Modern methods of construction, or MMC for short, is being advocated as a solution for the UK housing crisis.
Around since the Second World War, MMC involved the use of off-site construction methods that support mass production.
In 2005 the National Audit Office published a report that proposed MMC as a way of building homes more rapidly and efficiently. A similar report published by the Barker 33 Cross-Industry Group the following year took a closer look at why MMC uptake was low. It suggested that modern methods of construction involved better products and processes, all of which improved business efficiency, output quality and sustainability, and delivery timelines.
The 2005 National Audit Office report suggested that the MMCs being considered by the Office of the Deputy Prime Minister included:
- Assembling factory-produced panellised units on-site
- Producing modular units in a controlled factory setting prior to shipping to site
- Techniques that combined volumetric and panellised approaches
- Pre-formed wiring looms, concrete foundation assemblies, and other innovative techniques
The National Audit Office asserted that if modern methods of construction replaced traditional methods, up to four times as many homes could be built with the same on-site labour and construction time would also be cut by over half. Cost ranges would be similar, although higher on average with MMC. Good risk management would be important due to increased risks at early stages of the development process, and project managers would need to liaise closely with planning authorities.