MMC webinar: 25th March 2020

A recent report by The Housing, Communities and Local Government Committee warned that to hit the target of building 300,000 new homes a year by mid-2020s, Modern Methods of Construction (MMC) must be embraced to help make up the shortfall that traditional building methods will likely suffer.

In 2019, The Northern Housing Consortium (NHC) and LHC launched its new brand, Consortium Procurement Construction (CPC) as a collaboration agreement to provide MMC solutions and other construction-based frameworks to members. Following feedback from our members and looking at the ways in which we can help get this message out there, The NHC and LHC held a successful MMC webinar session on the 25th March 2020.

This online event had been created in order to highlight the work achieved so far using MMC and what this could look like for the future. With 190 delegates originally booked on to this session, The NHC and LHC were excited to speak to all about our partnership brand, Consortium Procurement Construction.
Below is a detailed breakdown on the speakers and session content:

  • Paul Beardmore, Independent Housing Consultant and event chair, opened the session and gave the introduction and welcome to all delegates.
  • Tracy Harrison, Chief Executive of The NHC, gave an introduction on the work of The Northern Housing Consortium and spoke on Consortium Procurement Construction, highlighting the good work we are doing to support members. Tracy also discussed how helping our members to find solutions to challenges to MMC is key and optimising efficiency is the way to do this.
  • John Skivington, Group Director at LHC, spoke on the partnership between The NHC and LHC to form CPC and delivering better homes using Modern Methods of Construction.
  • The Minister of State for Housing and Planning, Christopher Pincher MP, provided the keynote address with an update outlining some of the work being done by MHCLG to tackle COVID-19. Christopher Pincher MP also thanked NHC members for the work they are doing to support others during the COVID-19 crisis. He asks that the housing sector keep in touch with him to advise of challenges and looks forward to a bright future ahead for housing. Christopher says that a “significant portion” of the 300,000 homes built per year should be completed using Modern Methods of Construction.
  • Lucy Lovatt, Senior Strategy Manager at Homes England, spoke on the measures that the agency is taking to improve construction productivity and how MMC is key to building more high-quality homes. Lucy also touched on how they are setting out support to the housing sector to deal with the COVID-19 crisis.
  • Tim Oakley, Head Consultant at LHC, discussed the Offsite Project Integrator framework. Tim also spoke on how to and how not to deliver offsite homes.
  • The webinar concluded with a Q&A panel session, with questions taken from delegates to the speakers, with a particular focus on the standardisation and scale of using MMC. One major takeaway from the Q&A was the desire for future roundtables on this topic. This information has been taken away and The NHC will be updating members on this as we move forward.

This event was the first MMC conference of The NHC and LHC to be held remotely and the webinar was a great success. Hearing from expert speakers in the field discussing the opportunities that MMC can bring, gave delegates an insight in to how and why MMC has the potential to speed up housing supply, particularly offsite construction. We look forward to working more closely with members on this subject and how we can assist in overcoming barriers facing MMC.