Major partnership to deliver new retirement communities using MMC

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Light Gauge Steel Framing, retirement communities
The team’s first collaborative scheme in Hexham.

Sigmat and McCarthy & Stone have entered into a major partnership to deliver new retirement communities using Sigmat’s Light Gauge Steel Framing (LGSF) offsite structural solution

Following a detailed selection process, Sigmat secured the framework as the Partner of Choice based on the merits of its eco-friendly and dynamic Light Gauge Steel Framing (LGSF) offsite structural solution.

The landmark deal will see Sigmat roll out its LGSF solution across five of McCarthy & Stone’s sites in FY21, totalling more than 200 units.

The partnership will see McCarthy & Stone become one of the first national retirement community developers to support the government’s agenda of increasing housing built offsite.

McCarthy & Stone is also one of only a handful of volume developers to make a major commitment to this type of manufacturing.

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The plans have the potential to improve energy efficiency. The framework agreement will also help fast-track the delivery of housing for older people which, despite the rapidly ageing population, is currently undersupplied across the UK.

McCarthy & Stone is looking to increase its proportion of offsite development by embracing other parts of Sigmat’s innovative design elements, including its pre-glazed window options.

Pushing the ‘boundaries of what consumers expect’

John Tonkiss, CEO of McCarthy & Stone, said: “I am delighted that we are working with Sigmat who are one of the UK’s most innovative and quality driven manufacturers.

“Their team share our commitment to embracing MMC and can help us deliver high-quality retirement communities that push the boundaries of what consumers expect while cutting energy bills, waste and construction times.

“The government has prioritised offsite manufacturing in recognition that we need different solutions to the housing crisis. We are responding to this with a serious, long-term commitment that will be a win-win for investors, policymakers and, above all our customers.”

The move into offsite manufacturing is one of three key strands of McCarthy & Stone’s new strategy, announced in September 2018, to leverage the long-term opportunities in the retirement community sector.

They include:

  • Increasing customer choice by launching a range of multi-tenure options
  • Increasing flexibility by launching new care and support services to better support its customers
  • Increasing affordability by designing communities with new construction techniques such as offsite manufacturing.

As part of this, new contemporary and open plan apartment types have also been developed to increase mass-market appeal.

‘Providing quality superstructures’

Mark Eburne, CEO of Sigmat, commented: “We are delighted to be partnering with McCarthy & Stone to help them embrace modern methods of construction by providing Sigmat light gauge steel panelised structural frames, including floors and walls.

“The Sigmat team have started on-site for our first project together in Hexham, and we anticipate more projects to commence within the following 12 months.

“By partnering with McCarthy & Stone we are committed to providing quality superstructures, manufactured offsite at our Leeds manufacturing facility for the UK retirement market.”

Chief operating officer of Sigmat, Marcus Wood, added: “This is a hugely exciting collaboration for both McCarthy & Stone and Sigmat.

“We have been working closely with the team at McCarthy & Stone over the last two years and we are delighted to be selected to help support their push in modern method of construction over the next five years.

“The retirement living sector is one of many ideal applications of the Sigmat system due to the eco-friendly, flexible and dynamic nature.

“This investment in both the McCarthy & Stone build expertise, Sigmat Modern Method of Construction and the partnering style will set new standards in delivering retirement living portfolios.

“Moving away from the more traditional ‘one-off’ project construction methods and relationships into a more integrated and long-term solution across the portfolio making incremental improvements, lessons learnt and standardisation over time.”

Work has already started on the team’s first collaborative scheme in Hexham, Northumberland.

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