The housing crisis in the UK has been widely acknowledged: home-building rates are just half of the 300,000 required annually and are insufficient to meet accumulated need. The failure to meet these supply levels is partly explained by the challenges that the industry is facing, such as low productivity, labour shortages, lack of collaboration and failure to embrace new technologies. Modern methods of construction (MMC), manufacturing methods that harness digital techniques, Building Information Modelling (BIM) and offsite manufacture have all been widely promoted as solutions to industry challenges, with a particular emphasis on the potential of offsite manufacturing for residential housing.
Construction in general, and housebuilding in particular, will play a vital role in the UK’s post-COVID recovery. More can be done within the construction and housebuilding sector to develop a vision of how the uptake of modular methods, offsite manufacturing and MMC will be part of this recovery, and could also help to tackle regional inequalities and address the ’levelling-up agenda’. This will require collection of data on where components are both manufactured and used, in order that the geographies of production can be understood and used to inform decision making about sustainable and responsible procurement.
However, as we have seen there have been issues in delays in the global supply chain, raw materials and increasing shortages in skilled manpower have accelerated the move towards Modular, Precast and Prefabrication. With Opportunities coming into the hot markets such as data centres, logistics, residential and life sciences the catalyst has been set for companies now to embrace the Modular Precast and Prefabrication in the United Kingdom.