Modern methods of construction (MMC) is a topic which many of us within the construction industry have heard about numerous times in recent years. Yet, there is a stigma that is still associated with MMC, which was first introduced more widely in 2005 during a housing crisis in the UK. Thrust into the limelight in 2005, it’s failed to really take off, still representing a small percentage of overall construction. Fast forward to 2021 and it’s obvious there is still an uncertainty and caution. This uncertainty, the assumptions and the lack of knowledge around MMC are supporting the lack of uptake. As MMC has now been around for nearly two decades, we’re likely starting to think where MMC is going and here are a few theories.
Although MMC is being adopted slowly, this innovative construction process will keep growing, albeit slowly. The arrival of modern methods of construction was centred around a housing crisis, a housing crisis which still very much exists many years later till today. As we continue to embark through the journey of a pandemic there has been an emphasis on MMC with developers and house builders looking for innovative solutions to deliver the needed increased housing.
Continued adoption of MMC is supported by construction and property experts such as Henry Riley who have launched their Modern Methods of Construction (MMC) consultancy service. As consultants in the construction and property industry, they’re supporting by delivering impartial advice around MMC reducing the uncertainty and myths. They’re being leaned on to be MMC experts by their clients and industry professionals. This type of service is supporting to drive an uptake in the use of MMC.
The move towards adopting MMC is also slow due to market knowledge. The uncertainty to adopting it comes from a lack of knowledge and experience in this newer construction process. This has created a stigma and an uncertainty, which has halted adoption.
For Modern Methods of Construction to drive forward, it’s expected that initiatives around educating the industry are needed. Education requires showing experienced individuals who’ve only ever known a traditional way of building a new process. While understanding of MMC is limited, it’s important that education continues to keep moving the new age construction process forward.
Increase in affordable housing
More affordable housing is a topic that is prominent all over the country and the pandemic has certainly cemented this at the top of the agenda. In a year where the economy and has been greatly affected, more affordable housing is needed to cater for the demand for consumers to afford to purchase their own properties at affordable prices. The scenario around the pandemic is sure to have got developers as well as landowners considering what is the best course of action. With building having slowed down across the year due to the pandemic this has compounded the pre-existing housing shortage. As MMC is a construction process which can be produced at a quicker rate than traditional construction, it is positioning itself favourably to be the answer to delivering housing projects faster to keep up with projections.
Supporting the UK economy
A criticism which arose from the introduction and adoption of MMC is the undermining effect it has on UK economy, specifically British manufacturers. MMC construction initially was introduced to the UK as all materials and off-site construction imported. So, adopting MMC previously used to take away from the traditional British masonry manufacturers.
In January 2020, Legal and General built the largest advanced manufacturing facility for modular homes built within the UK and in Europe. The introduction of UK based manufacturers is another hurdle which we’ve overcome to keep the MMC adoption moving.
It’s clear to see that there are barriers that are very much still in place, however, these are slowly coming down. As more experts flood onto the market sharing their knowledge, as we look to recover the housing crisis through the pandemic and the UK market is producing manufacturers ready to build and supply, the path for progression is being laid it.