Ecobuild 2017: All about Offsite…

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Ecobuild 2017

So its the week after the week after Ecobuild 2017. If you happened to be ‘offsite’ for a couple of days and in attendance at Excel then you’ll no doubt be still filled to the brim with MMC and Offsite construction knowledge and know your wall SIPs from your floor VIPs! Or maybe it’s wearing off already?

I had the pleasure of attending the first day and sat in on the ‘UK-GBC: Ready for the future? What’s next for sustainable housing’ seminar chaired by Julie Hirigoyen.

The discussion kicked off with a lively introduction from Berkeley’s very own Tony Pidgely having a little, but direct prod at the Planning Systems’ tighntnening grip on development flexibility. He also found the time to point out some of the great work his company have done and are doing in championing the need for sustainability at the heart of place-making. Take a look at their Royal Arsenal Riverside Development: Royal Arsenal

Bevan Jones from Sustainable Homes shared some positive insights to what they are doing alongside Housing Associations and Developers to develop truly sustainable ways of developing and occupying homes – Sustainable Homes

Legal & General’s Dan Batterton brought the Insurers ambitions to the table with a passionate pitch on how they intend to deliver 3000 Build-to-Rent homes per year out of their Offsite manufacturing factory in Yorkshire! Imagine that, an Insurance specialist leading the way on Offsite Manufacturing! – L & G Homes

All-in-all,  take away thoughts on drivers for an upward Offsite trajectory in the UK from Day 1 were:

  • The industry needs to get the next generation excited about combining construction and digital manufacturing! – See ISG’s WOWEX initiative for a starter..
  • Encourage innovation and collaboration across all disciplines and business sectors; from SME Manufacturers, to Developers, Architects, Engineers and Local Authorities – through top-down leadership and bottom-up responsibility and empowerment?.
  • Balance the need for Offsite with acceptance that traditional build still has a part to play. It is unreasonable to expect a sudden shift (both culturally and practically) right across the industry; especially one as slow moving as construction.
  • A re-focus on Sustainability and the inherent benefits of MMC/offsite construction has to offer.

For those lucky enough to have been at MIPIM Cannes last week, please feel free to share your thoughts on the hot topics coming out!

Finally, in case you were wondering- SIPs are Structural Insulated Panels. VIPs on the other hand are floor Vacuum Insulated Panels, typically used for residential retrofits.

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Until the next time…..

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