A new guide argues that modern methods of construction (MMC) are key to increasing the supply of affordable homes in the UK.
Published by The Housing Forum, MMC for Affordable Housing Developers aims to help affordable housing providers navigate the procurement, planning, design and post-build stages of MMC projects.
It includes a detailed section on mythbusting, highlighting common assumptions people make about MMC, such as a lack of quality, difficulty in securing finance, and confusion over contracts.
Shelagh Grant, chief executive of The Housing Forum, said: “The guide challenges the myths surrounding procurement, contracts and costs, to help public sector organisations assess the business case for MMC, armed with accurate information.
“MMC will help the government meet its commitment to deliver 300,000 homes a year, but also benefit affordable housing providers and its tenants. Using MMC effectively will future-proof the housing supply. It leads to faster build times, minimises disruption to communities, and there are fewer defects, providing consistent quality and better as-built performance.”
Despite these benefits, barriers do exist. Compliance with the procurement regime was identified as one of the biggest issues preventing public sector organisations from adopting MMC. It clarifies that the public contracts regulations 2015 (often confused) can evaluate benefits, including quality/price evaluation and ongoing maintenance costs.
Jeff Endean, director at Cast Consultancy, provided the keynote at a launch event for the guide and discussed how the housing sector can take MMC forward.
“The emergence of MMC-specific frameworks, alongside a better understanding of delivery and contractual models, is already helping to create affordable and sustainable housing,” he said.
“The next challenge will be to achieve this at scale. While there will be challenges, manufacturing is the future for the sector. With the support of the industry, MMC will become a mainstream housing choice.
“To achieve this, there needs to be more control over new-build delivery. It will involve collaboration and innovation in how homes are designed and delivered across the housing association sector, as well as support from regulatory bodies feeding into the funding, insurance and warranty market.”
MMC for Affordable Housing Developers can be downloaded using the link below.
Image: Modular homes specialist Ilke Homes erected two modular houses that were exhibited as part of last year’s CIH Conference & Exhibition in Manchester https://ilkehomes.co.uk