Offsite Magazine - Issue 30 (November/December 2021)

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MOBIE Mark Southgate talks to us about radically improving the way construction is delivered in the UK


CLIMATE SMARTER CITIES How the Bristol Housing Festival continues to address the housing and climate crisis successfully


OFFSITE AWARDS 2021 Held during Offsite Expo 2021 who were this year’s winning and highly commended projects?


Build with steel, the Howick way Whether you are expanding your offsite offering or switching to modular building for the first time, there is a lot to consider. And we should know. At Howick, we have been innovating in the fast-build construction space for decades. Our precision light gauge steel (LGS) roll-forming technology brings accuracy, speed and performance that is trusted by smart construction businesses throughout the UK and the world.

Make an informed choice To help you navigate your options and make an informed choice, we have created a free detailed guide for machine buyers. It covers everything from the benefits and applications of building with LGS, to the right Howick technology and the commercial considerations to fast-track a return on your investment.




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Offsite Magazine is produced and published by Radar Communications: ©Radar Communications Ltd. Radar Communications Ltd, 101 Longden Road, Shrewsbury, Shropshire, SY3 9PS T: 01743 290001 SUBSCRIBE TO RECEIVE OFFSITE: This magazine is a bimonthly publication and the annual subscription fee for UK postage is £29.70 plus VAT for all six issues (£4.95 per copy). Visit ADVERTISING ENQUIRIES PLEASE CONTACT: Julie Williams // T: 01743 290001 E: SEND US YOUR NEWS: Gary Ramsay // T: 01743 290001 E: BACK ISSUES VISIT: FOR OFFSITE ENQUIRIES PLEASE CONTACT: E: DISCLAIMER: The content of Offsite Magazine does not necessarily reflect the views of the editor or publishers and are the views of its contributors and advertisers. The digital edition may include hyperlinks to third-party content, advertising, or websites, provided for the sake of convenience and interest. The publishers accept no legal responsibility for loss arising from information in this publication and do not endorse any advertising or products available from external sources. 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 last edition of Offsite Magazine for 2021. It has been another strange year of national and business recovery from the on-going pandemic, but offsite methods have been resilient in the face of the various material supply issues and industry upheavals. Recent statistical reports on the construction sector from Glenigan suggests the value of construction work commencing on-site during the three months to November 2021 fell 13% against the preceding three months and stood 20% lower than 2020, with the value of residential work on-site dropping a huge 34% against the same period in 2020. The residential sector is one where offsite manufacture – and particularly volumetric modular – continues to thrive and throw up pioneering techniques. Things are quickly progressing, for example, Ilke Homes recently raised £60million to scale-up its Yorkshire operations and could see them enter the Housebuilder Top 10 within the next five years and deliver 10,000 low carbon, factory-built homes. Speaking about the development, MMC Champion Mark Farmer said: “True zerocarbon homes just cannot be delivered at scale through using traditional construction methods…we therefore need to move quickly to less resource

At the Bristol Housing Festival, they are doing just that. Inside we hear from Festival Director, Jez Sweetland on how it is responding to the many crises facing society – housing, climate and skills shortages – and showcasing huge amounts of innovation in developing better housing for Bristol’s residents, using a variety of innovative offsite approaches that offer a blueprint for transformation. Construction skills and how to improve them is a constant industry concern. I spoke to Mark Southgate, CEO of MOBIE about its progress since its launch in 2017 and how it is helping create a young enthusiastic, digitalsavvy generation of new construction professionals. “We need to change the way we build houses and reduce their impact on the environment,” said Mark. “We can do this by adopting more digital approaches and applying manufacturing thinking." For more on how MOBIE is tackling construction’s ‘attractiveness problem’ and tempting future home creators to the industry see page 24. Finally, a special thanks to all our contributors, advertisers and supporters that have helped over the last difficult 12 months. See you in 2022!

Gary Ramsay

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30 | Mindset Reset




Tony Woods, Technical Manager at LHC, explains how the public sector can reduce the impacts of skills shortages by using offsite manufacture and better collaboration.

36 | Designing New Forms with Light Steel Frame


A new digital system performance guide for the market leading Metframe prepanelised offsite framing solution, enables specifiers to make informed decisions on system lining to meet client needs and achieve Building Regulation requirements.


MOBIE was founded in 2017 and is set to drive the future of home design. Chief Executive, Mark Southgate, talked to us about how it is radically improving the way we construct – and increasingly manufacture – homes in the UK.

44 | A Shift in Housing Supply





Across the UK, we face a housing crisis, a climate crisis, as well as a construction skills shortage. But as Bristol Housing Festival Project Director, Jez Sweetland explains, these challenges are a powerful opportunity to do things differently.

Despite the challenges posed by COVID-19 over the last 18 months, the Offsite Awards still managed to reward innovation and excellence across a range of sectors. Held during Offsite Expo 2021, who were this year’s winners?



08 | Industry News

28 | Modular Offsite: a green construction option With world leaders recently meeting at COP26 to formulate plans to reduce climate change and as we approach the point of no return in reversing the damaging effects of CO2 emissions on our environment – is it time for offsite construction to be considered a major part of the solution?

News and developments from across the UK offsite industry and wider construction arena including: creating low carbon concrete, Stora Enso promote timber industrial buildings, Places for People and ilke Homes partner for more modular homes and Ibstock reveal plans for the UK’s first automated brick slip systems factory.

Luciana Kola, Marketing Manager at Uponor, explains why pipework for both domestic services and heating systems are ideal products for factory-based construction.

60 | A Model to Replicate


Ilke Homes recently raised £60million to scale-up its operations and deliver an ambitious five-year plan, that could put them on course to become a top ten housebuilder within the next five years.

50 | Turning up the Heat on Modular Construction


The construction of 504 Bristol Rd was a complex project due to its location and the building’s unusual architectural shapes and forms. The solution was the lightweight Hadley Steel Framing System.

Springhead Primary School is a primary school constructed entirely from volumetric modular units to deliver large spaces, architectural features and create a landmark community building.

62 | The Community & Circular Approach

Ebury Edge is a temporary work and community space at the heart of Westminster, providing affordable workspace, retail units, community hall and public courtyard: timber provided a key element of the scheme.

68 | Spotlight on New Talent

Can offsite construction help to tackle skills shortages? Chris Jarman, Director of the Construction Talent Retention Scheme and Talentview Construction, offers some compelling reasons how it can.

72 | Offsite – the sensible option

TATA Chemicals Europe and the Lostock Sustainable Energy Plant embarked on an all-encompassing infrastructure upgrade costing £480million, with offsite offering many answers.

74 | Meeting the Hybrid Challenge

The new state-of-the-art, five-storey research building for the University of Warwick, used the award-winning HybriDfMA concrete frame system alongside an adjacent timber structural frame.

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voestalpine Metsec has launched a new digital system performance guide for its market leading pre-panelised offsite framing solution – Metframe.

1 Available in two versions, one for Scotland and one for England and Wales, it enables specifiers to make informed decisions on system lining to meet client needs and achieve Building Regulation requirements. The new guide provides the project design team with information on performance, through wall build-ups and junction detailing for the most commonly selected Metframe solutions for external and internal walls. Metframe Sales Manager, Paul Mountford says: “Whilst we have an extensive database of fire, thermal and acoustic performance based on independent laboratory tests – covering a multitude of combinations for Metframe stud used in conjunction


with the most popular plasterboards, insulation, sheathing and finishes – we are looking to guide the readers directly to the options that best fit the bill. “By presenting a selection of the most popular Metframe solutions, we hope to give designers and engineers an appreciation of what Metframe delivers and the time and cost-efficiency benefits that can be realised for them and their clients. Effectively, the new guide cuts to the chase, providing specifiers with concise information and clarifying the options available for the vast majority of situations. Of course, should a project have more involved requirements, our design team is able to draw on our extensive test data and

broad experience to deliver solutions to suit.” Metframe uses 100mm or 120mm wide studs – similar to those used in Metsec’s loadbearing steel framing SFS system – which are bolted together to form a frame which is then used to create complete panels. Depending on stud width, this facilitates the construction of loadbearing structures for low to medium rise buildings of up to fifteen storeys in height. Panel assembly is undertaken offsite in a controlled factory environment, assuring precision and quality of the finished product, and exploiting the time and cost benefits of manufacturing processes.



2 Completed Metframe panels are delivered to site according to the project’s construction programme and can be installed as soon as they arrive and are normally lifted into position straight from the back of the delivery vehicle. The speed and efficiency of the process allows the project to reap the benefits of just in time scheduling, rapid installation times, streamlined transport and installation logistics, and minimal requirement for on-site storage. Once installed, Metframe is ready for immediate use. With no requirement for curing and other time-consuming processes, follow-on trades can commence work in a short time, ensuring that the construction programme runs as smoothly as possible.

Metframe solutions are designed and engineered to deliver optimum value and can accommodate a vast array of building types, from simple layouts to complex designs. They also allow a wide variety of external finishes to be applied, providing the designer with a high degree of freedom in the shape and appearance of the finished building. voestalpine Metsec’s design solutions are BIM Level 2 compliant and come

3 with the assurance of the MetWALL Perform, 30-year wall performance warranty and a £5million professional indemnity insurance as standard – providing absolute peace of mind for the project design team. The new system performance guide underlines our commitment to the project design team,” adds Paul Mountford. “It offers a quick and easy digital reference for Metframe design solutions which adds to the impressive warranty and insurance package that comes as standard with our solutions. In addition to support for specific projects, we also provide CPD seminars to extend designers’ knowledge of our systems and their application.”

4 For more information visit: Images: 01-04. The new guide will present a selection of the most popular Metframe solutions and give designers and engineers an appreciation of Metframe’s benefits



UK INDUSTRY NEWS Timber Competition for Hereford Net Zero Community Centre

Timber Development UK (TDUK) is partnering with New Model Institute of Technology and Engineering (NMITE), Edinburgh Napier University (ENU) and the Passivhaus Trust, to challenge built environment students, as well as recent graduates, to form multidisciplinary teams to create a ‘net-zero community centre’ based on timber and timber-hybrid systems. Students from all built environment courses at UK universities, from first to final year, along with 2021 graduates are invited to enter the competition which launched on the 30 November at the Building Centre, London and online. The 2022 challenge – is to design an exemplary community building that produces more energy than it consumes, at Southside in Hereford. Teams must produce designs that sites the community centre within the local context and landscape integrating the clients’ and communities’ interests. The detailed designs must be ‘net zero’, creatively employing sustainable building materials and construction methods, and be energy and resource efficient, focusing on the health and well-being of people, the community, and our planet.


Tabitha Binding, TDUK, University Engagement Programme Manager, said: “Built environment professionals must prepare for a net zero future, and this must start in the classroom if we are to reach our climate goals. Our curriculum must be strengthened to meet the climate challenge by raising climate literacy. For our future architects, engineers, cost consultants, and landscape architects, this means improving their knowledge and capability of working with low-carbon materials such as timber – and being able to use it wisely and well.” Professor Robert Hairstans, CATT Director, NMITE, added: “The objective is to inspire a generation of built environment professional to think differently about construction delivery towards more sustainable forms using timber rather than the traditional carbon intensive materials of steel and concrete. This challenge will exemplify this approach and create value return for the stakeholder partners of the Southside Hereford Project.”

related impacts and benefits of timber in construction products and buildings’ explains how to account for carbon in timber buildings and Environmental Product Declarations (EPDs) by rigorously applying the latest British / European Standards. This will prove useful for building designers, clients, and contractors when assessing the embodied carbon associated with buildings and other structures, as well as product manufacturers and suppliers in demonstrating the carbon impact of their products. Charlie Law, Sustainability Director at TDUK said: “Across the built environment professions there is rising wave of awareness that if we are to build to net-zero carbon we need to tackle how we account for embodied carbon. This paper seeks to help unify how we account for embodied carbon within timber buildings and structures so we can better understand, measure, and address these emissions in order to reduce their environmental impact.” Source:

TDUK is also bringing clarity to how to account for embodied carbon in timber construction with a newly released technical paper. ‘Assessing the carbon-


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UK INDUSTRY NEWS Major Offsite Move for Veteran Families Riverside Scotland has handed over the first homes at the nation’s largest affordable modular housing development with four homes being allocated to military veteran households. The ground-breaking £9.8million project is being delivered by Riverside Scotland and Connect Modular, part of The Wee House Group and will provide 63 much needed affordable homes in Dundonald, South Ayrshire. Riverside Scotland has made a strong commitment to providing homes for veterans at risk of homelessness at its two newest social housing developments by allocating more than 10% of new homes to support veteran households. At Dundonald 13% (8) of the homes are being allocated specifically to veteran households. Heather Anderson, Head of Service Delivery at Riverside Scotland developed the Agreement with Lindsay Kirkwood, Clinical Psychologist for Veterans First Point. Heather commented: “Riverside Scotland recognises the housing and wider needs of many veteran households, and the difficulty many experience in accessing suitable accommodation and support upon discharge from the Forces, and beyond.” The homes were handed over to residents on 25 November and will specifically address the housing needs of households who are at risk of homelessness

McAvoy Group Appoints New CEO

The McAvoy Group has announced the appointment of Ron Clarke as Chief Executive Officer following the retirement of Mark Lowry, who will remain with the business as Non-Executive Director. Ron Clarke was appointed COO in March 2021 following senior roles with construction leader Graham, where he played a key role in the growth of the business nationally. Mark Lowry joined McAvoy in March 2019, shortly before funds advised by Blantyre Capital became the new majority owner. He has since steered the business through a challenging period and spearheaded its return to profitability.


upon discharge from the forces, or who require dedicated support to assist with resettlement. All properties on the development are built to Housing for Varying Needs Standards, to ensure that they remain flexible and adaptable to meet the changing needs of households over time. This level of provision exceeds the level of capacity provided for veterans in most other housing developments, relative to the size of the build. Dundonald is the first modular project within the Riverside Group and the Riverside Scotland is proud to be flying the flag to make its housing more sustainable and energy efficient.

The offsite leader reported positive financial results for the six months to 30 April 2021, with a 30% year-on-year increase in revenue. The business has secured all its budget revenues for 2022, with significant progress made in securing forecast revenues for 2023. McAvoy has continued to perform well throughout 2021, with a strong forward order book supported by an expanding pipeline. It recently secured a series of new DfE education projects totalling £39million, including one of the UK’s very first low carbon school buildings. Existing projects have remained on track, with the Timebridge Centre in Croydon, The Deepings School in Peterborough and Antrim Area Hospital’s new Urgent Care Centre all successfully completed. Ron Clarke commented: “Mark has played a pivotal role over the past two years in leading an ambitious growth strategy and, together with our very talented and experienced management team, I am looking forward to taking the business into the next phase of its development. We continue to make significant investments in growing the company, including the expansion of our hire fleet.” Mark Lowry said: “Despite the challenges facing the construction industry during the last 18 months McAvoy has performed well, supported by Blantyre

For this development, homes are built in Connect Modular’s manufacturing facility in Cumnock, Ayrshire. Jennifer Higgins, Managing Director at Connect Modular, said: “It’s a momentous occasion handing over the keys for the first five houses in our development with Riverside Scotland, the largest affordable modular housing development in Scotland. Handing over at this time proves the speed and efficiency with which the project is moving, thanks to modular build. A great achievement for all involved, and we look forward to continuing the delivery and handover of these homes in the coming weeks and months.” Source:

who have stewarded the business through a steep transition period. I’m pleased to be handing the reins to Ron, who benefits from a huge amount of experience in the construction industry, and I’ve no doubt he will be an excellent leader as McAvoy continues to evolve, focusing on long-term sustainability and resilience, underpinned by an effective ESG strategy.” The growth in the business was accompanied by the announcement of additional senior management hires and promotions, with Martin Daly joining as Chief Financial Officer and the promotion of Stephen Clayton to Preconstruction Director. The company’s Modular Hire and Sales division has also been boosted with Glen Busby’s promotion to divisional director. Johann Scheid at Blantyre Capital, added: “The McAvoy Group has performed well throughout a tremendously challenging period for the construction industry - with continued, strategic investments to support growth and a commitment to continue leading innovation within the offsite and MMC field, the business will continue to extend its market share across key sectors.” Source:



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UK INDUSTRY NEWS Offsite & Digital Tools Key to Future Construction

NBS, the platform for connected construction information, has revealed its eleventh annual survey, now the Digital Construction Survey, previously the NBS BIM Survey. With over nine hundred respondents, this year’s report provides a more comprehensive picture of the sector’s digital transformation, along with BIM adoption levels, and day-to-day usage of technology. With approaching three-quarters (71%) of respondents now using BIM, it’s fair to consider this approach is now embedded across the sector, with adoption levels consistent for the past couple of years. The construction industry is now on board with technology and confident that it will help solve the challenges facing the sector, as demonstrated by eight in ten stating that digital technologies deliver a better-built environment, with three quarters (75%) saying that tech offers sustainability benefits. The forthcoming Building Safety Bill has forced safety to the forefront of the construction industry, and regulation requires a digital “golden thread” of information. The golden thread covers information and documents as well as information management processes, all stored as structured digital information. While eight in ten (78%) respondents say they need to be working digitally and 70% say they need to have adopted BIM to make the golden thread a reality, only half (51%) are clear how they will do this. The golden thread process is made much easier with the data available through a digital twin. In addition, having a digital twin enables access to all the essential information in one place and allows for constant monitoring and maintenance of the asset. While three quarters (74%) of respondents believe that digital technology is helping create a safer built environment, digital twin adoption is still relatively


CO2 Consuming Concrete Tested at Warwick University

slow, with only 16% having worked on a project that used a digital twin in the past year. In the past twelve months, half the survey's respondents have worked on an offsite project, a clear sign that a move to MMC is taking place, yet this figure shows there's still work to be done if the government is going to embrace MMC on the scale it intends. The Digital Construction Survey asked respondents to rank how various essential technologies or ways of working will transform the sector for the better over the next five years. The top five are as follows, 1 BIM, 2 Cloud computing, 3 Offsite construction, 4 Digital Twins, 5 AR/VR mixed reality. Commenting on the survey’s results, David Bain, NBS’ Research Manager, said: “The adoption of new, digital technologies and ways of working should help to improve outcomes, so it is encouraging that 80% of built environment professionals agree that they are helping to create better buildings and places. Also, 75% say these innovations positively impact environmental sustainability, and 74% see them making a safer built environment. The industry also recognises the key role digital and BIM will play in realising the golden thread of information.” Over 900 construction professionals took part in this year’s Survey, which included views from architects/ engineers and other consultants (66%), contractors (13%), clients (9%), and suppliers (9%) in the UK and beyond. The full report can be downloaded at:

Technology developed by Concrete4Change (C4C) that can make concrete a carbon sink rather than carbon producer will be trialled and tested by researchers from the University of Warwick. C4C are on a mission is to enable the concrete industry to transition from CO2 emitters to CO2 sinks, by developing a technology capable of removing significant amounts of CO2 from the atmosphere and absorbing it into concrete. The sequestration of CO2 results in the strength enhancement of concrete; therefore, reducing the amount of cement required to produce equivalentstrength concrete. Both CO2 sequestration and cement reduction can contribute to the reduction of concrete’s CO2 footprint. This technology has the potential to mitigate 2 billion tonnes of CO2e emissions, the equivalent of 4% of global CO2e emissions. The School of Engineering and High Value Manufacturing Catapult at the University of Warwick will undertake essential testing for the company with the help of funding through Innovate UK and the DI4M programme. Dr Reyes Garcia from the School of Engineering said: “As the world strives to reach zero-carbon goals, the construction industry and we civil engineers have a huge role to play to make concrete more sustainable. The cement we use to produce concrete contributes massively to CO2 emissions, and therefore we need to take drastic action now if the construction sector is to achieve its CO2 reduction goals.” C4C has also been selected by British Precast as one of the top three most innovative companies and as one of the top five companies for Knowledge Transfer Network Transforming Foundation Industries. Pictured: left to right, CTO Dr Michael Wise and Dr Sid Pourfalah, Founder and CEO of Concrete4Change at COP26. Source:


UK INDUSTRY NEWS Hill Group Seeking Sustainable Change Hill Group has committed to achieving net-zero carbon in its Scope 1 and 2 business operations by 2030 and net zero operational carbon in the homes they build by 2030, twenty years ahead of the UK’s broad 2050 net-zero carbon target. Additionally, Hill has committed to achieving biodiversity net gain on all its future land-led developments. Hill has already modelled a range of house types and apartment layouts to interrogate CO2 reduction performance standards required for delivering future homes. This will see the phasing out of fossil fuels, with electricity becoming the primary low-carbon energy source powering air source heat pumps. Photovoltaics and battery storage are likely to be part of the optimal solution too. Hill's solutions will include improved building fabric performance, reduced embodied carbon of materials, increased offsite manufacture, increased airtightness, better thermal bridging and supply chain deliverability. In addition, increased reliance on electricity as the primary energy source, and increased need for electricity for car charging points, is already causing Hill to look at grid capacity and planning additional sub-stations into development layouts.

