The Advanced Industrialised Methods for the Construction of Homes will identify successful offsite solutions and bring them to market

modular construction

A consortium which is examining how modern methods of construction can increase the rate of housebuilding across the UK has been awarded £6.5m in funding from the Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund, overseen by Innovate UK, the government’s innovation agency.

The Advanced Industrialised Methods for the Construction of Homes (AIMCH) collaboration comprises Barratt Developments, the Construction Scotland Innovation Centre, Forster Roofing Services, housing association L&Q, the Manufacturing Technology Centre, Stewart Milne Group and Tarmac.

A three-year project, those behind AIMCH said it aims to become a major player in the housing sector “by identifying and developing offsite solutions needed to meet current and future housebuilding needs”.

AIMCH’s backers expect the project to lead to new design tools, advances in manufacturing, better near-to-market offsite systems and lean site processes.

These will be trialled on live housing projects and those methods deemed successful being commercialised and brought to the market in volume.

The first results of the project are expected at the end of this year.

Noting the need for thousands of new homes every year Stewart Dalgarno, AIMCH project director and Stewart Milne director of product development, said digital working and industrialised offsite construction could be part of the solution but they had not yet broken through as viable commercial alternatives to mainstream housebuilding.

“AIMCH’s ambition is to use industrialisation to transform how we build our homes in the UK.

“We believe it will be the catalyst the housing sector needs to move towards advanced digital integrated manufacturing, whilst overcoming the challenges that stand between where the sector is now and where it needs to be in the future,” he added.