the centre.


CLT panels take the diaphragm action in the structures floor and roof to the steel braced frame which was essential in forming the buildings clear open spaces, whilst working structurally to take the gravitational forces. Shaped glulam beams were used on top of the steel beams in the roof to achieve the necessary bearing area between the CLT roof and steel frame below, whilst pre-installed timber cassettes formed the exterior walls improving the structures thermal performance resulting in a comfortable environment for students to work and learn. The insulated timber cassette panel system which forms the internal leaf of all the external walls, together with some of the internal walls – include preformed window and door openings to reduce onsite works. Fermacell boards were applied to the inner face the external wall cassettes which span from floor to floor and fix to the primary steelwork structure, without the need for secondary steelwork. As the primary steelwork structure is exposed internally, it was designed so that most the timber wall cassettes are fixed on the outside of the steel stanchions and, only in certain conditions, in line with the structure. The first floor, plant room and roof are made up of CLT with CLT soffits left exposed within the building. A protective finish was applied to the exposed cross laminated timber to prevent surface spread of flame, the

The hybrid structure was manufactured offsite to exceptional levels of accuracy to ensure the seamless interface of the number of timber elements incorporated within the build. To meet the structural and architectural needs of the project – together with the degree of prefabrication required – the wall and facade elements are then finished with further layers of building boards or cladding panels to satisfy design requirements. The timber cassette units that make up the external walls span from floor to floor and are lined on the inside with plasterboard and on the outside with facing brickwork. The cassette system incorporates preformed window and door openings, reducing onsite works and increasing the speed of construction. The CLT, used in the structures floors and roof, offers enhanced acoustic properties and dampens sound which creates a peaceful space for effective teaching and learning. As the building sits underneath the flight path of a local airport, the use of CLT provided a barrier to sound transmission, allowing the acoustic performance requirements to be met without covering the aesthetic exposed timber soffit. Through the use of large format prefabricated wall cassettes of singlestorey height, the structure was erected one floor at a time, starting with the internal and external walls followed by the roof. This is a distinctive construction technique required no supporting frame. The cassettes were also delivered to site with preformed window and door openings, reducing


TIMBER onsite works and subsequently the construction programme. CLT is a valuable structural solution for enhancing education environments. As each material was utilised, allowing the structure to reap the benefits of their best qualities – the use of a hybrid timber structural solution resulted in a building which is highly efficient with low embodied energy. As a prefabricated offsite system, CLT is factory manufactured to exceptional levels of accuracy, ensuring minimal defects. It is fast becoming the material of choice for specifiers due to its inherent structural qualities that include speed of construction as well as airtightness and carbon sequestration. Design for Manufacture & Assembly (DfMA) was used by B&K Structures as the foundation for concurrent engineering processes to simplify and fully optimise the structure, reducing manufacturing and assembly costs and to quantify improvements. This process helps to identify and eliminate waste or inefficiency in the building design & facilitates greater offsite manufacture. Crucial to DfMA, is information transfer

and share. Designing with BIM as a collaborative process, unlocks more efficient methods of creating and maintaining assets. BIM technology and CNC machines ensure structural components are manufactured to exacting tolerances to guarantee the details of connections are precise. Only by using offsite manufacturing and enhanced prefabrication techniques could the University Centre Farnborough be delivered on time and on budget. Comparisons were carried out at a ‘whole life’ level – considering not only build costs but the ongoing performance, operational and maintenance costs. Thermal, acoustic and airtightness contributions from the structural frame itself, as well as the programme and cost benefits associated with offsite manufactured systems were taken into account, therefore a hybrid structure incorporating the advantages of three structural timber systems combined with an element of steel, was the preferred and specified option. For more information visit:


3 Images: 01-03. The use of CLT, glulam, timber cassettes and steel make the college a superb example of hybrid offsite construction technology. Courtesy B&K Structures




OPTIMUM SELECTION FOR EFFICIENT MODULAR DESIGN Volumetric modular construction has gained considerable momentum over the past 3-5 years in the UK due to its positive impact on cost, programme, quality and safety. Darren Richards, Managing Director of leading offsite construction consultancy, Cogent Consulting illustrates how best to optimise it’s use. The advantages of volumetric modular construction have been known for decades and yet critical success factors and enablers for optimal industrial modularisation, at a scale which generates genuine economies of scale, have only recently been realised. The critical success factors for ‘modularisation’ have recently highlighted the need for engineering, procurement and construction project delivery systems to be developed to support optimal use of volumetric modular technology. The percentage of offsite manufacturing for volumetric modular construction ranges between 60 and 70%, compared with 30 to 50% for hybrid construction and 15 to 20% for panelised construction. This accounts for 50 to 60% construction time reduction for volumetric modular construction compared with 30 to 40% with hybrid construction and 20 to 30% for panelised construction, so the onsite gains to be made are significant but only if the technology is considered correctly and planned for at the start of the project. Module selection can also often be significantly influenced by transportation dimensions and shipping distances between the manufacturing facility and the construction site. In addition, module connection details and quantities, installation and crane costing rates relative to the planned speed of installation, specific site logistics constraints, foundation/transfer deck and service core requirements plus the volume of concrete required – all need to be viewed holistically with module configuration for optimised design efficiency to be achieved.


1 Systematic Processes for Modularity There needs to be a systematic process to quantify the degree of modularity in construction projects, quantifying the key parameters and allowing volumetric modular techniques to compete with hybrid solutions, where many more architects and contractors are using hybrid techniques to eliminate some of the dimensional limitations that volumetric modular techniques currently face. New methodologies need to address the lack of knowledge by architects about the limitations of the manufacturing process of modules, as well as considering a set of practical constraints and factors that affect module configuration such as onsite connection limitations, transportation and weight limitations and crane cost limitation. The needs of the customer will have been identified based on building geometrical shapes – arranged in a manner that maximises the quality and function relationship in the design phase. However, standardised products (modules) significantly impact the design of buildings, especially when the design needs to be adapted to suit the customer requirements – such

adaptation causes waste, inefficiency and possible quality problems within the manufacturing process. The demand for customisation compels the manufacturing industry to develop new methods for adaptation of their mass production to satisfy the individual needs of customers. Methods have been developed to standardise the production and configuration processes by conducting functional requirement analysis to identify design parameters for modular construction of buildings. These methods typically constrain the modularisation of the project using four key parameters: • Customer view that controls the modular design according to customer requirements • Engineering view that constrains the module design according to deflection, strength, wind loads, fire, acoustic and building regulations • Production view that identifies product dimensions and transportation constraints according to factory regulations and capacity • Site view for assembly constraints on site according to site layout/plans.


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OFFSITE CONSULTANCY in this context moving the dialogue towards design for modular assembly? Perhaps this is something that the UK volumetric modular industry should consider championing? Whatever the terminology, these new systemised techniques need to be ‘industrialised’ and embraced by the wider volumetric modular manufacturing base in the UK or a methodology needs to be created by the collaboration of relevant trade associations, most notably the Modular and Portable Building Association (MPBA), perhaps in conjunction with the Steel Construction Institute, the Structural Timber Association and the Concrete Centre?