Brendan Ritchie, Head of Sustainability at Hill Group, said: “We are always keen to be at the forefront of any industry changes, and we already have live projects at design and early construction stage featuring a range of house and apartment types which will meet the expected Future Homes Standard and deliver ‘net-zero ready’ homes several years ahead of the anticipated regulatory timescale. “But our solutions must ensure that homes remain affordable to run. We must avoid fuel poverty as an unintended consequence of the drive towards zero carbon homes. We have lots to do to be Future Homes and zero-carbon ready as a sector.

However, at Hill, we are confident that our pioneering approach alongside the national background of continual de-carbonisation of the electricity grid will help us find optimal solutions". Two of Hill's most recent developments, Knights Park and Agar Grove, have raised the bar in terms of placing emphasis on sustainable living and placemaking. The homes at Agar Grove are certified to a gold Passivhaus standard, and the overall development is the largest Passivhaus regeneration development in the UK. Source:



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UK INDUSTRY NEWS New Modular Trade Body Formed

Wernick Acquires AVDanzer

The new acquisition means that Wernick will add additional manufacturing capabilities and increase their fleet with more than 2,000 cabins and modular bays.

Make UK has launched a new trade body Make Modular, bringing together leading modular housing manufacturers with a plan to solve the country’s housing crisis by delivering 75,000 affordable highquality homes before the end of the decade. The UK housing market is at a tipping point where it could transform into the most advanced housing manufacturing market in the world in under a decade delivering more than 75,000 new homes via modular techniques. Make Modular members’ factories can produce a new home every 2 hours. These homes are near defect free with 97% less embodied carbon than traditional builds. Make Modular members have already invested more than £500 million in new factories, cutting edge processes, and state of the art technology. The UK construction sector will have lost at least 25% of its workforce by between 2016-25. There is a major risk that by the next election construction has become the new haulage with economic competitiveness undermined by an ageing workforce leaving the industry. More than 2,000 new jobs have been created by Make Modular members in the last three years. By moving people offsite and into clean, safe, modern working conditions volumetric can rebuild the construction workforce bringing up to 50,000 new younger people into the workforce. Uniquely in the construction sector, modular housing provides the opportunity to construct offsite and in regions where labour is available. Homes are then transported to the areas where demand for new homes is the highest. Current factories driving the start of the modular revolution are already located in the Midlands and the North of the country, providing highly skilled and sought-after careers using the latest digital and automated technologies with innovative design bringing about the highest environmental credentials.


Stephen Phipson, CEO of Make UK said: “Imaginative and speedy solutions are required to tackle Britain’s housing crisis and modular housing could certainly play a significant part in helping local authorities deliver the challenging home building targets set for them by Government. But to make real significant progress, modular housing needs to have equal access to land for construction with many sites still favouring traditional modes of construction. Modular also needs to have the weight of Government procurement behind it using a joined-up approach including education, defence and housing to build much needed scale the UK’s modular industry.” Modular housing manufacturers are also keen to accelerate the development of building regulations to match a new, more ambitious new normal when it comes to quality and energy across construction as a whole, driving forward the world’s biggest challenge of climate change. Dave Sheridan, Chair of Make UK Modular added: “Modular housing has grown rapidly in the last few years. The establishment of our own trade body is the crucial next step in this process. As a natural partner to Government to solve the housing crisis, deliver the levelling up agenda, and combat climate change Make Modular will accelerate and advance the MMC agenda through one strong voice rather than a series of disparate ones.’ Members include: TopHat, Urban Splash, Ilke Homes, Laing O’Rourke and Legal and General Modular with backing from Goldman Sachs, Laing O’Rourke, Legal & General, Sekisui House and TDR Capital, with support also provided by Homes England. Source:

AVDanzer, also known as Danzer, is a Manchesterbased firm that supplies high-quality modular buildings for sale or for hire. The business has a long history of catering to some of the UK’s major infrastructure and development projects including the London Power Tunnels Project and the nuclear power station at Hinkley Point in Somerset. In addition, they are widely known to cater to a range of sectors and can provide schools, hospitals, offices, laboratories, sports facilities and more. Following the acquisition, Danzer will continue to operate as usual from its sites in Manchester and Langley Mill. The manufacturing of anti-vandal steel that is currently based at Langley Mill will continue trading as AVDanzer. Meanwhile, the Brentwood depot will merge and become a part of Wernick’s depots in Essex and Kent. Wernick’s Group Chairman, David Wernick, said: “We have strong admiration for Danzer’s manufacturing capability and products, and after initial discussion it quickly became apparent that both family-owned businesses share the same values of excellent customer service, outstanding product quality, focus on safety, and keeping things simple. We are delighted to welcome the Danzer team to the family and look forward to sharing ideas and growing the business further.” Director at AVDanzer, Dan Holloway, added: “We pride ourselves on being agile and innovative to adapt to new market conditions; the COVID pandemic has really driven the demand for high-quality innovative accommodation and offices and our team has kept us at the forefront of developments in our sector. We are pleased to join forces with a business with a similar history and ethos. With the combination of Wernick and our team of experts, we are confident that this transaction will boost our capabilities to offer even more flexible solutions to both new and longstanding clients.” Source:



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UK INDUSTRY NEWS CALA Group Boost Net Zero & MMC Ambitions CALA Group has made two key senior appointments as its Sustainability Strategy, launched earlier this year, continues to build momentum. Kathryn Dapré has taken up the role of Head of Sustainability, with Robin Dodyk joining as Head of Modern Methods of Construction (MMC). They will help drive its commitment to be operational net zero carbon by 2030, as well as reaching net zero greenhouse gas emissions, in line with the Scottish Government’s 2045 target and ahead of UK Government’s 2050 target. These goals reflect owner Legal & General’s pledge to make all its new housing stock operational net zero carbon enabled from 2030, as part of its wider commitment to set science-based targets and align with the UN Paris Agreement and global efforts to achieve net zero carbon emissions by 2050. Kathryn will direct CALA's roadmap of research, innovations and targets across key areas contributing to reducing its environmental impact, working closely with regional teams to empower its colleagues to play their own part in carbon reduction. With 28 years of experience across a wide spectrum of sustainability and climate change focused roles, Kathryn joins CALA from NHS Scotland, where as Head of Energy and Sustainability, she was instrumental in developing and implementing national

Ibstock Creating UK’s First Automated Brick Slip Factory

sustainability policies and strategies. including the development of the NHS Scotland Climate Change and Sustainability Strategy. Having spent more than 44 years in the construction sector, including over 20 years with Oregon Timber Frame in Selkirk. Robin Dodyk will guide the business in adopting greener housing, leading on MMC research, trials and implementation, as well as associated training and development for the wider team. He will initially spearhead a major initiative to roll-out timber frame across CALA’s entire range of homes, ensuring efficiencies in the 40% of homes which already use timber frame as well as establishing and executing a strategy to efficiently introduce it to the rest of the business.

The planned investment is set to provide capacity for up to 60 million brick slips per annum. An initial investment of around £38million, providing capacity to produce 30 million brick slips, will be spread evenly across 2022 and 2023, with the factory commissioning in late 2023. The second phase of investment is expected to be made shortly after as additional capacity is required. The factory will be constructed within the existing footprint of the group's Nostell facility, which operated as a brick factory until its closure in 2020. The planning application process has begun, and construction on-site is expected to start during the first quarter of 2022. The facility is the launch project for Ibstock Futures – a new business unit established to capture growth opportunities in new, fast growth sectors of the UK construction market.

Ibstock has revealed plans for a £50million capital investment in a new West Yorkshire factory and is aiming to build the UK’s first automated brick slip systems factory in Nostell.


As demand grows for façade products and solutions for both newbuild and re-cladding products, Ibstock Futures will develop new products suitable for a wide range of residential, commercial and mixed-use applications. Ibstock Futures enables the Group to develop a stronger presence in the fast-growing offsite and modular construction markets.

Robin said: “Within the construction industry, our route to reducing carbon will involve a lot of change and innovative thinking if we’re to achieve our sustainability goals. It’s an exciting time to join the CALA team when our environmental impact is at the forefront of the agenda. With timber frame offering up to a 20% reduction in embodied carbon over similar size traditional building methods, our plans to switch to this new approach is a huge focus. We will also explore other elements of MMC and wider innovations in construction to help achieve our net zero ambitions.” Source:

“The launch of Ibstock Futures is an important strategic development for the Group,” says Joe Hudson, Ibstock plc’s Chief Executive Officer (pictured). “Our new business unit will directly address a number of exciting growth markets that complement our existing offer for conventional building methods as the focus on sustainability and the industrialisation of construction processes gathers pace. “The initial £50million investment in brick slip manufacturing capacity at Nostell, West Yorkshire, will be a first for the UK and will enable us to take a leadership position in this fast-growing market. Crucially, it will also be a beacon of manufacturing excellence and sustainability – we are all very excited at the prospect of producing a net zero brick slip. We have made ambitious commitments on our Sustainability Roadmap to 2025 – and this announcement underpins our ambitions. The Nostell plant is the first of a pipeline of growth initiatives we have in development for Ibstock Futures and we are excited about the potential this new business has to accelerate growth in the years ahead.” Source:


UK INDUSTRY NEWS MMC Trials Held Across 105-house Development The latest scheme of a 1,000-home major housing contract is being built using a mix of modern methods of construction (MMC) supplied by Roofspace Solutions and flooring by Nuspan. Together, the two solutions will help to speed up overall delivery of the phase compared to traditional methods. Lovell, the leading partnerships housing expert, is delivering a major housing project on behalf of the Borough Council of King’s Lynn and West Norfolk. The current construction phase began in October 2020 at the Nar Ouse Regeneration Area (NORA), which encompasses plans for 105 two- and three-bedroom properties for affordable rent, private rent shared ownership and market sale.

superstructure (approximately one plot a day for block and beam vs six plots a day for Nuspan).

Lovell began the initial phases of the development with traditional methodologies, such as masonry superstructures, before opting to trial an offsite approach for the current phase. This includes installation of 24 i-House™️ units from Roofspace Solutions, which speed up construction to watertight stage by 35-40%, building from the slab up to the roof trusses within five days on an average three-bedroom house. These will be combined with 105 of Nuspan’s precast insulated floors, a system that offers a reduction in labour of up to 83% and no onsite waste. The system is also five times quicker to install than traditional block and brick floor foundations – when calculating the time taken to obtain a structural floor, from golden brick to

Lovell chose to trial these MMC products due to the higher standards of design quality provided, alongside the sustainability benefits and reduction in waste typically associated with MMC. What’s more, any success achieved in the project could act as a blueprint for widespread rollout of MMC across future Lovell developments. Michael Saunders, Operations Manager at Lovell, said: “This project demonstrates that more exacting standards are achievable with offsite construction methods. The approach also helps us to combat current industry challenges such as strain on the supply chain and skills shortages. Success in this trial will mean that Lovell and our client will be able to make more informed decisions about MMC investment on About BIM ourIt’s future All developments.”

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Graeme Reed, i-House Operations Director, said: “Roofspace Solutions and Nuspan are greater than the sum of our parts. Individually, we create products and solutions that address a need in the construction market and help to speed up housebuilding. Together, those benefits are multiplied, allowing the contractors and developers to reap the associated benefits such as cost savings, increased safety and a significant reduction in construction time.” Helen Wildin, Sales and Marketing Manager at Nuspan, added: “This collaboration demonstrates what can be achieved when the industry works together. It also highlights the potential of using MMC to speed up construction – sustainably – on the scale we need to meet the huge demand for housing.”

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UK INDUSTRY NEWS Present Made Deliver on Eddington Masterplan Present Made, the UK’s first purpose-built and designed single-family rental housing platform, has been appointed by the University of Cambridge to develop sustainable smart homes as part of its ambitious 150-hectare Eddington masterplan. Under plans submitted to Cambridge City Council, Present Made will develop and operate close to 370 rental homes – including the UK’s first family houses to be designed and built exclusively for rent – as part of a new neighbourhood that will promote healthy and sustainable living. The £160million scheme, and the broader Present Made concept, has been curated by award-winning Jo Cowen Architects. Residents will further benefit from Present Made’s corporate focus on sustainability, with the company targeting a net zero carbon operational model as part of a wider ESG-driven strategy. The homes at Eddington will be highly energy efficient thanks to a combination of smart technology and offsite construction, with the houses precision engineered in a factory environment in a process that is less wasteful, disruptive and time consuming compared to traditional construction techniques.

Richard Jackson, co-founder of Apache Capital and CEO at Present Made said: “It is a privilege to be working alongside the University of Cambridge in delivering the UK’s first family homes to be specifically designed and built for rent. This would not have been possible had it not been for the strategic concept, design and development by Jo Cowen Architects, which was central to the University of Cambridge's decision to select Present Made. “Present Made homes will sit in master-planned, landscape-led communities that have been designed around people not cars, to promote active, healthy and sustainable lifestyles. Harnessing the power of institutional capital, Present Made will own, develop and operate beautiful, sustainable homes for the long term. Our aim is to create a new way of living, providing aspirational yet attainable housing set within living streets and active communities that are integrated with their surroundings.”

Jo Cowen, CEO of Jo Cowen Architects, added: “Present Made at Eddington will be characterised by a high-quality of architecture and a highly-liveable public realm, with the idea of time well-spent being central to the concept. We have designed a sustainable neighbourhood focused around people, not cars, which aims to connect an intergenerational community with one another and improve the quality of everyday lives through high quality homes and streets. The scheme will deploy modern methods of construction through bespoke design, integrating new technologies with a holistic vision to deliver a development and amenity spaces that promote sustainable living, wellness, human connection, personal growth, and common unity.” Source:

Homes England Launch New Delivery System Housebuilders of all sizes will find it easier than ever to access Homes England land, with the launch of the new Delivery Partner Dynamic Purchasing System (DPS). This new system replaces the Delivery Partner Panel 3 (DPP3), transforming the way Homes England procures housebuilders and disposes of land. Switching to a dynamic purchasing system means that housebuilders can now apply to join the agency’s list of preferred developers at any time, rather than having to wait until the list is renewed once every four years. This is the biggest DPS of its kind, and, valued at £20billion, is Homes England’s largest procurement exercise to date. Stephen Kinsella, Chief Land and Development Officer at Homes England, said: “This marks a significant step forward in the way we work with developers to build homes. The flexibility of the DPS means that housebuilders can apply to join when it suits them, or when they see a relevant site on our Land Hub. We’ve also simplified the application process, so whether you’re a large, nationwide housebuilder, or a small local developer, it will be easier for you to access land you want to build on. We encourage all housebuilders interested in working


with us to monitor our recently updated Land Hub and apply to join the DPS when they see a site of interest.” Local authorities and housing associations can also rely on the DPS as a procurement-compliant solution for finding housebuilders, making it easier for them to build homes on the land they own. Initial applications opened earlier this year, and 66 housebuilders have now been appointed to the DPS, of which 24 are SMEs. Housing Minster Christopher Pincher said the flexibility of the DPS will offer SMEs and new entrants, commenting: “This Government is making

great progress in building new homes and we are keen to continue delivering the homes this country needs, he said. “We welcome this change which will support SMEs while providing more opportunities for home ownership to hard-working people across the country.” Applications to join are now open on an ongoing basis, and housebuilders are encouraged to apply as and when they see sites of interest on Homes England’s Land Hub, the agency’s interactive tool used to advertise sites it is bringing to market. Information on how to apply to join the DPS can be found on the Government website at:










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UK INDUSTRY NEWS Stora Enso Launches UK Low-Carbon Industrial Buildings Solutions Stora Enso has launched a suite of tools to support developers of the UK’s industrial buildings to create more attractive, productive and sustainable buildings, with spans ranging from 12 to 36m, from small workshops to large retail sheds and warehouses. Stora Enso’s timber industrial buildings allow developers to cut embodied emissions by up to 30% while also benefiting from highly modular and flexible designs. Crucially, the new design tools incorporate a high degree of pre-fabrication, allowing for accelerated construction timelines, and can be configured for easy disassembly and reassembly as needs change. With available UK warehouse space estimated at less than 50million sq ft with the potential to run out within a year, thanks to the pandemic and rise in online shopping, timber industrial buildings offer a way for developers to rapidly respond to market dynamics while also improving sustainability performance. Sebastián Hernandez, R&D Manager for Building Concepts at Stora Enso comments: “Industrial buildings are at the nexus of a number of megatrends in the UK. On the one hand, we have the moral and

policy imperative to decarbonise our building stock; on the other, we have the planned renaissance of British manufacturing and shift to online shopping increasing demand for these types of structures. “Not only can wooden industrial buildings enable companies to respond to these trends, but by moving away from monotone grey sheet metal and concrete, they can allow us to create better working environments for UK employees and improve the increase the quality of retail and industrial parks up and down the country.” To support adoption of engineered timber for industrial buildings, Stora Enso has created a source

hub for architects and developers that includes fully interactive 3D models and technical specifications of eight different base types for different industrial buildings. These are pre-optimized for the most standard and common industrial buildings we see in the market and can used as a basis for designing bespoke concepts. The industrial concept is the latest in a series of building concepts designed to support the construction industry in adopting mass engineered timber to improve sustainability and building performance. Source:

New Group Structure for Excel Having invested in re-branding its business in 2019, specialist offsite building solutions provider, Excel, has created a new, dynamic group operating structure. Introduced to define and add greater clarity to its comprehensive solution provision and product offering, Excel Group now incorporates three separate and autonomous operating divisions – Excel Structures, Excel Facades and Excel Off-Site. Group Managing Director, Jason Pritchard said: “The expanding, multidimensional nature of the business made the decision to create a Group operating structure an obvious one. We occupy a unique position in the sustainable off-site building sector in our capacity to offer a range of different building systems, not just one. Such a proven and all-inclusive business model has proven hugely successful, and with the new structure in place we are looking to further elevate our standing within the off-site construction sector, which continues to gain momentum here in the UK.” Excel Structures adopts responsibility for delivering a range of offsite building systems – SIPS, Light Gauge Steel Frame, pre-insulated timber frame and cross laminated timber (CLT). In terms of project flexibility, Excel Structures’ involvement can extend from designing, supplying and installing a structural


build system, through to a complete weather tight and insulated structure. Excel Off-Site will support a move into the arena of main contractor, where full project build and co-ordination will become the order of the day. “Setting up a main contractor division has been something that has always been on the sidelines,” add Jason. “However, we feel the time is now right to expand our capabilities even further. We already have established proven, sustainable and scalable

relationships with not only our specialist supply partners, but also a growing team of architects, consultants and sub-contractors, so full project delivery of offsite schemes is something that we are extremely excited about. Indeed, by creating a platform where we can manage the complete build process, we will ensure that the benefits of utilising an off-site building system are maximised project by project.” Source:


UK INDUSTRY NEWS Salford University Announces Partners for Global Net Zero Facility Salford University’s Energy House Laboratories has announced its first collaborative project partners ahead of the launch of its multi-million-pound Energy House 2.0 research facility in 2022. Among the partners included are residential housebuilder Bellway Homes, development partnership, The English Cities Fund (ECF), and a joint venture between construction materials and solutions firm Saint-Gobain and Barratt Developments. Across the studies, the organisations will be supported by leading academics from the University in a bid to tackle some of the built environment’s biggest challenges when the state-of-the-art research and testing facility opens next year. Building on the success of the Salford Energy House, a two-bedroom terraced house constructed inside an environmentally controllable chamber, Energy House 2.0 will have the capacity to replicate a total of four, fully furnished houses across two environmental chambers which can replicate climatic conditions and environments experienced by 95% of the global population. The £16million research facility, part-funded by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), aims to work with businesses and manufacturers in the built environment to support global ambitions to reach

carbon reduction targets by 2050 and deliver net zero future housing. For more than a decade, the University of Salford’s Energy House Laboratories has been leading the way in low carbon innovation in the home. Professor William Swan, Director of Energy House Laboratories said: “Domestic energy and heating is a major source of carbon emissions and this was a hot topic at the recent COP26 Climate Change conference in Glasgow this month. It has clearly been acknowledged by world leaders that we need to act now to protect our planet. “Homes and the built environment contribute around 40% of the UK’s total carbon footprint, and the global picture is similar. That’s why we’re so excited to announce new partnerships, which will help our work with key players in the private sector to drive innovation

and solutions that address global, domestic energy efficiency challenges – making a world of difference to our future and our planet.” The unique research facility will allow partners to innovate, test and validate housing design, home heating and approaches to using a variety of energy technologies. Each of the research partners will be building a house in one of the state-of-the-art environmental chambers within the facility and will investigate distinct challenges over an estimated nine months. Energy House Laboratories and the Energy House 2.0 partners are looking to collaborate further with businesses across the UK and globally that may be interested in supporting their studies. Source:

UK INDUSTRY NEWS Places for People Choose Offsite Options

Places for People, one of Britain’s leading placemaking organisations, has announced a pioneering partnership with ilke Homes to deliver hundreds of modular homes in the South East and South West. Following the largest deal yet for Britain’s modular housing sector in 2019, ilke Homes and Places for People have struck a two-development deal which will see the delivery of 472 affordable homes.

