Since the last Modular Matters conference and exhibition in 2018, the sector has seen exponential investment and growth, with global brands such has Sekisui House and Goldman Sachs entering the offsite arena.
Modular construction is not a new concept, but technological improvements, economic demands, and changing mindsets mean it is attracting unprecedented attention. Today, the sector is experiencing a new wave of interest and Modular Matters, taking place at the National Conference Centre (NCC), Birmingham on 22 October 2019 – will focus on the latest developments, innovations and investments in the volumetric modular sector.
2019 has been a year of major announcements: Japan’s biggest housebuilder is set to move into the UK modular housing market after striking a multimillion-pound deal that will see it work with Homes England and Urban Splash to bring forward thousands of properties across England. Sekisui House – which builds its assets in factories and then ships them out to sites – is behind the £90million initiative. The agreement will also see a £55million investment into Urban Splash.
Banking giant Goldman Sachs is investing £75million into modular housing business, TopHat. The modular manufacturer commenced production in early 2018 and has been developing industry-leading technology and manufacturing processes that will shape the UK’s offsite construction sector.
The maturing of digital tools has radically changed the modularconstruction proposition by facilitating the design of modules and optimising delivery logistics. Consumer perception of prefab housing has radically changed, particularly as new, more varied material choices improve visual appeal.
The need for faster, leaner and smarter construction is becoming increasingly apparent in the UK. With only 63% of site-based developments completed on time and an even lower 49% delivered on budget, traditional construction methods are failing to meet the major challenges facing the built environment today.
We are witnessing a change of approach among constructionsector CEOs, as many leaders see technology-based disruptors entering the scene and realising it may be time to reinvent and reposition. But it is not only investment that is changing the modular construction landscape, radical changes in the supply chain are also being realised.
Many of the problems this sector is facing are due to the offsite manufacturing supply chain not being vertically integrated. Developers and asset managers are taking greater control of their supply chains to mitigate the risk of material and skills shortages. Now companies such as Legal and General, Persimmon, Barratt Homes and Urban Splash are gaining greater control by investing in land and factories to offer total control and synergy throughout the supply chain to maximise income streams and return on investment.
Places for People, one of Britain’s biggest housing associations, has announced a £100m pioneering joint venture with ilke Homes to deliver hundreds of modular houses, as confidence in offsite manufacturing grows. In the largest deal yet for Britain’s modular housing sector, Places for People will purchase 750 units from ilke Homes, including 500 for sites it already owns and 250 for new schemes it will partner to develop affordable and market-priced housing. Modular Matters will demonstrate how to tackle industry challenges through a range of project case studies, innovative architecture and building designs together with software developments. The conference and exhibition will explore what the future holds for volumetric modular construction – technology trends, interoperability, capacity constraints, manufacturing – with presentations from a collection of the UK’s pioneering offsite designers, engineers and manufacturers.
Volumetric modular solutions are becoming increasingly commercially viable – structural engineers and architects are now designing and engineering for high-rise modular buildings. It is clear that economies of scale are being realised and modular construction is becoming a truly viable alternative to traditional techniques.
Modular Matters will demonstrate the application of volumetric modular technology across a range of vertical markets, including education, leisure, student accommodation, private residential, affordable housing, private rental and specialist applications. The event will focus on the latest developments, innovations and investments in the volumetric modular offsite sector and aims to engage with industry pioneers from within the offsite supply-chain, leading designers, specifiers, engineers and groundbreaking clients.
This one-day conference will create a platform to learn directly from specialist counterparts on how to apply volumetric modular technology and breaking the myths on design restraints. The event, which will focus around technology knowledge transfer, provides a dynamic and interactive learning experience for all visitors through presentations and the wide array of exhibitors.
Modular Matters provides a positive return on investment and will be one of the most focused events dedicated to the offsite manufacturing and construction industry. Modular Matters is organised in partnership with the Modular & Portable Building Association (MPBA), who play a key role in connecting all sectors of the volumetric modular building industry.