2 Further perspectives - ‘rules’ and constraints of modular buildings or product platforms – can be integrated in to family of architectural CAD applications using the likes of Revit structures, where key features of steel, concrete or timber volumetric modules can be integrated in a ‘modular toolkit’, thereby providing the basic rules of the game. Modular Methodology If volumetric modular techniques are to gain market share more rapidly in order to create the market climate for further manufacturing investment then the technology needs to be more intelligently applied. A recent publication from Canada via Concordia University in Montreal and Alberta University has put forward a structured methodology that uses five indices which accounts for: connection of modules onsite (CI), transportation of fabricated modules to the construction jobsite (TDI and TSDI), crane operating condition and related cost (CCPI) and project concrete foundation (CVI). These five indices are integrated in to one indicator (MSI) measuring the relative suitability of competing modular designs. The full paper provides some interesting worked examples and can be downloaded via: http://dx.doi. org/10.1016/j.autcon.2017.03.008


The developed modular suitability index (MSI) methodology cited above is one proposed method of providing a quantitative indicator for the suitability of modular design configuration in building construction. It integrates several typical indices and it has concluded that reducing the number of module connections shall be cost efficient if transportation and weight limitations are satisfied. The MSI can be reduced by developing new cost-efficient connections between modules that require lower installation and maintenance costs. Acquiring experienced personnel for transportation and crane selection, location, lifting and positioning enables volumetric modular construction companies to deliver construction projects efficiently. Whilst, to the experience user of volumetric modular technology much of this will seem obvious, the MSI methodology does at least provide a starting framework from which the uninitiated can begin. Design for Modular Assembly – DfMA 2.0 The type of research associated with the MSI methodology begins to expand the thinking around Design for Manufacture and Assembly (DfMA) by taking into account a wider range of parameters that need to be considered when specifying volumetric modular technology. Perhaps it takes us in to the realms of hi-jacking DfMA and

There is a definite need for an agreed protocol to help standardise procurement and specification to deliver the optimum selection for efficient modular design and to standardise the module configuration selection process. The development of new methodologies to support the identification and selection of near optimum module configurations that account for project constraints is essential if the perceived barriers to application are to be taken down. It will assist developers and project stakeholders to deliver projects not only with accelerated schedules but also with cost reduction – perhaps creating the panacea of a more costeffective method of construction than traditional construction methods on a more consistent basis? If you would like to get involved in developing new specification and procurement methodologies for the use of volumetric modular construction techniques then please get in touch. Cogent Consulting are currently working to instigate the collaborative development of these methodologies and are seeking industry partners in this regard. For contact details and a more detailed perspective on the work that Cogent Consulting undertake please visit: Images: 01. The repetitive modular approach lends itself easily to branded hotels. Courtesy Stride Treglown 02. Apex House - Europe’s tallest modular building. Courtesy Vision Modular Systems



A VISION OF FUTURE LIVING Juxon and Sail Street in Lambeth are a two-block affordable housing project built to Pocket Living’s award-winning design and was constructed using Vision Modular System’s steel framed modules. The delivery of a quality product both internally and visually appealing externally was a priority. The first block is located on Sail Street and offers 31 affordable homes for sale, the second site is adjacent on Juxon Street and provides 39 homes. Pocket Living sells well-designed, local and affordable compact homes at prices which are at least 20% below market value. The finished units include terrace amenity areas on the upper floors, and for Sail Street meant the top floor units were re-orientated such that the apartments on this level had line of sight views of the Houses of Parliament and the wider London skyline. Working with local authorities Pocket Living develop urban sites that are close to transport links to help people onto the housing ladder. Homes are 100% owner-occupied and Pocket police who lives in them to prevent any buy-to-let speculation and make sure the homes remain affordable. Pocket Living acquired the Juxon and Sail Street sites in late 2015. The Sail Street site previously comprised garages and the Juxon Street site was a car park, both serving the China Walk Estate. The sites were particularly constrained in that both blocks were infilling some ground between existing 1960s blocks, and 58

therefore minimising disruption to local residents was a priority, and is a major benefit in adopting a modular approach.

high-quality homes can be built quickly, and why modular techniques will play an increasingly important role in delivering more housing.

Pocket developments are in the main comprised of one-bedroom apartments. These are 39m2 compact units comprising a kitchen/living space and a bathroom/bedroom. The layout and fit out is optimised for city living and the occupiers benefit from a generous 2.5m floor to ceiling height, which combined with extensive glazing gives a bright and airy feel to the units. The onebedroom units are ideally suited to modular construction. The kitchen/ living space making one module and the bathroom/bedroom the other. Externally the modules measure circa 3.3m in width and 6.5m in length and the two modules transported as a single load to site. Given that the new developments needed to integrate with existing 1960s blocks, the external façade was a mix of traditional brick and metal grilles. This close attention to architectural detailing and specification meant the finished blocks blended into the existing street scenes but also added a new vibrancy to the area.

The offsite technology meant that the project could be delivered in 14 months. A development of this scale using traditional construction methods would have taken around 24 months to complete. Given the nature of the development, minimising the disruption and period of disruption was paramount. Modular construction responds to this need ahead of any alternative construction method with 60% fewer trucks coming to sites and 90% less waste generated onsite. Reducing the volume of work and associated risks on site has significantly reduced the number of accidents and remains intrinsic in the way Vision and its related contracting companies work.

The Vision volumetric solution delivered to this challenging brief. The project demonstrates how

Centralising module manufacture in a factory addresses the increasing risks of finding, retaining and controlling the cost of skilled resources for site work. In addition, Vision’s approach of maintaining a quality book for each module means that the quality checks and individuals making the checks are recorded at the basic building block level: i.e. module.




1 Sister companies – Vision and Donban Contracting – have a wealth of experience using volumetric construction with over 25 projects, spanning 10,000 modules produced to deliver turnkey projects across mixed use schemes. These companies know how to maximise the advantages of the offsite modular system and can deliver programme savings of more than 50%.


2 use of the Vision system reduces the amount of waste sent to landfill by over 95% in terms of energy consumption, efficiency levels and overall running cost.

From the outset the project sought to exploit offsite methods. This led to the use of the Vision system as well as precast stairs/walkway slabs and prefabricated steel walkways. The project optimised the Pocket one bedroom apartment for modular deployment across a range of orientations as well as modularising a number of two bedroom layouts and bike/bin store units. This resulted in over 90% of the total floor area being delivered in modular form.

Vision’s quality commitment is demonstrated through its BBA, LABC, BOPAS and CE accreditation along with its internal quality management processes. The quality focus is directly linked to a lean approach of eliminating waste either through poor workmanship, materials or through error. The minimisation of waste is central to its manufacturing process. This extends from control of issuing materials and their use in a factory environment through to the integration of supply chain ‘just in time’ deliveries. The adoption of a continuous improvement approach with suppliers will continue as part of the lean manufacturing drive.