As part of the agreement and subject to planning permissions, Places for People will purchase two sites: a 307-home development in Burgess Hill, Sussex; and a 165-home development in Exmouth Junction, Exeter. Both developments will provide a range of apartments and two, three and four-bedroom affordable homes, which will be managed by Places for People and available for affordable rent or for sale through shared ownership.

The news of the deal, which comes two years after ilke Homes entered a strategic partnership with Places for People, follows last month’s announcement that the modular housing pioneer has been selected by FTSE 100 firm Boots UK to deliver the UK’s largest low-rise modular housing development – a 622-home scheme in Beeston, Nottingham. The deal marked the first time the retailer had released any part of its Nottingham HQ site holdings for housing.

Scott Black, Group Executive Director – Developments, at Places for People, said: “By adopting modern methods of construction (MMC), our partnership with a proven modular business such as ilke Homes allows us to create more affordable, well-designed mixed-tenure communities across the country – speeding up delivery, cutting costs and giving our customers unrivalled choice and quality.

As part of sweeping reforms to the planning system, the Government is encouraging the redevelopment of brownfield sites to bring new investment into areas and increase housing delivery. Places for People is a strategic partner with Homes England.

“The partnership is about pioneering a new way of delivering homes through making socially responsible decisions and working with best-in-class partners. Our investment in modular housing across our developments and the proposed acquisition and delivery of Exmouth Junction and Burgess Hill forms an integral part of Places for People’s ambitious growth strategy to deliver high quality affordable homes which meet people’s needs.”

In 2018, Places for People was one of the first organisations to be awarded a grant from Homes England and will deliver circa 6,000 affordable homes over the next 10 years through this partnership. Source:

Premier Modular Achieves BOPAS Accreditation Following Residential Expansion Premier Modular has achieved BOPAS accreditation for its modular living solutions, following its expansion into the residential sector. Premier has five factories at its production centre in East Yorkshire. It has capacity to produce 100,000sq m of living space per year, with the opportunity to increase output to meet demand. Commenting on the new accreditation, Jeff Maxted of BOPAS and a Director of BLP Technical Services (UK), said: “It is fantastic to see Premier’s expansion into the residential sector, building on their vast experience in other areas. BOPAS is an independent, standards-led benchmark for modular housing, providing long-term assurance to lenders and valuers that homes built using non-traditional methods of construction offer longevity and reliability.” Dan Allison, Director of Premier Modular, said: “We are immensely proud to receive this industry accreditation which reinforces our expansion into the residential sector. BOPAS provides our local authority and developer clients as well as funders and mortgage lenders with complete reassurance of best practice and that our modular apartment solutions meet or exceed the required standards.” “We have ambitious plans to bring innovation and sustainability to the UK housing market. We already have a number of residential projects on-site and nearing completion and are receiving a high level of


enquiries for new schemes. We anticipate the demand for offsite construction will continue to increase to help address the housing crisis and the drive for net zero. “We offer a range of modular solutions for low to mid-rise apartment developments, and the speed of offsite manufacturing will help to reduce housing waiting lists. We have also successfully demonstrated the structural stability of our building system beyond 15 storeys, giving our customers even greater confidence in our design and construction capabilities. “The residential sector is facing considerable challenges – from the shortage of skilled labour to the need for increased productivity and improved quality in housebuilding to meet the rising demand for new

homes. By moving the construction of new apartment schemes offsite and into a more controllable factory environment, we can produce energy-efficient homes with less impact on the environment, to reduced programmes, and significantly enhanced quality.” Premier has been awarded full BOPAS accreditation for design, manufacturing and construction. A rigorous assessment was carried out by BOPAS, which audited all aspects of Premier’s operations, including quality control systems, health and safety, project management, and interfaces, from design through to offsite manufacture, construction, and handover. Source:


UK INDUSTRY NEWS NG Bailey Engineers Support Expansion at Clydebank’s NHS Golden Jubilee NG Bailey’s Engineering division has secured a second contract to support the ongoing expansion of NHS Golden Jubilee in Clydebank, Scotland. The £15million contract is the second time the UK’s largest independent engineering and services provider has been appointed by the principal contractor Kier Regional Building Services – Scotland, to support the Hospital’s expansion plan. During 2020, the company delivered the mechanical, electrical and plumbing installations (MEP) for phase one of the expansion, a new six-theatre eye centre which began receiving patients in November 2020. Work on the second phase of the National Treatment Centre is already underway and is expected to be completed by June 2023. This will enable the NHS Golden Jubilee to carry out thousands of additional hip and knee replacements and other orthopaedic procedures annually, as well as significantly expanding diagnostic testing and general surgery. The project is due to be completed in summer 2023. A team of NG Bailey engineers, including apprentices, will be on-site to support the delivery of the new three-storey development which will include theatre suites, orthopaedic amenities, outpatient and preoperative spaces, a surgical admissions and recovery unit, a central sterilising and processing department and a new endoscopy unit.

Sika’s Offsite Division Changes Shape

Offsite construction is being widely used across the project and many of the service installations, including heavy duty service modules, plant room skids and plant room frames are being manufactured at NG Bailey’s specialist Offsite Manufacture facility. The building will also feature a range of energy saving measures including high efficiency heating, cooling and ventilation systems, presence-controlled lighting systems, and a heat recovery system serving the operating theatres.

further enhancements to patient care in the region. We have extensive experience delivering healthcare projects across the UK, working in live hospital sites where maintaining on-going patient services is vital. We’ve designed our solutions to embrace modern methods of construction as this accelerates the delivery of our programme, reduces the carbon impact of the works and minimises disruption by reducing the number of deliveries required.” Source:

Patrick Morrison, Healthcare Sector Director at NG Bailey said: “We are delighted to be working with Kier again to deliver this important project which brings

Sika’s modern methods of construction (MMC) Division has extended its team of offsite manufacturing specialists to cover a breadth of skill and expertise. The team works with offsite manufacturing and assembly companies to look at how Sika products can be used as part of the process in this fast-growing sector. At the helm is Simon Griffiths, Head of Sales – Offsite Construction. He will be supported by nine members from across Europe each bringing their own personality and experience to the table. Speaking of the news, Simon Griffiths, said: “Offsite has grown steadily over the past few years. Its benefits are widely known and understood. We are at a point where we believe that the use of offsite will accelerate to meet the demands of many projects such as HIP. As a business, Sika has many products that can be used in offsite construction, both within production assembly lines and/or application upon delivery to site, for a variety of purposes. To support the development of this important market sector, we have expanded our specialist team of experts.” Sika’s MMC division is utilising global experience to guide offsite manufacturing companies towards unlocking new potentials. The division can offer a customised approach for modular manufacturers,

especially where construction solutions need an industrial approach. As part of its commitment to offsite manufacturing across the nation, Sika also recently joined the Offsite Alliance, a membership organisation that increases the uptake and delivery of offsite technologies in the residential sector. Sika’s decision to be part of the Offsite Alliance signifies the company’s commitment to the offsite manufacturing effort. Through a combination of action and collaboration, Sika will work with fellow like-minded organisations to promote best practice, share innovation and work together to create the high quality, sustainable homes of the future. “We are delighted to have joined the Offsite Alliance,” added Simon Griffiths. “We see a perfect strategic fit. We have a great team at Sika, who in many cases, are already involved in driving forward industry and association agendas. We see this addition as a natural step forward to working collaboratively with the MMC industry, to raise the profile and standards, and to help deliver the aspirations of the industry.” Source:





MOBIE was founded in 2017 by the architect and TV presenter George Clarke and is driving the future of home design. Chief Executive, Mark Southgate, talked to us about how it is radically improving the way we construct – and increasingly manufacture – homes in the UK. Bachelors, Masters and PhD. They focus on a different approach to home design and manufacture, with topics such as digital design, new technology and materials, new processes and offsite methods, sustainability and alternative energy. We want to attract and nurture a new cohort of designers, makers, developers, planners and surveyors to enter and reshape the housing industry, to help to deliver our most important buildings better, more sustainably and more affordably. We want them to have a broad understanding of the built environment and through the courses discover the right professional discipline for them.

1 Q: MOBIE has aspirational and ambitious long-term aims – for those unfamiliar, can you say a little about the background to its formation and its team? Mark Southgate (MS): The home is the most important piece of architecture in our lives and at the Ministry of Building Innovation and Education (MOBIE), we want to raise design standards, build quality and introduce innovation in homebuilding. To do this we want to inspire the next generation to join the industry and drive the change we need, through a different way of thinking and doing. MOBIE engages with young people from primary school to university through our design challenges and with education partners we have created new courses


in home design and manufacture from BTEC to PhD. Through our Homes for the Future Innovation Centre with Northumbria University, we are helping to bring much needed research and development and innovation to the housing sector. Q: You have created a unique ‘educational pathway’ that will hopefully provide a new generation of professionals working across the built environment – what does this pathway entail? MS: We believe it is for tomorrow’s generation to define how they want to live. Working with our education partners we have created new modules and courses at BTEC, Nationals Certificate and Diploma,

Q: There is a lot of talk of ‘disruption’ across the construction sector, with tech-driven start-ups appearing regularly – does MOBIE see itself as part of this disruptive change to the norm? MS: Yes, MOBIE sees itself as disruptors, but disruptors for a reason. The way we build homes has hardly changed in the last 100 years. We need to change the way we build houses, so they better meet the needs of their occupiers, and they reduce their impact on the environment. We can do this by adopting more digital approaches and applying manufacturing thinking. We also need to change to attract our future home creators to the industry – we have a big attractiveness problem in the industry with not enough young people wanting to join. But by utilising new approaches and technology this will help make us a more attractive proposition to new entrants, and importantly help retain workers we already have and help them get more from working in the industry.


MARK SOUTHGATE Q: What feedback have you had from the course options so far and initial intake of students? MS: We started with the MSc at Teesside University, Advance Home Futures. We have since added a distance learning MSc at the University of Wolverhampton, Offsite Housing Construction, and Bachelors’ at Teesside, Innovative Home Design and Construction, and Birmingham City University, Design for Future Living and are working with more universities to develop new courses. Our first graduates were from the Teesside MSc in 2019, followed by a second cohort in 2020. We are delighted that many have found employment with housebuilders using modern methods of construction (MMC) and other built environment practices where they can play an active part in shaping and changing the future of the homebuilding industry. That’s what we wanted them to do, and we are pleased they are finding companies and roles where they are being asked to do this. All our graduates and challenge winners become part of the MOBIE community that is shaping the future of the industry.” Q: The ‘traditional’ way of housebuilding construction – ostensibly brick and block and site-based operations – is increasingly being seen as outdated, with offsite construction, DfMA and factory-based methods moving ‘manufacturing and construction’ closer together – is that fair to say from your perspective? MS: Whilst we have seen dramatic technological and productivity changes in other sectors, housebuilding has hardly shifted the dial. Unfortunately, this is reflected in the product – the ‘snagging’ lists of faults for new homes can be enormous. You just do not see that in other manufacturing environments. We need to improve our product, to make our homes more efficient, adaptable and sustainable and to better meet people’s needs. Adopting manufacturing process thinking and techniques can help us improve homes by reducing waste, reducing their environmental and climate impact and improving the build quality of the product. We will still build homes using bricks and mortar, but manufacturing

2 – be it components of homes or whole houses – will continue to grow and become an ever-larger part of the market. Consultancies such as Savills and McKinsey predict that MMC homes could make up 20% of homes built in the UK each year by the end of this decade.

the nature and impact of proposed new development. Frankly, as an industry that produces a 3D product, it amazes me how slow we have been to adopt 3D design representation and techniques – digital capabilities must be a fundamental skill for the future and they a core part of our training.

Q: How integral to the future of homebuilding is the understanding and use of digital tools and technology to develop energy efficient new homes and a cleaner industry?

Q: Carbon reduction is now a constant topic of discussion – how can we best marry together the ‘efficient and the ecological’ to secure the 2030 and 2050 net zero targets?

MS: Homebuilding has been slow on the digital uptake, but a revolution is coming. The future of construction is digital, and the approach marries well with MMC. In a manufactured environment, the product delivered should be as per its ‘digital twin’, but on many traditional sites where ‘workarounds’ are necessary we know this is not the case. Digital design can help maximise energy and environmental efficiency and reduce waste. Where the manufactured house mirrors the digital design, then maintenance and repair become so much easier – this is very attractive to organisations who retain and maintain houses once built, such as Registered Social Landlords. Using digital tools in the design of homes will make the industry more attractive to a new workforce that thinks and operates digitally. It could even help in fields such as planning where you can more easily show affected communities

MS: Climate change matters to young people, as they will have to live with the consequences. We see this all the time in their designs for our challenges. They want to live in low, and preferably zero, carbon homes. We need to provide them with those homes, and we need to train them how to create them, so low carbon housing is a key part of MOBIE courses. 40% of our carbon emissions come from the built environment – be it embodied energy in their creation, or operational energy used to heat and run the home. We can already build zero carbon homes, so we need to share the knowledge on how best to do this and adopt it at scale. We will also need to retrofit between 27 and 29 million existing homes in the UK to deliver on our zero carbon commitments. Delivering effective retrofit training is essential. MOBIE is a member of the skills group of the Optimised Retrofit programme in Wales and we are working on how best to create and deliver such training.



MARK SOUTHGATE Q: The Mayor of London is partnering with MOBIE to launch a design challenge for young Londoners this Autumn – what is this all about?


4 Q: Many industry reviews focus on increasing housing numbers, declining skills, an ageing workforce, low productivity levels and variable quality of finished product – how can MOBIE help? MS: That is why MOBIE was formed in the first place – we started MOBIE to create a generational shift. MOBIE will help inspire and attract a new generation of talented young people to join the built environment and housebuilding industries to secure their future and drive necessary change. We will train them with the skills they need to improve our product and the industry’s productivity, including though use of digital skills and manufacturing approaches. I chair the Offsite Alliance Skills Group and we are identifying the skills that the MMC sector needs to deliver a higher quality product and how best to deliver them. Q: Earlier this year the ‘House iO’ competition asked architectural students from University of West England (UWE) to form teams, to


design a prefabricated housing scheme – what kind of schemes were proposed? MS: The competition asked architectural student teams from UWE to design a prefabricated housing scheme to address homelessness in Bristol, using Totally Modular’s House IO system – volumetric modular homes built to near carbon zero standards. The students could choose from three sites allocated for housing in the city. The challenge attracted entries from first year to final year students, who enjoyed tackling a real-life brief and acting as design teams working under pressure to deliver their proposals in under a week. The teams created a range of sensitive, well-researched and well-argued proposals for their sites. The winning entry utilised the layout of their site to create blocks and clusters of modular housing with retained trees and communal spaces that provided both quality shared space and privacy. It was a high-quality housing scheme designed with great thought about the needs of its users.

MS: Design Future London is our latest place making and design challenge for 11- to 25-year-old Londoners. It was launched at London Build on 18 November and runs until 6 May 2022. We are asking young Londoners to design an innovative and inspirational green home and urban neighbourhood in the Royal Docks, East London. The home and neighbourhood designs should address four key priorities central to London’s recovery from COVID-19: making places, sustainable transport, building housing, addressing climate change and providing green energy for London. They should meet the changing needs of future generations of Londoners, including promoting wellbeing, quality of life and healthy living. The challenge is free to enter. We hope that it will inspire a new generation to learn about the built environment and bring learning in subjects like geography, history and design and technology to life. The challenge will also introduce young people to the built environment sector and the variety of jobs – from planning and architecture to engineering and construction – that exist and employ nearly 10% of the UK workforce. For more information visit: Homes for the Future Innovation Centre Optimised Retrofit Design Future London design-future-london Images: 01. Mark Southgate, Chief Executive, MOBIE 02. The Homes for the Future Innovation Centre will help bring much needed research and development and innovation to the housing sector 03-04. Architect and TV presenter George Clarke was a key founder of MOBIE


the Future is Modular Offsite construction is transforming the industry. • Unprecedented levels of design sophistication and energy efficiency; • New materials and processes that improve completion times and lower overall costs; • A new generation of construction professionals working in precision manufacturing roles.

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With world leaders recently meeting at COP26 to formulate plans to tackle climate change, Rollalong’s Managing Director Steve Chivers, says offsite construction should be considered as part of the solution to this global issue.

boiler with highly efficient air source heat pumps to provide space heating and hot water. Heat pumps require just a third of the energy of conventional heating systems, and they use electricity to compress the energy in the outside air to warm our buildings. Finally, our buildings can be fitted with solar photovoltaic (PV) panels to generate their own electricity to offset energy use to net zero carbon targets and beyond.

1 It’s clear now that we are approaching the point of no return when it comes to reversing the damaging effects of our CO2 emissions on our environment. The construction industry has to step up and play its part. According to the Technology Strategy Board the construction, operation and maintenance of the built environment accounts for 45% of total UK carbon emissions (27% from domestic buildings and 18% from non-domestic buildings). To reduce this negative impact, we must find new, greener ways of constructing buildings and we have to design buildings with a low or zero carbon footprint. This means adapting from the bricks and mortar, ground up approach which the industry has adhered to for centuries and adopting modern methods of construction (MMC) instead.


