Offsite Expo: A masterclass in advanced building technology

26th July, 2021

Bringing together the sector's most influential innovators, Offsite Expo provides unparalleled access to a wealth of industry intelligence and offsite expertise. Leading multidisciplinary offsite specialists from Cogent Consulting have played a central role in developing the Masterclass speaker programme – here, managing director Darren Richards shares a few of the many highlights

Recent events have seen major changes in the way buildings are designed and constructed as we look to Modern Methods of Construction (MMC) to overcome the challenges presented by the pandemic and deliver quality buildings at pace. This, together with government initiatives, has resulted in a seismic shift towards offsite technology, which is now transitioning from niche to mainstream. With this comes heightened interest, so this year as we return to our new normal, it was seen as crucial to attract the most influential and informative speakers to take part in the Offsite Expo Masterclasses who are at the cutting edge of offsite and digital technologies.

Taking place at the Ricoh Arena, Coventry, on 21 and 22 September 2021, Offsite Expo presents a compelling proposition. The event will feature a combination of advanced manufacturing approaches and smart digital construction technologies. With innovative displays and live demonstrations, the event will play host to leading experts, offsite manufacturers and component suppliers showcasing a broad spectrum of panelised, volumetric modular systems, pod and prefabricated MEP solutions.

CPD-accredited Masterclasses

Through this highly focused event, our aim is to provide construction professionals with a broad spectrum of offsite industry insight and practical perception – all under one roof. The Masterclass Theatres will be a hub of activity and a focal point across the two days of the conference and exhibition. In total, over 60 free CPD-accredited Masterclass presentations will take place, providing a comprehensive and balanced perspective.

Speakers will bring to life some of the most inspirational offsite projects from around the world but there will also be sessions focusing on knowledge sharing and best practice, covering a variety of technologies and themes including digital construction, MEP, pod technology, volumetric modular, precast concrete, light steel frame, structural timber, hybrid construction, roofing systems, fire protection, training, skills and innovation.


DAY ONE (21 September 2021) of the Masterclasses will commence with structural timber and precast concrete sessions.

  • Theatre One: AIMCH Housing Industrialisation – Transforming How We Build Homes will be presented by Stewart Dalgarno of Stewart Milne Timber Systems as part of a stellar timber innovators line-up, which also includes Wiehag and Innovare – chaired by the Structural Timber Association.
  • Theatre Two: Oliver Brooks from Kier will present a case study on their quadruple 2020 Offsite Awards winning scheme, HMP Five Wells – the new build resettlement prison in Wellingborough. This session will also see 2021 award shortlisted case studies from PCE and the MFS i-Form Solution™.

Both theatres will house four other sessions throughout day one of Offsite Expo, including:

  • Theatre One: Training, skills and innovation, volumet­ric modular, hybrid and roofing.
  • Theatre Two: MEP, pod, digital construction, light steel frame and facades and fenestration.

DAY TWO (22 September 2021) of the Masterclasses will feature a heavy-hitting volumetric modular and insightful training, skills and innovation sessions.

Theatre One: Trevor Richards, operations director at Volumetric Modular, will be presenting their award-nominated MODULHAUS™ – a relocatable one-person volumetric modular home manufactured to help tackle the homelessness crisis, alongside industry colleagues from MPBA, Citizen & Bond Bryan Architects, who will join together for a Q&A session after their individual presentations.

Theatre Two: Theatre Two will play host to industry experts from Supply Chain Sustainability School, Construction Scotland Innovation Centre (CSIC), Construction Innovation Hub and University of Wolverhampton – Construction Futures Research Centre (CFRC) as part of the training, skills and innovation session with Trudi Sully of the Construction Innovation Hub presenting on Platform Construction Systems – an update from the CIH.

Both theatres will house three other sessions throughout day two of Offsite Expo, including:

  • Theatre One: Fire protection, digital construction and structural timber.
  • Theatre Two: Precast concrete, hybrid and light steel frame.

The future of the built environment

In an ever-changing world, I believe the key to success is adapting to change and embracing the future. Offsite technology challenges outmoded construction practices and is a progressive step that is now revolutionising the way buildings are designed and assembled.

Every major review of the construction industry has in some way recommended a move towards advanced factory-based construction methods – these Offsite Expo Masterclasses provide direct access to those at the forefront of this rapidly expanding and fast-moving sector. Through high profile speakers, the event will challenge outmoded ideas and showcase new techniques via leading industry pioneers.

To secure your free place and view the full speaker line-up go to:

Speaker in the spotlight

Emily King

Emily King, managing director, Spatial Initiative Training, Skills & Innovation Session 12.00-13.15

Emily is a construction and education professional. She works at Spatial Initiative, a contractor specialising in offsite construction. She is recognised in the industry as a specialist in offsite construction with a focus on education.

With a master's degree in civil and environmental engineering, Emily has previously held roles for leading construction consultants Arup and Mott MacDonald.

Earlier in her career, she taught physics and was head of science and technology at a secondary school, giving her exceptional practical insight into teaching and learning.

Emily is a director of the Offsite Alliance and is co-chair of the Manufacturing Workstream for the Construction Leadership Council. Alongside sustainable construction, Emily is passionate about promoting diversity in our industry.

Speaker in the spotlight

Sam Stacey

Sam Stacey, challenge director, Transforming Construction – UKRI Digital Construction Session 12.00-13.15

Sam is leading the Transforming Construction challenge, a £170m research and innovation investment, matched by £250m from industry, to create new construction processes and techniques for building manufacture in the UK.

Linked to the Construction Sector Deal, the programme includes funding for research, a new construction network and the creation of an active building centre and innovation hub.

Before joining UKRI, Sam was director of innovation, industrialisation and business improvement at Skanska UK, a trustee of the Building Research Establishment, and chairman of the National Platform for Construction.

Sam has also worked for Wates Construction and Buro Happold Engineering. He is a chartered structural engineer with an MBA from Henley Business School and degrees in civil engineering, architecture and philosophy from Imperial College London and the University of Cambridge.

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