The volumetric system lends itself to repetitive details and as such the same materials will naturally be used around the building. It was possible to choose a specification with low environmental impact and low-energy light fittings were fitted to all units. Volumetric systems reduce onsite waste, and also traffic, noise, dust and air pollution and transport-related CO2 emissions. Waste to landfill was also minimised from the construction process. Typically, the

The scheme design – driven principally by the architect supported by the structural, M&E, fire and sustainability teams – takes the project to a point where the high-level detail can be ‘frozen’. Revit was adopted as the chosen 3D modelling software from the outset with the architect acting as BIM manager. The production design teams then develop the detail to allow product selection and component manufacture to proceed

leading eventually to a suite of details for module manufacture and site install. Standardisation of the latter is critical and founded on a library of standard details that is continually refined rather than developed. This leads to improved quality control and minimisation of defects. The design process for a modular construction project differs from traditional construction in many respects – the engagement must happen earlier and in more detail across all disciplines to allow the modular design to progress in time. The challenge is to bring the same level of commitment to fit out as structure at an early stage in the design development process. The 70 homes – which range from one to two bedrooms used 162 modules in total and the development was completed from site clearance to handover within a 14-month period. For more information visit: Images: 01-04. Pocket Living and Vision approach was to deliver a quality product both internally and visually appealing. Courtesy Vision Modular/Pocket Living




OFFSITE CONSTRUCTION TAKING CENTRE STAGE Offsite construction will have a major presence at The Build Show taking place at the NEC, Birmingham from 10 – 12 October 2017. Taking place across the three days of The Build Show, the MPBA Seminar Theatre will play host to some of the most notable names in offsite construction. From UK policy makers and project directors of major funding programmes, to industry innovators and those who develop offsite technologies. The breadth and depth of the speaker line-up presents an excellent opportunity to gain insight from inspiring individuals who shape the future of offsite construction. For those with an interest in the housebuilding sector Day One will include Volumetric in Residential – offsite construction is being seen as a potential solution to the housing crisis but is also rapidly expanding in other residential applications such as student accommodation, care homes, defence accommodation together with the rapidly emerging Private Rental Sector. Another significant contender for the UK’s offsite manufacturing capacity is the education sector – increasingly embracing a Design for Manufacture and Assembly (DfMA) ethos which will be featured in Volumetric in Education on Day Two. Other publicly funded areas such as healthcare are placing great demand upon the offsite manufacturing supply chain. Consequently, the sector supply chain is growing rapidly, with some technologies and companies reporting over 30% growth year-on-year and the sector is estimated to break through the £10 billion turnover threshold in 2017. Volumetric in Healthcare on Day Three offers great insight into the opportunities within this sector – featuring the NHS SBS Modular Buildings Framework and why offsite construction weighs in favour of healthcare facilitators across the UK. For more information visit: www.


MPBA SEMINAR THEATRE PROGRAMME Day 1 – 10 October 2017 Offsite Construction Specification Control • Barry Turner, Director of Technical Policy (invited) - LABC • Clare Price, Market Development - BSI - Developing British Standards for offsite construction • Jeff Maxted, Director of Technical Consultancy - BLP Insurance - BOPAS accreditation process for offsite technology • Representative from BBA (invited) Volumetric in Residential • Tom Bloxham, Chairman - Urban Splash - Urban Splash’s increasing move into fully modular homes - case study on hoUSe • Steve Wightman, Managing Director - SIG Offsite - Developing an offsite solutions portfolio to help address the UK housing shortage • Rory Bergin, Partner - Sustainable Futures - HTA Design - Bringing prefabrication into the mainstream of housing delivery • Bjorn Conway, CEO - ilke Homes - How ilke Homes will contribute to delivering the step change required in housing quality and volume Day 2 – 11 October 2017 Volumetric in Education • Bryan Evans, PSBP2 Project Director - Education and Skills Funding Agency - Efficiency through standardisation and design for manufacture and assembly techniques • Simon Reid, Managing Director - Lungfish Architects - From concept to completion; creating a cost effective and quality learning environment • Emily King, Education Specialist - Portakabin - How advanced offsite solutions are addressing the demand for school places • David Clark, Innovation Director - McAvoy Group - How to use collaborative design, early engagement and advanced visualisation tools to deliver fast track educational facilities Volumetric in Construction • David Speight, Head of Construction - EDF Energy (invited) - The critical role that offsite solutions will play in the delivery of Hinkley Point C • Representative from Premier Modular (invited) - Powered Up to Deliver Accommodation at Hinkley Point C • Rob Townsend, Key Account Manager - Wernick • Kieran White, Director - Vision Modular Systems UK - Delivering Apex House – Europe’s tallest Modular Building Day 3 – 12 October 2017 Volumetric in Healthcare • Matthew Goff, Director of UK Operations - Actavo Building Solutions UK - Why Offsite Construction weighs in favour of healthcare facilitators across the UK • Tony Woods, Technical Manager - LHC • Paul Lang, CEO - Caledonian Modular (invited) - Caledonian’s involvement in the NHS SBS Modular Buildings Framework • Ronan Smyth, Commercial Director - Extraspace Solutions Training & Skills Shortages • Leif Tarry, Partnership Manager - CITB - Forecasts, Skills, and Careers • Jackie Casey, Director - Success Train • Wynn Pritchard, Director of Construction Skills & Business Strategy at NPTC Group of Colleges - Skills Development and Solutions • Jackie Maginnis, Chief Executive - MPBA - Changes to CSCS Cards. For more information visit: | The MPBA Seminar Theatre programme is produced by Radar Communications/Explore Offsite on behalf of the MPBA. For more conference events visit



DESIGNING THE RIGHT BUILDING FOR YOU Lungfish Architects is a growing practice in the heart of England. Experts in public buildings and specialists in education, they create purposeful, elegant and sustainable buildings that involve and inspire the people who use them. each project and it helps us identify the right build for you. We’re passionate about getting you the outcomes you need, be it through a modular build, purely bespoke design or a combination of both.

In today’s climate we know a one-sizefits-all approach isn’t right for everyone - and going bespoke might not be the best option either. That’s why we’ve developed a structured, three-tier approach: to listen, explore and work with you every step of the way on a design-led cycle. It’s the way we start

Focused on concept to completion, our friendly, approachable team has been specialising in offsite design for over five years. Our modular journey thus far has seen us design and build everything from a single classroom extension to a fire station in the Scottish Isles to a £50m 3-tier to 2-tier replacement programme for a whole county. And we’re breaking

new ground in modular housing. It’s seen us deliver 28 classrooms designed, planned, costed and built with keys handed over in six months. By following the rules of offsite, we can create you a cost-effective and inspiring learning environment. This, combined with our approach to engagement, means we could be choosing furniture together by our second or third meeting. For more information visit: Email: Phone: 0115 784 1223




OFFSITE FABRICATION: QUICK AND EFFICIENT GLAZING Mark Robinson of Sapa, discusses how an offsite approach to glazing and precast concrete, can result in significant savings when designing student accommodation where specifiers often find themselves working within a tight budget.

1 As well as working with cost-effective solutions for the construction phase, it’s also important to consider the cost of maintaining buildings. The Alumno Developments scheme in the heart of Birmingham is an excellent example of how an offsite approach can help projects stay on schedule while also producing significant savings. Housing approximately 650 students, the scheme is one Sapa and Elite Aluminium Systems took on for University Locks. Working in co-operation with Sisk Construction, Glenn Howells Architects and Elite Aluminium Systems Ltd, Sapa ‘value engineered’ the original curtain walling design. This was achieved by incorporating its products into an offsite, modular design, fabricated by Elite Aluminium.


“We have worked with Sapa previously, including the student and wider residential market,” said Project Architect David Hickman. “In this instance, the idea of a modular solution and installing the Dualframe assemblies at the precast plant evolved during the tender submission process and proved very effective.”

Aluminium. “We had never used the Dualframe Si system to create window wall elements before, and these were shipped to the precast manufacturer’s factory. In fact, all the bedroom windows were installed offsite, being fully glazed and protected before being moved to site in Birmingham for erection.”

