Lords probes improved construction methods


The House of Lords Science and Technology Committee concluded taking evidence for its enquiry ‘Off-site manufacture for construction’ in early June.

The Committee has been questioning a range of experts from the construction industry, most recently Tony Meggs, chief executive of the Infrastructure and Projects Authority and Richard Harrington MP, Minister for Infrastructure and Construction.

The witnesses have been asked for their views on how business models in the construction sector can facilitate the greater use of off-site manufacture and how construction companies can be encourage to ‘collaborate and work together to accomplish this’.

The Committee asked Richard Harrington MP what plans the government has to help increase the use of off-site manufacturing and how it will ensure other public sector clients have the necessary skills and knowledge to take advantage of off-site construction when procuring new projects.

Questions were focused on identifying areas where government could see the most benefit to its projects in using off-site construction. For example, the Committee asked: “Buildings such as schools, prisons and hospitals are often very similar and lend themselves to an off-site approach. How will the government take advantage of this?”

The Committee also wanted to know how off-site manufacturing methods would help the government meet its targets on delivering more new homes.

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