Modular developments remain on track despite lockdown

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modern methods of construction, modular developments
©Richard Southall

Tide Construction and Vision Modular Systems have continued to deliver new homes, hotels and student accommodation during lockdown using modern methods of construction (MMC)

Developer and main contractor Tide Construction has announced 1.7 million sq ft of its developments using MMC remain on track despite the challenges faced by the construction industry from Covid-19.

1,000 residential and Build-to-Rent units, 1,500 student beds and 200 hotel beds are also still on track for completion.

The company’s pipeline includes a further 2 million sq ft of development in addition to the 1.7m sq ft currently being developed.

Working in lockdown

With a significant portion of their developments manufactured offsite in controlled, process driven environments, Tide Construction and Vision Modular Systems, have been able to continue working safely onsite throughout lockdown while fully respecting social distancing and safety rules.

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When lockdown was announced, it caused housebuilders to put down their tools on sites that collectively would deliver 250,000 homes. Knight Frank, the estate agency, predicts that the supply of new private homes is set to drop by 35% this year due to reduced onsite activity.

In addition to playing an important role in keeping Britain building throughout lockdown, manufacturing companies specialising in modular development are likely to play a more important role in housing delivery post-pandemic.

John Fleming, chairman at Tide Construction, said: “While we of course didn’t plan for a pandemic, the resilience of modern methods of construction has been demonstrated during the coronavirus crisis, with our 3D volumetric company Vision Modular Systems working with us to ensure that work on all our projects continued safely under lockdown, meaning our schemes will still be delivered with no significant delays.

“This resiliency, combined with the other benefits of MMC such as faster delivery, better quality, improved building efficiency, reduced waste and time-on-site, will see momentum behind offsite manufacturing continue to grow as we enter the recovery phase.”

A sustainable approach to housebuilding

Tide Construction and Vision Modular Systems’ offsite technology creates sustainable, factory-built space and delivers fully fitted modules to site. These modular developments offer greater certainty over projects and are less susceptible to external challenges, as we have unfortunately witnessed with this pandemic.

Vision Modular Systems’ factories offer construction workers a clean, safe, temperature-controlled environment to work in and offers them a more settled, less transient career than those on traditional construction sites.

Tide Construction and Vision Modular Systems’ sites are less labour intensive given the fully fitted nature of the modules. This enables Tide to reduce vehicle movements to site by 80% and the number of personnel onsite by up to 60%, helping ensure social distancing and the safety of their teams.

Christy Hayes, CEO of Tide Construction, added: “Building better, building greener and building faster: these are the three key principles by which the government has promised to deliver a housebuilding revolution, and these principles are exactly the foundation of modular construction.”

Both companies are part of the national Homes for Heroes campaign, which is calling on the government to commit to delivering 100,000 affordable, eco-friendly, factory-built homes for key workers on public land.

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