Pre-fitting Sapa’s Dualframe Si Window Wall into the precast concrete modules that make up the building’s elevations provided the offsite solution. This created savings for both those working on the project during the construction phase and for the building owners long-term. As advocates of offsite construction will already know, the main benefit of a solution like this will be the savings it creates in labour costs. By producing the Dualframe Si Window Wall specifically to be pre-fitted, the fabricator spent less time onsite. This is because a large part of the installation process had already been done but also due to the product requiring less equipment to be fabricated.

For student accommodation, this was a particularly effective solution because fewer students will be disrupted for a smaller amount of time, thanks to the ease and efficiency of maintenance. The University Locks development was a particularly successful example of this technology being used and helping Alumno to launch the site, which forms part of Birmingham’s Eastside Regeneration Project, on time and on budget.

Our solution also enables any replacement glazing or upkeep to be carried out from the inside, which is not possible with conventional curtain walling. This means long-term costs drop significantly, as there will be fewer personnel needed to attend for maintenance. For the same reason, as during the installation phase, avoiding the use of cranes will reduce costs, as less equipment is needed. “We received good back-up from Sapa to assist us as we went through the designs with the project architects, having received the initial inquiry regarding the project,” said Jamie Bayliss, Managing Director of Elite

Alumno’s Managing Director, David Campbell, said: “Contributing to Birmingham’s academic stature, our proposal was to turn University Locks into a modern, high-quality student accommodation scheme, sensitively designed to complement and enhance the Digbeth Branch Canal. Following the shape of the canal-side, the three buildings have been designed to form a crescent with three distinctive wings facing out onto the canal. The materials of aluminium, glass and concrete are reflective of the canal-side heritage. The new development will provide oncampus student living close to BCU’s new City Centre Campus project.” For more information visit: Image: 01. Pre-fitting glazing into the precast concrete modules that make up the building’s elevations provided an efficient offsite solution



PRECAST RESPONSIBLE SOURCING British Precast has published its latest sustainability performance report – Sustainability Matters 2017 and marks the 10th anniversary since the organisation first launched a precast sustainability strategy. “We continue to encourage more precast manufacturers to join British Precast and take part in the sector’s sustainability strategy and KPI initiative. This year will also mark the publication of eight of our generic environmental product declarations (EPDs) covering all main precast product groups. We now have a better understanding of our sector’s environmental profile and environmental impacts: from cradle to grave. Members of British Precast are now able to develop EPDs using our verified tool for a fraction of the price available to competitors outside our sector.”

Sustainability Matters comprises of the most recent Sustainability KPI data from 2016. This annual report, allows members of British Precast to utilise the data capture and the targets set by the industry to help demonstrate conformance to the responsible sourcing of materials standard, BES 6001. The indicators detailed in the document provide an overview of the impact of the precast sector on society, the environment and how that impact is managed. “Since 2008, the precast sector has reduced manufacturing carbon emissions by 26%, mains water consumption by 31% and factory to landfill by well over 95%,” says Andrew Minson, Executive Director of British Precast. “All but one of our Sustainability 2012 targets were achieved successfully and our member companies continue to make good progress towards the 2020 targets. The mandatory annual environmental auditing initiative is offering valuable feedback to both members and the trade association on a wide range of sustainability aspects.


Significant Key Performance Indicators Resource Use – Water 77.81 litres of mains water were used per tonne of precast in 2016. This is compared with 93.15 litres of mains water used per tonne of precast produced in 2015 and 92.6 litres and 84.5 litres of mains water reported in 2014 and 2012 respectively. Groundwater use per tonne of precast was around 39.3 litres in 2016, compared to 41.2 litres in 2015, and 41.0 litres and 46.8 litres per tonne in 2014 and 2012 respectively. Water from other sources such as harvesting and recycling is not included in these figures. Resource Use – Waste 33.09 kg of waste was produced per tonne of concrete in 2016, of which only 0.89 % was disposed to landfill, 50.96% was recycled on site and 48.0% recycled off site. The overall waste figure is lower than waste per tonne in 2012 (39.80%), and lower than in 2014 (33.31%). Waste to landfill was 0.30 kg per tonne in 2016, compared to 0.48 kg/tonne in 2015 and 0.72 kg/tonne in 2014 and 1.76 kg/tonne in 2012.

Resource Use – Materials 0.146 tonnes of cementitious materials were used per tonne of precast produced in 2016, roughly consisting of 4.08 % fly ash, 4.17 % ground granulated blast furnace slag and 3.05 % limestone fines. Overall replacement of Portland cement was around 14.4 % in 2016 compared to 15.9%, 16.6% and 23.9% in 2015, 2014 and 2012 respectively. Energy including Climate Change Factory energy consumption increased slightly to 52.87 kWh/tonne of precast, produced in 2016. This is compared to 47.78 kWh/t in 2015, and 48.6 kWh/t and 50.6 kWh/t in 2014 and 2012 respectively. 48.7% of the factories’ energy was from gas, 18.37% was from electricity and 27.23% from gas oil / diesel. Following the publication of its Resource Efficiency Action Plan (REAP) Performance Report earlier this year, British Precast has begun to align itself more closely with the concept of the circular economy, and to enable further engagement with contractor and supply chain organisations, such as Build UK and the Supply Chain Sustainability School. It has also been involved in the drafting, development and revision of a BSI’s new Circular Economy standard BS 8001. For more information and to download a copy of Sustainability Matters 2017 visit: Image: 01. British Precast Sustainability Matters 2017 report.



A UNIQUE SINGLE-POINT SOLUTION TO A MULTITUDE OF CHALLENGES A simplistic design and high performance has seen fermacell specified by many of Europe’s leading architects and construction companies for over 40 years.

2 Easy Construction Although it outperforms other boards in so many ways, fermacell is really simple to use. And as it provides a ready-to-decorate finish, with no wet trades needed, it helps reduce time and cost both on and offsite.

1 fermacell Gypsum Fibreboard is a high performance building board produced using recycled gypsum, recycled cellulose fibres from waste paper and recycled water. The end result is a finished partition that combines the properties associated with solid masonry with the flexibility of dry wall, in a construction that is often thinner, quicker and cheaper to install than both. A Load Off Your Mind With a load-carrying capacity of up to 50kg per cavity fixing and 30kg per screw, fermacell gives greater flexibility as many items can be fixed directly to the boards rather than the substructure.


Hear the Difference fermacell offers greater acoustic performance with fewer layers, enabling slimmer partitions and simply party wall construction. A single layer fixed to a timber stud achieves Rw44dB of sound insulation and a single layer fixed to a metal stud achieves Rw52dB. Make Moisture Less of a Problem As a moisture-resistant board, fermacell is suitable for use in relative humidity of up to 80%, using fermacell means you’ll have fewer problems with moisture and reduces the need for additional protection during transportation.

The biggest advantage of all? fermacell produces the largest Gypsum Fibreboard in the world. Our largest board size is 6 m x 2.54 m, reducing the need for jointing and reducing waste, which is also used to make acoustic flooring and robust ceiling solutions. So with one product offering all these benefits, specifying, logistics and installation are much easier. It is tried, tested and proven in hundreds of education, public, residential and commercial buildings. For more information visit: Images: 01-02. fermacell produce the world’s largest Gypsum Fibreboard



ALIGNING DRAINAGE AND RAINWATER SOLUTIONS FOR MODULAR CONSTRUCTION the air movement within the drainage pipework system and soil stack, protecting the water trap seals of appliances within the building. Our designers work closely with clients to understand the specific needs of the engineered solution, using our range of systems to offer significant time and cost savings. We work with you to ensure connection compatibility, to meet the needs of the program, and to guarantee that the benefits for your project are maximised.

