Research: MMC immaturity holds back uptake by social housing providers

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Concerns surrounding the immaturity of Modern Methods of Construction (MMC) are the greatest barrier to uptake by social housing providers, according to new research

Independent research commissioned by windows manufacturer Epwin Window Systems has discovered that concerns surrounding the immaturity of MMC manufacturing is the greatest barrier to uptake by social housing providers.

The research, which surveyed social housing development managers, offers insight into the use of and attitudes towards MCC, examining issues such as perceived barriers and benefits, the extent of uptake, development sizes and plans for future use.

Survey findings

Over half of the social housing providers surveyed have constructed homes using MMC, however for 65% of respondents MMC counts for less than 10% of their total construction output.

The use of MMC looks set to become more widespread over the next five years, with 100% of those who have constructed homes using these methods stating that they are increasing the number of MMC developments.

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This research follows Epwin’s independent research called ‘Building for the Future’ and ‘Building for the Future – Social Housing’, which asked architects and social housing providers what they thought would influence housing design and build over the coming decade.

Reaching commercial ‘tipping-point’

Sonia Travis, head of commercial sales at Epwin Window Systems, said: “We have over 40 years’ experience of supplying social housing and Epwin has been at the forefront of driving or responding to innovation in construction and home design since the 1970s.

“Modular construction isn’t a new concept and the potential reported benefits are numerous, however these construction methods are still far from commonplace in the UK.

“Some large social landlords are investing in manufacturing facilities, and we are now working on a small number of modular developments, however it is not clear how many social housing providers are using MMC and why the uptake of these construction methods has been so slow?

“Modular homes appear to have finally reached that commercial tipping-point that makes them a viable, scalable option, so are smaller social landlords now using MMC? If not, why not?

“This research examines these very issues, and the survey of UK social housing providers has uncovered some interesting results.”

Travis added: “By commissioning independent research which enables us to better understand the challenges facing our customers, and by placing innovation at the heart of everything we do, we are able to constantly develop new solutions and technologies that meet the demands of our ever-evolving built environment.”

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