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Farmer Review of the UK Construction Labour Model: Modernise or Die

In February 2016, Cast CEO, Mark Farmer, was commissioned by the Construction Leadership Council, at the request of Brandon Lewis and Nick Boles (the ministers for Housing & Planning & Skills respectively at that time) to undertake a review of the UK’s construction labour model. The review was asked to focus on areas as follows:-

  • Evidence of how the construction labour model and recruitment practices impact on incentives for skills development in the sector (including in the supply chain) and on the introduction of more novel techniques such as off-site construction.
  • What business models and other arrangements could better support skills and skills pipelines in the sector?
  • What measures could improve wider incentives for capacity investment and the introduction of new ways of working?
  • What are the barriers and enablers to greater use of off-site construction?
  • How could the range of participants in the UK housing market be broadened, including through the better introduction of institutional funds?

This review is intended to provoke debate as to the current and likely future state of the industry and identifies the urgent actions needed to lead a change agenda that will safeguard the industry’s future.

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Offsite Construction Show Seminar & Masterclass Programme

2016 Offsite Construction Show Buildoffsite Seminar & Masterclass Theatre Programme, sponsored by the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy

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Building Offsite – An Introduction

Building_Offsite_An_Introduction An introduction to Building Offsite funded by the UK Commission for Employment and Skills (UKCES). The content was produced by an industry and academic collaboration of CCG (OSM), Stewart Milne Timber Systems, Edinburgh Napier University and Heriot Watt University in partnership with Architecture and Design Scotland.

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BIM: People matters 14 questions with Richard Ogden

Richard Ogden, Chairman of Buildoffsite, on working for a better built environment, the benefits of DFMA, a step change in offsite and a love of the great outdoors.

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Buildoffsite Review 2014-2015

It is a great pleasure to present the 2014 Buildoffsite Review. Producing the book provides an opportunity to draw together a summary of how we are developing as an organisation, to provide an overview of our recent and planned activities, to say something about matters that are impacting on the development of the construction market, and most importantly to introduce our growing Membership and to showcase some of their exemplar projects.

*full version includes member directory
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KPMG: Smart Construction Report

KPMG has compiled a compelling report on how offsite manufacturing can transform the construction industry.



Many construction projects have a reputation for being completed behind schedule and over budget.
While these companies have tried to improve project time, cost and quality by using technological and commercial industry innovations such as Building Information Modelling (BIM) and collaborative supplier engagement models. But they have largely failed to reverse the trend of poor productivity and project uncertainty or counter the growing challenge of industry skills shortages.
Offsite construction offers an alternative to this current construction status-quo by promising transformative improvements across the asset lifecycle in time, cost, quality and health and safety. But most importantly, offsite construction offers predictability.
I am grateful to my colleague Joshua Southern for his research and authorship of this report, which evidences the value of that predictability to the construction industry.
We call on construction industry clients to collaborate with suppliers across whole portfolios of construction projects, to invest in and then unlock the value of offsite construction.
Richard Threlfall
UK Head, Infrastructure, Building and Construction
KPMG in the UK

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The NHBC Foundation report Modern methods of construction: views from the industry surveys 135 house builders and housing associations and explores attitudes towards MMC. The research captures the degree to which different methods and systems have been adopted and assesses the appetite for more extensive application of specific approaches.

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HMYOI Cookham Wood: houseblock and education building

The Ministry of Justice (MOJ) have been implementing collaborative forms of procurement and early contractor engagement (ECI) for over ten years. More recently we have introduced Building Information Modelling (BIM). We view BIM as an important collaborative tool, that if used in a Lean and Collaborative delivery environment helps release the potential for clients and industry to do something differently which could be the catalyst for radical change.

From the MOJ’s position as an Intelligent Client and exponent of lean in construction, it was an obvious move to bring all our learning and experience together to run Cookham Wood as a Cabinet Office best practice project highlighting the benefits of bringing the Construction Strategy Initiatives together (ECI, BIM, Project Bank Accounts, Soft Landings and Lean delivery and benchmarking) and showcase how they can be used in unison, realising significant benefits in reduced cost, predictability and SME engagement.

The MOJ have been a champion of the current Construction Strategy and will continue to innovate to play a key role in achieving Peter Handsford, the Chief Construction Advisor, ‘Construction 2025’ vision.

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Offsite Housing Review 2013

Graham Watts OBE, Chief Executive of the Construction Industry Council (CIC) and Professor Nick Whitehouse of Oxford Brookes University, today presented the Housing Minister, Mark Prisk MP, with CIC’s Offsite Housing Review report, at a launch held at the £100m Laing O’Rourke Explore Plant in Steetley, Nottinghamshire, which is leading the way in British off-site manufacturing.

The Construction Industry Council was commissioned by the Department for Communities and Local Government (DCLG) and the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) to undertake a Review to consider and make recommendations to Industry and to Government on the contribution which the off-site construction sector can make to increase the delivery of more homes and how the increased use of off-site construction can be incentivised in England.

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Build Lean. Transforming construction using Lean Thinking

We meet Steve, a senior leader in a construction business as he receives news of yet another failed tender bid. Licking his wounds, and pondering what he can do differently next time, he comes across a comparative review of two projects recently completed by his company. The two schemes were similar. However the second project, significantly outperformed the first. The review reported that the team had achieved this performance through adopting what they described as a Lean Thinking approach. It was worth a look.

Click here to purchase the guide

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Studio guide to modular construction

Modular approaches to building are amongst the fastest growing and most promising areas of the construction sector. There is a rich and long history of designers pursuing a vision of efficient industrialised construction. Their aim was to revolutionise the way that building are procured and advance the construction industry by adopting principles used successfully in almost all other areas of manufacturing. Recent developments in modular construction are perhaps the first true realisations of the long help vision.

This guide is a succinct and focussed resume of the current state of the art and the technologies that have underpinned the enormous advances that have been witnessed. It focuses particularly on light framed construction as used and developed in the UK.

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Offsite production in the UK – prepared by HSE

This paper discusses the historical and current application of modern methods of construction using off-site production techniques. The paper gives an overview of the various types of off-site construction; specific case studies illustrating current practice; and, the primary benefits to health and safety on construction sites through its implementation.

Report Prepared by Stephen Taylor, Construction Engineering Specialist Team, HSE, London

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Offsite modern methods of construction in housebuilding

The increasing demand for housing, coupled with wide concerns over the need to improve performance, has created a powerful case for use of offsite technologies. However, to date, the industry has been slow to innovate and adopt offsite technologies, which has inhibited achieving a step improvement in productivity and quality of housing supply.

This study forms part of a three-year research project on the applications of innovative building technologies in housing construction. It reports the findings of a survey of the top 100 housebuilding firms regarding the use of Offsite Modern Methods of Construction (Offsite-MMC).

The respondent firms together contribute more than 30% to the total housing unit completions in the industry. This brief summary report outlines the key findings and recommendations of the research to date.

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