Property PR

Modern methods of construction (MMC) steal the spotlight

Client Patrick Hayes, Director at multidisciplinary engineering consultancy Meinhardt UK, was part of a panel discussion at Estates Gazette’s Development Summit in Birmingham.

Since we secured the opportunity for Patrick to speak at Development Summit, Meinhardt UK have been pursuing some exciting business development opportunities that arose from contacts made during the session. Patrick’s thoughts were also featured in the print and online editions of Estates Gazette.

The discussion, chaired by the Magazine’s Editor Damian Wild, focused on modular construction, which is ready to accelerate, modernise and reshape the UK development industry.

Patrick Hayes: MMC can boost Build to Rent
Patrick Hayes: MMC can boost Build to Rent returns for investors

For Patrick it is the scale of the housing crisis that will force modular from the margins to the mainstream. “I wouldn’t say it was prevalent at the moment for a number of reasons,” he told delegates. “But the housing crisis that we’re seeing and the recent increases in labour costs are putting a lot of pressure on alternative models to meet the demand for housing. And in the private rented sector (PRS), which is rental driven, they’re also looking for another model to deliver things quickly.

“So we are seeing a substantial increase in modular construction in the PRS market, student housing and hotels.”

And, he said, it could get very big, very quickly. “If we’ve got a demand for 200,000 houses a year, it wouldn’t be unreasonable for, say, 10% of that, or 20,000, to be a bit more modular in construction. That is probably about a £2bn industry, which is quite substantial.”

And for Patrick, 2017 could be the year modular comes of age. “I think that there is a real fit between PRS and modular construction and that PRS will become a much larger part of the housing market.

“The sector will help build the capacity within the industry and from that capacity it could then spread.”

Patrick has worked as a structural engineer since 1988 and chartered since 1993. With a career spanning over 25 years, Patrick has worked on diverse projects both overseas and here in the UK.

Property PR

Architect client makes Sunday Times

Client maber, the architecture practice, featured in The Sunday Times, commenting on leveraging the workplace industry.

Dan Pilling, Head of Workplace at Maber and Deputy Chair of BIFM (British Institute of Facilities Management) Workplace Special Interest Group, shared his thoughts on how to create an office that enables productivity.

According to evidence presented to the Review by design teams, the majority of projects are cost-planned before the workplace designers have taken a brief, and designers are allowed minimal to zero engagement with the end users or the executive board. This inevitably results in lower levels of employee satisfaction.

He comments: “I would be embedded within some client facilities management teams and I found time and again that they were frustrated at being locked out of some key decisions.”

He proposed a ‘centralised portal’ which would ‘enable all stakeholders in the workplace sector to access and participate in what he feels is lacking an objective view, free from sales angles, or workplace solutions tied to specific products and sensationalist Google-esque case studies.

But this is slowly starting to change, says Pilling. “What’s happening now is that there have been very interesting conversations about who is in control and who should be at that table. The fact is we have a multifaceted problem which needs multifaceted input.”

Dan is a leading figure in designing work spaces for productivity and wellbeing. He was the winner of the 2015 BIFM and CIPD competition to discover new concepts in workplace design.

Click here to read the article in full.


Ten ways to make the most of your day exhibiting at a trade show

Trade shows can be tiring, but there are ways to ensure that you are doing the best you can with the time you’ve got.