We adopt three key steps to deliver clients’ key targets in relation to sustainability. Where clients set building design aims to exceed current zero carbon building standards, the following areas are considered. Firstly, the fabric first approach with all our buildings – the highly insulated walls, floors, roof, the highperformance windows and doors, and the airtightness of the building fabric mean that all Rollalong buildings exceed current Building Regulations as standard. Next is energy efficiency. The use of mechanical ventilation heat recovery systems (MVHR), wastewater heat recovery systems (WWHR), LED lighting and efficient water fittings further lower emissions in all our buildings. We then introduce renewable energy technologies: we start by replacing the fossil fuel gas

The embodied carbon in modular buildings is lower than that of traditionally constructed schemes. We are targeting a 75% reduction in the whole-life carbon emissions of its buildings by 2030. Because buildings created in a factory setting are manufactured to precise requirements, MMC can reduce waste on-site by up to 90% compared to traditional construction, and much of this waste can then be recycled rather than sent to landfill. At least 95% of our waste is recycled. Our building projects also have a smaller impact on the local environment on site. Using MMC, buildings are manufactured in highly controlled conditions in a factory. Offsite methods generate significantly less noise and less dust on-site. Modular construction also reduces vehicle movements to and from the construction site, so the toxic fumes and carbon emissions are reduced too. A building site using offsite modular methods reduces vehicle movements to and from the site by up to 90%, so heavy traffic created by large, dirty trucks can be avoided, and disruption to local residents is kept to a minimum. What’s more, it’s considerably faster to build a modular building than it is to build from the ground up using bricks


NET ZERO CARBON and mortar – up to 50% faster. As our buildings take less time to manufacture and install, we use less energy. We watched COP26 with interest and we look forward to further announcements of UK Government support for MMC as a construction method which can help the UK to achieve its net zero target by 2050. For more information visit:


Images: 01-02. Modular manufacture are at the forefront of newbuild education and healthcare buildings with reliable quality and delivery timescales

OPERATIONAL, EMBODIED CARBON & MODULAR CONSTRUCTION “The role that modular construction can play in reducing operational carbon centres on the better build quality derived from manufacturing practices in a controlled environment, says Antonio Lopez of Stelling Properties. “The quality assured factorycontrolled production and installation processes provide a greater certainty regarding the thermal performance of the unit due to the integrity of insulation and low air leakage. Indeed, volumetric buildings have been achieving airtightness levels of <5m3/m2/hour against the traditional building targets of 10. “The role volumetric construction plays in reducing embedded carbon might not be immediately obvious, however it can contribute significantly to the less carbon being used in the construction process. Let’s first look at the operatives employed in the construction process, the average daily commute for workers in the UK is a round trip of 23 miles per day, based on this the vast majority of the operatives will live within 10-12 miles of the factory unit, which in conjunction with car share schemes, the use of public transport and for the fit and energetic cycling to work, there is a reduction in the carbon created by transporting staff to different site locations. “Good design is a key factor in the success of modular construction, at the design stage material wastage can be engineered out of the construction process due to the certainty over the tolerances within the modules, materials can either be ordered cut to size directly from the manufacturer alternatively standard size products like plaster board are optimised to reduce the material wastage, this helps significantly in reducing the reported 100 million tons a year of waste the UK construction industry creates and importantly eliminates the carbon used in producing the wasted materials. Within the controlled environment of the factory, it is easier to ensure that any waste materials are where possible recycled, as it becomes a part of the standardised manufacturing process. “The materials used in the construction, will still need to be delivered to site, however with modular construction, there is one delivery point for multiple sites, meaning greater efficiency in delivery logistics, with materials for use on several sites being delivered to one facility reducing frequent multiple site deliveries. Unlike most construction sites, factories can provide safe, secure, dry, and environmentally controlled warehousing for materials, allowing for the efficient delivery of materials, further reducing supply chain mileage by reducing the number of deliveries. Modular construction offers several benefits over traditional construction and should be considered as an integral element in making the construction industry more sustainable, and better placed to deliver the net zero buildings and homes of the future. For more information visit:





Tony Woods, Technical Manager at LHC, explains how the public sector can reduce the impacts of skills shortages using offsite manufacture and collaboration. Larger orders also mean we can start to build confidence in the supply chain, leading to further investment in jobs, skills, capacity and technology, again bringing further cost benefits in the future. However, any exploration of MMC must be done with expert guidance and support, as there are pitfalls to be avoided.

1 There’s no doubt that the industry is recovering from the minor downturn it suffered during the pandemic, but now it faces a different challenge: shortages. The latest Federation of Master Builders state of trade survey shows that 60% of builders have paused projects because they can’t find the skilled tradespeople they need. This is further intensified by an ageing workforce, with half a million UK-born workers set to retire within the next decade, and the need for 217,000 additional workers just to sustain current activity according to statistics from CITB. A skills shortage within the industry is nothing new and neither is using modern methods of construction (MMC) to combat its effects, but now could be the time for turning modern methods into mainstream methods. To truly embrace MMC, local authorities need to move away from transactional, site-by-site procurement and engage with the supply chain to


2 build a sustainable pipeline of work. Contracting authorities often want pilot projects rather than committing to a longer-term development plan. They then end up making a judgment call based on the success of that one project, rather than recognising it as an educational process. Organisations are likely to find that a long-term approach to MMC projects results in more efficient costs and an increase in social value. While this approach may seem daunting for contracting authorities, collaborating with other organisations can help to spread the cost and the risk. LHC teams across the country are now working with housing associations and local authorities to develop MMC cluster groups to unlock the value in project aggregation. By bringing housing providers together and combining projects, MMC producers can start to standardise their production processes, bringing costs down.

Through LHC’s Offsite Construction of New Homes (NH2) framework, we already have the foundation for collaborative working at our disposal. It allows relationships between clients and suppliers to develop and flourish from the very early stages onwards and sets out an integrated supply chain without any legal problems for procurement teams. Early engagement between suppliers and clients through the framework will also ensure the risk load is shared more widely. Using framework agreements helps contracting authorities to manage the process much more easily through a single point of contact and with the aid of technical expertise across all RIBA Plan of Work 2020 stages. Our Offsite Project Integrator (OPI1), framework provides technical support at every stage, making specialist consultants available to help make the business case for MMC housing. Many local authorities are now realising the value MMC provides. I expect to see this number increase ever further, not just because of the Government’s ever-growing preference for MMC, but also because housing providers are seeing the many benefits that MMC brings. For more information visit: Images: 01. Tony Woods, Technical Manager, LHC 02. The way new homes are built is fast changing



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




In Bristol and across the UK, we are facing a housing crisis, a climate crisis, an ecological emergency, as well as a construction skills shortage. But as Bristol Housing Festival, Project Director, Jez Sweetland explains, these challenges are a powerful opportunity to do things differently.

1 At the Bristol Housing Festival, we’re bringing together industry leaders, local governments, and Bristol residents to ensure that healthy and resilient communities are at the forefront of the conversation on housing. Some of the ways we’re doing this is through our Innovate UK funded project ‘Enabling Housing Innovation for Inclusive Growth,’ which we completed in September this year, our involvement with the global ‘Climate Smart Cities Challenge’ and our new ‘Workforce for the Future’ project.


The Enabling Housing Innovation for Inclusive Growth project, began in April 2020 and was delivered by a consortium of partners led by YTKO, Bristol Housing Festival, BRE and nine leading modular housing companies among others. It was an 18-month program working towards the delivery of a major piece of research, development and innovation in the use of modern methods of construction (MMC) and helped enable 425 homes to be built in Bristol (estimated GDV of circa £90million). Of the nine demonstrator sites that formed part of the project, three are underway, and

two – Hope Rise and SNUG homes – are already complete with both having won awards (Hope Rise has won multiple awards and was featured at COP26 as one of 17 projects chosen by a global panel). We are working on post-occupancy evaluation of Hope Rise which will be available soon and have also completed a ‘lessons learnt’ report on this scheme. Another outcome of the project is constructing modern methods (CMM). CMM is a digital tool to help housing commissioners interrogate the MMC market and procure the best solutions.




3 construction employers to access new housing developments in the city. Backed by the West of England Combined Authority, via their Workforce for the Future initiative, the project will see hundreds of local trades given the skills and funding to explore offsite modular housing technologies and MMC.

4 It sits within a procurement solution, a dynamic purchasing system facilitated by the South West Procurement Alliance. Recognising the importance of tackling the climate and ecological emergencies alongside the housing crisis, the Bristol Housing Festival in partnership with Bristol City Office and Bristol City Council, put in a bid earlier this year for Bristol to become a host city for the UN Habitat and NESTA Climate Smart Cities Challenge, and Bristol was selected as one of four cities to collaborate in the initiative. The aim of the challenge is to develop, test and scale cutting edge solutions to reduce greenhouse gas emissions around a particular problem faced by the host city. Bristol chose to focus on newbuild, affordable housing and posed the challenge that while we already have the technology to make every newbuild in the UK low carbon, it is not currently viable for all stakeholders due to cost. We have therefore invited innovators to work on real sites building in new financial

or development appraisal models to unlock affordable, low carbon housing. We recognise that current models (focusing principally on repayment of capital) will become an increasing limitation in unlocking sites for affordable housing (let alone complex brownfield sites) which will be further constrained through higher labour and construction material costs and needing to deliver higher performing more sustainable affordable homes. In that context, we believe that we need to innovate wisely within the development appraisal process, to redefine value and unlock funding to deliver against intended outcomes. The challenge was officially launched on the 3 November at the World Expo in Dubai. Finally, our ‘Workforce for the Future Unlocking MMC for SME’s project’ aims to help address the construction skills shortage. YTKO, in partnership with the Bristol Housing Festival and MOBIE, have secured a new training project to help support local

Tackling multiple crises simultaneously requires a high level of collaboration and ‘out the box’ thinking. We recognise the importance of engaging a broad audience, including Bristol residents, in these conversations and to this end our annual Expo is a chance to celebrate good news and discuss pressing issues. We have learned that a lot of conversation currently (and quite rightly) centres around the climate crisis and ecological emergency, and while this is important, we must not lose the priority of social justice. The urgency of the climate emergency has moved public discourse into a polarised debate that risks ignoring the reality of multiple crises and focuses just on the one. As we build back better, we must learn to hold the tensions of multiple crises, to fight to protect our climate and ecology while not forgetting the urgent and pressing need to provide safe, stable, and affordable homes for our city’s most vulnerable residents. For more information visit: Images: 01. Bristol Housing Festival is showcasing a huge amount of innovation in developing better housing for its residents 02-03. ZED Pods at Hope Rise 04. SNUG Homes





Ryan Geldard, M-AR’s Operations Director, explains how challenging accepted industry norms and adopting a collaborative approach with clients and peers is beneficial all round, but especially for those who call an M-AR building ‘home’.


2 Offsite contractor M-AR is proud to take a people-centric approach to everything it does by putting collaboration at the heart of its business. As an industry, collectively keeping our cards close to our chest and keeping innovations and new ideas under wraps doesn’t serve anyone. Earlier this year, we hosted a very successful event at our head office and factory in Hull, which demonstrated just how vital collaboration is to the future of MMC and that by working together, we can solve the housing crisis. The event, which was hailed as a ‘game changer’, brought together several key modular manufacturers and contractors with the aim of unlocking the full potential of offsite construction technology for affordable housing developer, Pocket Living. It provided a platform for key stakeholders to share ideas and best practice in response 34

to Pocket Living’s brief to find the most efficient and cost-effective offsite turnkey solution to delivering apartment development schemes of varying sizes. Offsite – but not as you know it As part of our work with Pocket Living, we’ve effectively ‘open sourced’ our specialist offsite design technology for the project, in the form of our BOPAS accredited Gen2 Modular System. The idea is to use this as a starting point to develop an effective and workable design as a basis to which all suppliers on the Pocket Living framework would work towards. Repeating an agreed design in this way gives housing developers reliable costings and timings for each scheme, while allowing scope for some flexibility of design to tailor the schemes to their locations and to meet the needs of future residents. Alun Macey, Construction and Innovation Director at Pocket Living commented: “We believe that modular construction is ideally suited to our schemes but the biggest cost and time savings of offsite generally seem to be reserved for much larger scale

projects comprising hundreds of units. We knew there would be another way for us to enjoy the benefits of offsite so we’re very grateful to M-AR for hosting this event and creating a platform for open and honest discussion with key players in the industry. It’s an exciting chapter in the Pocket Living story as well as for the wider offsite construction sector and it just goes to show how we can all reap the rewards by thinking outside the box.” It’s precisely this outside the box thinking and challenging of accepted industry norms that has led us to create some of our most striking residential projects to date. Projects such as Waterside Gardens at Wigan Pier, which recently won the Offsite/ MMC award with the Insulated Render and Cladding Association. We’ve also been shortlisted in the Most Innovative Supplier category at this year’s Housing Digital Innovation Awards thanks to our forward-thinking approach as an offsite contractor. And we are thrilled to have been named Business of the Year (over 51 employees) at the Hull Live Business Awards with the Hull Daily Mail. We've grown rapidly in the last few years and this award is testament to the hard work of everyone at M-AR and it means the world to us. We’re continually looking to the future and working collectively as an industry is the ideal way for us ensure the future of MMC. For more information visit:

Images: 01-02. M-AR have been working hard to challenge accepted industry norms


M-ARvellous homes

Thinking outside the box to deliver homes not housing units

At M-AR we’re determined to unlock the full potential of offsite manufacture to deliver bespoke homes quickly, efficiently and cost-effectively. As part of the Buildoffsite Property Assurance scheme (BOPAS) our homes are fully mortgageable making them future-proof and allowing us to deliver a true long-term housing solution, not just a quick fix. And with our people-centric approach we never just deliver housing units – but real liveable homes for real people.

Our accolades:

So what are you waiting for? Why not get in touch with us and see how the M-AR approach will maximise your investment. 01482 635 081



The construction of 504 Bristol Rd was a complex project due to the location of the site and the design’s unusual architectural shapes and forms. The perfect solution was the lightweight steel frame Hadley Steel Framing System (HSF).

1 504 Bristol Rd is a brand-new development located in Selly Oak, Birmingham, consisting of offices, retail and multi-level student accommodation of 70 self-contained luxury studios and has various internal and external communal spaces including study pods and a large courtyard. The shape and design of the building in this project make it unique and innovative. The building was designed with reference to the historical character of the site and with respect to shipbuilding. This is clearly translated in its built form, massing and the materials used. The 3,193sq m space is arranged over four floors, with the ground floor given over for retail purposes, and the fifth floor largely glazed and setback. The design for this scheme was very exciting as the challenge faced was to provide a building of an architectural


merit that was equal to the existing Victorian building that occupied the site. The inverted and skewed brickwork and window detailing is derived from an inverted traditional Victorian bay window. The layering also takes a strong cue from the Victorian layering and articulation of façade treatment with vertical and horizontal alignments. The conical form turning the corner was inspired by vessel building which happened near the site. The internal layout of the studios is to allow students, an open plan and independent space. The development has good standards of natural light and ventilation. Window sizes are larger than traditional residential housing to allow increased daylight levels and maximise passive solar gains. The development has led to a significant and material improvement

2 in the appearance of the site and the street scene by virtue of its modern, contemporary design and the use of quality materials. Considering the highly restricted access and time constraints, the design team concluded that the best construction method for this development would be a hot rolled steel frame on the ground floor supporting a ComFlor® transfer deck to take four floors of cold rolled structural load bearing steel frame system such as HSF. Hadley Steel Framing as a manufacturer wanted to prove and demonstrate that the conical form can be built utilising their system and offsite construction techniques. As steel is such a versatile construction material, it was able to produce a unique and innovative shape and



3 design while at the same time create a structure that is both durable and safe utilising the expertise and skills of HSF. Due to Hadley Steel Framing’s unique manufacturing methods, cold roll forming, they could produce the frames with efficient production solutions, reducing design and manufacturing time whilst simultaneously ensuring outstanding quality and accuracy. These construction components can be of bespoke design or standardised components offering the opportunity for creativity and efficient construction best suited to the project criteria. Using the lightweight steel frame structure meant the project was delivered on time, on budget whilst maintaining the highest quality standards. The challenging site, with minimal storage demanded a meticulous delivery schedule and by using this offsite method, delays were avoided in the final project delivery. Costs were easier to predict, as design specifications were met reducing the margin of error and lowering the cost of remedying possible construction defects. By using HSF, solutions could be created that met the design requirements and time scales ensuring

4 a seamless process to completion. All structural calculations were made ensuring all structural components for the whole building frame (composite floor slabs and structural steel) were designed efficiently thus working within the project’s financial constraints. One other benefit was to provide the client and contractor with a building that was watertight within three weeks, which allowed them to commence internal building work whilst brickwork and rainscreen cladding was installed at the same time.

striking addition to what has been for many years a tired and deteriorating urban street scene in Selly Oak. The 504 Bristol Road development provides a new level of much-needed contemporary student accommodation within the student village of Selly Oak providing all the necessary facilities on-site and creating a luxurious environment for students to thrive.

Hadley Steel Framing had not undertaken such complex shapes such as the conical design before and the result is hugely successful and a credit to the project teamwork. It is equally a

Images: 01-04. Using the lightweight steel frame structure meant the project was delivered on time, on budget whilst maintaining the highest quality standards. Courtesy MAS Architecture/Hadley Steel Framing

For more information visit:





Architects and developers are under increased pressure to design safer residential buildings that deliver predictable performance. Steve Thompson, Managing Director for light steel framing specialists EOS makes a strong case for robust testing and certification. benefits, the Thrubuild® range has multiple loadbearing applications for low and medium rise developments and can be used for external or internal walls together with internal and separating floors.

1 The Hackitt report highlights the failings within the construction industry and sets out recommendations for a major shakeup of the current regulatory framework governing building control and fire safety in residential buildings. Our products, processes and whole business philosophy show that as a manufacturer, we take our responsibilities extremely seriously. At the heart of this is rigorous testing, technically competent people and a systems approach to our solutions. Information and record-keeping around construction projects is often fragmented – I believe ‘the golden thread’ is a step towards true transparency. Building Information Modelling (BIM) is now acknowledged as crucial in the design and construction process, but it goes beyond that – it provides a significant and lasting legacy of digital information from all those involved. EOS operate to BIM Level 2 and this technology is seen as fundamental to not only our business operation but how we collaborate with our construction partners. In addition to BIM, with our Etex group partners we consider taking a systems approach,


2 as recommended in the Hackitt report – backed by rigorous testing regimes and certification is also a critical factor in determining building performance and safety across the medium to highrise residential sectors. As part of Etex, together with Group partners – Siniat, Promat and FSi – we have invested considerable time and research in developing a range of non-combustible walling and flooring systems. We are committed to technical excellence and understand the challenges faced by architects and through Etex Group, have some of the best fire experts in the UK on our team. Up until now there has been a lack of a systems-based approach to eradicate the pitfalls surrounding specification decisions. Predictable Performance By eliminating uncertainty through rigorous testing regimes, EOS deliver light steel frame systems with certified and predictable performance. Recently presented with Best External Product at the 2021 Housebuilder Product Awards, Thrubuild® is an all-in-one non-combustible certified system exploiting the latest products, technical know-how and manufacturing excellence of the combined Etex team. Providing crucial safety, time and cost

In addition to the Thrubuild® loadbearing range, we have researched and developed Thruwall® – a fully engineered custom-designed non-loadbearing infill system manufactured offsite and supplied as a certified kit of parts that can be used with concrete and steel main frames. Following the outstanding success of Thruwall®, EOS has taken factory prefabrication and preassembly to another level. Developed and rigorously tested, pre-assembled frames (PAF) are an evolution of Thruwall® which are delivered to site as a unitised non-loadbearing infill system encapsulating light steel framing and external sheathing. All components and products in the Thrubuild®, Thruwall® and PAF system range have been rigorously tested together for fire, acoustic, weathering, airtightness, durability and mechanical performance. Fire resistance periods of 60, 90 and 120 minutes are achievable. When walling and flooring systems are built with Etex Group components and materials, following a validation process — Etex award a 30-year warranty. For more information visit the EOS information centre: Images: 01. Riverside Quarter, the first development in the UK to specify EOS’s PAF System 02. Horizontal rig for structural testing at Etex’s Innovation and Technical Centre





23 March - 7 April

Bringing the Future Homes Standard to life These one day conferences at six locations across the UK in March and April, will focus on the Future Homes Standard, providing guidance and pragmatic solutions for compliance. We’ll also cover the latest NHBC Standards for 2022, recent regulatory change including the Building Safety Bill and other important topics.

Visit to book your tickets now for your preferred location. National House-Building Council is authorised by the Prudential Regulation Authority and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority and the Prudential Regulation Authority. National House-Building Council is registered in England & Wales under company number 00320784. National House-Building Council’s registered address is NHBC House, Davy Avenue, Knowlhill, Milton Keynes, Bucks MK5 8FP. R580e 11/21



As we decarbonise construction in line with the UK’s net zero 2050 targets, attention is turning to the challenges of moving to a more circular economy. Michael Sansom, Associate Director, Steel Construction Institute (SCI), outlines how a new website portal could help the steel sector. scrap steel prices fluctuate, a review of the price differential between new and scrap structural steel between 2002 and 2018, shows an average price differential of £313 per tonne. This represents the potential profit opportunity of reusing, as opposed to recycling, steel sections. There are also many case studies of whole structure reuse where significant cost savings were achieved relative to using new steel.

