Leading UK housebuilders’ utilisation of offsite modern methods of construction
journal contributionposted on 12.05.2010, 10:43 by Wei Pan, Alistair G.F. Gibb, Andrew R.J. Dainty
In recent years the industry has been exhorted to increase its utilisation of offsite technologies, or ‘Modern Methods of Construction’, in order to address the under-supply and poor build quality of housing. Despite the well-rehearsed benefits of such technologies, the take-up within the industry has been slow. This paper reports on research which examined housebuilders’ practices and strategies regarding the use of offsite-Modern Methods of Construction (offsite-MMC). A questionnaire survey of the top 100 housebuilders in the UK and a series of interviews were used to reveal the extent to which such technologies are being utilised and the factors which impinge on their popularity. The findings suggest that current offsite-MMC usage in large housebuilders is low, but that the level is likely to increase, given the pressures to improve quality, time, cost, productivity and health and safety. The wider take-up of offsite-MMC is, however, inhibited by perceived higher capital costs, interfacing problems, long lead-in time, delayed planning process and current manufacturing capacity. Based on these findings, the paper provides a set of strategies for improving offsite-MMC practices amongst housebuilders. It is hoped that will help deliver an improvement of housing supply in the UK.
- Architecture, Building and Civil Engineering