1 The Polypipe Terrain Team lives by their claim to be pioneering and innovative in both service and product delivery. They offer offsite construction sector focused services, which are designed to integrate smoothly into the build program. It is clear that the construction industry is profoundly changing, as it develops alternative and ground-breaking delivery methods to solve modern building challenges. Polypipe Terrain, the tall building specialist, has long been associated with innovative engineered commercial drainage solutions. We recognise that the supply chain has an integral part to play in facilitating the time and cost savings anticipated through large scale offsite construction. Polypipe Terrain’s unique fabricated drainage stack and waste run out service is applicable to both shell and core build processes and to the offsite facility process. The design and layout of drainage in tall buildings needs to be carefully considered as it poses significant challenges. Drawing on over fifty years’ experience, our innovative product portfolios have been developed with tall and commercial buildings in mind. Whether supplied as a fully factory tested floor or pod 68

drainage section, or as pre-configured kits, our comprehensive service complete with full project schedule coordination ensures alignment with the supply schedule. The Terrain P.A.P.A. (Positive Air Pressure Attenuator) and Pleura Vent System eliminates the need for a traditional piped secondary vent system. This means that there is no need for vent penetrations in the slab and the requirement for vent penetrations through the roof is also drastically reduced, simplifying the piping network in the building and reducing the complexity for the offsite portion of the build. By removing the secondary ventilation pipework in commercial, public and high-rise multi-storey buildings, air admittance systems introduce air regulators to balance negative air pressure fluctuations and an air attenuator to balance positive air pressures. Together, they form a highly effective alternative solution for controlling

In addition, Polypipe Terrain delivers solutions for podium level rainwater attenuation systems which can be embedded into precast sections. Providing a high void ratio rainwater attenuation solution, Terrain’s Permavoid geocellular design provides structural integrity and is capable of being precast in podium, platform or walkway sections. Our Permavoid Podium Deck provides ideal first stage rainwater interception and source control that can be easily integrated into an overall sustainable urban drainage system (SuDS) solution. Thanks to its 95% void ratio, Permavoid can collect and retain three times more water than aggregate sub-bases, making it ideal for projects where depths and loadings are an important consideration. Coupled with the appropriate flow control outlets to maintain specified discharge rates, our integrated podium attenuation systems are able to overcome the limitations presented by areas in which there is a lack of external space. At Polypipe Terrain, we are constantly evolving our solutions to be more efficient for installation, as well as providing long term integrity in use. For more information visit: Image: 01. Innovative engineered commercial drainage solutions are suitable for offsite projects



EMBEDDING SUSTAINABLE THINKING As the concept of the circular economy challenges organisations to re-think how their resources are managed to create financial, environmental and social benefits, the new BS 8001 has been launched to guide the way. Practical implementation of the six principles of the circular economy – innovation, stewardship, collaboration, value optimisations, transparency and ‘systems thinking’ – is the bedrock of the standard, and step-by-step guidance on how an organisation can navigate through the different stages of implementation is provided. Systems thinking is defined in the standard as an understanding of how organisations, individual decisions and activities interact within the wider systems they are part of.

1 One of the key aims of the circular economy is to keep products, components and materials at their highest utility and value at all times, in keeping with the mantra of the circular economy as being restorative and regenerative by design. BS 8001 outlines what the circular economy is and how an organisation can transition from a linear to a circular, and more sustainable, day-to-day operation. The new British Standard for the circular economy – BS 8001: 2017: Framework for implementing the principles of the circular economy in organizations – a guide – developed to meet these mutually beneficial goals, provides guiding principles for organisations and individuals to consider and implement more sustainable practices. It is the first standard of its kind, both in the UK and globally.


Identifying the role of the circular economy in a particular organisation, and how an organisation can maximize the potential of this information is one of the first steps outlined in BS 8001. Importantly, the standard is not intended to be prescriptive or certifiable: it is intended to be used flexibly by those which adopt it – irrespective of the size, sector, type or location of the organisation. It is suitable for organisations at a nascent or more advanced stage of transition on implementing the principles of the circular economy. The move to a ‘circular economy’ is a significant opportunity for businesses and organisations by contributing to a resource efficient and low-carbon economy, costs and supply chain risks are reduced. Further benefits for businesses which choose to implement BS 8001 include improved resilience, new revenue streams, and enhanced corporate sustainability credentials. Extensive input from UK businesses into the development of the standard has ensured the standard is useable in real-world scenarios, and that the language used in the document is not overly technical and accessible to those without prior knowledge of the circular economy. David Fatscher, Head

of Sustainability at BSI, said: “BS 8001 is a world first and further evidence that BSI, as the UK national standards body, is demonstrating leadership in developing knowledge solutions which address global challenges. Resource productivity is at the heart of the government’s new industrial strategy and demonstrates how standards can be considered business improvement tools which help organisations unlock the untapped potential of sustainable growth. BS 8001 was developed to enable organisations to take practical actions to realise the economic and social benefits of the circular economy.” To support the framework, BS 8001 provides guidance around the specific issues surrounding the transition to a circular model – namely measurements, liability and insurance, logistical concerns, and materials. Guidance is also provided on specific associated business models, including leasing, the sharing economy, and remanufacturing. BS 8001 is a voluntary guidance standard like ISO 26000, not a requirements standard like ISO 9001 or ISO 14001. This means that it is not intended nor suitable for certification purposes, i.e. you cannot be certified for compliance. For more information visit: Images: 01. The new British Standard for the circular economy provides guiding principles for organisations and individuals implementing more sustainable practices



GOING FOR GROWTH A new report from WPI Economics – the Value of Offsite Construction to UK Productivity and Growth – examines some of the commonly understood benefits of offsite construction but also makes some strong economic arguments for its expanded use across the UK. “Importantly, these benefits are not just felt by those in the area surrounding the construction activity. By moving construction offsite, economic activity is more effectively spread around the country, meaning that it can play a strong role in ensuring that regions all across the UK benefit from economic growth, increased skills and productivity and higher living standards.”

1 Written by respected economist, policy analyst and previously Chief Economist and Head of Financial Services Policy at Which? Matthew Oakley, the report outlines many reasons why the construction sector and offsite sector is vital to the UK economy and picks out some ways on how Government can best achieve its economic and social ambitions in housebuilding and infrastructure development – especially in what is bound to be a bumpy postBrexit economy. Can a fundamental shift towards offsite manufacture make the ride a smoother one? Estimating the benefits of increased use of offsite construction, the report outlines a raft of ways that offsite manufacture has become more and more sophisticated in recent years. Case study examples include McAvoy Group’s modular approach to Ocean Academy, Poole and the M&E modules, logistics hub and impressive precast concrete work at Heathrow. Add to this further efficiencies being maximised via BIM and digital technology and there are many routes through which offsite adoption could increase even more: 72

• Improved working practices, skills and efficiency could help boost productivity in the construction sector and wider economy • By facilitating quicker project completion and easing local resident’s concerns on construction, it would mean a speedier and more costeffective upgrading of the UK’s critical infrastructure • Offsite construction centres can form a lasting body of construction expertise, providing a long-lasting economic boost to the area in which they are located • These centres can also provide a focus for skills and investment policy – facilitating the growth of a high-skilled economy from which agglomeration effects can be felt • By creating a lasting economic centre – small businesses can be supported to contribute to the supply chain, driving growth in this important demographic of businesses.

