Laing O’Rourke has launched a platform approach to design and construction that can be applied to buildings in a range of sectors.
The construction group has assembled a demonstrator building, using a previously prototyped frame system, facades, internal walling and pods, and building services solutions, at its Centre of Excellence for Modern Construction (CEMC) in Nottingham.
The Product Based Building Solutions demonstrator aims to showcase a physically and digitally configurable kit of parts that can be used to construct buildings in multiple sectors. These include education, residential, healthcare and commercial, with a substantially reduced carbon footprint.
The concept follows similar principles to The Forge, Landsec’s office development in Southwark, which also used a platform approach to design and manufacture for assembly.
Adam Locke, programme leader in Laing O’Rourke Europe’s technology and innovation team, said: “The Product Based Building Solutions demonstrator showcases how integrated building products can be used to create quality buildings at greater certainty and speed, but with lower carbon.
“The industry has defined a strategy to deliver higher performing, more certain and productive, and more sustainable approaches to design and delivery, using digital and other innovative technologies to attract the talent of the future. Transitioning to a platform approach to construction is part of this strategy.”
Material and carbon saving
Highlights of the demonstrator project included the use of precast ribbed floor slab elements, saving 30% on material and associated carbon against a full flat slab construction, with components that can each be installed in 27-to-47 minutes on average.
Each element of the construction is also designed for rapid integration with other components including facades, pods and internal walling. The assembly team took just 30 minutes to install bathroom pods into the demonstrator building. The concrete-based fully glazed facade panels were installed in as little as 18 minutes.
Locke added: “At Laing O’Rourke, our investment into MMC has helped drive change throughout the industry. We have been at the forefront of embedding new approaches to design, manufacturing and assembly capability, skills, research and development for more than a decade.”
The project was co-funded by UK Research and Innovation as part of the Transforming Construction challenge in conjunction with Converge, AMRC, Autodesk, ActivePlan, BRE, Hoare Lea, the University of Cambridge, and the Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre at the University of Sheffield.
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