Manufacturing Construction: Special Report | The B1M
The. Construction, industry shapes. Our world. From, the buildings that we call home to, our workplaces, the, roads and railway lines that we travel on the, infrastructure, that enables transportation. And generates, our power and the, environments, where we nurture the. Construction, sector has a fundamental. Impacts on every. Aspect of our society. For. Centuries the, way we build our world has remained largely unchanged. We. Use many of the same materials. And processes, we. Still build a prototype structure. In its final location on, a site, that is always unique at the, mercy, of our surroundings, and the elements. Though. The concepts of developing, structures, away from their sites is nothing, new at changing. Cultures, rapidly, expanding, population. Shifting. Workforce, demographics and, evermore technological. World are now. Heralding, a new dawn, for the concept, of off-site techniques, and seeing. Them take a decided, shift toward. The world of manufacturing. The. Challenges, we have as an industry now are different. And unprecedented we, have headlines. That's just we're not able to deliver what we said with them deliver there's. A whole load of expertise. In manufacturing and, automation, and other sectors that we could never get our hands on because we were never quite close enough to them and it feels like the pace, at which this will move could be incredibly. Quick. If, we drive too much in terms of cookie, cutter approach to design etc I, think we, may end up not, realizing, the benefits, and going back to or more traditional methods because people need. To want it they can't be forced on people but. The move towards, a different model of delivery for me is crucial, it's crucial with businesses are going to survive in terms of their financial stability, it's also the key to growing, margins. So. Could, these approaches, truly, transform. Construction. Could. They improve quality, cut. Costs, and raise productivity, while. Helping us tackle issues like the lack of skills coming into the sector and the, housing crises facing, many, nations and why. If the benefits are so compelling, have, we not seen widespread, uptake to date. This. Is how. Construction. Could. Soon become. Manufacturing. Unlike. Almost every other sector that delivers physical, products to its customers, and end-users. Construction. Creates unique products, in unique, outdoor locations. Every. Time it delivers. While. Some buildings, and structures can, be constructed, repetitively, using, the same designs and materials, such, as restaurants, hotels or, prisons, no.
Two Sites, are identical, as such. The. Industry, is in effect always delivering, prototype, products, for its customers, while. Striving to achieve quality, efficiency. And a safe working environment without. Disrupting, surrounding. Communities. Approaching. The design and construction process with, an off-site, mindset, that, is much closer to the concept, of manufacturing. Enables. Work to moved away from the unique challenges, of each job sites and into. Controlled, conditions. Here. Economies. Of scale, can be achieved through production, lines that embrace automation. And use, standardised elements. By. Having teams focused, on producing specific, aspects, for building component, repeatedly. Under, the same conditions. Productivity. Can be increased and quality, can be substantially. Improved, reducing. The number of defects, in the completed, building, there. Is also the benefits of reducing, time spent on, site where. The costs of providing temporary, power accommodation. And facilities, can quickly add up and where, the potential for disruption is, high. While. Some of these time and cost savings are of course offsets. Or occasionally, even canceled, out by other elements of the process the. Benefits, of moving away from the site environment, are still. Compelling. Quite. Aside from the advantages in delivery, off-site. Approaches, appear to provide attractive, solutions, to a number of the challenges currently facing, our wider society. These. Techniques, could allow housing, to be delivered more rapidly in high-density. Urban areas, helping. To tackle the housing crises, currently, facing, many developed, nations, they. Could also enable the fast construction, of infrastructure, projects, enabling. New and emerging communities, to grow an. Underlying. Contributor. To the housing crisis, currently, facing the UK is a lack of skilled operatives, entering, the construction, workforce. Off-site. Approaches, could help to address that by, reducing the demand for labour capable, of constructing homes, with, traditional, methods. The. Extent, to which works are taken away from construction, sites varies. Significantly. At. One end of the spectrum, volumetric. Solutions, create, entire, enclosed, spaces in a factory and then deliver those to sites for installation, or assembly, with other similar, elements. Some. Buildings may incorporate a degree of volumetric construction, in the, form of bathroom, pods or plant spaces. Conversely. Non. Volumetric, systems are large, elements, for building or structure that, are prefabricated, before. Being brought to site. Panelized. Systems, such as cross laminated timber or structurally. Insulated panel. Systems known, as sips fall, into this category as, do. Unitized, facades, and large. Precast, concrete elements. Finally. Component. Based approaches, take the concepts, to a far more granular. Level effectively. Creating, a kit of parts and drawing, on a series, of predetermined items, that can be produced delivered. To site installed. Operated. And maintained, with ease. To. Understand, more I spoke, to industry expert mark farmer, founder. And chief executive, of cost consultancy, and author, of modernize, or Die a landmark. Report published. In 2016. What. Is off-site means, you it's an umbrella term so off-site construction essentially. Is an umbrella term and it means a whole lot of different, things but in essence, it's. Talking about transferring. Activities. Construction, activities, that would have happened at, the final work face on a construction site it's, talking about moving, those somewhere, else and that somewhere else might be a remote factory hundreds, of miles away it, might be a. Consolidation. Center close, to the site or actually, in some instances might mean that some. Form, of assembly. Or pre assembly is being done actually on the site what's the benefit of doing that one of the problems we have in the construction, industry it's an inherent, in the way that we deliver because, we're not building cars and airplanes. We haven't we're building buildings, that are in locations. And, invariably, we tend to do that building in situ before the workplace there's so much like prototype, every thought yeah yeah so everything we do is essentially bespoke, very. Little harnessing. Of repetition, standardization. Commonality. Architects. Will respond to a brief and design something from first principles, and then we build that and actually, if you're doing it right with the right process.