1 Steel construction systems are already highly circular, benefitting from steel’s intrinsic ability to be recycled, again and again, without loss of properties. For example, current endof-life recovery and recycling rates for structural steel in the UK is >95%. The challenge for the steel construction sector therefore is how to move from recycling to reuse. A new initiative by the SCI will facilitate the reuse of structural steelwork through the collection and aggregation of data on new and reclaimed structural steel products – we are also assessing how this could be adopted and applied to the light gauge steel sector. SCI has developed a prototype website portal for collecting and sharing information about steel reuse and for trading reclaimed steel structures and components. In terms of the functionality of the portal, it has been developed to address both:


• Reuse today scenario, i.e. a traditional ‘sell-buy’ exchange but devoted specifically to reclaimed structural steel • Development of a database of new structural steel in newly constructed buildings, i.e. facilitating future deconstruction and reuse. Both of these scenarios contribute to a circular economy and can substantially reduce environmental impacts. Not only are the production impacts of making new steel avoided but by reconditioning and reusing reclaimed sections in the UK, the transport impacts of importing new steel and exporting steel scrap are avoided. Currently the UK exports around 75% of steel scrap for recycling overseas. Studies suggest that greenhouse gas emission savings of around 95-97% are achievable through reuse compared to primary steel production. There are also potential economic benefits. Although new steel and

In terms of reuse today, the prototype portal enables sellers and buyers to make contact and exchange information both pre and postdemolition. Pre-demolition building information provided includes:

• • • •

Age of building Scheduled demolition date Size of building Overview of section sizes, grade, sub-grade, etc. • Contact details to enquire about the building. Post-demolition it is assumed that the building has been deconstructed with a view to reusing the reclaimed members, i.e. care has been taken to deconstruct the building carefully with a view to preserving the structural steel members. Post-demolition, more information is readily available, for example, section designation, length, etc. If testing is required, the results should also be made available. Buyers can search the database of available reclaimed sections using the following search criteria:

• Section type; e.g. UB, UC, PFC • Postcode and search radius • Section size from a dropdown menu of standard section sizes.



2 To facilitate future reuse, the portal captures and stores detailed information on new steel buildings to enable them to be refurbished, extended and potentially reused in the future. Data fields relate to building or project information plus elemental information. Project information is inputted manually and elemental or product information is provided electronically to the portal via uploaded IFC files of the erected structure. The whole building structural models are held confidentially and securely until such point as they either due to be refurbished, structurally extended or when they are scheduled for demolition. At this time, the building information becomes searchable via the portal and the elemental information will be placed in the database of reclaimed sections and made available for purchase. Over time, this database will grow to provide a virtual stock of steel elements with all associated properties and provenance, to facilitate mainstream reuse. Because of the factory-based nature of structural steel and the widespread use of BIM by the sector, the product information required to facilitate future reuse is readily available and it is simply a matter of collecting, storing and retrieving this information

effectively. As a minimum, the following information is to be stored in the database for each structural element:

• Section designation, length and weight • Steel grade and sub-grade • Product and execution standard • Mill certificate • Environmental product declaration (EPD). To date, development of the prototype reuse portal has focused on hot-rolled structural steelwork; these members being durable, dimensionally stable and importantly robust. Consequently, they offer the greatest potential for reclamation and reuse. Light steel structural elements including 2D (panels) and 3D (modules) are highly reusable, and we need to start collecting and storing the relevant properties, as described above for hotrolled sections. There are other aspects relating to the reuse of light steel systems that also need to be explored such as how we can standardise our systems to facilitate reuse. It is time for all of us to think about our carbon footprint, both personally and professionally, and proactively think about what steps we can take to help tackle the ongoing climate emergency.

3 A new initiative by the SCI will facilitate the reuse of structural steelwork through the collection and aggregation of data on new and reclaimed structural steel products – we are also assessing how this could be adopted and applied to the light gauge steel sector.

For more information visit: Images: 01-03. Steel is highly recyclable and a perfect circular material providing the structure of many offsite buildings





A new guide from The Housing Forum offers practical guidance for housing associations and councils on procurement which can be applied to offsite construction. The key is to start with a clear vision and then hold on to it, says its author Matthew Goulcher, Managing Director of Levitt Bernstein.

1 While the housing sector has much to be proud of, all of us who’ve been involved in the design and construction of new homes know what a frustrating business it can be. The all-too-common approach has been to opt for the cheapest bid and then transfer as much risk as possible to the contractor. As sure as night follows day, corners get cut and quality invariably suffers. Many well-meaning initiatives intended to rectify this flaw have not proved lasting, for a variety of reasons. This time it may be different. The quality failures that have come to light across many housing schemes, and tragically in the Grenfell Tower disaster, have galvanised unprecedented determination from industry and government to overhaul quality and safety. At the heart of the new mindset is an acceptance that an improved procurement process is essential to the reforms. Government has made valueled procurement a policy imperative in its procurement green paper and an


2 important strand in its ‘Construction Playbook’ – a blueprint for the development of the construction industry. The Housing Forum, whose members span the housing spectrum – from clients to contractors, to manufacturers and designers – has been using its expertise to capture good practice. For the past 18 months I’ve been chairing a working group which has been examining procurement processes over the last 25 years and reflecting on what has worked, and what hasn't. It’s a complex picture. There has been a great deal of blame for failure channelled at design and build contracts, for example. But what has become apparent from our workshops is that even with design and build, good teams working well together with a supportive client, and an excellent contractor team that really wants to engage, can produce excellent projects. However, in the current environment this is achieved

more by luck than any sort of planned process, so The Housing Forum has set out the key ingredients for success. The result is ‘Better Procurement for Better Homes’ a very practical guide for local authorities and housing associations, to help them get the developments they aspire to and build the sustainable communities that they and their residents want. The guide is about establishing and maintaining good relationships, having a clear vision and holding on to it. And managing project costs and risks equitably. We are also advocating bringing in the supply chain early – which will help for adopting homes built offsite too. It’s split into six chapters and covers all the various steps from design considerations, through to achieving quality on site and the contracts underpinning the collaborative approach we recommend.


HOUSING We are not being prescriptive – but rather, setting out a methodology to help clients articulate a vision and show them how to work with the best people to deliver that, including harnessing modern methods of construction (MMC). The guide makes the point that long-term construction quality can be improved within a controlled factory setting. Here are some of our key recommendations: Create a vision – we're recommending all projects should have a formally documented project vision plan – and we’ve developed a template for clients tailored for this. The areas that this should encompass are broad: how you intend to maintain the vision with good project governance and monitoring? What are your cost and programme parameters? How do you intend to form the team – and deliver design quality? What is the social value you want to lever from the project and how do you draw in the voice of the residents? These are just some of the considerations to work through at this early stage. Appoint the right leader – our second non-negotiable for success is about getting the leadership, right and getting the project setup set up properly in relation to governance, advocacy and client ownership. We're talking here about holding on to a concept vision through its life. And that needs high-level leadership from inside the client organisation. This is often how it works in the higher education sector where we also do a lot of work. For example, the estate’s development department deliver a project. But there will also be a steering group of academics and other end users. If they see they're not getting the lab that they wanted, or the reception they wanted, they shout, and there's not enough of that that goes on in housing. Foster collaboration and procure on shared values – be clear about your vision and objectives, including defining ‘quality’, and procure the team based on a shared understanding and alignment of values. Have clear selection criteria, including a price evaluation model that does not promote a ‘race to the bottom’. It’s important too that these shared values should be embodied throughout the supply chain and not stop at first tier contractors.

3 Drive quality of design with a clear design brief – procuring good design on projects must start with a clear and realistic design vision setting the degree of aspiration, which is endorsed at senior level, and setting out how you intend to provide continuity of the team to provide design integrity and the golden thread. Appoint the consultants and contractors early – early appointment of the consultant team and contractor and early engagement with key suppliers is crucial to drive quality, innovation and collaboration and greater cost certainty. It is important to select a form of contract which allows for early appointment and a process for developing design and price collaboratively. Put in place a clear inspection regime – it needs to be clear on-site who's doing what. Our view is that the design team needs to be involved more – they are in the best position to know whether what was designed has been built.

Good procurement can never be about signing a design and build contract and just turning up at a monthly meeting: it’s not about selecting contractors on the lowest bid and nor is it anything to do with finding as many ways as possible to offload risks on to the supply chain. All those things are a recipe for cost overruns, disputes and defects, as many housing providers have learnt the hard way. The values and behaviours set out in our guide founded on collaboration between client, consultants and contractors will result in safer, higherquality homes and better places to live. For more information visit: You can download the report at Images: 01. ‘ Better Procurement for Better Homes’ sets out a series of guidelines for improving design and construction quality, avoiding costly mistakes and managing risks 02-03. Housing is undergoing a revolution with offsite manufacture playing a central role. Courtesy TopHat





Ilke Homes has raised £60million to scale-up its operations and deliver an ambitious five-year plan that could put them on course to become a top ten housebuilder within the next five years by delivering 10,000 factory-built homes. housing crisis by creating meaningful supply-side incentives to increase house building capacity.

1 The £60million is split between £30million debt from government agency Homes England and £30million of equity from multiple new investors. The Guinness Partnership, one of the UK’s largest providers of affordable housing and a customer of ilke Homes, is one of the new equity investors. The housing association has signed two deals with ilke Homes in the last year, for sites that will deliver 250 factory-built homes. Tech-focused family office Middleton Enterprises and private equity firm Sun Capital have also taken equity stakes. TDR Capital has also injected further equity. Stephen Robertson, Founding Partner at TDR Capital, said: “Precisionengineering housing will be a critical solution to greening cities and with housing needs continuing to significantly outstrip supply, we are also confident that this sector is immensely scalable.” The £30million of debt comes via a facility from Homes England’s Home Building Fund. The Government’s housing agency invested an initial £30million into ilke Homes back in 2019, which marked the first time the agency had ever directly invested to boost an offsite manufacturer’s production capacity, with the latest round demonstrating that ministers remain prepared to take genuinely innovative steps to intervene in the


Harry Swales, Chief Investment Officer at Homes England, said: “Manufacturers like ilke Homes are vital if developers are to build new sustainable homes at the pace and scale the country needs. This debt facility from the Home Building Fund shows our commitment in increasing productivity and efficiency in construction to meet government’s housing delivery ambitions.” The new funding will be transformational for ilke Homes, allowing the company to invest heavily in automating more of its manufacturing processes to drive efficiencies, secure more sites and expand its ‘package deal’ strategy, which offers full development service of site, infrastructure and homes in a rapidly growing market. Both housing associations and build-torent operators are looking to scale up delivery of homes over the next few years, and the potential to deliver modern homes quickly and sustainably is an attractive proposition. Stephen Stone, a board member of ilke Homes who floated FTSE 250 housebuilder Crest Nicholson in 2013 while CEO, said: “This announcement proves that there is a shared ambition among the public and private sectors to find innovative solutions to structural issues that have dogged the construction and housebuilding industries for decades. This new funding will help us create hundreds more highly-skilled, green jobs for an economy that is gearing up for a Green Industrial Revolution.” The monies will also be used to scale-up production and accelerate capacity to deliver up to eight homes

a day, up from two today – all helping to bring down manufacturing costs in the process. The homes delivered are also highly energy-efficient, with the company, as part of its ilke ZERO offering which was launched this year, able to deliver thousands of zero-carbon homes a year for a mix of institutional investors, private developers, housing associations and councils. Catriona Simons, Group Chief Executive at The Guinness Partnership, adds: “Our investment in like Homes demonstrates our continued commitment to delivering high-quality, energy-efficient homes as quickly as possible, to those who need them most. Having partnered with the company on two sites already, we have seen first-hand the benefits ilke Homes’ method of delivery affords – which will help ensure we can continue to play an important and active role to address the housing crisis.” Speaking about the investment plans, Government MMC Champion Mark Farmer said: “True zero-carbon homes just cannot be delivered at scale through using traditional construction methods and our constrained skills base, we therefore need to move quickly to less resource intensive and higher performing pre-manufactured solutions. However, alongside government support, the private sector increasingly needs to recognise the investment case for change and that is why this announcement as a truly joint public and private financing package for a key market disruptor is so welcome.” For more information visit: Images: 01. The homes being delivered by offsite methods are of huge sustainability, quality and customer appeal


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'House by Urban Splash’ has created its first Row House homes – a new typology designed by architect shedkm – and builds upon the hugely successful Mansion and Town House concepts.

1 The designs for the first Row House homes were unveiled at the start of the year with the offsite prototype developed in the ‘House by Urban Splash’ factory in Alfreton, East Midlands, before being delivered to the East Float area of the Northbank neighbourhood – a community that is being developed in partnership with Peel L&P at Wirral Waters in Merseyside. Chris Shaw, Delivery Director at ‘House by Urban Splash’ explains: “Row House is the third residential typology in our award-winning portfolio and comes from our experience in recent years in using MMC to create hundreds of sustainable, brilliantly-designed homes across the country. To date, we have completed our three storey Town House homes and Mansion House apartments in places like Manchester, Birmingham, Salford and North Shields – it’s a pleasure to now bring more of our pioneering architecture to a new area of the country.”


Hazel Rounding of Liverpool-based shedkm – designers of the Town House and Mansion House products – adds: “Row House is a pioneering new design for homeowners, featuring our most innovative thinking around modular layouts, with efficient internal space and open-up features that offer additional outdoor living space – a concept that will suit the needs of modern buyers spending more time at home. We are delighted to see them become a reality at the Wirral.” The first three storey Town House homes have also been delivered to Wirral Waters, with all of the homes occupying a waterfront position overlooking East Float Dock, a stone’s throw from the River Mersey. Richard Mawdsley, Director of Development for Peel L&P’s Wirral Waters, said: “The arrival of these first homes at East Float is yet another significant example of progress at Wirral Waters. Together with the other developments along Northbank, we are creating a new mixed, sustainable neighbourhood – a

community for all. These innovative homes will sit alongside new public realm, including pocket parks and dockside walkways, helping to support healthier communities with a focus on fresh air and active travel.” Town Mansion & Row House Success ‘House by Urban Splash’ is an innovative concept delivering radical new products to the UK housing market. Using offsite manufacture and customisation, House enables customers to design their own homes, selecting from a variety of options to tailor homes to suit their lifestyle. The last year has seen the completion of sites at Port Loop and Piercy Street, with others progressing in Birmingham, Manchester, Wirral, and Cambridgeshire. Building on the success of the volumetric Mansion and Town House product – now in production for five years, and recently launched in improved Mark 3 guise – the House core range has expanded to




3 encompass a variety of new homes designed by shedkm. As a sister to Town House, Row House uses the same modular technology, but repackaged in a smaller, simpler and more affordable format, allowing higher densities. At Port Loop, Birmingham, houses are arranged in terraces enclosing a shared garden square. This provides

a generous communal amenity space of much greater size and quality than individual private gardens would allow and has been instrumental in fostering a sense of community among residents. Customer choice was again a key part of the brief, but the emphasis was on allowing customers to choose any size of home on any plot.

The new Row House homes will form the third phase of regeneration at Port Loop and will stand adjacent to another phase of Town House homes – 105 of which have already been created at the waterside site close to Birmingham city centre. Chris continues: “In two short years, Port Loop has completely transformed. What was once a disused, rundown former industrial patch of land, has fast become a vibrant, award-winning place in which hundreds of people now live, work and play. “We continue to evolve our product portfolio, introducing new homes to the market to help more people across the country live in brilliantlydesigned houses and communities. After the success of our Town House family homes, and our Mansion House apartments – the first of which have sold out in Manchester – we have created Row House for customers who want something different again. We look forward to seeing it become a reality at both Port Loop and Wirral Waters.” For more information visit: Images: 01-02. Homes at Port Loop 03. One of the first Row House homes being craned in by the River Mersey at Wirral Waters 04. Northstowe is fast developing with modular housing

NORTHSTOWE – THE MODULAR NEIGHBOURHOOD Progressing its new development at Inholm at Northstowe, Cambridgeshire, ‘House by Urban Splash’ delivered 43 homes in 43 days. “This is a wonderful day,” said Eva Hogan, Sales Manager at Inholm. “We’re so excited to complete on this area of Inholm. We’ve created the homes using modern methods of construction (MMC) – meaning they’ve come to life quicker and more efficiently than traditional build. The MMC process is slick, with a precision manufacturing approach that means the homes are created to a high design specification. Now all the homes are in-situ, it’s rewarding to see how we’ve rapidly transformed this site into a brand-new neighbourhood. “This is a futureproofed new take on suburbia which is proving extremely popular. It’s not about cul-de-sacs, or places that accommodate cars over people: our blueprint is an alternative which promotes great design and healthy living for the future of all residents. As the world has changed so much over the past 18 months, we’re creating a neighbourhood which accommodates work and play – in an environment created to enjoy life.”


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Futurebuild – the built environment event that’s championed sustainable construction for the past 16 years – will return to the ExCeL London from March 1–3, 2022, with an Offsite Section giving visitors the opportunity to meet with leading offsite construction professionals.

As longstanding partners and publishers of Offsite Magazine and Offsite Hub and organisers of Offsite Expo and Offsite Awards — the Explore Offsite team will partner with Futurebuild to give visitors a comprehensive and contemporary perspective of this rapidly evolving sector. Other leading partners, such as the trade association for UK precast concrete manufacturers and members of the supply chain, MPA British Precast, the Structural Timbers Association (STA) and the Light Steel


Frame Association (LSFA) will also explore the use of offsite technology to effectively construct a better and more sustainable environment. “Futurebuild champions a sustainable built environment by cultivating cross sector collaboration and working with experts in their field, such as Cogent Consulting and Explore Offsite,” explained Martin Hurn event director at Futurebuild. “Offsite construction will be a key player in reducing emissions, delivering more sustainable

structures and helping us to reach net zero goals. This partnership will enable us to accelerate change, giving visitors the opportunity to interact with these game-changing technologies and processes.” Futurebuild 2022’s accompanying world-class knowledge programme will feature leading UK and international offsite manufacturers and thought leaders from all aspects of the offsite arena. Attendees can see presentations from a range



Mark Farmer

Richard Hipkiss

Jenny Burridge

Stewart Dalgarno

Andy King

Chair, AIMCH stakeholder group, Advanced Industrialised Methods for the Construction of Homes (AIMCH)

Development Director, Modular and Portable Building Association

Head of Structural Engineering, The Concrete Centre

Project Director, AIMCH and Director of Product Development, Stewart Milne Group

Group Technical Director, Wernick Buildings and Technical Committee, Chair, Modular and Portable Building Association

of suppliers specialising in broad spectrum of panelised, volumetric modular, pod and prefabricated mechanical, electrical and plumbing solutions. The Offsite Seminar Sessions will explore the use of offsite technology to effectively construct a better, sustainable environment. The presentations will also show how the industry can respond to unprecedented demand through greater investment in lean manufacturing systems. “We often find that built environment professionals know what to do to reduce emissions, they now need to know how to do it and how to do it at scale,” adds Martin Hurn. “By featuring speakers who are pioneers in sustainability, visitors have the opportunity to learn from practical examples and case studies that they can use to create their own action plans.” Leading partner, Advanced Industrialised Methods for the Construction of Homes (AIMCH), will present at the offsite stage about the key outcomes from its three-year project. Mark Farmer, Chair of AIMCH will discuss how AIMCH is transforming how we build homes and share its outcomes and learnings to educate

the industry. AIMCH focuses on how prototyping, future factory planning, technology and standardisation can help tackle industry challenges, such as skills shortages, an ageing workforce and low affordability. Visitors can also attend a talk on volumetric modular buildings from the Modular and Portable Building Association (MPBA), which explores how a confused construction chain could be slowing construction progress. By removing the complexity of modern construction methods, industry consultants can accurately report on the embodied carbon figures that are relevant to each business and compare these against more traditional construction methods. Richard Hipkiss, Development Director at MPBA, will consider if volumetric modular buildings can deliver a net zero future for construction. His colleague, Andy King, Chair at MPBA, will discuss a manufacturer’s perspective on the volumetric building sector and how carbon can be embodied to improve net zero practices. BRE will speak about the importance of volumetric module accurate testing. Without supporting evidence, structural tests on a single building

section or in a test laboratory cannot predict structural behaviours of a fullscale building. Right now, it is not clear whether significant changes can occur between the testing techniques and reality if results are too conservative or not conservative enough. The seminar will discuss in an open forum the state-of-the-art knowledge about the similarities and differences between a module’s structural static and dynamic behaviours and buildings constructed using combinations of linked modules. Taking place from March 1 – 3 2022, Futurebuild will connect specifiers, decision makers and disruptors with major brands and start-ups, attracting over 20,000 senior professionals from across the built environment. As the home of innovation, the event is the perfect opportunity for the industry to meet and collaborate, to achieve the transformational change needed if the built environment is going to reach net zero. To discover more about the Offsite Section in partnership with Cogent Consulting and Explore Offsite, visit:






Luciana Kola, Marketing Manager at Uponor, explains why pipework for both domestic services and heating systems are ideal products for factory-based construction.

at lower temperatures over longer periods of time. In addition to their green benefits, heat pumps are becoming more compact in design and can be easily connected to a radiant system, making them ideal for pre-assembled volumetric buildings.

