Akerlof to lead government’s efforts to create an original kit of parts solution

The Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities wants to develop an open-source kit of parts solution to encourage take-up of modern methods of construction (MMC). 

It has appointed offsite specialist Akerlof to lead a new research project, which aims to put the commitments of the Transforming Infrastructure Performance Roadmap to 2030 and Construction Playbook into practice. 


Source: DLUHC

Housing minister Rachel Maclean urged industry to engage with the project

The consultant has been appointed through a competitive tender to lead a consortium in the study, which will focus on category 2 and category 5 MMC. 

Buro Happold will focus on kit of parts development within the consortium, with HLM Architects looking at MMC standardisation and Limberger Associates handling project leadership and management. 

Extensive consultation with the wider industry and supply chain is planned to ensure solutions reflect the requirements of the sector. 

Housing Minister Rachel Maclean MP said: “Delivering more, better quality and greener homes is central to our levelling up mission.  

“I encourage all industry partners to engage in this research which will harness the benefits of Modern Methods of Construction, drive up productivity in the sector and help deliver the high-quality homes this country needs.” 

The government has long championed MMC. At the beginning of the year, DLUHC commissioned the British Standards Institution to develop a UK-wide standard for high-quality offsite homes.

But there have been concerns over the viability of the approach, with a number of high-profile failures in the private sector.

Most recently, insurance giant L&G stopped production at its timber-frame modular housing factory seven years after setting it up.

The firm had promised to build 3,500 homes a year from its North Yorkshire facility but it did not secure the necessary scale of pipeline and ultimately racked up at least £174m.

The seven categories of MMC 

MMC is an umbrella term that covers a spectrum of activity from category 1 under which whole 3D systems are manufactured offsite, to category 7 which is primarily traditional build with some use of technology to increase productivity. 

Category 1 – Pre-manufacturing – 3D primary structural systems 

Category 2 – Pre-manufacturing – 2D primary structural systems 

Category 3 – Pre-manufacturing – Non-systemised structural components 

Category 4 – Pre-manufacturing – Additive manufacturing 

Category 5 – Pre-manufacturing – Non-structural assemblies and sub-assemblies 

Category 6 – Traditional building product led site labour reduction/productivity improvements 

Category 7 – Site process led labour reduction/productivity improvements 

Source: Department for Levelling Up, Housing & Communities