Innovative new tech secures NHBC accreditation in major boost for MMC

an innovative bricklaying machine being demonstrated

A brick-laying robot created by Construction Automation has secured the ‘NHBC Accepts’ accreditation in a move that opens the door for more innovation in MMC.

NHBC is the UK’s leading warranty and insurance provider for newly-built homes. NHBC Accepts focuses on innovation, with accreditation demonstrating that a system has completed a rigorous assessment and meets robust NHBC Standards.

Yorkshire-based Construction Automation, creator of the Automatic Brick Laying Robot (ABLR) aims to modernise and advance traditional processes and systems within the housebuilding industry, through designing and building construction robots. The ABLR builds external walls, laying all the bricks, blocks and mortar, while running on a track around the foundations of the building.  

Designed to revolutionise the housebuilding process, the machine increases productivity, improves on-site health and safety, guarantees build quality and helps close the skills shortage gap.

Having been under assessment by the NHBC team for more than a year, undergoing rigorous testing and inspections of the robot in action, it can now be used in the construction of new homes covered by all NHBC warranty products subject to appropriate design and installation.

NHBC warranty and insurance products cover around 70-80% of new homes built in the UK each year.

Richard Lankshear, Innovation Manager at NHBC said: “It’s fantastic to see the ABLR achieve NHBC Accepts - it has been an intensive, year-long endeavor both for our team and Construction Automation and involved an extremely rigorous process. MMC plays important role in the delivery of new homes in the UK and tackling the housing crisis, so it’s very encouraging to see new technology like this coming through.

With the residential property industry under pressure to increase the volume of new homes, coupled with pressures on materials, skills and labour, MMC is at a critical stage. We’re pleased to be able to use our scale, expertise and knowledge to work with manufacturers and provide developers, investors, lenders and homebuyers with confidence that innovative new systems can meet the same high standards of quality and durability as traditionally-built homes.

He added: “The ABLR certainly won’t be the last game-changing offering for the MMC sector, and we look forward to continuing to support ambitious new systems that will help to transform the way homes are delivered and boost housing delivery numbers in the years to come.”

David Longbottom, Director at Construction Automation, said: “We have worked closely with NHBC over the last year and we are extremely proud to be the sole innovator in the Bricklaying Robot space to have achieved the NHBC Accepts approval. We hope that this will provide confidence in our system within the housebuilding Industry and are excited for what the future holds, and how we can lead the way to increase on-site productivity, guarantee quality, improve on-site health and safety and close the skills shortage gap within the Industry.”