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Published: 22 August 2022 in Industry News

Why Don’t We Use Modern Construction Methods More Often?

Construction has seen several innovations over recent years, with new methods continually being developed, improved, and adapted to meet the needs of sustainability and efficiency. 

Modern methods of construction are one of the central concepts of the UK government’s recently published ‘Construction Playbook’. This sets out a longer-term approach to contracting for public works. It can also help the government’s ‘levelling up’ agenda, as production can be in areas to help widen employment across the country. 

What are Modern Construction Methods? 

Modern methods of construction focus on off-site construction, such as factory assembly as an alternative to traditional building. This approach speeds up delivery, reduces labour costs, eliminates unnecessary waste, and improves quality.   

Modern methods of construction use innovative practices such as:  

  • Creating panelled units in factories, which can be quickly assembled onsite  

  • Volumetric construction, which creates prefabricated units created under factory conditions 

  • Pre-cast concrete foundations and pre-formed wiring looms  

  • Prefabricated floor and roof panels 

What are the Benefits of MMCs? 

As well as simplifying and speeding up the construction process, prefabrication can save time and money. In fact, modern construction methods can cut construction times by half. 

There are also benefits around the quality of production and health and safety. With more of the production happening in a controlled setting this allows for frequent quality checks; this also provides the workers with a safe workspace which reduces accidents and time spent unable to work. 

Prefabrication has numerous environmental benefits; they tend to use more sustainable materials as well as producing less waste than traditional building methods. Any waste that is produced can be used for future projects or recycled due to the factory setting. A building of this nature can result in up to 90% less waste and up to 60% reduction in on-site traffic.  

So Why Aren’t MMCs Being Used More Often? 

Modern methods of construction are being slowly adapted into more common use due to changes in regulations.

There are also fewer workers who have the necessary skills and training needed to work with prefabricated systems.  

MMCs Can Help with Labour Shortages 

There is a current labour and skills shortage in the construction industry, which is a massive problem for traditional building methods. However, modern construction methods mean that less labour is required on-site and essential training can be done in the factory under controlled conditions. This can also lead to further employment opportunities, offering stable working conditions and better pay.  

The future is looking bright for modern construction, the UK has supported offsite construction methods with financial funding in preparation for a rise in projects.  

With increasing focus on environmental issues and sustainable building, modular buildings, prefabrication and other modern building methods could be just what we need. 

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