1 The pressure is increasing for the construction sector to adopt new, more sustainable, technologies that meet the demands of tomorrow. The benefits of offsite construction are now being realised by many, and modular construction could play a major role in reducing our carbon footprint as factory assembly allows production methods to be more streamlined resulting in higher efficiencies and less waste. Pipework for both domestic services and heating systems are ideal products for factory-based construction. By using products such as manifold plumbing, the number of fittings in a system can be reduced which both saves on cost and minimises the potential risk of leakage. The little offsite waste that is produced can also be closely controlled, helping to avoid contamination with other building products and allow for the circular use of materials. Many climate change studies suggest that indoor temperatures will rise above the comfort threshold of 26°C soon. This means that the energy needed for cooling will exceed the energy required for heating. To overcome this, future-oriented temperature control must include both heating and cooling while also being as energy-efficient as possible. Radiant systems can be installed under the floor or behind a wall or ceiling, which makes them the perfect fit for


2 modular assemblies where space can be limited. However, these installations not only take up less room than convectional systems, but they are also easier to use for cooling too. Hydronic cooling systems pass water through the pipes which absorb the heat within a room cooling the environment and preventing overheating, even in today’s well-insulated buildings. The system’s temperature controls prevent the build-up of heat during warmer periods by reducing the degree to which building mass heats up. The result is that surfaces are kept cooler and the internal ambient air temperature remains more comfortable for the building’s occupants. Radiant emitter systems can be controlled by a dedicated thermostat which gives the optimum thermal profile for an individual room, or zone’s needs. By being able to regulate the temperature of a specific area, radiant heating systems can reduce the amount of energy required, providing a more efficient way of heating or cooling particularly for large residential modular buildings or offices. In fact, it is estimated that these systems are between 20-25% more energy efficient than convectional heating. As radiant heating systems generally have a larger area heat emitter than traditional radiators, they also work more efficiently in conjunction with renewable heating technologies such as heat pumps, which give out heat

We are now seeing more construction projects benefitting from the advantages that modular building can bring. Uponor was recently involved in supplying the pipework and manifolds for the world’s tallest modular building in Croydon which features 546 apartments in two towers of 38 and 44 storeys. Due to the efficiency of offsite construction, Uponor was able to assist in delivering 1,500 completed modules in just 24 weeks. Volumetric construction such as this, where modules are pre-fitted with plumbing, heating or electrics, then commissioned before leaving the factory, are becoming increasingly popular. Efficient production is achieved through careful planning and scheduling, while design flexibility allows the best use of space on delivery vehicles, which further assists in reducing carbon emissions. Modular building has advanced considerably over the years to become a truly ‘modern’ method of construction that could go a long way in meeting today’s sustainability challenges. As a sector, we must rethink our methods of construction, as well as considering the environmental qualities of the systems we specify, so we can all create real change. And there is no reason why we cannot start today. For more information visit: Images: 01. Diagram showing the difference between how radiant heating and conventional heating warm up a space 02. Radiant heating in a bathroom


Guidance from The Concrete Centre Concrete is inherently suited to all buildings, including tall construction, with the many benefits that concrete can provide including fire resistance, thermal mass, acoustic separation and robustness. These benefits assist with the construction of buildings that are safe, cost-effective and easy to maintain or accept change-of-use. The Concrete Centre provides published guidance, webinars, seminars, courses, online resources and industry research to the design community. For more information on how The Concrete Centre can help you achieve the aims of your project visit

Download these titles and more from @concretecentre Image: 24-25 storey towers at Hoola development, London. © Jack Hobhouse



Despite the many challenges posed by COVID-19 over the last 18 months, the Offsite Awards still managed to reward innovation and excellence across a range of sectors. Held during Offsite Expo 2021, who were this year’s winners?

Taking centre stage at Offsite Expo on the evening of 21 September 2021, the Offsite Awards was a major coming together of the industry when over 400 guests gathered to celebrate groundbreaking achievements and the pioneers who are developing radical new offsite technologies, innovative product developments and landmark projects using factory-based methods. The Offsite Awards attracted more than 200 entries and despite the pandemic, this year’s awards have been the most prominent yet. Renowned for showcasing a rich vein of architectural achievement and engineering prowess, this year was no


exception and one of the big winners on the night was the VOLUMETRIC™ team who picked up not only Building Performance Pioneer for MODULHAUS™ but also the Winners of Winners trophy. MODULHAUS™ is a relocatable oneperson volumetric modular home that offers exceptional energy efficiency, outstanding functional performance, and superior quality. Designed and developed by VOLUMETRIC™, a specialist manufacturer of custom-built homeless solutions – MODULHAUS™ is delivered to exceptional performance standards, fully equipped and futureproofed for Building

Regulation changes and Future Home Standards. On behalf of VOLUMETRIC™, Operations Director Trevor Richards said: “MODULHAUS™ has been through an accelerated research and development programme and this award is testament to the dedication, skill and knowledge of our team. This solution provides greater dignity and independence to the most vulnerable members of society whilst also relieving the burden on local authorities of ongoing expenses associated with traditional temporary accommodation.”


OFFSITE AWARDS 2021 THE 2021 OFFSITE AWARD WINNERS ARE... Contractor of the Year Integra Buildings - Severn Trent Academy

Architect of the Year shedkm - House by Urban Splash Offsite Housing Range

Education Project of the Year Reds10 - Addington SEN School

Private Housing Project of the Year Positive Homes and Dice Consulting Engineers - Eco-MMC by an SME: Small site - nationally significant

Engineer of the Year Engenuiti & BDP - The University of Central Lancashire Student Centre

Product Innovation Award Integrated Health Projects in collaboration with Westgate Nightingale NW Manchester Bed Bay Partition System

Best use of Concrete Technology PCE - Warwick Interdisciplinary Biomedical Research Building Best use of Hybrid Technology Innovaré and Sika - Turves Green Girls' School Best use of MEP & Pod Technology SES Engineering Services - Lostock Sustainable Energy Plant Best use of Steel Technology MAS Architecture - 504 Bristol Rd Mixed Use Retail & Student Accommodation

Healthcare Project of the Year MTX Contracts - Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital – 3 Storey Ward Development Infrastructure Project of the Year Eric Wright Civil Engineering, Cumbria CC, GHD, Knight Architects, WEC, Mott MacDonald - Replacement Pooley Bridge Installer of the Year Wiehag GmbH - University of Warwick Interdisciplinary Bio Research Building

Project or Construction Manager of the Year Rob Stanton - Kier HMP Five Wells Retail/Leisure Project of the Year Hewitt Studios - Morgan Experience Centre Social Housing Project of the Year Fuse Architects - The Underwood Winner of Winners Volumetric Modular - MODULHAUS™

International Offsite Project of the Year Forta PRO - Kvarteret Jylland Student Accommodation Best use of Timber Technology Wiehag GmbH - University of Warwick Interdisciplinary Bio Research Building

HIGHLY COMMENDED Best use of Steel Technology EOS - Renaissance Works

Best use of Volumetric Technology Bond Bryan Architects - Springhead Primary School

Best use of MEP & Pod Technology NG Bailey Group - UK Battery Industrialisation Centre

BIM/Digital Construction Award Kane Group - Claridge’s Hotel Building Performance Award Volumetric Modular - MODULHAUS™ Client of the Year Middlesbrough Council - BoHo 8 Commercial Project of the Year Reds10 - Parkside: Imperial War Museums’ Staff Offices

Offsite Pioneer of the Year Akerlof

Product Innovation Award Ultrapanel Building Technologies Ultrapanel ‘Room in the Roof’

OFFSITE AWARDS 2022 The deadline for submissions for the next Offsite Awards is 27 May 2022 with the winners being announced on 20 September 2022 at Offsite Expo 2022. Find out more at:





Rising accommodation costs, the global pandemic and a potentially harsh winter will see the most vulnerable in society at risk and in search of secure living accommodation. What can local authorities do to meet this difficult challenge? providing shelter and accommodation for their local area now face not only a rising number of rough sleepers, but also a decrease in the amount of acceptable standard housing. Meaning previous methods of repurposing unused buildings will become less viable as the costs associated with modernising existing structures to meet standards becomes prohibitive.

1 For councils and local authorities, one solution is the award-winning MODULHAUS™ system. Designed and developed by VOLUMETRIC™ – accommodation modules are based on a new concept that has been developed to exceptional standards and outstanding functional performance. BOPAS certified, with a 60-year design life, the MODULHAUS™ homes are energy efficient, high quality and offer robust, durable single-person homes built using offsite construction. Using Design for Manufacture and Assembly (DfMA) protocols maximises the benefits of modularisation, units are conceived to incorporate the highest levels of offsite added value. Modules are fully moveable allowing for the system to be located


utilising local authority owned land that might otherwise go unused due to dereliction or the requirement for demolition. Advanced manufacturing facilities allow VOLUMETRIC™ to create bespoke, purpose-driven designs for a full-service package, equipping the modular homes with appliances, furnishings, utensils and creature comforts. One of the biggest obstacles faced by local authorities and homelessness action groups is that of ensuring temporary and interim accommodation is both costeffective and sustainable. With the Future Homes Standard highlighting the requirement for lower carbon emissions and more energy efficient housing by 2025, those in charge of

It was with these issues at the forefront of the MODULHAUS™ concept, and with VOLUMETRIC’s robust design and testing, that from conception to manufacture to installation, the MODULHAUS™ system has been developed to exceed the Future Homes Standard. Fully non-combustible building fabric, renewable air technology via air sourced heat pumps and low carbon emissions allow for each module to run on a cost of less than £5 per week, making it a viable solution for those on low or supported income. Of course, the housing crisis is not just about a decline in appropriate accommodation alone. There is a far bigger picture to see and for those at the forefront of local and community services, the pressure to meet demand extends beyond provision of residences. The homeless crisis requires more than simple relocation or expansion of available housing in order to meet the needs of those left without shelter, however, the utilisation of purpose-built systems such as MODULHAUS™ creates a unique opportunity to face these challenges head on. For more information visit: Images: 01. MODULHAUS™ offers secure and comfortable living space for the most vulnerable in society





An award-winning concept developed and rigorously tested to help overcome the homeless crisis and relieve the burden on Local Authorities of ongoing expenses associated with traditional temporary accommodation.

MODULHAUSTM SPECIFICATION: Designed to the Future Homes Standard Energy costs of less than £5 per week BOPAS certified structure with 60-year design life LABC Assured Building Control approval Fully non-combustible structure Renewable energy technology Stackable to two storeys Relocatable with over 95% material recoverability and re-use


MODULAR HOMES – ARE WE STORING UP PROBLEMS FOR THE FUTURE? The market for modular and prefabricated buildings continues to boom, but are we storing up problems for the future that may ultimately cost millions of pounds in repairs for homeowners? According to Jim Edwards, Commercial Director for Global Home Warranties, it is a real possibility. This means that while we can inspect the way they are installed, we equally must accept that offsite components are fit for purpose and have reached the highest possible standard. In most cases this is very much the case, but there is no way of knowing 100% and this is where the real problem lies – without independent inspection at the factories then it is not possible to determine whether we will have to address latent defects issues in the future. Manufacturers from every part of the globe are now producing and developing more components offsite than ever before with industry estimates suggesting that some 15,000 new modular homes are being built every year in the UK alone – a figure that is rising rapidly. Every new home requires a latent defects warranty to cover anything unforeseen that might happen between year two and year three. During the first 24 months the builder is responsible for correcting any issues. It is a system that has traditionally worked well, with more conventional homes seeking a latent defects warranty, being inspected at every stage of the build process. Companies such as Global have a multi-stage inspection guide from the moment footings are dug and concrete poured, right up to final delivery, to ensure that each home is fit for purpose. The problem is how do you inspect modular components for latent defects? This would require sending our surveyors to every factory currently producing such systems, as far away as China in some cases.


The move to offsite construction has been driven by the need to meet Government targets to build up to 300,000 new homes every year which means that modular and prefabricated components are increasingly being used. Companies in the UK specialising in offsite construction have an enviable track record in terms of quality and mostly produce components which have been ISO certified or meet all current building regulations and standards. This means that it will be more likely to be imported systems that ultimately fail, possibly because overseas manufacturers are not as familiar with or as aware of building practice within the UK and European construction sector, or simply because standards have been set lower to save money. As we know, price is very much a factor within all areas of construction and there is likely to be a temptation to import more and more low-cost building systems. They may do exactly what it says on the tin but none of us yet know what is likely to happen two, five or even 10 years down the line and now is the time to ask ourselves – should we be more stringent by having independent inspection processes

in every factory that produces such materials. There is growing evidence and other industry experts agree that we could be storing up problems. Recent reports suggest that the lack of detailed data on the durability of modular homes in the UK could be a considerable barrier for construction professionals concerned about the long-term viability of offsite components. Financial service providers, including insurers, mortgage lenders and valuers need to have certainty that modular homes are safe and durable if they are to engage with them, which is why we are now seeing Global and other industry experts calling for the development of a digital database that records the design, processes and materials used in the construction of buildings. Digital technology would make it possible to create a database that would store and track information about the built environment and would record the materials and processes used. It could also track repairs and alterations in larger housing developments and make sure that this information would be available to relevant stakeholders, including insurers and fire services. This will never be as good as a personal inspection process, but it would certainly provide more confidence and peace of mind for the entire industry and ultimately for the insurance companies that have to back latent defects warranties – and the time to act is now. For more information visit:


Embrass Peerless, the UK’s largest independent distributor of plumbing and heating products, with a twenty year pedigree of quality bespoke design engineering, manufacturing, production and importing/ exporting, are developing their OEM capabilities and extensive product range offerings for the Offsite industry’s manufacturers and their respective component suppliers. From their current extensive distribution warehouse facilities in the West Midlands, Embrass Peerless supply over 5,500 products to Independent Merchants, Buying Group Merchants, National Accounts, and OEM businesses throughout the UK, Republic of Ireland and Europe. Embrass Peerless’ range of products (particularly their own established and extensive range of Peerless Wastes) are well placed to partner companies providing finished pods to the leisure and housing markets - from all that you see in the final room with wastes, plugs and traps - to all that you don’t see behind the scenes - pipes, connectors and valves. Embrass Peerless is a ‘one-stop shop’ with the capacity to source, design and supply the full range of products and support all that you need, ensuring that your finished product is on time, on budget and of the highest production quality. We support enquiries from the UK and Europe and look forward to exploring any possibilities within this specialised Offsite sector for design, manufacture or distribution. To find out more, please contact our OEM Director Dan Martin on 07595 607966 and allow us to share your vision.


In partnership with Volumetric Homes Group and the Modular and Portable Building Association;

MODULAR MATTERS Conference & Exhibition features the latest developments, innovations, and investments in the volumetric modular sector.

Taking place on 15 & 16 February 2022 at the National Conference Centre (NCC) in Birmingham, the first day of the event covers a range of vertical markets including education, commercial, and healthcare. The second day will cover housing projects including private residential, build to rent and affordable housing. Modular technology is ever evolving and to help keep pace with this fast-moving sector, MODULAR MATTERS demonstrates how to tackle industry challenges through a range of project case studies, innovative architecture and building design together with net zero and future transformation. Presenting an insight into the future of construction, this event represents a great opportunity to gain industry intelligence and network with those who are at the forefront of the volumetric modular sector.

To find out more and book your place at this essential fast-track construction conference and exhibition go to:

Event Partners:


modular & portable building association

2022 Speaker Programme Includes Representatives From:

To enhance your presence at MODULAR MATTERS book an Exhibitor or Sponsor package for as little as £1,000+VAT

For more information on the promotional opportunities available call 01743 290042 or email




1 Designed by Bond Bryan Architects, Springhead Primary School is a two-form entry primary school constructed entirely from volumetric modular units to deliver large spaces, architectural features and a landmark community building. A newbuild school offering both primary and nursery provision, and located and constructed in Northfleet, Kent, Springhead Primary School forms a key part of the new garden city development. Split over two storeys and approximately 2,270sq m, the school can accommodate up to 240 primary school students from Key Stage 1 and Key Stage 2, and 30 nursery students. The key challenge was to deliver the school within a tight construction programme and budget but also to provide a sustainable solution of architectural merit that met the high expectations of the local planning authority for the site. The design and construction team were able to push the boundaries of volumetric construction to achieve a very successful design outcome while meeting the budget and programme constraints. Producing a primary school that is woven into the fabric of the new garden city residential development was paramount. The main entrance connects to an existing plaza and by extension it has been able to connect the school to the existing open spaces and community centre. This enabled a welcoming and inclusive environment


which supports the needs of all students. The design is inspired by the Kentish vernacular using a tapering parapet cantilever and high-quality materials to anchor the building within the existing context. Using a cantilever for the first-floor classrooms provided relief to the form, whilst offering an interesting frontage on the principal elevation. It also afforded the opportunity to introduce a lightwell in the centre of the plan, offering a positive effect on the building’s elevation and section. The volumetric construction method utilised on the Springhead Primary School offered significant time efficiencies throughout both the design and construction of the programme. The need for a high quality and well detailed solution was another driver for adopting the volumetric approach. The limitations imposed by the available space on the site were another reason to choose a volumetric solution. The opportunity to add striking architectural features and deliver a high-quality solution for both the site and the budget could only be offered by a volumetric solution. The benefits offered using volumetric technologies have been vast. Due to the lightweight construction of the project – made achievable using volumetric technologies – embodied carbon in the foundations was reduced. Improved insulation and airtightness reduced the heating and cooling demands of the building, via the delivery of a highly efficient building envelope. This offered the client lower operational carbon and reduced running costs for the building’s lifetime. As part of the design process,


3 Bond Bryan were able to engage with the volumetric provider Integra to identify areas where the use of a volumetric solution could create energy efficiencies through integrating sustainable technologies in a factory setting. By working closely with the supply chain, Bond Bryan were able to reduce the project’s energy usage by integrating heat recovery systems into the volumetric units within a factory setting. This ensured a maximum level of efficiency from the final systems without causing any delays on-site and creating better building performance and energy efficiency, whilst also ensuring the project adhered to the overall programme. By doing this, the modular approach helped ensure that the building’s energy performance is heightened, whilst offering the client lower running costs for the project. Also, the fact that the building is built up of clearly separated components makes it easier to recycle at the end of its life, giving greater whole-life sustainability. For more information visit: Images: 01-03. The use of volumetric technology created a modern, sustainable school quickly and efficiently. Courtesy Bond Bryan Architects


Ayrshire Metals Limited

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Our SFS systems offer numerous benefits from speed of build to the lightweight nature when compared with masonry and timber building structures. The load and span carrying capabilities of our light steel frames make this form of construction ideal for a wide range of building types, from schools to hospitals and residential to student accommodation. AyrFrameTM is our lightweight high strength modular building system. Over the past 25 years we have fabricated a wide variety of frames from rooftop extensions to multi-storey hotels, student accommodation and housing.

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Ebury Edge is a temporary work and community space at the heart of Westminster, providing affordable workspace and retail units, a cafe, community hall and public courtyard, with timber providing a key element of the scheme.