And Use of technology there, naturally you start to address the issue which is the real bugbear for, construction which is productivity and I think the other thing is the term can off-site construction is. A. Particular, hobby horse of mine, perhaps we should be better, using, the service, like manufacturing. Around. The world numerous. Countries, governments. Organizations and. Suppliers, have. Embraced off-site, approaches, in. Singapore. The, country's construction, regulator, has introduced, a mandatory, target, the 65%, of, high-rise, building, superstructures, should use prefabricated. Prefinished modular. Construction. The. Project team working on the Crowne Plaza Hotel, extension, at Singapore's, Changi, Airport's, claim, that embracing this approach reduced, the number of operatives, on site by 40% and, brought, the time to construct a floor down from two to four weeks to, just four, days. The. Countries, emerging Canberra, drive development consisting. Of eight mid-rise, blocks is reportedly. The world's largest modular, construction project. In. Australia chicory, group used prefabricated. Elements to construct Melbourne 60-story, Collins. House, improving. Quality reducing. Program, duration and overcoming. The logistical, challenges presented, by the twelve point five meter wide site. Hickory. Adopted, similar approaches, on the city's Latrobe, tower in. The. United States Factory. OS recognized, the benefits of embracing, a manufacturing, mindset, and market. Their volumetric, solution, as the answer to housing demand and the, lack of skilled workers entering. The workforce. In. A similar vein the, slickly presented, guitarra are taking long-established panelized. And component, based construction, approaches, but. Delivering them through a business that they claim is highly technology, orientated. Deliberately. Employing, expertise, from beyond the construction, sector to, drive innovation. Off-site. Approaches, have also been employed across the UK market for several decades, indeed. The concept first came to prominence after the Second World War when. The country rebuilt, large portions, of its building stock. Particularly. Notable projects, in recent times include, London's, 23-story, Creekside. Wharf which is formed from volumetric, modular, units and the. Vast alder, high hospital, which, extensively, embraced off-site, fabrication. Techniques, on. The, horizon, off-site, approaches, are being explored some of the UK's most significant.
