MMC systems

Advanced Industrialised Methods for the Construction of Homes (AIMCH) has published its second-year MMC progress report showing promising results and key learnings for the construction industry

AIMCH is a three-year research & development project aiming to help tackle the UK housing crisis by building new homes faster, to higher quality and more cost-effectively than masonry methods using panelised modern methods of construction (MMC) systems.

Important outputs of the project:

This latest report to be published by AIMCH highlights several key learnings for the industry across several important and innovative areas.

One of the highlights being able to achieve a weather-tight, insulated and secure superstructure in just one day.

All advanced panelised modern methods of construction systems and lean construction solutions trialled so far have been successful and early analysis is recognising the benefits of these advanced panelised MMC systems with the hard data to back it up.

Collaboration partners:

  • Stewart Milne Group
  • Barratt Developments
  • L&Q
  • Forster Group
  • Manufacturing Technology Centre (MTC)
  • Construction Scotland Innovation Centre (CSIC)

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Through the collaboration, the project compares conventional and panelised MMC construction methods on actual building sites, and the impact scaling up panelised MMC will have on the housebuilding industry.

The three-year AIMCH project, which has been live since early 2019, has been trialling new digital design tools, manufacturing advancements, and improved near-to-market offsite panelised MMC systems, using lean site processes on live housing projects over the past two years.

The project recognises the challenges of MMC manufacturing and through engagement with MTC, lead manufacturing partner, has conducted advanced manufacturing and digital business systems studies.

With decarbonisation of the built environment a priority, the project embarked on a study to measure and profile Embodied Carbon and Whole Life Costing in the use of MMC systems across four housing types to current and near-zero carbon standards.

A strategy for a proof of concept, near-zero carbon home trial was also developed with Barratt Developments.

The project also recognises the importance of SMEs and through Forster Group, roofing specialist, has helped accelerate their roofing technology, through collaborative learning and proof of concept trials with MTC and the AIMCH developers.

The goal of the project is to support the sector by delivering 120,000 homes for the same or less cost than traditional methods and built 30% quicker.

The project has potential to impact on 35,000 homes being delivered by AIMCH partners across the UK each year.

Knowledge for others to learn from

Stewart Dalgarno, AIMCH project director and Stewart Milne Group director of product development, said: “Despite the challenges of Covid-19, the project team has worked hard to build momentum and has delivered some important outputs which confirm panelised MMC as a very real and viable alternative to masonry, over the final year, we hope to take this to a new level.”

Mark Farmer, MMC expert and new AIMCH chair, said: “Mainstreaming all categories of MMC is more important than ever. In a post-Covid world the sector needs to transform productivity, improve quality as well as improving the welfare of its workforce.

“We also need to find more sustainable ways of building in order to achieve a net zero-carbon built environment.

“The AIMCH project has already made great progress across a number of fronts which will better enable greater MMC adoption across all parts of the industry including SME’s.

“The work done on design standardisation, panelised and sub-assembly system applications, productivity and carbon measurement and manufacturing process optimisation are all rich sources of knowledge for others to learn from and use.”

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