Some of my thoughts on the benefits of the MMC evolution !

We already know we cannot deliver the number of new homes needed if we continue building the way we do today. We just don’t have the trades required to build them. Combining this with Brexit and the Covid 19 pandemic means change is needed now more than ever.

We must change, or more appropriately, evolve. To me, this evolution must be through the use of Modern Methods of Construction (MMC), or in practical terms, manufacturing homes in factories and putting them together on site.

MMC is by no means a new idea but the take up in the housing sector has been slow. Fast forward to today and the need for more new homes has worsened, and at last, there are clear directives from government to ‘make MMC happen’. This is good news, and this much-needed pressure will encourage the sector to embrace MMC and start to help ease the housing crisis.

This MMC evolution means other benefits too and I have set out some of my favourites below alongside practical examples of where we are seeing them.


As we drive towards a more sustainable future, our homes must follow suit. On average, for every 10 traditionally built homes, an entire house of waste will go into land fill. MMC homes are manufactured using precision engineering, which reduces waste up to 90%.

MMC homes are also subject to extensive quality checks, and in many cases, use superior materials and techniques making the homes super air tight, energy efficient which immensely helps to reduce carbon. We can see this in the homes we are delivering with our strategic partner BoKlok. Their homes outperform regulated thermal performance by 35%. By simply adding photovoltaic panels to the roofs these homes can become net zero carbon in operation, which is great news for both the people living in them and the planet.


The quality inspection measures and accreditation sign offs that are undertaken throughout the manufacture and installation of MMC homes is outstanding. The MMC partners we will appoint on the Building Better frameworks provide this assurance, with structural warranties covering 60 to 100 years – six to 10 times more than on any traditional build. This level of precision engineering and scrutiny also means that major defects will all but disappear, in turn positively impacting resident and homeowner satisfaction long after they move into their new homes.

Speed of delivery

Volume, speed, and accuracy of delivery increases too. Compared with traditional construction where builds generally take place for eight hours a day and are often hampered by weather and inconsistent trades availability, factories can manufacture 24 hours a day, seven days a week, in controlled environments.

Undertaking most of the work offsite means less resources and time on site too so programme times reduce by up to 50%, meaning less prelims to pay and a lot less disturbance to residents who live close to any new development. That is good news for people in Highbridge, where we are building 123 new modular homes with Keepmoat and Ilke Homes.

So MMC seems to tick a lot of boxes, right? Well, that’s only the start. With greater take up from housing providers and developers, the benefits and technology of MMC will only get better. Before long we will be asking ourselves, why did we ever build any differently.

By Jake Snell, Strategic Asset and Land Manager at Abri and part of the core team at Building Better

Published on May 7, 2021

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