Projects, Including. The new nuclear, power station, at Hinkley Point and Heathrow. Airport third, runway. On. The. Surface the UK is seemingly, well served by firms with off-site, capabilities. At. The volumetric, end of the spectrum established. Businesses, such as McEvoy, Elliot. Caledonian. Elements, Europe and others, support. The delivery of numerous, projects across the country, other. More, specialised, volumetric, providers, have found niches, in areas where factory, controlled, production, is almost essential. Connects. To cleanroom is for example create. Modular, clean rooms that meet infection, control standards, and service, a number, of sectors. Meanwhile. In the non volumetric arena businesses. Like in Avari systems, produce panelized, building, elements that can serve a wide variety of building, typology x' across. A spectrum of different sites. At, general, contractor, level notable, forward thinkers include, Care Group who have actively embraced off-site, concepts, on a number of projects and Laing. O'Rourke who. Claim that their explore Industrial, Park is the, most automated, construction, products facility, in Europe. While. Many of these businesses have served in the UK industry, for several decades it, is only recently that excitement. Around the potential to mass manufacture. Buildings and in, particular homes, has increased, launch. Ly as the country's population has, steadily grown as the, housing crisis, has begun to bite as. The build to rent market has risen and as. The construction sector begins, to feel the effects of a severe, skill shortage. Successfully. Answering, these challenges, with a mass production, solution, is a seemingly, alluring, prize that, has driven the creation of several new ventures, and investment, decisions. Housing. Associations, Swan have opened a modular, Factory in Basildon while. Berkeley homes have begun developing, modular solutions at their Factory in Kent and ilkka, homes have invested in a factory in Harrogate. Underlining. The appeal financial. Services giant Leyland General are now entering the market with their modular, homes offering, attempting. To address the country's housing crisis, by constructing a vast factory, near Leeds. Though. Currently only part utilized, the. Facility, is expected to steadily scale up production in, the coming years. However. Despite. This surge in interest last. Year just 1% of new homes in the UK were, manufactured. Off-site. If. The benefits are so compelling, and the industry is seemingly almost, over served by suppliers, why. Are we not seeing a widespread, shift, towards, an off-site manufacturing. Mindset, in UK construction and in. Particular in, the house building sector. For. Decades a number, of factors have held us back. Firstly. At a cultural, level the. Construction, industry is notoriously, resistant. To change and the, methods used to construct many of today's buildings, and infrastructure, have, remained fundamentally, unchanged. For, centuries. If, that cultural, barrier weren't significant, enough we. Live in a society where, standardization. Is celebrated. And even, desired, in areas but. Where the vast majority of consumers, seek a bespoke building, or home. This. Is in notable contrast, to some other cultures, around the world where, off-site manufacturing, techniques and modular, homes have, thrived.
In The, UK many, consumers, perceive the term off-site, to, mean low-quality boxy. Looking modular, buildings or homes that. Lack character or architectural. Appeal and the. Country's grenfell tower disaster, has, hardened, views around the importance, of building quality. These, preconceptions, are, reinforced. By mortgage lenders and insurance, firms who, have been wary of backing such schemes in the past, dissuading. Consumers, and developers alike. Several. Examples, of attractive, modular, architecture have, emerged over the years only. To fall from favor again, as trends, progress. Within. The industry some. Project teams have experienced, low-quality off-site. Solutions, or, discovered, that cost savings, are merely offset, elsewhere. Others. Lament the transporting. Of air that some volumetric solutions, require or, that any value achieved, is not always passed on in a, sector where margins, are infamously, low. The. Use of off-the-shelf. Customizable. Volumetric, solutions. Has also proven, difficult to apply a scale, across. The wide variety of physical sites, that the construction industry contends. With. Conversely. Panelized. Solutions, have performed, better able. To adapt to different footprints. And site constraints, blending. The benefits, of standardization, with. A sufficient, degree of, adaptability. The, extent to which true. Manufacturing. Approaches, have been adopted across the UK sector, is also, highly, varied while. Many use the terminology the. Degree of automation, efficiency. And scale, within UK off-site, production, facilities, is on, a broad spectrum. In, addition, to these barriers, driving. Ultimate value from off-site techniques, relies, on planning. And designing, for such an approach from the outset the, challenging, tasks in an industry where contracts, and procurement roofs are geared, towards the engagement, of suppliers in the later, stages of development. What, is stopping the. Construction safer, taking that manufacturing approach so one of the biggest barriers to, the growth of the off-site sector. Has been, the. The basic delivery model that is, adopted in construction, at the moment and. The basic, environment. The economic environment, of construction, operates in as well so what what, we've moved to in the industry is a highly, flexible model. Where there's, very little, willingness to, invest. In fixed costs plant. Machinery, overheads. There's, very little willingness to employ, directly, and hence the proliferation of subcontracting. Over the last 30, years so. Actually what you have to do if you want to move to an offsite manufactured, led approach you have to invest, so, there's costs of setting up an establishment, if you depending. On what scale you want to do it is invariably the cost to be releasing or building, a facility you, have to equip it which is usually, the primary cost of the machinery and, then you have to hold a payroll because you don't really you, can't really do your sort of manufacturing with, the transient workforce you need to employ people you need to train them I mean in terms of the. People that have made the investment wherever you seen the kind of best practice so far in terms of people that are taking, the leap and going down that road the common theme for me, are, businesses, that have put technology front. And center in in in their, propositions, so that's their coming forward of a manufacturing, approach, and. Invariably. In the volumetric well that means a factory, as well and sometimes quite a large factory with lots of investment, but, there is a real difference between us going back to the difference you know so I construction, also at manufacturing, building. In a shed or I don't believe is scalable for the future manufacturing. In a factory is the. Future and the manufacturing, for me has, to be digitally, enabled and, what we're now seeing and, it's only really in the last two or three years it's starting, to really become apparent is that the pace. Of change in, technology. Is, now fundamentally. Transforming.
