Report highlights ‘encouraging’ progress in advanced modern methods of construction

Mark Farmer

A new report has revealed ‘encouraging’ results for advanced modern methods of construction (MMC).

Advanced Industrialised Methods for the Construction of Homes (AIMCH), the consortium set up to transform the housebuilding sector, has published its second-year progress report. AIMCH is a three-year research and development project designed to help tackle the UK housing crisis by building new homes faster, to higher quality and more cost effectively than masonry methods using panelised MMC systems.

This latest report highlights key learnings across a number of areas. One of the highlights was being able to achieve a weather-tight, insulated and secure superstructure in just one day. The research found that all advanced panelised MMC systems and lean construction solutions trialled so far have been successful.

Other milestones for the project in the last year include the completion of several studies and the publication of guides for industry.

Stewart Dalgarno, AIMCH project director and Stewart Milne Group director of product development, said, “Despite the challenges of Covid-19, the project team has worked hard to build momentum and has delivered some important outputs which confirm panelised modern methods of construction (MMC) as a very real and viable alternative to masonry, over the final year, we hope to take this to a new level.”

Mark Farmer, new AIMCH Chair, added, “Mainstreaming all categories of MMC is more important than ever. In a post-Covid world the sector needs to transform productivity, improve quality as well as improving the welfare of its workforce. We also need to find more sustainable ways of building in order to achieve a net zero carbon built environment.

“The AIMCH project has already made great progress across a number of fronts which will better enable greater MMC adoption across all parts of industry including SMEs. The work done on design standardisation, panelised and sub-assembly system applications, productivity and carbon measurement and manufacturing process optimisation are all rich sources of knowledge for others to learn from and use.”

A collaboration between Stewart Milne Group, Barratt Developments, L&Q, Forster Group, the Manufacturing Technology Centre (MTC) and Construction Scotland Innovation Centre (CSIC), the project compares conventional and panelised MMC construction methods on actual building sites, and the impact scaling up panelised modern methods of construction (MMC) will have on the housebuilding industry.