Insulation specialist backs MMC research

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News that Homes England has commissioned a study into various types of Modern Methods of Construction (MMC) has been welcomed by insulation specialist Actis

The research will monitor the use of Modern Methods of Construction on around 1,500 homes over the coming years in Birmingham, Cambridgeshire, Hemel Hempstead, Swindon, Warrington, Newcastle and Milton Keynes.

Research partners will compare the cost and speed of build of the various construction types against traditional methods, look at the skills required, safety aspects, wastage and energy efficiency, with the aim of improving productivity across the industry.

The findings will be used to inform decisions on new construction technologies and encourage more widespread use of offsite and modular techniques.

Actis, whose Hybrid insulation, vapour control layer and breather membrane system are a popular choice for timber and steel frame manufacturers as well as traditional brick and block, is a long-time champion of offsite production.

A shift to more efficient methods

UK and Ireland sales director, Mark Cooper, said: “Homes England rightly pointed out when they announced the study that Modern Methods of Construction allow homes to be built more quickly, addressing labour and skills shortages and improving the quality, consistency and energy efficiency of newly built homes.

“With a UK target of building 300,000 homes a year and a lack of skilled labour we need to find a way to deliver these efficiently and consistently without compromising on quality.

Offsite production has the ability to address these issues, with timber frame being around 20% faster to build than brick and block. So it’s very encouraging that Homes England is overseeing such a comprehensive study.”

Cooper added: “In 2018 the UK built 160,000 homes, of which 45,000 were created offsite. If the remaining 115,000 had been built in the same way, enough capacity would have been freed up to create an extra 23,000 homes according to the Structural Timber Association.

“This is a long way short of the target 300,000, but illustrates how a shift to more efficient methods will have a positive impact on housing delivery.”

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