1 As part of the redevelopment of Ebury Bridge Estate, Westminster City Council was keen to give the local community an immediate sign of the regeneration. The concept consists of two buildings: a two-storey building with a timber frame workspace and retail at ground floor and a singlestorey block containing a cafe and community hall, open internally to an asymmetric pitched roof using prefabricated timber trusses.

proposal, the design needed to be efficient, offering good value whilst enabling simple construction and a future reuse. Fully electric and designed to be demountable and be reassembled, buildings had sustainability at the inception. Arup provided SMEP plus civils, fire, environmental and acoustic engineering services, with the design developed from concept to tender in just two months

A scaffold frame links the buildings and will provide the substrate for greenery to grow. As it is a 'meanwhile'

Westminster Council's regeneration of the Ebury Bridge Estate, just south of London Victoria, will see the renewal


of existing housing blocks and the creation of 750 new homes on the premises on Ebury Bridge Road. Local businesses and entrepreneurs were encouraged to join the new pop-up, which features affordable workspaces and a multi-purpose courtyard. The Council consulted extensively with the residents to gather ideas and thoughts on how this space could work to drive the design. The superstructure of the workspace is formed of timber floor and roof cassette supported along by timber stud walls. The stud walls bear onto a grillage of steel



2 beams which spans between shallow mass concrete strip foundations. The ground floor timber cassettes create a naturally ventilated cavity beneath the slab. Because of the large retail glazing at ground floor, fours steel portal frames have been carefully inserted in the cross direction of the first and last of the seven double storey units, which are all tied together. The design allows for flexible future reconfiguration including the option for units to be relocated individually. It will be possible to retrofit a steel or glulam portal frame in each of the units, providing future flexibility and reducing upfront embodied carbon. Timber trussed rafters form the community building’s roof. These bear on to timber stud walls sitting on steel beams, similar to the workspace units. The café and community hall, split by the toilet and utilities central block, are large open spaces which provide flexibility of use. Due to the presence of legacy obstructions in the ground and to the limited budget, shallow foundations formed in mass concrete was chosen for their simplicity and for the possibility to crash the concrete to be reused for the piling mat of the future main scheme multi-storey buildings.

However, since the area used to be marsh land, it is possible that settlements might occur with time. To accommodate this movement, the steel ground frames sit on removable packers, which will allow level adjustment by jacking up and adding packers. A detailed review of the fire strategy with Building Control/the fire brigade enabled the omittance of a sprinkler system and minimised the area needing fire compartmentalization treatment. Heating and cooling across the project is achieved via the use of wall-mounted VRF systems, with the ventilation strategy also allowing the opening of windows for natural ventilation. The main drivers behind the proposed design were ease of construction, cost efficiency and reusability. The structure needed to be as light as possible to reduce settlements of the shallow foundations in poor quality ground. Timber is the material of choice to enable quick construction, resulting in practical completion in just over a year from the concept design stage. Its low density, in comparison with other traditional construction materials, allowed the use of shallow foundations.

3 Low rise timber cassette frame construction is well established in the UK. It is a quick and easy form of construction, with shorter leading time, lower material carbon footprint and lower cost. The ability to demount the building and to reuse it multiple times in different configurations was one of the fundamental design drivers. Merging the concept aspiration and the fabrication requirements, a system was developed with the manufacturer and a booklet on how to disassemble and reassemble the building was included in the O&M manual. Timber is also a key feature on the skin of the buildings, with colourful hand painted wooden shingles giving the scheme its vibrant look. All aspects of design were assessed against circular economy principles, with reuse at the forefront and recycling as the latter of the options. The area is a vibrant hub for start-ups, residents, and passers-by alike, and it has already become a destination for a primarily residential area that is lacking a retail area with identity. For more information visit: Images: 01-03. Ebury Edge is a temporary work and community space at the heart of Westminster that has benefited from demountable timber elements. Courtesy Arup





Hybrid construction can offer a more sustainable way of building. To help drive this forward, Metsä Wood and its partners have designed a hybrid sandwich wall element combining concrete with Kerto® LVL (laminated veneer lumber). In their production, a Kerto LVL panel forms the load-bearing core. This is followed by an insulation layer and reinforced concrete facade.


2 The lighter weight of these hybrid sandwich wall elements proved to be a valuable benefit in the first construction project at Metsä Fibre’s Rauma sawmill. Skanska – the constructor of the new Rauma sawmill – has set up an ambitious goal for itself as it aims to be carbon neutral globally by 2045. This has led the company to provide low-carbon or carbon-neutral lifetime solutions to its customers. “We are happy to try new, innovative things and partnerships, and the use of these new hybrid sandwich elements in the new Rauma sawmill is a great example of this kind of cooperation,” says Ilkka Romo, Director of the Productivity and Quality Unit at Skanska. “The use of hybrid elements reduces the amount of concrete, and the elements are also lighter than typical elements.”


3 Romo foresees that timber construction is set to increase and there is already now more demand appearing. The forms of timber construction and its impact on business and customer wishes are under review. “The hybrid sandwich element is a great start, and the Rauma sawmill project has provided us with useful first-hand information about their use in construction. It seems to fit well with our technical needs. Our co-operation with Metsä Wood and Metsä Fibre has started well thanks to the deep expertise of these two companies,” adds Romo. The production of the new hybrid sandwich wall elements, which are used in the sawmill’s log sorting building, went as planned at the precast element manufacturer LipaBetoni’s factory. This is the first time the factory produced hybrid wall elements.

“After overcoming the initial challenges, the production of the hybrid sandwich wall elements has been as easy as the production of concrete sandwich elements,” says Satu Lipsanen, CEO of Lipa-Betoni. “We have succeeded in this thanks to the close co-operation and extensive know-how of our partners.” Both kinds of panels have identical connections in the bottom, and the seams of the hybrid sandwich elements have timber screws. After the assembly, the seams of the panels are finished and there is no need for seaming, concrete grinding or cleaning, as is the case with concrete sandwich panels. “The assembly has been similar to the usual concrete sandwich elements. We were able to use a lighter crane in the assembly as the hybrid sandwich wall elements are lighter than traditional sandwich elements. Their lighter weight can bring savings in a large construction project,” says Petri Puputti, Construction Manager, Skanska. The installation of panels for the building’s first floor – 100sq m – took just five hours. The sorting building will be ready by the end of 2021 and the sawmill is planned to be complete in 2022. For more information visit:

Images: 01-03. The hybrid sandwich panel is a lightweight, sustainable timber and concrete offsite manufactured panel


Kerto LVL Incredibly strong ®

Metsä Wood’s Kerto® LVL is a laminated veneer lumber product used in all types of construction projects, from new buildings to renovation and repair and is incredibly strong and dimensionally stable Kerto LVL offers a wide range of products that fit the offsite element and module production perfectly.



PSP Group Chairman, Heath Hindmarch, reveals how investing in advanced CNC fabrication equipment and sophisticated digital technology offers many new design possibilities for the building envelope.

1 As one of the UK’s leading providers of rainscreen systems, metal fabrications and bespoke full envelope solutions – quality is at the heart of everything we do. From small quick turnaround developments to extensive multimillion-pound schemes, our state-of-the-art manufacturing and digital technology is helping architects to achieve the most challenging of design detail across a range of metals and composite materials. A distinctive facade design is the external representation of the creative vision and offers insight to what lies within. PSP work in synergy with supply chains during the early design stages to achieve outstanding facade solutions with an array of aesthetic and technical benefits for almost any building. Each project is custom-made and unique but whatever the size and scale of the project – the unifying factor is the outstanding quality of the finish. Achieving Aesthetic Ambition and Performance We bring inspirational designs to life but finding a balance between form and function is essential, and this is why we like to get involved from the initial design concept to advise on not only achieving the aesthetic ambition, but the optimum facade performance. PSP’s manufacturing processes take place in our precision-controlled


2 factories. Our architectural and manufacturing teams collaborate with our experienced designers to maintain premium quality throughout all processes – from design to manufacture, to transportation of finished systems. Our enterprise resource planning (ERP) system supports quality procedures to consistently provide up-to-date information and a single point of contact. This facilitates full traceability of materials and provides real time updates on the project. Our systems have been CWCT tested to ensure they meet rigorous industry standards and are resilient against extreme weather conditions. There have been huge technical developments in cladding solutions in recent years but with designers demanding more aesthetic elements – an architectural approach is now an essential part of the mix. Over the last two decades, we have developed vast knowledge and a deep understanding –experience is everything as each project requires a specific facade solution that is tailored to individual demands. We have made large investments in recent years and have positioned ourselves as a single point of procurement for bespoke full envelope solutions. As a leading manufacturer in our field,

3 we understand the importance of working closely with architects and suppliers to build long-lasting working relationships that allow us to provide the very best engineered solutions. For more information visit:

INTEGRATED SERVICES PSP Group is an integrated cluster of three companies: PSP Architectural, PSP Aluminium and PSP Design. Our companies operate in complete synergy to provide design, manufacture and supply of bespoke envelope solutions including rainscreen cladding, specialist fabrications, rainwater goods, ventilation, solar shading, flashings, pressings and support facade systems. At PSP we value the process of becoming a trusted member of the supply chain, and by offering a complete package of services we can minimise risk through a single point of control and responsibility.

Images: 01-03. Aesthetics and new forms of digital design can produce striking and eye-catching results


Setting the standards for offsite fastening BeA your partner for offsite timber and light gauge steel frame construction Across Europe and worldwide, BeA’s fastening technology, tools and consumables are the trusted choice for some of the biggest and best known names in offsite timber and light gauge steel frame manufacturing. BeA manufacture an extensive range of market leading choice of fasteners, nails, staples and tools. We offer customers: • An unrivalled range of manual, semi-automatic

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Safety Storage Efficiency

Manage your offsite and modular product more safely and more productively using less space with Combilift materials handling solutions

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Safer product handling Optimised production space Improved storage capacity Increased productivity & output Enhanced profits Offsite Magazine A5 Liz rev1.1.indd 1

24/06/2021 11:36:06



Can offsite construction help to tackle skills shortages? Chris Jarman, Director of the Construction Talent Retention Scheme and Talentview Construction, offers some compelling reasons how it can. Part of the problem is that, whether the sector likes to admit it or not, we have not done enough to promote the attractions of the sector. We are not the only industry with a skills shortage, and we are up against many other sectors in the war for talent.

1 In the face of crippling skills shortages which are now impacting on housing completion rates and the levels of activity onsite, unsurprisingly a lot of scrutiny is now turning onto the efficiency and productivity opportunities presented by offsite construction. Construction is a varied sector, employing about three million people and offering multiple career paths. Even without the growth of ‘green jobs’, it is estimated by the CITB that the industry needs to recruit more than 217,000 new workers between now and 2025 to support its current activity, including the development of exciting new careers in digitalisation and sustainability. This demand is only likely to accelerate, as the latest figures from the Office of National Statistics indicate an estimated 500,000 UK-born workers are likely to leave the sector in the next 10 years as they come to retirement age. Clearly, we are not going to have the labour options we’ve enjoyed in the past. And as everyone knows, necessity


is the mother of invention. We will have no choice but to look again at the way we build. But could the shift to offsite help provide a solution to the skills shortages? Unfortunately, it’s not that simple. In the first place, we need to attract new entrants into the industry and ensure they’re coming in with the right mix of both construction and manufacturing skills and experience. Research that we carried out this autumn found that, despite record numbers of job vacancies, young people are finding it harder than ever to identify the right roles for their abilities and interests. We questioned almost 2,000 young workers and found that only 14% are very confident of finding suitable career opportunities this year, and nearly half believe it’s now harder to find jobs compared to pre-pandemic. When added to the figures above highlighting the looming skills challenges facing the construction sector, it’s clear that something needs to change. The talent is out there, but not enough people are considering construction as a serious career choice.

However, shifting to offsite could help to tackle part of the issue. As we know, the sector requires more digitally and manufacturing based skillsets compared to traditional methods, which in turn means employers can potentially recruit from a much larger pool of talent than they have had access to in the past. Many of the roles that the offsite sector is seeking now will be in even greater demand in the future as more employers identify the need for wider technological and manufacturing competencies. It’s highly likely that we’ll see steadily rising demand for continuous improvement leads, agile developers and specialists in areas like 3D printing, automation, LEAN and Six Sigma, along with a broader requirement for world-class manufacturing talent. In BIM alone, Go Construct predict there will be over 200,000 new jobs created within the next five years. Without attracting people from other sectors or encouraging more young people into construction, many firms will struggle to remain productive. Moving towards more modern methods of construction may help to widen the pool of talent, but employers must also focus on promoting the array of opportunities that are on offer more effectively. If these roles are made more visible, it’s likely that a wider range of young people will at least consider construction as their industry of choice. Solving other issues, like boosting the


SKILLS & RECRUITMENT digital supply chain and modernising training programmes, will also help to close the skills gap. But essentially, construction needs to find a way to attract the right talent. Harnessing the potential that offsite holds is at least a step in the right direction. From there, a constant challenge facing employers has been identifying young people seeking a career in the sector. But this is where platforms like Talentview Construction (TVC) step in. TVC is a new, free-to-use governmentbacked initiative designed to make it easier for those searching for a career in construction and the built environment to join the sector and take advantage of the wide array of opportunities, from practical jobs through to digital and project management roles. Mark Reynolds, Group CEO of Mace Group and the Construction Leadership Council’s lead on skills, says: “More than ever, the industry needs a strong pipeline of talent. Talentview Construction is a window on the industry for all those wishing to enter construction as new entrants and career changers. We must make it easier for people to join our sector to support growth and to improve our levels of diversity – but to do so everyone needs to do more to recruit openly and make flexible opportunities accessible through schemes like this. “This is exactly what so many businesses have been crying out for, helping them tackle skills shortages and gear up for future growth. Initiatives such as Talentview Construction – part of the Construction Talent Retention Scheme – have the potential to dramatically improve our industry, but we all need to get behind it if it is to be a success.” It’s clear that the construction industry needs to source talent, not just for now, but also for the future shift to more offsite model adoption. Interestingly, data from the Construction Talent


3 Acquisition Forum, a group of the UK’s leading construction employers, found that almost every organisation surveyed was facing the same shared challenges, whether that was sourcing experienced talent, or attracting new

TALENTVIEW CONSTRUCTION Talentview is the newest offering from the Construction Talent Retention Scheme (CTRS) which was established by the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) and the Construction Leadership Council last summer. Together with complementary sites like CITB’s Go Construct, TVC and CTRS help to create a ‘one stop shop’ sector talent hub for the attraction, development and retention of people and skills within construction and the built environment, as part of the Government’s broader support to business on skills.

people to the industry. Equally, that suggests that working together and collectively supporting talent initiatives could benefit the entire construction sector. For more information visit: Images: 01. Talentview was launched in September 2021 02. Robotics and digital design is transforming construction. Courtesy Construction Scotland Innovation Centre 03. More concentration on offsite manufacture and cutting-edge technology skills will help draw in a younger and more diverse pool of talent







1 Recent work on London’s prestigious Claridge’s Hotel, saw MEP specialist Kane invest in the Holobuilder digital platform to add to its existing digital expertise and make smooth progress on a complicated scheme. An iconic building in the heart of Mayfair, Claridge’s Hotel has undergone a colossal extension, with five floors underground. Appointed by the Maybourne Group, Kane designed, prefabricated and installed the £12million Energy Centre successfully, exceeding client expectations. The scope of works encompassed a Basement Energy Centre and Basement Works. The project ‘mega basement’ comprised of combined heat and power systems, gas fired boilers, chillers and plate heat exchangers. Holobuilder provides access to 360-degree progress photos which are organised by location and time, enabling a walkthrough of each project remotely as if you were there. From the outset, the team scanned a one-toone digital copy of the background building before commencing design works. This allowed the team to measure the exact position of column walls within millimetre accuracy, allowing a precise background model


to be built. The design team used Revit fabrication to design the pipework, fixtures, fittings, steel support framework models, pump skids and heavy plant. Authored in Revit, Kane’s in-house team designed the layout of all services at high and low level using its co-location virtual reality bespoke rooms. Collaboration between the design, prefabrication, and operations teams was undertaken to analyse the model using Navisworks, to detect internal clashes within the structure at the design stage and ensure zero co-ordination issues throughout the installation process. Autodesk Navisworks allowed the team to analyse and sequence the works. This was critical as the project was very constrained for space, using a single small entry point for all pipework which was lowered five levels below ground. The co-ordination of the setting out points, the technology to geolocate thousands of specific points within the structure for fixtures and fittings, such as steelwork supports, hanging points and ductwork, each with unique reference points, ensured a seamless on-site installation. Kane’s in-house prefabrication facilities enabled early on-site construction, increased the speed of installation, lowered manpower in the confined space and

reduced the requirement for hot works by 80%. All its prefabrication works went through a rigorous quality control procedure which was pre-tested before delivered to site. As part of its BIM protocol, Kane provided COBie compliant families, cross referencing BIM Level 2 designs for manufacturing and used its in-house bespoke Procurement App enabling digital ‘take off’s’ which was meant a streamlined ordering process. Both the client and AECOM were hugely positive about the relationship development with Kane and the overall project delivery. The client has recognised that the design innovation and offsite prefabrication was key to the success of the project and additionally awarded Kane with an extended Scope of Works that included more hotel central works. Client representative, Mark Allen, from Rainey & Best said: “Kane delivered an outstanding Energy Centre contract at Claridge’s Hotel. Kane provided solutions, through their in-house digital and prefabrication expertise, to overcome the complexities of the constrained site five levels below ground. We were confident that they could deliver this project and they did just that, superbly.” For more information visit: Images: 01-02. Digital technology drove the successful delivery of this complex project with plant rooms and services across five levels. Courtesy Kane




Investment in renewable energy as a low carbon energy source is central to our sustainable future. For this reason, TATA Chemicals Europe (TATA) and Lostock Sustainable Energy Plant (LSEP) embarked on an all-encompassing infrastructure upgrade costing £480million.

1 This would support its existing process plant and facilitate the integration of a new Energy from Waste (EfW) plant that would provide renewable energy via a low carbon source to over 125,000 homes within the Greater Manchester area. Once operational, LSEP will recover energy safely and cleanly, diverting 600,000 tonnes of residual waste from landfill, producing renewable energy constantly. It was collectively determined that the only way to achieve this upgrade safely and within the timescales available, was to ensure everything was constructed offsite with minimal works on-site. A key aspect of the decision to construct everything offsite was largely driven by the fact that the live process plant was in 24/7 operation: downtime for construction works was not an option. As with any process plant, the quality of the finished product must



be exemplar, which further reinforced the offsite solution as this ensured the product was signed off entirely before shipment.

model, allowing SES to influence every decision that was made and to maximise the offsite solutions remotely.

As with any process plant, the reliability and longevity of the plant operation are critical in terms of supporting the key sector's customers. From the very first engagements with TATA, it was abundantly clear to SES Engineering Services (SES) that this project needed to be built offsite, and as such, develop bespoke engineered offsite solutions of an unprecedented scale not seen before. Engaging with SES at the earliest opportunity was essential to the successful delivery of this project. Due to the extensive existing infrastructure and the requirement to build everything offsite, SES had to deploy e-ranging cloud scanning surveys of the existing services, which were used to inform the BIM

The considerable number of hours saved using offsite construction from a Construction Design and Management (CDM) safety improvement perspective, allowed SES to win the award for ‘Prevention for Safety’ which itself recognises the valuable contribution made to improving health and safety on construction projects. CDM was also crucial as the scale of these modules and the infrastructure in general, required extensive working at height – allowing people to work safely at a lowlevel in a controlled environment rather than at a high-level in a live process plant was a key driver. The extensive works taken offsite reduced the overall programme by over four months, an undeniable game changer.