How Manufacturing. Can be done and that's. Impacting. Business. Models it's impacting, the, ability to create digital platforms, much more scalable in terms of manufacturing output you, correct digital design front-end, to to your proposition that then feeds through to digital manufacturing machinery. In your factory so. It's, all parametrically. Controlled. And. You, know then you, create something that I believe is a lot more scalable. As technology, that's going to help you think make that step change make that difference I think so it's a personal opinion but the evidence points I see when I, go. Around the industry and talk to people and some of the sort. Of real things coming over to Horizon which are really really interesting, and exciting all, have technology, placed. At their heart and not, as an afterthought actually, if anything that is that they start with the technology, and then work out what manufacturing. Is that supports the technology, I think sometimes, you can retrofit it and it doesn't quite work. Keen. To learn more about how these challenges, play out on the ground and to, see an off-site facility up close I went. To meet Pete blunt who runs in fre a business. Specializing, in the manufacture. Of structurally, insulated panel. Systems in, Coventry, Pete, great see they say yes so, are we boys and Avari what do you guys do so. In a very off-site. Construction specialist. As we we, do the design, manufacture and installation of large, format components. Direct, to site to, drive, speed, and quality of manufacture. But also because. Everything we do is bespoke, it provides, the, flexibility, to create different forms and shapes etc to, to, move with the local vernacular architectural. Requirements. So. If people say sips, sips, panels wouldn't. What do they mean a sip. Is a structurally, insulated panel. What happens is the you have two boards bond them together to a structural, innovation. Core and that gives the benefit of both strength and thermal performance, I guess there's quite a lot adaptability there as. Compared, to like volumetric, or peel-off science, the reason why we do large-format, panels, rather than 3d volumetric, units, is it gives the flexibility, on site as well as the speed, quality, aspects to it as well so, we, take the pre-created elements, through. On these trolleys and, then each individual, panel is bespoke, to, meet particular application, in the building. So. This here is is one of the panels coming. Together right in front of us yeah so these are the basic carcasses, that assembled, off, line and basically, all the work is done within, the panels so, where, as you can see here every individual, panel is bespoke, so, we've put the openings are in the window, and fit doors and. Also any structural, requirements, the lintels, key, element posts within the honey, and so what, that means is is that therefore we can direct it all the hard work in the panel and therefore, it's a lot easier to install on site the, strength comes from the, actual. Installation itself, bonded to the boards I decided to restock the ports and company, the additional Timbers just provide additional support in key element area.
Much. Of a nebari is design planning, process, and the way in which panels and components, are tagged and tracked through, the factory is automated. With. Digital technologies, playing, a key role. So. This is where the bonding, takes place, behind. Us yeah so essentially, the carcass. Has been loaded onto the bottom board which. Had been weeks, out at least if applied to it's now being applied to the top board so up after the glue has been applied and, the balls been applied there's no compression to go for that yes, Lenny goes into into the press for. About 15, minutes at that point literally, when it's in that press - 15 minutes after that then that's bonded and solid and you can't pull that off and that's the great thing about the adhesive, but. Also you got a bit therefore make sure you look after. So. After. That compression the paddles that into this this so here yeah. So after it said the pom has been pressed and consolidated. What they do is they tardy at the panel and sometimes, we need to call it this recording, on it in terms of fire board or anything else like that additional, forms again, trying to simplify what happens on site as much as possible and. They flip it into their qhx, at, both sides of the panel, okay so piece of here is your your. Indoors it's warm it's dry it's. Hot more control yeah it gives us the opportunity to really standardize the operation, so whilst we do this both panels, every single time we can standardize the operation, in terms of what we do and how we do it which. Means therefore we get that consistency, in quality coming, to do the product yeah so a lot of those terms you get on the site I need to say every construction site can be different every yeah and the world's different a lot. Is taken, away you bring in more schools like manufacturing, mind, sir very, much so and I think the key difference from. From this side is is about the fact that with everything being bespoke, we get the flexibility. Of the end product, but we get the quality and the speed from a manufactured, product feature. The panels have come through here they'll get flipped over and what. Happens, is they put me into. The membrane, on top and this is for the from a weathering perspective, or even junk research and fire performance, yeah perspective. To be sure that they've got the right finish on the. Other side to consider is is our stacking sequence is absolutely critical to it so it's making sure that that stacking, sequence which has been done all the way through the process is. To make sure the first panel off is the first panel to be installed just so the other the benefit from an off-site perspective, music is you can start reducing them for people on site but also improve, the output safety, aspects so these, one-way straps mean that we can be loaded, up because all of these are crane installed, they, could be loaded up and then it's import cut away so therefore you haven't got working at height and you haven't got people I'm to do additional things on site to. The consistency, in quality that we need, so. Your nice bit of difficult question but from, start to finish how long does it take a panel to go to the back. The. Way we set it earthquakes, you're probably looking at a couple of hours and, the race leave those couple. Of hour, and. The thing is it's actually what we try and do we've got you know for the external walls and just talk through you we'd love to get panel off every 30 minutes at the moment of, each line set at, two panels W 30 minutes, and they can be up to six meters by two point seven so, full elevation, of a house or, you, know you get three panel T to an elevation of the school within that so, that gives that that drives that speed aspect, the.