To better understand some of these potential effects, WPI Economics undertook modelling based on an expected impact of increasing offsite construction, saying: “These figures are not definitive, the precise impacts will depend on the nature of the growth in offsite construction, the parts of the construction sector that embrace it and wider factors like technological change. However, they provide a range of scenarios to help understand the potential scale and nature of benefits that might be felt. Results from our central, but conservative, case suggest that, if the construction industry were able to increase the use of off-site construction so that 25% of all work is undertaken off-site, it would be associated with an increase in GVA per job of 3.6%. “Combined with growth in construction sector jobs modelled by the UKCES, this suggests construction sector GVA increasing in all regions of the UK. However, given the existing (and likely future) distribution of expertise in offsite construction, our model suggests that employment growth will be concentrated outside of London. This provides a large boost to those regional economies, with GVA in regions outside of London increasing by £4.3 billion by 2020 as a result of the shift to offsite methods. This is driven in part by offsite construction



2 methods improving productivity a redistribution of construction jobs growth outside of the Capital.” The report identifies some clear benefits of offsite construction but also outlines ways to encourage offsite construction. Four recommendations to place offsite construction at the heart of the Government’s industrial strategy and illustrate where the tangible benefits of offsite rest compared to traditional methods are explained. Firstly, using a ‘balanced scorecard’ approach the Government and construction sector should commit to a target of moving 25% of construction to offsite methods. As part of this, the Government should commit to a target of at least 30% offsite construction in major projects procured over the next five years. Secondly, when developing its approach to reporting on the balanced scorecard policy, the Government should report on the number of tenderers proposing offsite construction methods and the proportion of these that were successful.

Thirdly, although the Housing White Paper earlier in the year committed to promoting the use of more offsite construction in housebuilding, the Government should explore whether national planning policy could be amended to give preference to applications that involve the use of offsite techniques. Fourth, as much of the offsite expertise is seen as being outside of the Capital, developing expert centres for offsite construction would have clear benefits for the areas where they are located. Both central and local government and industry bodies should work together to develop clusters built around offsite construction expertise. To encourage these, local areas should consider providing targeted incentives, such as a reduction in business rates to centres building off-site construction expertise. The report does well to demonstrate the importance of offsite construction to the wider development of UK construction. The economic benefits of embracing increased offsite methods – especially across the housebuilding sector – may well be the most compelling reason longterm. But crucially the report also shows that: “to ensure the sector plays the role that it should, it will need to take steps to evolve and modernise.

Offsite construction should be at the heart of that transformation. Increasing and improving the role that it plays would boost productivity, improve reliability and safety and drive growth in the construction sector and UK economy more broadly. Perhaps most importantly, offsite construction provides a vital opportunity to deliver growth across all of the UK regions and develop a foothold in a major global construction market.” In contrast to the positive messages surrounding offsite construction, fundamental barriers still remain and need to be addressed. There is still a seemingly ill-defined pipeline of future demand that translates into a reticence to invest and develop technology – this is not helped by the impact of what a post-Brexit economic climate will feel like – and the skills deficit and new capabilities saga constantly proving a challenge. For more information and to download a copy of the report visit:

Images: 01. Modular toilet facilities, Heathrow. Courtesy Bryden Wood 02. Ocean Academy, Poole. Courtesy McAvoy Group





Following its acquisition of Ecobuild, Futurebuild Events Ltd is making big changes to the 2018 event to ensure a fresh and relevant format. This includes the further investment in the collaboration with Explore Offsite and the expansion of the Offsite District within the show.

1 Ecobuild is all about ensuring that it is truly designed by and for the industry, with the offsite sector being engaged on a number of levels, thereby setting the agenda and engaging with the most innovative, exciting and inspiring brands, companies and speakers to ensure the best possible visitor and exhibitor experience. Explore Offsite at Ecobuild Offsite represents the future direction of construction technology and will be a key element in the vision for Ecobuild 2018. The opportunities are immense. Offsite construction is rapidly expanding, with a 35% increase per annum. Yet at the same time, an estimated 90% of the construction market is still to adopt offsite technology. There are so many opportunities offsite construction offers to both private and public sectors – a bespoke solution to the housing shortage, delivery of rapidly required school buildings, shorter build times, less waste and lower costs for buyers. The challenge is educating and inspiring the wider built


environment about this potential – which is why Ecobuild are working with leaders in the sector to make Explore Offsite at Ecobuild bigger and better than ever before. Last year, Explore Offsite was one of the most popular elements of Ecobuild, with many of the most innovative and forward-thinking brands from around the globe representing the sector including well-known brands such as EOS Facades, Wernick, B&K Structures, Portakabin and Hadley. The area was also supported by leading offsite experts Cogent Consulting and key industry media – Offsite Magazine and Offsite Hub. Scaling up this success, Ecobuild 2018 will see the offsite focus return and grow - it will include more exhibitors and have masterclasses showcasing the latest offsite innovations. New partners include key associations such as the Structural Timber Association (STA), the Modular and Portable Building Association (MPBA) and British Precast.

Explore Offsite at Ecobuild will focus on key industry innovations and provide a comprehensive and balanced perspective on this rapidly emerging sector from a host of UK and international suppliers. During the three day event, a number of offsite solutions will be showcased including: framing systems in concrete, timber and steel, modular and volumetric systems, bathroom and kitchen pods, offsite roofing technology, preengineered building services and a range of prefabricated building components. There will also be daily CPD-accredited Masterclasses, facilitated by the Offsite Academy, where visitors will be invited to learn about the latest in offsite technology and lean manufacturing processes, plus hear from leading architects on how to embrace design for manufacture and assembly (DfMA) and the impact of BIM in the context of offsite construction – these Masterclasses will offer an independent perspective on the offsite construction sector as a whole. Co-location of established events New to Explore Offsite at Ecobuild in 2018 will be the co-location of the annual Offsite Construction Awards and the Offsite Construction Summit. The Offsite Construction Awards are recognised as the ultimate endorsement of innovation and achievement in the offsite sector. The Awards will take place on the evening of 06 March in the Ecobuild Arena within the main show area and will be complemented by an Awards Gallery that will showcase each of the shortlisted projects, products and people.



2 Ahead of the Offsite Construction Awards, the Offsite Construction Summit will bring together leading offsite specialists from around the globe to deliver a comprehensive programme of case study based presentations, demonstrating global best practice and thought leadership. Summit speakers will be assembled from all areas of the globe including Australasia, North America and mainland Europe. Offsite Buyers and Specifiers Forum – the easy and efficient way to do business Also new for 2018 will be the introduction of the Offsite Buyers and Specifiers Forum – a dynamic meeting environment exclusively for exhibitors at the show to meet face-to-face with leading contractors, architects, specifiers and purchasing managers. As time is at a premium - too much work, busy schedules and not enough hours in the day, show visitors may miss out on making contact with significant key people that could have a huge impact on the future success of their business. The Offsite Buyers & Specifiers Forum provides a solution to this by offering a structured, highly effective way for buyers to meet with new and existing vendors/suppliers from within the offsite industry by prebooking meetings to take place in the dedicated Forum business centre.


