Modern Methods of Construction: Revolutionising the Building Industry

financing MMCModern Methods of Construction: Revolutionising the Building Industry

The construction industry is undergoing a transformative shift with the adoption of Modern Methods of Construction (MMC). These innovative approaches are addressing challenges such as labour shortages, housing demands, and environmental sustainability. Understanding how things are changing is key for a developers long term success and is key for lenders to understand that not everything is going to be brick and tile built going forwards. Remember that MMC applies to commercial property as well as residential.

Types of Modern Methods of Construction: What’s it all about?

Let’s have a look at some of the different construction types being used.

Offsite Construction – Volumetric Modular Construction

Entire units are manufactured in a factory and transported to the site for assembly. This method significantly reduces on-site construction time and improves quality control. It also enables buildings to go from ground level to built very quickly.

Panelised Systems

Panels, including walls, floors, and roofs, are produced in a controlled environment and then assembled on-site. This method allows for flexibility in design and quicker much construction timelines.

Hybrid Construction

As is obvious by the name, this combines both on-site and off-site construction methods. For example, a building’s core might be constructed on-site while using modular units for the living spaces. This approach optimises the benefits of both techniques and has been a common method used by chain hotels, bringing in finished rooms for installation.

Sustainable Construction Materials

Using sustainable materials such as cross-laminated timber (CLT), which is both strong and environmentally friendly. CLT and other eco-friendly materials reduce the carbon footprint of construction projects.

What Are The Benefits of Modern Methods of Construction?

Speed and Efficiency

MMC significantly reduces construction time. Offsite construction, for instance, allows for concurrent site preparation and module fabrication, speeding up the overall project timeline significantly.

Cost-Effectiveness

While initial costs may be high, MMC can lead to long-term savings through reduced labour costs, minimised waste, and shorter project durations. These are the same economies of scale seen when a manufacturer brings a new production line online.

Quality and Precision

Factory-controlled environments ensure high standards of quality and precision, resulting in fewer defects and better overall building performance, it also enables faster building of similar units.

Sustainability

MMC promotes sustainability by reducing waste, lowering energy consumption, and using eco-friendly materials. This approach aligns with the UK’s commitment to reducing carbon emissions in the construction industry, it can also create some very modern looking units.

Flexibility and Customisation

Modern construction methods offer greater design flexibility and customisation options, enabling developers to meet specific client needs and preferences more effectively. The days of your only choice of customisation are which kitchen doors to have will be well gone.

The Challenges and Considerations

Initial Investment

The adoption of MMC requires substantial initial investment in technology and training. Small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) might find these costs prohibitive but the larger players will see significant improvement to margins.

Regulatory and Standards Compliance

Ensuring that new construction methods comply with existing building regulations and standards can be challenging. Continuous collaboration with regulatory bodies is essential and will improve as construction is proven. This is one of the big issues lenders have with securing on MMC properties.

Skills Shortage

The shift to MMC demands a workforce with new skill sets. Addressing the skills gap through training and education is crucial for the successful implementation of these methods. A closer alignment between IT, architects and constructors will happen with construction sectors skills moving from manual to blue collar.

Cultural Resistance

The construction industry has traditionally been slow to change. Overcoming resistance to new methods and technologies requires effective communication and demonstration of MMC benefits. Underneath everything the need to improve margins and control costs will drive this change.

If you want to see how MMC can be used then have a look at Urban Splash and House by Urban Splash or Project Etopia.

Lending and MMC

Lenders will always sit behind the curve on MMC because they want to know for sure that the property as security will survive the mortgage period. We are seeing lenders move here and some will be pioneers, for property investors we are now seeing lenders happy to secure on MMC properties.

Conclusion

Modern Methods of Construction are revolutionising the UK’s building industry by enhancing efficiency, sustainability, and quality. The true growth will be driven once the impact on profitability becomes proven and lenders are comfortable to mortgage MMC units.

If you are an investor looking at MMC properties then get in touch as we do have options to finance these properties.

By Dave Farmer