The breadth of technologies and approaches that come under the MMC umbrella can cause confusion. To say that a time or cost-critical project needs to be delivered using MMC could mean almost anything, from a few elements precast offsite, bathroom pods, or the complete building structure. It can also mean a variety of building systems and methods.
The Ministry of Housing Communities and Local Government recognised that poor understanding of different MMC technologies was a barrier to their wider adoption. So they set up a working party to come up with a definition framework that could be used universally to promote a common understanding.
This matters, not just because clarity is always helpful, but because achieving common terminology and understanding can help with access to finance, insurance and assurance which are integral to how the housing market works. Clearer definition of the various MMC approaches also leads to a better understanding of the efficiency gains and value that different methods can deliver.
The framework has seven category definitions. Five of these relate to offsite and near-site premanufacturing. Categories 6 and 7 relate to site-based process improvement.
The Innovaré and i-FAST building systems fit into category 2 in the sub-category of closed panels. Whether SIPs are used for the complete structure or as wrap or infill, projects have a high pre-manufactured value. Projects with a greater pre-manufactured value deliver the largest gains in productivity and efficiency.
We welcome the publication of the MMC Definition Framework and hope that it will bring greater clarity to MMC and, through this, increasing adoption of innovative methods.