The Ecobuild team will organise a bespoke programme of handpicked supplier meetings, seminars and networking events to help fulfil the buyers immediate to longer term project needs – enabling them to exploit the best of business opportunities from visiting Explore Offsite at Ecobuild. The Offsite Buyers & Specifiers Forum will be located at the heart of the Offsite District in the main exhibition hall and a dedicated and customised timetable of activity will ensure that buyers get the most out of their time invested in visiting the show. Ask the Expert Explore Offsite at Ecobuild in 2017 demonstrated the insatiable appetite of visitors to acquire as much offsite knowledge as possible when visiting the show. This can be done by talking to exhibitors or sitting in on Masterclasses, but in 2018 Explore Offsite at Ecobuild will also now include a dedicated Ask the Expert facility, whereby visitors will be able to meet one-to-one with leading industry experts to discuss live projects and explore design efficiencies, engineering challenges and supplychain development. The Ask the Expert facility, located in the heart of the Offsite District, will permit visitors to ‘drop in’ with scheme concept details and drawings – without

the need to pre-book meetings and without any consultation fee. Leading offsite industry experts will be on hand to discuss project objectives and to make recommendations on design efficiencies, value engineering, comparable case studies and supplychain opportunities, or just provide endorsement of current strategies. What is already lined up for Explore Offsite at Ecobuild in 2018 is exciting, but the show organisers want to challenge the offsite sector to move the technology even more to the forefront of construction thinking by getting more diverse and cutting-edge technologies on display or discussed within the Masterclass seminar programme. Ecobuild want the offsite sector to help shape the event and ensure that Explore Offsite at Ecobuild is showcasing the very latest thinking and innovations in the sector. Get involved and share your thoughts on how you want Explore Offsite at Ecobuild to look. Contact the Ecobuild team on social media using the hashtag #Ecobuild2018 or email Martin Hurn – Managing Director at: Images: 01-02. Explore Offsite at Ecobuild was one of the most popular areas and will be revamped and bigger for 2018 as the Offsite Construction District



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IMPROVED WORKING KNOWLEDGE: IMPROVES WORKING PERFORMANCE An exciting new series of interactive masterclasses exploring the principles, technologies and applications of offsite construction will be delivered by the Offsite Academy – a collaboration between LHC, Explore Offsite and leading offsite construction consultancy Cogent Consulting. Offsite construction techniques are now recognised as some of the most important solutions to many of the problems facing the construction industry. However, the challenge of such a rapidly-growing sector, with its seemingly limitless stream of new processes, systems and products, means it can be hard for you to know where to start or how to keep up-todate.

Hosted in the newly commissioned Offsite Innovation Centre on the BRE’s Innovation Park in Watford, this series of masterclasses are designed to engage a wide range of potential clients and specifiers looking to embrace the benefits offered by adopting offsite construction techniques.

The masterclasses are specifically aimed at construction clients, construction professionals (architects, surveyors and engineers) housebuilders, registered providers, education authorities, NHS Trusts, contractors, building product manufacturers and anyone needing to improve their knowledge of offsite construction.

OFFSITE ACADEMY: A RANGE OF LEARNING OPPORTUNITIES MC 1 Offsite Construction: an Overview Offsite construction is rapidly emerging as a super-efficient, quality way of building, although the speed of change means that it is often difficult to keep pace with advances. This masterclass provides an overview and looks at the benefits and implications of using different techniques. Ideal for those with limited previous exposure to offsite construction methods. MC 2 Supply Chain Management A new approach to supply chain integration is vital to exploit the full benefits of offsite construction. This masterclass looks at the best procurement route for offsite methods, including product and system selection, supplier assessment, procurement planning and supply logistics. A must for the construction team responsible for delivering projects involving offsite manufacture. MC 3 Offsite Construction and the Education Sector This masterclass demonstrates how to exploit the benefits of offsite construction for the delivery of schools and other educational buildings. A critical factor for success is for the design to embrace these new construction techniques at the outset of the concept development process – this masterclass reveals how this can be achieved. MC 4 Offsite Construction and the Healthcare Sector A must for anyone involved in the design and construction of new healthcare buildings, this masterclass looks at the offsite technology options most suited to this sector. This masterclass also examines how to embrace offsite construction at the outset of the concept development process, the principle criteria for successful healthcare project delivery. MC 5 Offsite Construction and the Housing Sector Housebuilding has led the way in factory-built innovation in recent years and there is a wide choice of building systems now available. This masterclass explores the best technology solutions and how to adapt the traditional build process. A must for anyone involved in the design or construction of both affordable housing, private rental sector housing and private housing. MC 6 Technology Update: Exploiting New Materials & Processes Offsite construction creates major opportunities for innovation in the use of materials, which increasingly allows new designs and production processes to become more efficient and versatile. To get the most reliable results, you need to carry out proper assessments on a whole range of complex performance characteristics. This masterclass will help you to understand and benefit from the latest developments.




Dynamic and Interactive Learning The first of its kind, the offsite masterclass series offers opportunities to learn about the very latest offsite construction advances from a team of highly-experienced specialists who live and breathe the industry. The theory is invaluable but sound, practical and objective knowledge is essential. This is available in bite-sized chunks to fill the gaps in your knowledge and skills-base alongside the benefits and reassurance of CPD accreditation. Featuring carefully-chosen guest speakers, each half-day masterclass will examine a specific sector, technology or related topic, with reallife case studies bringing the subject to life. A bespoke open forum will give you the chance to ask questions and

gain insight into others’ experiences and solutions, and you will be given the opportunity for a free one-to-one private consultation to discuss more complex issues bespoke to your project or business. Only 25 delegates per masterclass will be accepted to ensure that interaction is maximised. The masterclasses are aimed at delivering fast, qualitative improvements in knowledge, skills and overall competence in your chosen masterclass subject, with the emphasis on giving you hands-on advice that is of real benefit to you and your organisation. Following the masterclass the Offsite Academy will give you a telephone helpline number to call for further advice.

Full details of masterclass dates will be published on the Offsite Hub alongwith relevant cost details and information on subsidised attendance for public sector delegates visit: If you would like to express interest in attending any of the masterclasses then please email: for full details. A limited range of sponsorship and guest speaker opportunities exist for each of the masterclasses. For full details on these opportunities please contact If you wish to become a sponsor or exhibitor in the Offsite Innovation Centre then please get in touch – there are some unique opportunities available.

MC 7 Technology Update: Volumetric Building Modules Volumetric modular construction maximises the opportunity to bring site-based construction activity into a controlled factory environment, giving the potential to provide a complete, factory-finished construction solution. This masterclass focuses on the best solutions and how to get the most from this versatile build technology. MC 8 Technology Update: Bathroom & Kitchen Pods The benefits of using pods are well known for applications such as student accommodation and hotels. However, this technique is now proving its worth in housing and other residential developments. This masterclass highlights the latest advances and demonstrates the importance of the early involvement of the specialist supply chains. MC 9 Technology Update: Concrete Concrete is a tried and trusted material. Often criticised for the method of delivery, the concrete industry has developed a wide range of advanced factory-engineered concrete solutions that exploit the inherent acoustic, thermal and durability performance of this material – this masterclass examines the best of the latest advances. MC 10 Technology Update: Light Gauge Steel Framing (LGSF) The speed of development of LGSF technology has resulted in a rapid growth in uptake across all sectors of the construction industry and is one of the fastest growing offsite construction technologies. This masterclass demonstrates the range of options available and the benefits that are making this approach so successful. MC 11 Technology Update: Timber Frame, SIPS & CLT Timber frame construction is well established in the UK and has maintained a dominant share of the non-traditional housing sector for a number of years. The technology continues to develop with an increasing range of new systems now available – this masterclass focuses on the successful application of these techniques, from design brief to final commissioning and handover. MC 12 Technology Update: Building Services (MEP) For most buildings, the mechanical and electrical services installation is the key logistic and labour-intensive build activity. The use of offsite construction techniques for the delivery of building services can significantly reduce lead times in the construction programme. This masterclass demonstrates the latest advances, from modular wiring and plumbing systems to modular plant rooms, services cassettes and prefabricated utility cupboards (PUCs).




