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Aaron Higgins

Aaron Higgins

Associate Director Aaron Higgins is responsible for Boden Property. He has over 16 years of experience working within the Property sector, after a career as a Quanitity Surveyor.

The drive to increase the housing stock across the UK has supercharged in the wake of the pandemic. We need an estimated 300,000 homes each year to meet demand, but rarely are more than 200,000 built in a year. With people crying out for more space, coupled with rising energy prices, the need for quick, sustainable housing is higher than ever.

Fortunately, Modern Methods of Construction are helping housebuilders to build more quickly than traditional methods. There are plenty of benefits to using MMC for house building. That’s why developers like Archerfield Homes have taken the construction of their new homes into a factory setting.

Here are 5 benefits to adopting Modern Methods of Construction (MMC) for house building:

1) They're more efficient

Using MMC for house building delivers considerable time efficiencies. By taking large parts of the construction process into a factory setting, developers can plan and stack activity efficiently. The increased predictability of the methodologies improves on-site production. This means that developers can deliver MMC housing between 10 and 50% quicker than traditional ones. And it means they’re better suited to projects with a specific deadline, for example, the start of a school or university term.

MMC - cost control

2) Better cost control

By taking the development off-site, it’s far easier to achieve cost certainty earlier in the process. It's more likely that developments will stay in budget. It removes the more unpredictable parts of the build. And as MMC makes development quicker, there's a cost reduction too.

3) Increased sustainability

MMC projects reduce the amount of waste by a considerable amount, as they can make and construct parts in a factory setting. There’s a more rigorous design process, factory quality control and reduced transportation loads. All this positively impacts the sustainability and carbon content of a project. The ability to ensure better air tightness also makes MMC buildings more energy efficient in use. This has another positive knock-on effect, as it results in lower energy bills for the homeowner.

MMC - higher quality

4) A higher quality outcome

Quality control in a factory setting is easier and more predictable. The quality processes can be more regulated and thorough, as they are carried out in a controlled, dry environment, rather than on site. This makes it easier to capture defects at source, leading to fewer final snagging issues, and a higher quality final fit and finish.

5) Less disruption

Moving the manufacture and construction of a housing development off-site results in less disruption for nearby residents. Staff need less space on-site for parking and welfare buildings, developments take up less space. There are fewer people on-site, meaning reduced traffic movements. There’s less noise created by the construction process. The timeframe of the development process is often shorter too, reducing the overall disturbance.

MMC - the choice for the future?

Delivering higher quality homes in less time has no downside. It’s not surprising then, that developers like Archerfield Homes have adopted these methods, and are delivering beautiful family homes. Archerfield Homes is a family business with a social conscience – they use MMC because they care about the environment – all their developments are eco friendly and every home is built with energy efficiency in mind, adding solar panels and making them smart-house enabled, and because they care about the communities in which they build.  

There are further added benefits for them. For example, being able to develop on smaller brownfield sites, unlocks more land opportunities. They get a quicker return on that land investment too. More houses, delivered faster, and to a higher standard is clearly fantastic for buyers. But there is also wider social value, such as carbon reduction, safer working environments and more flexible hours and shifts through factory shift work.

And now that Homes England requires their strategic partners to deliver at least 25% of affordable homes using MMC, hopefully, we’ll see an increase in this sort of building going forward.

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