Issue Is in. Terms of some of the other elements again, is just stock size speed, and flexibility. Rounder in. A. Varies Geographic. Positioning in, the very center, of the UK is strategic. Putting. It a serviceable, distance, from the majority of its existing, and potential, customer, base. Completed. Panels are loaded. Up in the right order and out. The storm we try and hold as minimal stock in in terms of finished goods as soon as possible, and. Then they're loaded, onto the racket in sequence, to, make sure that air force is easy as possible for the guard set to, get to it outside. So. Do you think the. UK construction, industry embracing, off-site in a in, a wider way you would, make a difference, overall in terms of quality. Of build efficiency. Of projects. That sort of thing is does. The industry need to be going. Down the off-site Road I think. The industry needs, to improve productivity, full-stop, and, also, on that on the advent, of some of the changes in regulations, except that, drive for Quality Assurance is, absolutely critical off-site. Is one of those solutions that could provide some, of answer, but it's not the overall answered a lot of it is down to cultural, acceptance of that. Drive for quality, and consistency, through the process what. Do you think is that will make the make. The difference in terms of getting more widespread uptake what what needs to happen do you think. Lots. Of people talk about economy scale in. Terms of, more workload through it for me fundamentally. From a manufacturing, perspective not, even just a manufacture but any business model, is about the economies of flow and actual consistency, of workload, and forward visibility pipeline, and is critical when you have a manufacturing, facility of any shape, or size I think. The rate of growth of off-site. And the, level of uptake the government. Getting. Involved, in terms of driving that shows. Massive opportunity. For. The off-site sector I think there's, some studies done that that. The off-site fabrication. As. A cycle, and it's a 30-year cycle so, unless we get it right now we've, got 30 years to wait so, the, opportunities, now and. If we grab it and really, drive the benefits. That it delivers in terms of that that that quality that speed but, also the ability to great some of it to create some amazing spaces, then. It then it can be here to stay if we, drive too much in terms of. Cookie. Cutter approach to design etc I, think we, may end up not. Realizing, the benefits, and going back to or more traditional methods because people, need, to want it it can't be forced on people so, it's almost like flexibility, within within, a range in, the automotive industry they can have what they want but it's from a set set. Range of cars and within a certain number of colors giving, people choice, from, a standard set of elements the, benefits, and advent of digitization. You, can have information, quicker, to be able to make better choices so. It's not about saying no to everything is saying if you need want that or you need that, then. You can have it but comes at a cost, so people aren't expecting everything. Bespoke, for, the same price but.
They Can have what they want if they were going to pay for it and the automotive do that and in a great way because they standardize that they. Standardize, what those options can have but, you also have choice because, you have got lots of different automotive. Manufacturers, to go to so, on one end you can go to you, know 250,000. BAM Bugatti. Or. You can get by it run, around for, six seven grand you've got that choice but. Within that you've got choice in terms of specification, of the base and of course we've got to learn from that while than just saying it's. A Volkswagen Golf and that's it. So. That was in, Avari, I guess the big. Thing that's impressed me about that is the, adaptability. And the versatility, that they've got with their product you know here. They can make a panel of pretty, much any shape or size with, window. Cutouts built in with door cutouts built in that can be applied, to that that huge variety of different types of project we have in construction, and the unique nature of the. Design pretty much of every building and the, unique demands of each site, that we that we build on what, really struck me is the way they're kind of taking. The best of both worlds you know they're they're, bringing a lot, of the work away from sight as much as possible they're coming out of the the rain, the mud the wind the water all those variables, that that. You can't control and they're trying to step. Into that world of, manufacturing. And the. Factory tough approach where you have a super, controlled process, that's continually, honed and improved over time but. With the adaptability. And the versatility that's needed in the construction, industry I guess, the impressive thing here yeah this is huge Factory it's buzzing it's. A military operation they're, a company that's there that's ready to go, but. As Pete was saying there's, there's. Just that that demand that's needed in the industry that there's, that appetite that changing, culture, to get. Us to back this kind of stuff and.
