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14/01/2020

Research Report Published On Housebuilding Sector

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A research report to help the housebuilding sector better evaluate productivity and respond to future demands has been published by the Advanced Industrialised Methods for the Construction of Home (AIMCH).

The report examines construction productivity measurement and protocols and brings a new, more effective way for businesses of all sizes to use data to demonstrate the value of modern methods of construction (MMC).

AIMCH is a collaborative innovation project involving major private, public and academic partners set up in 2019 to transform how the construction industry builds homes. This is the first output of the £6.5m project which is already being welcomed by the construction industry and in wider sectors including transport and infrastructure.

The research, carried out by the University of Dundee in association with Whole Life Consultants and managed by Construction Scotland Innovation Centre (CSIC), is one of the most comprehensive the industry has undertaken. The wide-ranging literature review examined previous construction productivity measurement studies in order to make recommendations on the following key metrics: Safety, Productivity, Quality, Cost, Time, Predictability, Efficiency and Material Waste (in all 66 metrics were reviewed).

Professor Malcolm Horner, research lead and chair of Whole Life Consultants, said: "The aim of the review was to aid AIMCH and its partners to understand the current measurement landscape and to influence the way in which partners choose to measure productivity.

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"The key recommendation is that partners use this report and the guidance to evaluate and select the metrics objectively. Partners should look at metrics in terms of simplicity, widespread use, cost and how well they relate to their strategic objectives and conditions."

The research consortium engaged in dialogue with AIMCH partners throughout the review to ensure the final report guidance delivered useful and actionable findings that would enable partners to support the faster delivery of high-quality homes, more reliably and at the same cost as masonry-built homes.

The report findings are proving to be of interest across the construction industry and in wider sectors including transport and infrastructure.

Simon Cross, who leads the measurement work for the Construction Leadership Council's Innovation in Buildings workstream (Demonstrator projects, measures and business case working group), said: "The Construction Leadership Council's Innovation in Buildings work stream team are pleased that the AIMCH project metrics of Safety, Productivity, Quality, Cost, Time, and Material Waste are aligned to the published Smart Construction Dashboard.

"Aligning metrics across the housing sector will enable small, medium and large supply chain businesses to demonstrate the value of smart construction and respond consistently to future demands. Measuring data in this way is a much welcomed and major leap forward for the housing sector."

Alan Johnston, CSIC project manager, strategic programmes, said: "The report is the first output from the three-year AIMCH project and provides clear recommendations on productivity metrics for organisations.

"Initially scoped as a piece of work that would inform and influence future AIMCH workstreams, we are delighted that it has the potential to deliver tangible benefits now to the wider construction industry, and indeed other sectors who have also shown great interest, including transport and infrastructure."

Further research and development from the AIMCH project is planned over the next three years. The research will be trialled on live housing projects, with successful new methods then being commercialised and brought to market in volume.

The £6.5 million AIMCH R&D project is a collaboration between Stewart Milne Group, Barratt Developments PLC, London & Quadrant Housing Trust Ltd, the Manufacturing Technology Centre (MTC), the Construction Scotland Innovation Centre (CSIC) and Forster Roofing Services Ltd.

(MH/JG)

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