Ready to embrace MMC?

roof timbers from old property survey

A report from Parliament has said the government must ’embrace modern methods of construction or risk missing its target of building 300,000 new homes in England by the mid 2020s’.

The report published by the Housing, Communities and Local Government Committee said the modern reliance on traditional build methods will lead to a failure to meet the target of 300,000 new homes a year.

Modern methods of construction (MMC) enable the building of homes more quickly and cheaply. Innovations including the use of new materials and precision manufacturing techniques can be used alongside more traditional methods of building, and allow for more off-site construction.

The long-term lack of data on the durability of MMC homes in the UK is a barrier to the industry. However, investor confidence will need to be improved if lenders, insurers and home buyers are to overcome their reluctance to invest in these construction methods.

Clive Betts MP, Chairman of the Housing, Communities and Local Government Committee, understands this lack of confidence. He said: “Reluctance is understandable. The perception is that the building innovations of the sixties created homes that failed to survive half a century, while rows of Victorian terraces are still standing. Proving quality and longevity will be key. That is why we have called on the government to collect and publish the data that prove new building methods work, and also show if they have failed.”

If MMC homes are to have a future, their long-term value and durability must be monitored and a standard set for providers of warranties.

An expansion of MMC could lead to additional challenges concerning access to land and confusing building regulations. Supply chain problems are also an issue and the committee has called on government help to aggregate demand for MMC products that would allow more certainty in the supply chain to enable investment in machinery to produce the required components.

If you’re buying new or older property, ask a Chartered Surveyor for a building survey to make sure your new investment is up to the test of time.

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