Delivering Excellence to the Modular Sector
The construction industry is moving towards modular and modern methods of construction (MMC) due to the innumerable benefits these methods provide. The Construction Innovation Hub was launched in 2018 to guide the industry towards these changes and help it develop innovative and sustainable solutions to transform how it operates. To create these transformative solutions, the Construction Innovation Hub has partnered with over 300 organisations including Kloeckner Metals UK, allowing us to contribute towards innovative solutions to the modular sector.
Another innovation designed to bring the industry up to the level of the government’s Construction 2025 targets is the Seismic demonstrator. It is a system based on a standardised steel frame and a set of components that build and configure a variety of building types. Opting for this modern method can make construction 75% faster to complete, 70% lower in carbon impact and 47% better value than traditional routes (National Composites Centre*). Kloeckner Metals UK is part of the Seismic I and Seismic II supply chains by supplying modular steel frame solutions.
According to Marcia Jackson, Business Development Manager at Kloeckner Metals UK, "Modern methods of construction in the UK are transforming the way educational and healthcare facilities as well as residential buildings are built. The future of construction lies among a range of outcomes, research, innovation and by working closely with the Construction Innovation Hub to align platform interface standard components will allow to reduce waste, cost and carbon emissions while increasing speed of production and delivery."
Modular Sector in the UK
The construction sector plays a significant role in the UK economy, contributing 7% to the GDP and 10% to the employment as of 2022 (Designing Buildings Ltd**). It also provides the homes, infrastructure and environment that enable the country to grow, develop, function and prosper.
However, the construction sector has been struggling to keep up with the rising demand in the residential market, which has led to various problems. Additionally, the industry is facing major shortages of skills and materials. One way to address some of these issues is to switch to offsite manufacturing – this would greatly increase productivity and output, as well as help to deal with the shortages.
Strategic Advantages of Modern Methods of Construction and Offsite Modular
As well as the advantages just mentioned, shifting towards MMC and offsite modular construction also adds following benefits:
- Increased speed of construction – Modular and MMC could help increase the speed of construction as the indoor production line would prevent any weather-related delays.
- Reliable high quality – Factory-built structures are easily quality controlled and are guided by certifications. Hence, they can provide consistently high standards of quality compared to traditional construction.
- Reduced requirement for skilled workforce - While MMC and modular do not eliminate the need for a skilled workforce in the construction industry; it reduces the need for a skilled workforce by providing the ability to achieve more with fewer skilled workers.
- Increased flexibility and recyclability – Elements are easy to assemble and disassemble, hence it is much easier to reuse or recycle them.
- Quicker return on investment – Since they are produced in factories, MMC and modular drive cost savings that result in quicker ROI.
- Reduced waste – The design consistency that factory production offers can help minimise waste by 70–90% (BRE***).
- Environmentally friendly – MMC offers 70% lower carbon emissions, both embodied and operational, than traditional methods of construction. Additionally, the reduced time on site is less intrusive for surrounding households, road networks and businesses.
Products and Services for the Modular Sector at Kloeckner
Kloeckner with its extensive stock range and processing capabilities has extensive experience of providing modular steel frame solutions for our clients in the modular industry. As part of the Kloeckner Group we have ability to source materials, laser cut and fabricate parts of kits all under one roof.
We have established a modular processing cell in Midlands, Dudley that features extensive tube laser processing capabilities, automated inspection line and bespoke kitting. This new processing cell is specifically designated for high volume production of products with close tolerances and complex geometries.
Part of Kloeckner’s unique offering also includes fully fabricated work up to Execution Class 4. Westok, a specialist steelwork fabricator and part of Kloeckner Metals UK group, have considerable experience in beam manufacture, design and value engineering. Westok’s team of chartered engineers offer a cost-free design service to support the value engineering process. The multi-disciplinary approach offered by Westok, allows them to review the design from a structural, detailing, fabrication, procurement, transportation and erection viewpoint.
With many years of experience working alongside structural engineers, designers and architects Westok engineers are on hand to help find the most economical solution with the smallest impact on the carbon footprint for the scheme.
Kloeckner group is already part of both the Seismic I and the Seismic II supply chains and we supply laser-cut hollow sections in kit forms for the corner posts that are used in all modular healthcare and education construction projects.
Enabling a Sustainable Supply Chain for the Modular Sector
Kloeckner Metals UK offers the modular sector a sustainable supply chain. As a company, we are dedicated to building a sustainable future and consciously work towards minimising the impact we have on our planet. We have taken several measures to reduce our impact on the environment and are proud to say that entire Klöckner & Co group is carbon neutral.
Due to our ongoing efforts towards sustainability, Kloeckner Metals UK Westok has also been awarded BCSA Sustainability Charter ‘Gold Standard’ status on the back of our BES 6001 certification.
*National Composites Centre - https://www.nccuk.com/news/new-platform-based-approach-to-construction-unveiled/
**Designing Buildings Ltd - https://www.designingbuildings.co.uk/wiki/UK_construction_industry