Mace: Modern methods of construction could create £40Bn export market
Mace has published a brand new report exploring modern methods of construction amid a dramatic rise in big city living.
In its report, Mace claims that the trend towards city living could allow Britain to build on its historic legacy as a global leader in construction and engineering, and foster a £40Bn export market post-Brexit.
Modern methods of construction (MMC) are often defined as off-site manufacturing or advanced digital design. These have long been identified as a means of delivering better-designed, energy efficient homes at pace with the aid of a leaner, highly skilled workforce.
According to the report, these techniques could allow housing, office accommodation and schools the world over to be built more quickly and safely. In purely financial terms, if MMC enabled UK construction to export the same amount in value as the nation’s automotive sector, annual exports would increase by a whopping £39Bn. Mace points to China, India and the United States as potential markets for UK industry.
Crucially, the report also argues that unless government and industry fully embrace MMC, the UK will be unable to deliver the number of homes previously pledged by politicians. Mace has therefore outlined a number of recommendations to reform the sector and establish Britain as a global leader in MMC:
- Accelerate planning consent for any MMC project that demonstrates faster, better and greener developments than traditional construction methods.
- Use major events such as the Birmingham Commonwealth Games in 2022 to showcase Britain’s expertise in MMC.
- Earmark unused or underused urban spaces for pop-up off-site construction.
- Create ‘construction clubs’ in schools to teach students the basics of how buildings are designed and built using new technologies such as 3D printing.
Mark Reynolds, Chief Executive of Mace, said of the report: “The construction sector can be a jewel in Britain’s post-Brexit exporting crown. Thanks to a legacy of pioneering achievements, the UK is respected throughout the world as experts in delivering major, complex and innovative construction projects.
“Embracing modern methods of construction and exporting our knowledge around the world could lead to billions of pounds more in trade and help build new relationships with major markets around the world.”
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