3 SES played an essential part in using extensive technology methods and bespoke engineered solutions to positively influence its clients and afford them the very best opportunity to visualise the benefits of building this scheme offsite. This emphasised the key role in providing cost, program, quality and safety certainty, which makes the SES business stand out as a significant contributor and supporter of offsite construction. SES installed 10 ‘super modules’ in three days, with three deliveries per day. As the entire project was delivered offsite and with multiple repetition across modules, they were able to contain the waste, surplus pipework, containment and insulation and use this for other parts of other modules, all pipework and containment is computer-cut thereby reducing waste to an absolute minimum. Ensuring that the offsite solution was not damaged in any way that could compromise the integrity of the structure or services was essential. Without offsite, this product could not have been delivered to this standard. There were some real complex solutions and interfaces with existing live services that required a huger effort in collaborative working. SES managed this process using the cloud scans, BIM modelling and the use of VR technology to fully visualise the key areas whilst working in the collaborative data environment. In terms of energy efficiency and performance, one of the main benefits of the prefabrication strategy was the ability to recycle materials in-house as part of the production. This was a considerable improvement over sending waste directly to a landfill from a traditional construction site which is what would have occurred had we not used offsite. Also, the

4 controlled environment of a factory allows for more accurate construction and engineering, better jointing of materials and pre-shipment strength tests of all materials to ensure integrity and no site works. Taking the SES vision, and fully supporting the proposed solutions from the outset was a fundamental success of this project, which brought together engineering teams from Copenhagen, France and the UK whose close-working, collaborative

process allowed creative thinking to be exercised and turned into bespoke offsite solutions in a very sharp and efficient manner. For more information visit: Images: 01-04. SES installed 10 ‘super modules’ in three days, with three deliveries per day. This was only possible using offsite methods. Courtesy SES Engineering Services





The new £54million state-of-the-art, five-storey research building for the University of Warwick, used the award-winning HybriDfMA frame system to complement an adjacent timber structural frame.

1 Located on the Gibbet Hill campus, the development brings together up to 300 biomedical researchers from across the School of Life Sciences and Warwick Medical School to fight human diseases. The building used PCE’s system build frame solution/HybriDfMA approach. The hybrid frame is constructed from a mixture of precast concrete components including columns, beams, solid walls, hollowcore flooring, delta beams and stairs and landings, with a structural concrete topping creating a composite frame


solution. The digitally engineered and offsite manufactured structural frame, featured areas of high quality exposed precast concrete that are visible from inside the building and multiple space types, including a large, double height auditorium, café, social interaction spaces and laboratories. The HybriDfMA frame system replaced an in-situ concrete frame which was specified up to Stage 3 of the design process. Main contractor Willmott Dixon (WDC) were keen to de-risk the project and there were several key challenges that an offsite strategy

helped resolve. These challenges principally centred around the constraints of the site, the exposed concrete finishes, the complexity of the temporary works and transfer structures, particularly over the auditorium and finally the need to integrate other offsite strategies within the project. WDC were keen to use prefabricated M&E modules within the construction solution which coupled with the need to integrate a glulam/cross laminated timber (CLT) timber frame adjacent to a concrete frame and a modular



2 precast concrete façade – this led them to look for a full DfMA strategy for the main concrete frame. PCE’s hybrid frame approach replicated the in-situ concrete frame in terms of form and performance, so there was no compromise in terms of architectural form or spatial integration, but it presented significant advantages in terms of answering many project challenges. The ‘kit of parts’ approach meant that most of the frame could be manufactured offsite in factory-controlled conditions improving quality and accuracy. This strategy also enabled the architect’s aspiration for exposed, formed finishes to some of the more challenging areas of the building to be realised. The hybrid frame approach also enabled digital collaboration and co-ordination with the other offsite specialists on the project. The integration of connections and very tight tolerances between the concrete frame and timber frame was made simple with the precast components having ‘cast-in’ fabrications to allow glulam beams to be simply bolted to the concrete frame. Working closely with the M&E contractor and the timber frame contractor were key components to the project’s success overall. The M&E had to seamlessly slot into the building during the construction and the timber frame had to appear to 'float' into the side of the concrete frame. 'Slotting' the modular M&E into the structure during the frame

3 construction was made simple due to the tight construction tolerances of the frame, the embedded connections for the modules and the preplanning undertaken between all the specialists and WDC. It was critical to bring a specialist supply chain together to develop a robust strategy to achieve the architect’s specified finishes. PCE worked closely with the precast manufacturer and the form liner specialist to push the boundaries with some of the project requirements. Wall panels were up to 9.0m tall by 3.0m wide which had either a ribbed or board marked finish, so PCE needed to be able to create form liners that could deal with this geometry and then develop manufacturing and logistical methodologies for making and handling components of this size, and in some instances with finishes to both sides of the walls.

4 Structural components were manufactured in an offsite facility where only the materials required for making the components are used, moulds and forms are reused many times, meaning there is little or no waste, with water for the production process coming from a rainwater/ process recovery. The hybrid solution resulted in a saving of 200kg/m2 of concrete which saved c.850t of concrete overall. The project was delivered quickly, efficiently, on-time and on-budget without any significant detrimental effect on the University and its normal operation. For more information visit: Images: 01-04. The University of Warwick has benefited from an offsite manufactured structural frame using PCE’s HybriDfMA approach. Courtesy PCE Ltd




STRONG, STABLE & SUSTAINABLE Using responsibly sourced, FSC-certified, birch plywood to manufacture high-quality wet room formers has several benefits. Wet room specialists On The Level (OTL), explain more. blocks and washrooms in hotel spas, gyms, hospitals, welfare units and campsites.

1 The cross-banded layers of the 24mm birch ply creates a former that is strong, stable and capable of withstanding weights of over 600kg that is strong enough for use with wheelchairs and mechanical beds. Plywood also allows for complete design flexibility, with no pre-set moulds to restrain creativity. Formers can be cut to any shape or size, with gully positions located where needed.

2 More than a Former Using birch plywood, a complete floor system can be created if needed. Incorporating interlocking tongue and groove joints, the floor has a built-in gradient within the shower area creating the perfect fall for water to drain towards the gully, whilst the rest of the floor is level and shaped to the exact dimensions of the room. The complete floor saves time and mitigates risk, it’s the perfect solution for large flooring areas such as shower

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In today’s world, it is important to be eco-conscious during product selection. OTL formers are made from responsibility sourced FSC-certified birch plywood. This fast-growing tree from well-managed plantations, minimises the destruction caused by deforestation. All OTL wet room formers come with a lifetime guarantee to give you complete peace of mind. For more information call 01525 373202 or visit: Images: 01-02. FSC-certified formers can be cut to any shape or size, with gully positions located where needed



Wet room floor solutions designed specifically for Offsite Manufacturers. Proven to speed up factory workflows – manufactured with pre-made upstands, a pre-attached waste outlet, and pretanked for quick and easy installation. High quality – made in the UK from responsibly sourced FSC certified





birch ply. Any shape or size – precision made to suit your exact design requirements.

Intelligent Steel Solutions design manufacture and install their own load bearing Light Gauge Steel Framing system and supply SFS infill and components for the Modular and Construction industry. To find out more about the new features and benefits that Intelligent Steel can offer or if you have a new build scheme that you’d like to discuss either in person (safe & socially distanced) or via TEAMS/ Zoom, please contact Gavin:



M: 07398 809295 | T: 0191 594 7200 E: Intelligent Steel Solutions


CONSTRUCTION MEMBRANES & THERMAL EFFICIENCY Glidevale Protect recently installed a combination of wall construction membranes across two social housing developments, designed and built by modular construction specialists Connect Modular. The mix of membranes used included the reflective, low emissivity TF200 Thermo for external walls, improving thermal efficiency as well as nonreflective TF200, to provide water resistance and a secondary line of defence after construction, minimising the risk of interstitial condensation. Protect VC Foil Ultra, the reflective air and vapour control layer was also used on the warm side of the insulation to again manage condensation risk and improve energy efficiency. Connect Modular – part of The Wee House Group – is working with Riverside Scotland to deliver 63 affordable homes in Dundonald, South Ayrshire, representing the largest affordable modular housing

development in Scotland. The first development using Glidevale Protect membranes completed in May 2021 for Mull and Iona Community Trust, with modular homes built in Connect Modular’s factory in Cumnock, Ayrshire and installed across two sites in the remote location of Ulva Ferry on the Isle of Mull. Jennifer Higgins, Managing Director of The Wee House Group commented: “Glidevale Protect is a supplier of highquality manufactured membranes. These were ideal to incorporate into our timber frame panels being produced offsite in our factory for the Isle of Mull and Dundonald schemes. With impressive aged thermal resistance values for reflective

products, this helped to generate low U-values and meet improved energy efficiency needs for our clients, helping to retain energy within the structure and reduce consumption.” For more information visit: email: or call 0161 905 5700, quoting ‘Connect Modular’

MORE ADDED FIBRE Better known as the UK & Ireland’s largest supplier of BBA Certified MgO building boards, Resistant Building Products have been steadily growing their sales volumes of ‘20-20’ fibre cement products. in sheathing, direct render carrier and EWI substrate applications and are approved by major UK render suppliers.

1 The range currently consists of 9 & 12mm flat sheets and were augmented in December with the introduction of 19 & 22mm T&G flooring. Demand for the flat sheets has steadily increased since launch last year and has already built a loyal following. Leo Bagnall, Resistant Managing Director says: “Like all things Resistant, our focus when working on new opportunities is aiming to deliver better value products than what are


2 currently out there. Striving to produce the best possible MgO building board has been central to our success to date and provides us with the roadmap we will follow to further increase sales of our fibre cement range.” All products in the range are highest possible Reaction to Fire A1 noncombustible and the 9mm board has been additionally tested to demonstrate 60 minutes fire resistance build-ups. The flat sheets are used

The soon to be launched 19 & 22mm T&G flooring boards will be accompanied by a new technical, design and fitting brochure based on UKAS BS EN 1195 point load capacity testing, that will provide sector leading guidance to everyone in the supply chain from specifier to manufacturer. For more information visit: or email: Images: 01-02. 20-20 T&G flooring boards undergoing point load testing at Lucideon earlier this year


Don’t let your foundations slow you down. To keep up with the pace of off-site construction, Quickcaps are faster and cheaper than piled alternatives.

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Tighter tolerances

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9 & 12mm Flat Sheets

A1 Non-combustible & 60min fire resistance

19 & 22mm T & G Flooring

Weather resistant during construction phase

Approved Direct Render & EWI Substrate




NEXT GENERATION INSTALLER TRAINING SCHEME LAUNCHED A ground-breaking independent pilot programme has been launched by Nationwide Windows & Doors to tackle the need for skilled glazing installers for newbuild developments. Initially taking place in Nottingham before being rolled out nationally, the programme has been structured to provide a blended approach, including classroom education alongside both offsite and on-site training, creating valuable career opportunities while improving industry standards. “Window installers are not recognised as a ‘trade’ in the same way as bricklayers, plumbers or electricians are,” says Chris Costall, Nationwide’s Compliance Director. “But this needs to change, and quickly, so that we can address a serious need for skilled installers in Britain. As a company, we have always been passionate about training and improving opportunities for our staff and communities. This

programme has created a real buzz already and it’s great to see the candidates taking to the course with such enthusiasm.” The first batch started in June 2021, comprising of two under 18-yearolds who have recently left school. Four more trainees who had previous careers in other industries joined the programme in July. Additional training will be fully funded by Nationwide, who will also be providing NVQ qualifications and other nationally recognised qualifications to demonstrate competence. Initially training as competent labourers, partnered with existing installation teams and supported by Nationwide’s Training Team, those

showing potential will have the option to progress further and become professional installers. For more information about Nationwide Window & Doors’ training programme, email Learning & Development Manager Helen Owens at:

NEW KIDS ON THE BLOCK (AND BEAM) Launched in October 2021, Precast Structural Solutions (PSS) is a new company that specialises in the design, supply, and installation of precast concrete products. PSS offers many precast flooring options on the market. These include floor slab systems such as insulated planks, hollowcore and wide slab, along with precast stairs, stair cores and lift shafts to solve your access requirements. PSS can provide customers with a further range of products and services. These include dock leveller systems, beam and block flooring, insulated T-beam systems, stud welding and structural concreting operations.

PSS comes into the construction industry with the backing of significant experience within the precast concrete sector and within the suspended floor slab sector as it benefits from close collaboration with metal floor decking specialists Structural Metal Decks (SMD).


For many years SMD has supplied the precast concrete industry with permanent slab edge shuttering in the form of metal edge trims. Now PSS will be able to offer customers these trims in a range of steel gauges to suit any overhang within the acceptable limits. As with the precast concrete products, its services will include design, supply, installation and support. PSS can provide the hugely successful

Voidsafe™ Protection System, which is a non-slip, composite glass reinforced plastic (GRP) floor grating system that improves safety on-site by covering service void openings during construction. Adam Smith, PSS Managing Director says: “Bringing experience from precast contracting and combining this with an industry leading business such as SMD has provided a valued starting point for our company. We approach our projects with a positive and can do attitude. Confident in the knowledge that our combined skills will provide customers with a positive solution to their project.” For more information visit: or email:


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




2019 WINNER Sponsors: 23

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VOIDSAFE™, CREATING A SAFER WORKING ENVIRONMENT SAFER SITES VoidSafe™ Protection System is a GRP mesh panel installed to a bespoke edge trim system to cover service voids.


IMPROVE ACCESS Creates a safer working environment whilst significantly improving site logistics and access to the floor area.

Structural Floor and Roof Solutions

NO MORE HANDRAILS Reduce obstructions by removing handrail requirements to internal voids during construction.

DATES FOR YOUR DIARY IN 2022 If you are interested in learning more about offsite construction and the associated manufacturing processes then the following industry events may be of interest: 15-16 Feb

Modular Matters

NCC, Birmingham

Returning to Birmingham – in partnership with Volumetric Homes Group and the Modular and Portable Building Association - Modular Matters will focus on the latest developments, innovations and investments in the volumetric modular offsite sector and aims to engage with industry pioneers from within the offsite supply-chain, leading designers, specifiers, engineers and ground-breaking clients. 01-03 March


ExCeL, London

Over 27,000 industry influencers and shapers visit this event with world class knowledge programme alongside an immersive exhibition of 450 innovative and inspiring brands and a host of networking events. 29 March

Focus on Framing

NCC, Birmingham

Light steel frame is a fundamentally important solution to offsite construction, used for a wide range of building types and applications, from hotels to hospitals and housing to commercial offices. This seminar will shine a spotlight on pioneering projects through informative case studies, presented by those who conceived and developed the buildings that are gaining global attention. 10 May

Construction Productivity Conference


This event will gather together those who have the skills to define a roadmap to create a climate for change. With statistics finding only 64% of the hours worked deemed to be productive - the event will focus on new technologies, logistics, supply chains and materials management together with developing human resources to establish a workforce that is fit for the future. 21 June

Tall Buildings Conference


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

05 July

20-21 Sept 2020 Tall Buildings Awards




20 September


Tall Buildings Awards 2020



Tall Buildings Awards 2020

12 October T IMBE R TALK S

12 October


Tall buildings present unique challenges in terms of both design and construction. Their sheer scale demands that particular attention is paid simultaneously to strategic and detailed issues. Tall Buildings Awards is taking place on 21 June 2022 in London and will highlight design and building technology innovation in the UK high-rise sector. ENTRY DEADLINE: 11.03.22 Climate Emergency Conference

2020 Tall Buildings Awards

Tall Buildings Awards 2020

Tall Buildings Awards


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

CBS Arena, Coventry

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

CBS Arena, Coventry

The Offsite Construction Awards will reward outstanding examples of prefabrication and factory-based methods, products, systems and disciplines that increasingly strive to develop a sustainable, streamlined and cost-effective way to deliver a better built environment. ENTRY DEADLINE: 27.05.22 Timber Talks

NCC, Birmingham

Timber Talks will feature case studies on some of the major structural timber projects which have been delivered recently throughout the UK and Europe and this is supported by an exhibition of Timber Frame, SIPS, CLT and Glulam suppliers as well as complementary component manufacturers. Structural Timber Awards

NCC, Birmingham

Returning for its eighth year in Birmingham, there has already been a large amount of attention focused on the 2022 Structural Timber Awards. The Awards once again will reward excellence, celebrate expertise in timber technology and the ways it contributes to an attractive, energy efficient and sustainable built environment. ENTRY DEADLINE: 10.06.22 02-03 Nov

Emerging Realities Conference

MTC, Coventry

With an objective to help the construction industry interrogate the practical potential of evolving technologies, tools, processes and materials - the Emerging Realities conference is set to answer some of the most challenging questions about the breakthroughs that are set to revolutionise the construction arena. 02 November

Innovate Awards


NEW for 2022, the Innovate Awards will be taking place in Coventry and will reward pioneering thinkers and the latest innovations which are transforming the construction arena. By Boldesign for Radar Communications








Supporting the Circular Economy



COLLABORATE TO INNOVATE Forward thinking with an inclusive culture – the Light Steel Frame Association unifies and unites construction professionals: • Increasing collaboration, joint venture and networking opportunities • Securing valuable industry intel and gaining direct access to the UK’s leading manufacturers • Exploring project parameters by joining the Design for Manufacture and Assembly debate • Gaining key industry contacts and securing business development opportunities • Acquiring light steel frame insight and technical offsite manufacturing expertise • Obtaining access to the latest research and information sharing with industry pioneers

Supply Chain

COLLECTIVE POWER The collective power of the Light Steel Frame Association is driving growth and specification of innovative light steel frame systems across all construction sectors. Our flat-rate annual fee for each membership category facilitates equal representation.

To be part of something bigger, contact us today… Call: 01743 290 030 Email: Light Steel Frame Association @LSF_Association




Hadley Steel Framing provides high quality, light gauge galvanised steel structural framing systems for use in a wide range of applications across the construction industry.

Hadley Steel Framing has proven experience in understanding complex engineering structures and provides full design, manufacture and installation packages. We take complete control, project managing every aspect. This is why our clients appoint us and retain our services time and time again. Achieving fast-track construction schedules - here we define our supportive services, including full ownership of the process, to demonstrate what we can deliver!

HANDOVER At the end of every project there is a comprehensive handover process encompassing final ‘as built’ drawings, Q&A documents, detailed warranties, all operating and maintenance information together with a forthright 360 degree review of the design, manufacturing and installation programme which also highlights where improvements can be made in future projects.

CONTROL 8 Hadley take complete ownership and management of the project - from engineering and manufacturing right through to onsite installation by our specialist teams which even includes cranage, AP and slingers within our inclusive packages. Via Trimble Fieldview we track and monitor every aspect – taking complete control.



Our unparalleled rollforming expertise is underpinned by the manufacture of all panelised systems and components within the same advanced factory facility. This ensures rapid and efficient builds with accuracy and controls built in at each stage of the process. We optimise our own offsite manufactured sequence, bringing all elements together to improve your project delivery - the true definition of Modern Methods of Construction.


t +44 (0) 121 555 1300

Hadley maintain vertically integrated processes – controlling and optimising every aspect. All detailing takes place within the Group to ensure alignment with the original intent. We have the expertise and ability to scope, design, detail, verify, validate and deliver a fully engineered steel framing system.



Your Trusted Steel Framing Delivery Partner Taking Complete Control 9


EARLY ENGAGEMENT Crucial to the success of all offsite construction projects, engagement from the initial stages facilitates an integrated design where for example, facades, windows, balconies, entrances and roof structures can be incorporated into the engineering calculations and design of the structural steel framing system. Our expert team ensure we add efficiency and structure to the process right from the outset.



Full collaborative working at the tender stage maximises design, materials and manufacturing efficiencies. Layouts and sequencing can be optimised by developing a full understanding of our client’s requirements – to ultimately achieve vast programme and cost benefits. Our early engagement ensures no unwelcome surprises.


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



PROCUREMENT Hadley Group is the UK’s largest procurer of pre-galvanised steel – we have significant capability and capacity to achieve even the largest and toughest build requirements. Included within this manufacturing scope are the stairs and all complementary works.

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




OFFSITE EXPO brings together those who are driving change in the construction sector – the event will play host to the leading UK and international offsite manufacturers and component suppliers showcasing a broad spectrum of panelised and volumetric modular systems, plus pod and prefabricated MEP solutions. OFFSITE EXPO has a comprehensive range of exhibition packages available, which have been designed to be flexible and offer a wide range of promotional opportunities to suit any marketing aims, resources and budget.

• Unique event developed by industry experts • FREE to visit • Over 4,000 targeted construction professionals attending • Dedicated Offsite Connect Buyers and Specifiers Forum • Custom-built features and Live Demo’s • Over 150 Offsite manufacturers and suppliers available to meet one-to-one • Over 100 speakers in the Explore Offsite CPD Masterclasses • Offsite Roundtable debates • Home of the Offsite Construction Awards • Free consultations with our ‘Ask the Offsite Expert’ team