As a team, we have accumulated over 400 years of experience in managing both traditional capital works and offsite construction projects.
In many cases, Modern Methods of Construction (MMC) can be the perfect solution to design and deliver amazing projects that are efficient, cost effective, environmentally conscious and low waste. With delivery of over 120 MMC under our belt, we are the experts in helping you determine whether MMC could be right for your next building project.
What is MMC?
Modern Methods of Construction (MMC) utilises improved construction methodology, systems, processes, and products to increase efficiency, quality and productivity – leading to sustainable outcomes such as reduced waste and lower levels of embodied carbon! MMC minimises whole-life cost of buildings and maximises benefits for the people who enjoy using it.
There are several categories, with the primary two being:
Volumetric – 3D primary structural systems
This can be the structural frame only, or the whole building. By standardising and repeating multiple building elements, we can improve quality, efficiency, and provide a consistent location for building services.
What we love about it:
- By fabricating the building offsite while groundworks are happening onsite, we can achieve big time savings and early return to market
- High quality, consistency of program and costs
Panelised – 2D primary structural systems
This flat pack / kit of parts method involves 2D panels, CLT/timber/steel floor cassettes and stud walls, and precast concrete wall panels and floor planks.
What we love about it:
- Quick assembly of frame for staged construction (early lockup)
- Proprietary panels using various materials are prevalent and can be customised
- The products have consistent levels of high quality and reduced supply chain issues.=
Other categories include:
- Manufacturing from digital design – CAM / LGS framing and 3D printed concrete
- Site worker augmentation – VR (Virtual Reality) / AR (Augmented Reality)
- Site process (robotic bricklaying) and drones (inspection and surveying)
- Proptech, productivity planning tools, etc
The world is shifting!
The Australian Institute of Architects’ 2021 Feedback report showed us that:
- 46% of Clients want to be educated on Modern Methods of Construction
- 41% of Clients want to use technology to benefit the design of their buildings
- 36% of Clients want to know how about sustainable design to save on whole lifecycle costs
A 2016 McKinsey analysis found that conventional / traditional construction projects typically take 20% longer to finish than scheduled and are up to 80% over budget.
This is where MMC can often be the perfect solution! So, how is MMC different?
With an MMC approach, we develop the design to incorporate the most suitable construction technique at the earliest design stage. This includes collaboration with the design and construction team using a technique called DfMA.
DfMA (Design for Manufacturing and Assembly) is a globally recognised term for incorporating a modern method of construction during design (as an alternative to the traditional approach of designing the building for permanent occupancy and allowing the builder to dictate the method of construction). The technique of using manufacture for construction of buildings refers to the intention of fabricating key elements of the building in an offsite environment – usually undercover and in a preferred production line approach.
When taking an MMC approach, affective use of digital design and documentation tools like single source of truth BIM models allows us to construct the building twice – digitally during design, and physically during construction.
Key Principles of MMC
The principals of project management are the same for traditional and MMC, however MMC provides different challenges and opportunities:
Working together is key!
By focusing on stakeholder collaboration and bringing together project teams, we can find creative solutions and meet compressed project time frames.
- Requires a comprehensive understanding of the needs of the client(s), the design team, the off-site and on-site construction team
- For collaboration to work, you need stakeholder buy in
- Building a high performing team is super important
Greater emphasis is needed during the design phase
This means managing the design for efficiency and resolving issues upfront to deliver an effective build, e.g.:
- Capturing the use of the right materials as part of the design
- Obtaining a collective understanding of the methodology of designing for manufacture & assembly (DfMA)
- Focusing on designing to a level of detail to avoid excess wastage
- Building virtually – coordination / scope of works.
A love for sequencing and buildability
Introducing an appreciation of construction sequencing and buildability up front and in the design phase enables an efficient build.
- Procurement methodology of obtaining early supply chain involvement (contractor, fabricator, suppliers)
- Consideration required for transportation of prefabricated elements (modules, panels, service runs)
- The management of two construction sites, off-site and on-site (safety, QA, process)
- Coordination and interface of off-site and in-situ works (site layout, material interface).
Why we love it
It aligns with our why!
We’re passionate about being good ancestors, by delivering social infrastructure projects that add value to our community now and into the future.
One Pack | One Planet.
Using MMC allows us to live out this purpose, because it is so well suited to the key community sectors we work to support.
What kind of projects is MMC best suited to?
- Education – classroom, libraries, multi-storey, private and public
- Housing – apartments, villages, townhouses (social and affordable)
- Health – hospitals, aged care, rehabilitation
- Accommodation – hotels, student accommodation
- Justice – correctional facilities, police stations
- Sporting Facilities – pavilions, change rooms
It also has amazing benefits for people and the environment:
- Shorter time-frames
- Cost certainty + the opportunity to reduce costs
- More sustainable, reduced carbon embodied emissions
- More efficient
- Less community disruption
- Great for regional and rural projects
- Can support complex or restricted sites
- Equitable delivery
- It upskills the workforce, and can support labour/skills shortages
- High quality
- Safety focused
We are so passionate about the benefits MMC can provide in support of our why that we promote the adoption and evolution of this mindset where it suits.