MMC and decarbonising construction

In the Autumn statement, the chancellor confirmed that “despite the economic pressures we face, we remain fully committed to the historic Glasgow Climate Pact agreed at COP26 including a 68% reduction in our emissions by 2030”. 

The construction industry has a big role to play in achieving this target by making buildings more energy efficient and reducing embodied carbon emissions during a building’s lifecycle. MMC including off-site manufacturing may help to cut carbon emissions in the industry by improving efficiency and reducing waste. However, increased adoption will require a culture shift in the way projects are procured, designed and constructed. Off-site manufacture is subject to long lead in times and upfront costs and is an option that should be considered at the very outset of a project’s lifecycle. This was highlighted in the recently published Trust and productivity: The private sector construction playbook which stated that the adoption of MMC will be “critical to the delivery of sustainable net zero carbon construction".

The Playbook highlighted that considering MMC at the outset was key “Early engagement means designs can incorporate innovation and emerging technologies such as modern methods of construction (MMC), design for manufacture and assembly (DfMA), and in sourcing of materials that contribute towards positive carbon outcomes, all of which must start at the earliest possible stage”. In particular DfMA involves greater consideration about the purposes and benefits of the building at an early stage to lead to a better product, lower costs and less carbon. In future it is also likely that buildings will be dismantled rather than demolished, and central stores established with materials from dismantled buildings that can be re-used. We are at an early stage in these processes, but ultimately if it can be demonstrated they are good for business and for the people that build and use them we will get traction and help to achieve the goal of sustainable net carbon construction. Housing sector heading for MMC


This information is for general information purposes only and does not constitute legal advice. It is recommended that specific professional advice is sought before acting on any of the information given. Please contact us for specific advice on your circumstances. © Shoosmiths LLP 2024.



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