It Feels like you know going away from volumetric, and the big kind of traditional, modular companies this. Is that this gives the industry the versatility it craves. Whilst. While, standardizing, at the same time and getting some of that some. Of the efficiencies, in the economies of scale that come with with, factory manufacture. It's. Been a really awesome experience I just sort. Of see now with. That more, component, based approach where, where. It's is headed in and where is it going next. I just, want to pick up on this theme of standardization. Because obviously other. Industries, have standardized. And they've kind of that's kind of what's driven their success so you know the likes of IKEA which we touched on earlier they they, do manufacture, a lot of different things but that's. All available from a catalog and you haven't set of colors but that's that's, more or less the restriction, it's more less the same with cars as well so there's. The base model, you can have extras and you can change the color but that's kind, of it whereas, with buildings. There's this kind of culture that we want a bit more bespoke, more of a prototype, approach and that's kind of where it, feels to me at cause that's kind of where the challenge has been but really with components. And the manufacturing, approached that's, almost the way around that it kind of it, kind of draws, on the benefits, of manufacturing. A standardization, but with that degree of flexibility, yeah, yeah and I think your what you're touching on there is a real, opportunity. That, again can be enabled through technology, so the idea of platforms, common, platforms, of design component, tree or sub assemblies, is, something, that is absolutely the norm in automotive so, if you take any, of the large car, car, manufacturers, they will have various, models but what you don't realize is that within that range of models probably 40%. Of the components, being, used particularly in the, back of the drivetrain going, through to the dashboard, that you don't necessarily see they're functional, things are common and that, ability to build, off a common platform of components, and and. Assemblies, and then customize. What. It ends up looking like in you know chassis, at the building become that you know in the building terms that will be the cladding and shape and somebody. Internal finishes. We. We, just haven't really managed. To grasp that in construction, quite. Recently we've had an announcement from the central government that they're they're. Going to consult on a, whole different way of building their. Social. And physical, infrastructure, programs, to schools hospitals, prisons, their, defense assets their transportation assets, they're, thinking about platform, based design. Delivery, and what that essentially means is that Louisville and volumetrically. Pre. Assembling. They will break. Their. Build, programs, into, an inventory of common, components, what, they're going to do is is actually establish that as a client and. Cool thing here is it has to be finished of work has to be client driven you, have to set. Out your, lego. Set if you like of things that you want to build form and I can give it miles yeah has to be demand late because actually. If you're. You, know going back to where the existing, off-site industries at the moment they're all coming forward with individual responses, they're, not demand led the, the manufacturers. Viewpoint, on what they think the market wants at the moment the manufacturing, sector is leading, the clients, and actually I think we need to get a bit of balance where the clients.
Procure. Intelligently, procure, in bulk but, retain, the ability to customize what. They're building so you don't have homogenous, buildings that all look the same cookie, cutter because, that won't be acceptable the, planners won't accept that architects won't accept that home let's, think we have are, they we live in this world where we accept standardization, we actually love standardization, in some things but when it comes to buildings every parent wants that and. It's a really important point Fred because if we. For standardization. To the extent it affects the architecture, and the aesthetic. And the planning, context, it. Will never happen because, there's so many detractors, of wanting, to see, off site disappear, down the road vested, interest whatever you want to term it but part, of that will be an architectural lobby that perceives, off-site, to be poor quality and one, of the challenges if the off-site sector and the manufacturing. Construction is manufacturing. Gender. Is going to grow it has to. Attend. CLE address that challenge and be able to prove that buildings, that have, more manufactured content you, can look at and think I can't, tell that could, be a bespoke building and. That's going to be a challenge that I think again technology will be need the element of enablement. The. Key to unlocking the ultimate, value promised, by offsites, manufacturing. Approaches, could, lie in these component, based systems, solutions. That break buildings, and structures down to their simplest ingredients, and build. From a predetermined, get a pass, sustainably. Sourced, from localized, supply chains. Such. Systems, could give us the benefits, of standardization, while, providing a sufficient, degree of adaptability, to, meet site and planning, constraints. The. UK is in fact leading the world in this area to. Learn more I've, visited Bryden, woods Jamie Johnston, at the construction platforms, Research Center. Zoe. Hi hi president right, welcome to the construction platforms, Research Center had me absolutely. So. This is our testing, facility, so Brian woods was set up specifically. To look at how a manufacturing, does the things it does, better. Productivity better quality. Better features, and things year-on-year while, construction. Fundamentally. Hasn't changed for a hundred years so we're trying to develop construction. Systems that can be deployed quickly safely. With. High productivity at scale so, I think IKEA, for construction, we're and developed the IKEA kit of parts here, to. Do that we need to try lots of things we, need to fail at lots of things we need to perfect things in, a sort of safe environments, this is our Cana sand pit where we try things out, before. They're ready to them they deployed at scale on, live sites. Having. Analyzed, the array of buildings constructed, by the UK, government over. Recent years from. Prisons and military accommodation. To hospitals, and schools, Brydon. Wood and their partners, have identified, the core components, found in almost every structure.
