Build Back Better Part 1
26 August 2020
The need for high quality architecture that performs is more important than ever as we rebuild our economy following the effects of COVID-19. At Ayre Chamberlain Gaunt, we believe that to truly ‘Build Back Better’ we need to embrace alternatives to the traditional approach. Modern Methods of Construction (MMC) can help to improve design quality, sustainability and wellbeing performance. The increased speed of delivery can help to tackle the housing crisis but most importantly, MMC can provide suitable, healthy homes now and for the future.
The future of architecture needs to consider the direction of construction delivery to ensure alignment and reduce the performance gap between concept, construction and in-use. Our objective is to develop and implement designs that can be responsibly constructed and operated, to address both operational energy and embodied energy. We see MMC as part of this solution.
MMC has the potential to further revolutionise the construction industry to meet the estimated need for 300,000 new homes per annum by 2025. Currently just over half this amount is being built on average, with a current shortfall of approximately 24% per annum, as highlighted recently by Savills.
MMC offers great opportunities in finding essential solutions for closed loop cycles and circular economy when combined with a rise in digital design and construction techniques, including project BIM integration. However, to truly capitalise on the potential, a mindset change from ‘constructing’ to ‘manufacturing’ is required, combined with education within the marketplace to inform and instil positive perceptions by the end user.
There isn’t a one size fits all solution. A project brief should determine appropriate targeted strategies or hybrids of categories in the MMC Definition Framework and where practical, there should be an opportunity for various methods to be considered during a project’s design gestation. Solutions will and should differ depending on the scale of the project.
Much thinking has occurred during lockdown for many but now is the time to grasp the opportunity with both hands. MMC will inevitably play an ever-increasing role in the resilience of construction delivery, challenging the inefficiencies of traditional construction. There is a very real and unprecedented opportunity to rethink, innovate and benefit from the potential of these strategies and through the enforced response to COVID-19.
– Paul Avery, Senior Architect