Promote modern methods of construction to improve sustainability of buildings, say experts at WSBF roundtable

Modern methods of construction (MMC), including offsite construction, could improve the standard and sustainability of buildings and make it easier to ensure that they meet quality assurance standards. WSBF explored the barriers to rolling out MMC and steps Government could take to get MMC inccoporated into the construction industry in a recent roundtable.

The meeting was sponsored by Lord Kennedy of Southwark, Shadow Housing Spokesperson for the House of Lords. The speakers included Paul Valentine, Director of Technical Excellence, British Board of Agrément (BBA), and Nigel Ostime, Delivery Director, Hawkins\Brown. 

The roundtable was part of a series that the WSBF is running on how to improve building standards, including improving energy efficiency, fire saftey and water efficiency. It was kindly sponsored by the BBA. 

WSBF recommends:

  • Government should procure public buildings (including social housing, schools and hospitals) using modern methods of construction. They should also use procurement practices that prioritises value, including the whole life cost of an asset, rather than just the initial capital cost of a project. This can help to drive more collaborative procurement practices in other areas.

  • Government should provide support to providers of modern methods of construction through investment in early product innovation and development.

  • Industry and government should collaborate on setting standards for offsite construction at a higher quality than the basic building regulations, to distinguish it from traditional methods of construction.

  • Government and industry should collaborate on harmonising current digital models and formats of buildings so they are fundamentally interchangeable, or by creating non-proprietary central digital building model.

  • Government and industry should collaborate on driving better performance labelling of housing, including components like light, space, ventilation, and energy performance. This can empower consumers to ask more of house-builders and this can drive building performance.

For more information, please see the event debrief.