From. There they've, explored how best to manufacture, those components, using high levels of automation to, drive quality and productivity. Concurrently. Their teams have also identified, building, components, that could be produced by low-skilled workers helping. To overcome the severe lack of skilled operatives, entering, the workforce. Trialing. This with the UK's Ministry of Justice, proved highly successful, with. Prisoners, able to construct a complete two-story. Block after limited. Training, the. Trial significantly. Improved morale among, inmates and saw, several prisoners, contributes ideas as they engage with the project. So. This is what we call a super, block so this is part of the sod system, that we developed for platform, one for the Ministry of Justice, so. This is an individual, units these, would then be stacked, ten, high to make what's called a mega block and that gets lifted into position it's, the facade system, of the finished, building so. What are these super blocks made, up off so. They were designed to use. Pre-existing. Easily. Available commodity. Product so this is thing called gravel boards so. Commodity. Material, made by them oil we actually had our own molds, made specifically, for the MOJ project, which is plain. Rigid. Fireproof, insulation, so that keeps the - gravel, boards of parts fans, straps, stone, steel band straps so exactly the kind of thing that you see on pallets. Yeah, brick. Slips because, the planners likes, brick it weathers well and it's quite. Possible. Tactile material, and, they would have been mineral wool insulation. Inside. So we've spoken a lot about how. Simple these are to put together and they look really simple to put it together it. Can be done by low-skilled, workers obviously. You're one of the global thought leaders on this area and I'm sort of a miner YouTube star but we are technically, low-skilled, workers when it comes to this so should. We ever go you and I putting something together, absolutely okay, okay. So this is a this, is actually an unbuilt super, block yeah. So, this is the gravel, ball with the brick slips, that, we've just seen on that table so this is the starting point so you get one of these lying down Jamie. And I are gonna each have a go at putting a super block together now, we're gonna compare at the end who's super look basically looks better than the others let's see so start with this okay see some of this then you have your old freak out insulation blocks second, block it, goes on top lines.
Up Same. Again on the other side. Buddy. Send. The next brothel board sits on top. Strips. Go in now okay firm straps. These. Just fed through grooves in the gravel ports yeah, so again this is just industry, standards. Basic. Equipment they. Should, just look like what you see on the. Pallets yeah. It's exactly the same right. Notice that Jamie is a lot more slicker than I am which is a giveaway, that he's been secretly practicing. How. Long, it takes for a super, block together and we were down to three, and a half minutes. Couldn't. Get much below three and a half minutes while keeping. Quality but actually three, and a half minutes to make one of these is you. Know they were churning out significant, numbers with a with a handful of people and how long would a super, block tend. To last for, everything. Was, designed for 60 year lifespan, so same as traditional construction but. Again concrete, in. A material, concrete brick slip stainless, steel, there's. Nothing in there which is has, a particular lifespan problem remarkably, quick to pick up a bit it's, not complicated to this it's. Really reasonable, and quite it's not just fine yeah isn't it. Okay. So I mean they look identical but if, you you think won the super block is more Super than the other do let us know in the comments, below. So, what, have we got here so, this is our prototype of platform, 3 this. Is our 9 meter by 10 1/2 meter grid platform, that we're developing for long, span offices, this, is animation that we put together to show our. First thoughts about what automated, construction, would look like so this is predicated on platform, 3, which, is our office, platform, so it's designed to make a 10 and a half by. 9 meter grid, that's, what you see is the long span, elements, going in here what's. Coming in here is then the, spanning, elements this is a known product. Manufacturing. Is very good at bringing. Work-in-progress, at the point of use so. This is showing a rig. That's, bringing the work-in-progress. Beams, they, could be lifted up into position with, again. Known technology, a thing called reach. Stackers, the next thing we'd have is. Reusable. Bracing, so, on the top left you can see the bracing, that we developed up in platform, 2 this. Is lightweight aluminium. Reusable. Very, accurate, self, locating, what. This does is hold the beams firstly, so they're very very straight, and accurate, it. Also means, that we, can very quickly assume, the concrete is ready we can go and walk on top of it because some, of the load is taken through that bracing, so we like to bring in these shutters with the rebar, already. On top of them rather. Than have precast. Heavy. Units made somewhere brought to site and crane din we, can achieve the quality of precast, by having, very very accurate, shutters which. Again because it's a part of a system we can do that lifts, it into place and. Then, we pour the concrete or, we place the concrete. On-site, so we get precast. Quality. But. Without the downside. Of precast, again. As existing, technology. That, would allow you to tie the rebar, together very. Automated, very productive, without people, and the health and safety risk of walking on top of the concrete so, then rather than pour the concrete on from the top we, had, a plan to pump, the concrete in from underneath and, actually, that's, exactly how jet engines, are fuel so that technology.
