Key considerations for using modern methods of construction
10 July 2023
In recent years, the construction industry has been embracing modern methods of construction (MMC) as a solution to address various challenges it faces including the skill shortage and increasing costs. So, what are some of the key considerations when using MMC?
Improved quality and "getting it right"
MMC methods prioritise quality and accuracy by following standardised procedures and factory production controls. Manufacturing components off-site in controlled environments allows for rigorous quality control measures to be implemented consistently. By adhering to strict quality standards, this approach minimises the risk of error and improves the overall quality of the final product.
Traditional construction often encounters issues that require time-consuming and costly modifications, leading to delays and increased costs. In contrast, MMC's focus reduces the likelihood of errors and subsequent rework, resulting in faster project completion and reduced development risk.
Quicker on-site construction with minimal weather impact and skills shortages
One of the significant advantages of MMC is its ability to speed up on-site construction. Traditional construction is highly dependent on weather conditions, which can cause delays and disrupt project schedules. MMC can mitigate this risk by allowing for more controlled and predictable construction processes. Prefabricated components are manufactured off-site in factory-controlled environments, unaffected by adverse weather conditions. As a result, construction can proceed more rapidly, regardless of the weather outside.
Additionally, the construction industry is facing a skills shortage, with fewer workers entering the trade. MMC helps alleviate this issue by relying on a smaller on-site workforce. Many construction tasks are performed in the factory, where specialised workers and machinery can efficiently produce high-quality components. This reduction in labour demand and dependency minimises the risk of delays due to skill shortages.
Standardised approach to reduce costs
The standardised approach of MMC is another advantage. In traditional construction each project is unique, resulting in customised processes and materials. This individualisation can increase costs due to the need for specialised designs, sourcing unique materials, and overcoming site-specific challenges.
MMC, on the other hand, relies on standardised components and processes. This standardisation allows for economies of scale and the ability to optimise manufacturing processes. By utilising the same designs and materials across multiple projects, developers can benefit from reduced costs through bulk purchasing, streamlined logistics, and improved efficiency. Consequently, the overall cost of construction is reduced, minimising financial risk, improving the project's profitability as well as the potential for faster return on investment (ROI).
Early engagement with warranty partners to build trust
By involving warranty partners early in the project, potential issues and risks can be identified and addressed at the design stage, helping to establish relationships and build trust early in the project.
This early engagement fosters transparency, accountability, and collaboration, which are crucial in reducing the chances of rejection or disputes later in the construction process. Developers can have confidence in the quality of the components being used, knowing that they are backed by warranties. This reduces the risk of delays, unexpected costs, and legal complications, further streamlining the construction process.
NHBC and MMC
NHBC Accepts is a comprehensive review service for innovative systems used in house building and includes a Modern Methods of Construction (MMC) category. NHBC Accepts provides a route for acceptance of these systems for use in homes covered by all NHBC warranty and insurance policies, equivalent to around 70-80% of the new homes built in the UK each year.
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