Guide 12: Modern Methods of Construction

Creating new communities that provide a range of genuinely affordable homes and local jobs in healthy and climate-resilient new places involves innovative approaches to design and place-making. Innovation is also essential if we are to meet the scale of demand for higher-quality new homes across the country, and the UK construction sector has been exploring how to make this a reality.

In considering how to meet its ambitious target of enabling the delivery of 300,000 homes per year by the mid-2020s and net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050 (a commitment re-iterated in the Conservative Party’s 2019 general election manifesto), the government is investing in research on and delivery of non-traditional construction techniques, broadly known as ‘modern methods of construction’ (MMC).

The term ‘MMC’ essentially refers to a wide range of construction techniques, meaning, in its broadest sense, anything that differs significantly from ‘traditional’ building methods.

MMC can provide a wide range of benefits, from faster construction to the highest environmental standards at lower costs than with traditional building techniques. However, the MMC approach does not come without challenges. The pace of change in the industry has been such that the evidence base on performance is still evolving, and there remains some scepticism over MMC among some planners, lenders, developers and residents, based on both myth and reality.

This Practical Guide provides an introduction to the emerging opportunities and challenges around using MMC to deliver world-class new communities for everyone.