RICS Calls On Govt To Support Modern Methods Of Construction

Burflex House, Clay Street, Hull, East Yorkshire, HU8 8HA E. info@burflex.co.uk

Burflex House, Clay Street, Hull, East Yorkshire, HU8 8HA E. info@burflex.co.uk

RICS Calls On Govt To Support Modern Methods Of Construction

RICS Calls On Govt To Support Modern Methods Of Construction

The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (Rics) has released a report, asking the government to provide more support to advancing technology in the construction industry.

Its Forward Thinking Solution to the Housing Crisis highlights the importance of investing in modern equipment, improving designs and supportive infrastructure to enable large-scale developments of newbuild houses to continue.

Rics recommended ministers get behind Modern Methods of Construction (MMC), as the construction sector represents a significant eight per cent of GDP and nine per cent of Britain’s employment figures.

MMC includes any type of building trend that does not sit within the ‘traditional’ construction types. This could be factory-built, off-site construction, industrialised, system building or pre-fabrication. The reasons why using these methods could be advantageous include lowering on-site labour costs, a reduction in build time, and potentially being more environmentally friendly.

Therefore, global property standards associate director of Rics Mike Basquill said: “It is not only important in terms of its contribution to economy, it is also an enabler of wider economic growth and development, providing the homes, infrastructure and environment that allows the nation to function and prosper.”

He noted the construction industry has been unable to meet demands in residential properties, partly due to the fact that houses are not affordable for many people in the country.

The report stated: “Government must support MMC through its influencing power, directly through investment and indirectly through planning, education and construction and design quality standards and programmes, including encouraging and incentivising construction of MMC factories in areas of high unemployment.”

It suggested the government and industry improve the way they work together to create more apprenticeships and training programmes to encourage new employees into the sector and the use of MMC.

According to Rics, it is also essential to make sure the current workforce stays up to date with modern technology so they recognise emerging trends and newly developed equipment.

Indeed, Mark Farmer’s 2016 report entitled Modernise or Die suggests Britain is heading for a skills crisis when it comes to its building sector. This, he stipulates, will result in a decline of between 20 and 25 per cent in the workforce by 2026. He noted that the workforce is getting older, the number of new recruits is falling, and as one in eight workers are from abroad, this problem could get worse following Brexit.

As long as new developments continue to take place in Yorkshire, there will be a demand for scaffolders in Leeds or Hull, helping to keep the industry in the region alive and locals in their jobs.

Rics made several recommendations for the government, which, it believes, would provide a much-needed boost to the construction industry.

These included giving financial incentives to councils and housing associations to help them meet property demands; promoting MMC products and the development of guarantees, warranties and accreditations that have the same lender and consumer confidence as standard construction equivalents; and encouraging the creation of MMC factories where there are high unemployment levels.

The organisation also suggested the government updates building regulations so they recognise the variation in MMC methodologies compared with traditional construction ones; and be seen to promote MMC in public infrastructure schemes.

It was also asked to endorse Rics’ guidance to help encourage a familiarity and understanding of MMC products and properties.