Actis welcomes Hackitt’s call to increase offsite manufacturing

The coronavirus pandemic has been a catalyst for change within the construction industry – with Modern Methods of Construction playing a vital role in ensuring the new normal is greener and more efficient – according to Dame Judith Hackitt and construction minister Nadhim Zahawi.

The pair were among guest speakers at the latest Town Hall webinar run by construction software specialist Let’s Build on how the industry will recover from the Covid-19 crisis. And, while the past three months have been undeniably distressing and challenging for everyone on a personal and economic level, the drive to ramp up offsite production as part of a recovery package has been welcomed by insulation specialist Actis.

This week’s webinar follows the publication earlier this month of the Construction Leadership Council’s Roadmap to Recovery. The plan’s three-phase approach concludes with a  ‘reinvention’ element to take place over the next two years. This embraces, among other factors, increased use of Modern Methods of Construction – and indeed cites a presumption towards offsite.

Construction minister Nadhim Zahawi, speaking at the webinar, said: “The construction industry has a vital role to play in building the economy of the future. We’re not looking to resurrect the old status quo. We want to build a new normal. We want a stronger, greener economy and a stronger, more sustainable construction industry. We want to increase the number of sites making use of offsite. We want to embed net zero carbon into housing developments.”

Dame Judith Hackitt added: “There are good opportunities for the industry to transform itself. We need to change the culture in construction. Actions taken during this crisis show the industry can adapt. There is capacity for change. This vehicle is already moving. It just needs to go faster.”

Actis UK and Ireland sales director Mark Cooper says he is heartened by the latest heavyweight industry spokespeople to acknowledge the vital role offsite manufacturing will play in addressing the housing shortfall, tackling the shortage of skilled workers in the UK and ensuring consistent and impressive thermal efficiency, saying: “With timber frame homes around 20% faster to build than traditional homes, this is one of several factors which underlines their importance.”

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