YOU ARE YOUR BIGGEST INFLUENCER At the time of writing the UK faces much speculation and uncertainty. Not for the first time the UK is faced with the repercussions of a hung parliament following the snap General Election. But as Jim Roach, Managing Director of specialist recruiter ARV Solutions, explains – don’t let the current political uncertainty hold your career back. Once again potential job hunters are left with the decision – do we play it safe and wait for ‘strong and stable’ or do we forge on ahead despite any potential risk? If recent elections and referendums are anything to go by you could be waiting a long time if you decide to plump for the former. How risky is a career move in these times? Not as risky as you may think especially not for the offsite construction sector which is enjoying a huge surge in growth. As a nation we are experiencing the highest employment rate, since comparable records began in 1971. Supply is out reaching demand – we are currently faced with high demand for housing, and schools and there is an even higher skills shortage affecting how we address this demand. For those with skills there are opportunities abound and absolutely no need to stay put or settle. The construction industry is already facing a serious skills shortage and needs access to a skilled and international workforce. Added to this the current housing shortage is only going to be exacerbated by the lack of a skilled workforce. The industry could be stifled not only by a shortage of skilled workers but an ageing workforce and the short supply of training and skills funding. The next UK Government needs to ensure the rights of non-UK citizens are a priority to safeguard the future of the industry.


It’s a Candidate’s Market – put your career first Inspiring young adults to look to construction as an appealing career option and placing importance on apprenticeships needs to be a priority. As indeed does more funding put into training. Only then over time will we be able to bridge the gap we may well face being left by departing EU workers. With the construction sector potentially vulnerable, keeping ambiguity to a minimum, not letting uncertainty disrupt decisions being made and action being taken, investing in training and not letting our careers remain stagnant will be key. Don’t wait for the Government to get their act together, look after your own career. Today it is a candidate’s market. For keen professionals new to offsite, with transferrable skills and a genuine enthusiasm to take construction forward through innovation this is a very viable option for progressing your career. The offsite sector is rapidly growing, there are great possibilities for workers. With its continuous developments in innovation and technology, it’s an exciting sector to be a part of. The opportunities are out there and the lack of leadership in Westminster isn’t going to halter them. This period of uncertainty cannot be allowed to interrupt your career progression.

Offsite Continues to Thrive The industry isn’t going away – most would argue offsite has hit a critical mass and is sure to not only thrive but be a true driver for better construction. There are opportunities aplenty regardless of the uncertainty our Government currently offers. Don’t settle for what you think is the ‘safe option’ and stay put, make the move you want and don’t be deterred from your career path. Offsite is developing and it’s an exciting time to be a part of it. The biggest influence on your life and career is not politicians, the market or the sector within which you work, think closer to home – it’s your employer and you. If you are not completely fulfilled in your career, do the very best you can to progress, train, learn, look for promotion opportunities, better pay and don’t forget the all-important work-life balance. If you job isn’t ticking enough boxes and your employer is holding you back, take your skills and ability elsewhere. There are plenty of employers who will pay you better, train and develop you better and provide more opportunities to those who want them. For more information visit: Follow Us: @arvsolutions


Adding Real Value in Recruitment Specialists in offsite manufacturing, construction and supply chain ARV Solutions are the UK’s leading recruitment consultancy for the offsite construction sector and it’s supply chain. Our valueable relationships with our clients means we have access to unadvertised job opportunities. Each member of our team is a expert in their field and they are dedicated to matching candidates from trainee through to management level.

Our team’s specialist knowledge of your industry means they are best placed to offer you specific advice and support within this niche sector. From your job search to writing your CV. Call for impartial and confidential advice on your career: 0117 959 2008 or register your CV at

Follow us: @arvsolutions

DATES FOR YOUR DIARY If you are interested in learning more about offsite construction and the associated manufacturing processes then choose from some of the following offsite events: DATE 20 September




Explore Offsite Healthcare

NEC, Birmingham

This event will present case studies of projects that have used offsite technology to create a new healthcare facility, upgrade or extension in a seamless way, ontime and on-budget working in a sensitive, inclusive and collaborative fashion. Speakers will discuss how they have met the healthcare provider and/or the NHS Trust’s expectations in providing a sustainable, energy efficient and cost-effective contemporary building. 21 September

EOS Facades CPD Factory Tour

County Durham

Part of the Inside Offsite Factory Tour programme, the tour will include a demonstration by the estimating team of how the EOS ‘lump sum’ quote is generated, demonstration of EOS’ design software, followed by a tour of the factory demonstrating the new Howick FRAMA machine plus quality control, labelling, floor coding and traceability processes rounding off with EOS / Siniat external through wall system types and samples of the finished EOS product. 28 September

The Solution to the Housing Crisis: Offsite Structural Timber


A host of speakers representing Timber Frame, SIPS and CLT will present the facts about structural timber, dispelling the myths, offering technical expertise and demonstrating the capabilities through a range of high calibre case studies followed by general association updates during the afternoon session. 10 October

2017 Structural Timber Awards


More than 500 leaders and innovators from across the construction sector will gather at the National Conference Centre, Birmingham for the Structural Timber Awards. The prestigious award ceremony will reward outstanding projects, innovative products and dynamic people promoting excellence in structural timber across the UK - the UK’s biggest timber networking event. 10-12 October

Timber Expo

NEC, Birmingham

Part of UK Construction Week, Timber Expo covers a breadth of timber applications from timber frame through to sawmills, glulam to timber cladding. It is three days brimming with the latest products, innovations and developments across the timber sector - not just from the UK but from an increasingly exciting and diverse international market. 05 December

Explore Offsite Infrastructure


Explore Offsite will see approximately 250 delegates and an exhibition of up to 30 companies, all from a range sectors that incorporate offsite construction in their infrastructure construction practice, covering rail, roads, airports and utilities. Full speaker programme available online. 06-08 March


ExCeL, London

A fresh format that’s nothing like an ordinary trade show bringing together the most innovative, exciting and inspiring brands, companies, speakers and experiences. The centrepiece will be the comprehensive conference programme curated by top industry figures surrounded by eight unique ‘futurebuild districts’ that will each explore a different aspect of the built environment. These will include building performance, infrastructure and energy. 06 March

Offsite Awards

ExCeL, London

Celebrate the best in precision building design and delivery at the Offsite Construction Awards. The Awards will reward outstanding examples of prefabrication and factory-based methods, products, systems and disciplines that increasingly strive to develop a sustainable, streamlined and cost-effective way to deliver a better built environment. Entries open 01 October 2017 and can be submitted online.

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