Modern methods of construction post-Covid-19

It has recently been thrown into question about how effectively the construction industry can operate while being compliant with social distancing regulations. How can we future-proof the sector to allow for professionals to return to work swiftly? We have seen incredible strides taken in recent times of adversity, for example, the construction of hospitals in such a short period of time and adapting to the fight against Covid-19. The Nightingale hospitals across the UK, especially the ExCel Centre in London was a 4,000-bed hospital spanning 20 acres, built in just 9 days. How did they achieve it? Modular construction. Mass manufacturing of the component processes offsite and assembled onsite.

It has been waiting to make a big difference

The construction industry has to start thinking about the future. It is a fundamental part of the UK economy and contributes around £90bn, providing approximately 10% of the total UK employment. The sector has been under massive scrutiny over the years for its inability to update itself, however, recent months go to show what can be achieved when the pressure is on and new technologies are accepted into the spotlight.

Could it be that the UK is just late to the party? Countries around the globe such as Japan and Sweden have been using modular housing for years.

Construction sites are well and truly reopening amidst the Covid-19 pandemic and all are looking for ways to mitigate the built-up delays and reduce the impact of any potential future interruptions. Modular housing allows for greater uniformity in the final result which is massively important for housing projects that need to be built to an almost matching degree of quality and timing. Wigan Pierside is a brilliant, recent example of a success story where eight eco-friendly homes were installed within three days of leaving the off-site factory where they were made.

The long-term, consistent benefits

A factory environment for off-site construction can not only increase efficiency and quality but is possibly a more appealing work environment to the millennial work-force. It is no secret that construction has been stuck in its ways, which, for an aspiring and ambitious generation, is not appealing. Incorporating off-site construction and being able to demonstrate the industries willingness to innovate and adapt, would boost the support and growth for a continually ageing workforce.

Less deliveries can also be considered an added benefit as it will not just reduce carbon emissions but also have a positive impact on limiting the time in which local communities and neighbours would have to endure living near a construction site. Fewer professionals and machinery onsite, along with a better way to ensure the production of consistent high-quality buildings, are more reasons as to why modular housing could be a viable and necessary way of working in the future.

 

But, like most ideas and trends, will this succeed in the test of time and demand?

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