Exists, We've since gone and bought, some of the connectors, we've tried this and it works quite well actually so you put the concrete from beneath, we then guessed, that you could get a piece of equipment, that would again automated, level, thus lamp turns, out that someone makes that, we. Then guessed you could get robot power floaters, someone, makes that so this is all technology, that, exists. But hasn't been placed together. If. You could just Quran all this stuff you could suddenly move things forward so then. Strike the. Formwork. MEP. Units then get lifted up again, because the the superstructure. Super accurate that. Works really nicely. The. Next thing we start to do is now we're into that kind of level of granularity. Is. Use discrete event simulation to. Model these processes. So. That's time-based, modeling that we use to optimize. Manufacturing. Processes, for GlaxoSmithKline, for instance, we. Can work lots of virtual shifts, and work out what's the optimum, number of people. Equipment. Machines what's, the tact time we're working to and we can really fine-tune this, until we get. Maximum. If productivity. On site guess. Is that we could deliver buildings, potentially. 50 percent quicker with, 75%. Fewer people and, of course once you get the superstructure, up but it's incredibly, accurate, it, unlocks, a lot of existing systems. So, there's already very, so good, systems for installing cladding, accurately. MEP. Systems etc so, we, spend quite a lot of time on the superstructure, because once you get that right it unlocks. Productivity. In every other work stream and suddenly you start to get a very case, of system. This. Is effectively, permanent, shuttering, for what will be a concrete beam so. We have here you can see one with the reinforcing. Bar in as you saw in the animation what we want to do is bring a whole stack, of these together and, then, use a reach stacker to lift it up into position so this is our really. Early prototype, of that stillage. That rig this is the real. Start, of that process of taking something from the animation, trying. Out. Life and seeing, how that goes yeah I guess testing it here in this space is it's. Much better to learn that way than when you yes into. Your first project yes it's a difficulty, we'll have a go at it here with, things, like the timber. Version, once. We find out most of the problems will then try outside, at scale again. The we're lonely learner that comes out of that and then you know that moves us into the next stage before we start to blow in sights we wouldn't ever do a thing on site that we, haven't tested a bunch of times ironed, out all the things written all the method statements and know exactly how to do it quickly. And safely. While. Off-site approaches, have been present, but not widely adopted across, the UK industry to date the. Pressures, of our expanding, population, housing. Crisis, and severe. Industry, skill shortage, combined. With significant, advancements, in technology, appear. To be rapidly advancing, the market. The, broad spectrum of solutions, available from, volumetric, systems, to sips component. Manufacture, and even, 3d printing, all, seemingly, have their place. While. Customisable, volumetric, solutions. Are perfect, for a range of requirements, the, key to widespread uptake in every, area of construction could. Lie in paddle, AI systems, and component. Based platforms. Solutions. That offer higher, degrees of adaptability while. Retaining the benefits, of standardization, and manufacturing. Making. Our industry, more accessible, broadening. The talent pool and enabling, us to build in a faster, higher quality, and more productive. Way while. Also meeting, a deep-rooted, cultural desire. For unique buildings, and the. Challenges, that each site presents is a, tall order. But, from, these tough, parameters. It appears, that much of the innovation, and advancements. Now being made could. Be about to fundamentally. Disrupt, the way we choose design. Construct. And even. Think about the built world that, surrounds us. If you, enjoyed this video and would like to get more from the definitive video. Channel for construction. Subscribed. To b1m. You.