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Survey of YORbuild contractors

The following report is a summary of a survey conducted in August/September 2020 and is based upon responses from 19 YORbuild contractors

1. Off-site elements incorporated in one or more projects over the past 12 months: Please identify the number of projects in which the following elements have been utilised?

The response to this question has been shown in two graphs. Figure A demonstrates the number of projects which incorporated MMC and Figure B identified the number of contractors and their designation using those particular elements of MMC.

(click to enlarge images)

 

MMC Fig A
Figure A – No. projects incorporating MMC
MMC Fig B
Figure B – No. contractors using MMC element

It is notable the number of MMC elements being incorporated in construction projects at this time. Whilst the majority of elements used are a combination of offsite/onsite systems, the use of permanent modular construction was used in eight projects across all three contractor designations. In addition, the survey indicates that various MMC processes were being used in all organisation designations and therefore across a range of project values.

2. What sector of construction does your organisation believe off-site construction to be the most viable?

Responses provided from 0 to 5 – least to most viable. Responses were scored relative to viability, therefore:

19 (potential responses) x 5 (most viable) = Score out of a possible 95:

Q2 Viability

The survey produced a very mixed response but an obvious interpretation would be; those sectors that can be compartmentalised or elements within the construction project that could be repeated, would be more suited to MMC.

3. Please could you identify if your company has established any partnerships or agreements with manufacturers to provide MMC elements that are currently used by your organisation to supply MMC solutions?

Q3 Partnerships

Interestingly, both small and large organisations have identified that they have established some form of partnership or agreement with manufacturers to provide MMC elements that are currently being used by them.

4. What would be your company’s main reasons for considering MMC?

Responses provided from 0 to 10 – least to most considered.  Responses were scored relative to consideration, therefore:

19 (potential responses) x 10 (most considered) = Score out of a possible 190

Q4 Reasons

The main considerations selected by contractors from the prepopulated list provides an insight as to why they would consider MMC.  For those that participated, it would appear that better performance, efficiency, health and safety, client satisfaction and build quality would be key drivers for the implementation of an MMC project.  In addition, one of the main considerations would be that the project scope suits MMC requirements.

5. What are the benefits your company has experienced from using MMC? If your company does not have experience of MMC, what would the expectations be?

Q5 Benefits

Survey responses identified that the benefits experienced or would be expected from using MMC are not that different from those ‘key drivers’ identified in the previous item and the greatest benefit being that of a faster build programme.

6. Please identify any disadvantages that were experienced when using MMC?

Q6 Disadvantages of MMC

Three key factors were identified as being detrimental experiences or considered disadvantageous when undertaking an MMC project; long lead in times, due to design, increased cost and inflexibility.  This is closely followed by affordability, supply chain quality and incomplete design.

7. Please identify factors that your company believes to be the main barriers for the implementation of successful MMC projects? For example: Late design ‘freeze’, lack of suppliers, supply chain payment terms, insufficient volumes, logistics, etc.

When asked what contractors perceive as the main barriers to the implementation of a successful MMC project we received 41 headings.  To try and ‘standardise’ the responses, we considered the responses and condensed them into the following nine headings:

Q7 Barriers

 

 

We would like to thank all the contractors who responded and took the time to complete the survey.

Whilst it is clear that there are issues to overcome when considering MMC in whichever form – volumetric, panelised or component – and through every phase of construction – concept, design, procurement and delivery – one thing is certain, it is a method that can only increase its share in the market place.

It is really exciting and encouraging to identify the number of projects incorporating and the broad cross section of YORbuild contractors that are actively using and supporting Modern Methods of Construction.