Offsite Manufacture 2018 - Tipping point or false dawn?

02 April 2018

 

Our members Baily Garner hosted the February CEO Forum which offerd a valuable opportunity to consider and debate the opportunities and risks offered by Off-Site Manufacture.  From ‘Modernise or Die’ (the Farmer Report) through to the Government’s Industrial Strategy, OSM is seen as a way to tackle the skills shortage, improve quality and accelerate delivery.

 

The conclusions of the CEO Forum are:

 

  • Central Government and Combined Authorities are clearing the way for MMC in residential development, encouraging the development of the supply chain through public construction and facilitating the conditions for a level playing field for mortgage finance.
  • Other drivers are the skills shortage, advances in digital technology, Build to Rent and the recognition by housebuilders that it can drive profitability.
  • There needs to be a shift in thinking from project to product, more inter-operability of systems, but also rationalisation of typologies by designers.
  • It poses a challenge for architects to deliver great buildings and places, within tighter constraints on form.  Architects are in general rising to the challenge. There is a skills shortage in the profession so it can help with productivity.
  • In development, if not designed in from the start, contractors who are asked to bear risk under design and build contracts will default to on-site construction with some components assembled off site.
  • MMC’s reputation suffers from its chequered past and an untested present.  However, there is an alignment of key drivers that suggest we are indeed at a tipping point.

 

The summary of discussions and the list of attendees is available here