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New research aims to demonstrate value of modern methods of construction

The Advanced Industrialised Methods for the Construction of Home (AIMCH) has published a research report to help the housebuilding sector use data to demonstrate the value of modern methods of construction.

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), claims to be some of the most comprehensive the industry has undertaken.

The wide-ranging 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.

“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 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 already said to be proving 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, said: “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 £6.5m AIMCH R&D project is a collaboration between Stewart Milne Group, Barratt Developments PLC, London & Quadrant Housing Trust Ltd, the Manufacturing Technology Centre, the Construction Scotland Innovation Centre and Forster Roofing Services Ltd.

2 Responses to “New research aims to demonstrate value of modern methods of construction”

  1. Links to reports below, couldn’t see them in text. While this focusses on housebuilding primarily, I would say a lot if it is cross-compatible with wider construction industry; definitely lines up with the work we’ve done on measurements & metrics in Design for Value on Heathrow.

    I think the two takeaways for me where:

    • Indicating that people must choose a metric that closely fits their strategic objectives as well on that is feasible to measure at a project level meaningfully. E.g. for Heathrow this means one has to consider programme & project level requirements.

    • Overall, the report highlights the difficulty of moving from measuring something in order to complete an academic study to measuring something consistently across a complex construction site and that real consideration is needed.

    Where we’re trying to take forward with DfV on Heathrow from what’s covered here is that when we have selected the measurement we want to use, we then define the benchmark for it on a project, ensure this is made clear during procurement and monitored during design development
    and delivery in order that we can assure the value we said we’d deliver.


  2. Thanks adding these links George and for your comments. If you have anything further you’d like to share on the Heathrow DFV work then please send over and we will get this posted onto the projects page and shared with all the members.

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