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MMC research themes set out by Homes England

Words: Laura Edgar
Off-site housing construction / Shutterstock_509242891

Government housing agency Homes England has finalised the research themes for its six-year, 1,800-home Modern Methods of Construction (MMC) Research Commission.

One year into the study, Homes England’s research and development partners, Atkins and Faithful+Gould, have completed the work that will shape the data collection methodology.

As the government seeks to improve construction productivity and encourage the uptake of MMC, Homes England said the next phase of the study will involve collecting data from eight of its sites using MMC.

By monitoring the construction of 1,800 homes, the study will test the performance of different types of MMC in order to provide long-term, detailed and verifiable data to inform decisions about emerging construction technologies.

The research will consider cost and pace of build, safety performance, snagging and defect issues, construction wastage and logistics and energy-efficiency performance.

Atkins and Faithful+Gould will work with the Building Research Establishment and University College London to collect and monitor data from the developers during the six-year programme. From this, they will produce annual updates on the research findings and publish a final report at the end of the build programme.  

Robert Stone, technical director at Homes England, said: “We are committed to providing the industry with the body of evidence it is asking for in order to drive a greater understanding of modern housebuilding technologies and increase the uptake of modern methods of construction.

“Now, more than ever, we recognise that more needs to be done to share learning and build confidence in MMC. This large-scale, long-term and in-depth project will provide the sector with the valuable evidence it needs to make informed decisions about MMC and deliver better homes faster.”

Terrence Stocks, UK head of public sector at Faithful+Gould, added: “The work of the combined Faithful+Gould, Atkins, BRE and UCL teams over the past year has been great, and despite remote working a fully collaborative multi-organisational approach has been maintained, with the final metrics and collection methods of the report being tested with industry. The team and the developer organisations, along with their contractors, are now ready to move forward with increased pace, and the next year will see us gathering and analysing data to support a study that will hopefully drive an accelerated uptake of MMC in the residential sector.”

Image credit | Shutterstock