AIMCH, or Advanced Industrialised Methods for the Construction of Homes, is an industry-led research and development initiative put together by an innovation consortium of partners who are committed to transforming the delivery of new homes across the UK by tackling the greatest challenges to housing output. The tentative duration of this initiative is three years. Last month, AIMCH published its second annual progress report, which shows “encouraging results” – a more detailed breakdown of this report can be found here https://www.pbctoday.co.uk/news/mmc-news/aimch-progress-report-encouraging-results-for-mmc/91566/. The overall findings of the three-year AIMCH project are due to be published in Spring 2022.
According to AIMCH, offsite construction and modern methods of construction is the best chance that the UK has for hitting ambitious housing targets “for the same cost – or less – than traditional methods, with homes built 30% more quickly and a goal of a 50% reduction in defects”.
The vision of the AIMCH initiative is as follows:
“The three-year Advanced Industrialised Methods for the Construction of Homes (AIMCH) project aims to tackle all the challenges the housing sector currently faces including skills shortages, an ageing workforce, poor productivity, low output and low affordability while also becoming a major player in the housing sector by identifying and developing industrialised offsite solutions needed to meet current and future house building demands.”
AIMCH was put together in response to the ongoing housing crisis across the UK and the team here at Horizon Offsite are keen to explore solutions that are working in other countries in order to accelerate the learning for our own organisation, our clients and other Irish solution-providers. There is a huge crossover between the obstacles to the speedy delivery of quality homes in the UK and here in Ireland, including the well-documented skills shortage, poor productivity levels, insufficient output and lack of affordability. According to the above pbctoday article, it is expected that the AIMCH initiative will result in new digital design tools for the sector, advances in manufacturing, improvement of near-to-market offsite systems and leaner site processes. To support these ambitions and to meet these expectations, the project has produced a guide to creating a BIM Housing Manual, providing a framework for developers to transition to 3D digital working, along with guides to Design for Manufacturing & Assembly, Designing a Future Factory and design standardisation. Significantly, AIMCH is also focusing on optimising the use of data to demonstrate the benefits of MMC, on-site monitoring of MMC systems to identify productivity improvements and trialling advanced MMC systems on live developments.
Sustainability is another area of focus for the research team and AIMCH has embarked on a study to measure and profile embodied carbon and whole-life costing in the use of MMC systems across four housing types to current and near-zero carbon standards. All of the research findings will have implications for the Irish sector here so it will be worth following the progress at https://www.aimch.co.uk/ and keeping an eye out for the final report next March.
About Horizon Offsite
Horizon Offsite Ltd is one of Europe’s leading players in Offsite Construction and Modern Methods of Construction (MMC), providing a fully accredited structural light gauge steel system to the residential, industrial, commercial, healthcare and educational sectors. Contact the Horizon Offsite team at https://horizonoffsite.ie