Five ways to boost sustainable construction with MMC

24th July 2023

By Matthew Butcher

Modern methods of construction (MMC) broadly refers to the pre-manufacture of building elements off-site, through a wide variety of different construction methods. Due to the many advantages associated with MMC, precast concrete can often offer highly cost effective solutions for bespoke concrete projects. Here are just five ways that concrete MMC is able to deliver benefits for construction.

Boosting efficiency, slashing programmes   

MMC can significantly cut down onsite construction time since precast concrete products prepared offsite can simply be brought to site, ready to be installed. All required elements from a fully digital construction model can be planned into production schedules, meaning that suppliers can meet demands for large projects on a ‘just-in-time’ basis. With fewer workers required for assembling materials onsite, the entire construction programme becomes much more efficient.

Streamlined processes lead to significant savings

The precast technology used in concrete MMC leads to considerable cost savings, thanks to both reduced labour and shorter construction times. The quality control procedures and robust, sophisticated manufacturing involved in MMC mean that snagging costs are also reduced.

Thinking safety first

From a health and safety perspective, construction workers can be better protected on MMC projects as its techniques reduce both the amount and scope of traditional onsite construction activities. The installation of precast concrete has recently seen new innovations, including the use of air-inflated crash bags and nets to ensure that workers operate in the safest environment when fitting the precast elements.

Designed for disassembly

Designers and architects are increasingly looking towards creating long-life resilient buildings. Concrete MMC responds to this need and can contribute to the circular economy by creating longer-life, low carbon assets that can be designed for change of use, disassembly and element reuse. Through its durability and resilience, precast helps to protect people and property not only from fires but also water damage and the effects of climate change.

Delivering advantages over lightweight construction

Although MMC has typically been associated with the installation of lightweight materials, the production of precast concrete panels for both floor and wall units has been tried and tested over many years, with concrete MMC delivering significant advantages over lightweight construction. Concrete is an inherently non-combustible material with the highest fire safety rating of class A1, reducing risk and providing more reliable construction and greater confidence to customers.

With its numerous benefits and support in developing innovative solutions, the increased use of concrete MMC is one route to a safer and greener future for construction.