Trina Chakravarti, the director of Building Better, has been appointed as strategic advisory board chair for a new research project led by the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities (DLUHC) that aims to standardise MMC for housebuilding.

A consortium of partners will undertake research and engagement for the ‘MMC Standardisation Research and Kit of Parts’ project over the next 10 months.

Their goal is to shape a strategy for standardisation of offsite homes with a focus on MMC Category 2 and Category 5 for low-rise housing.

Research results will shape the development of an open-source MMC system. It is hoped that this new ‘kit of parts’ will encourage uptake of MMC through increased choice and interoperability of different solutions.

Trina Chakravarti, who has been leading Building Better, an alliance of 30 housing associations and local authorities since 2018, will chair the strategic advisory board which has been set up to review and guide the research project.

The strategic advisory board is made up of a wide range of industry experts who will provide opinions and advice on strategic issues relating to the project. They have been asked to challenge the DLUHC research, providing independent assurance and insight around relevant sector headwinds.

The project’s Open Call on 12 May was attended by over 210 people from organisations across the industry. The next step is to engage the MMC industry and housing sector through more focused workshops, providing an opportunity for experts to give detailed responses to specific questions, helping to shape our final strategy.

Trina Chakravarti, director at Building Better said: “I’m really excited to chair the strategic advisory board for this important government MMC research. There are a number of barriers preventing more widespread use of MMC and one of these is the huge variety of solutions and systems available – particularly in Category 2 and 5. The materials used and level of completeness differ vastly and not all suppliers conform to a frame construction that fits neatly within those categories. Manufacturers, too, vary in size, capacity and experience.”

“Our objective with this research is to address these issues of variability and improve interoperability right across Cat 2 and Cat 5 MMC by creating a standard, open-source kit of parts for housing developers.”

Housing Minister Rachel Maclean MP said: “Delivering more, better quality and greener homes is central to our levelling up mission. I encourage all industry partners to engage in this research which will harness the benefits of Modern Methods of Construction, drive up productivity in the sector and help deliver the high-quality homes this country needs.”

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Membership of Building Better is open to any housing association or local authority housing provider in England and Wales.

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