Constructing Excellence, the independent platform for improvement across the construction industry, held the inaugural meeting of its new Offsite Forum at Fusion Building Systems’ design and manufacturing facility in Northampton earlier this month.
On Thursday 3rd August, 17 members of Constructing Excellence (CE)’s new Offsite Theme Group met to learn about Fusion’s light gauge steel system, tour its offsite manufacturing facility and further discussions around how CE might influence the adoption of offsite construction methods throughout the industry, and in particular via its membership.
Fusion Head of Business Development Robert Clark, presented the Company’s proposition, explaining in detail the design and manufacturing process for building superstructures which are used by some of the UK’s largest developers in residential housebuilding and multi-storey accommodation. Robert stressed the importance of having integrated supply chain models for offsite partnerships to work effectively, and the need for the industry to take a product-led, rather than project-led approach. This view was echoed by members of the Forum who recognised the need for long-term collaborative working.
Following the presentation, CE delegates were taken on a tour of Fusion’s manufacturing facility where they witnessed how light gauge steel was transformed from a raw material into floor and wall ‘cassettes’ ready for erection on building sites nationwide. The tour also included a demonstration of Fusion’s patented insulation system, pre-insulating panels with a fire-retardant product before they’re delivered to site.
Robert said: “The delegates who attended as part of the Constructing Excellence visit were some of the most influential in the industry. For many, this was their first hands-on experience of an offsite facility and the opportunity to examine in detail, the products, processes, opportunities and challenges which a future shaped around offsite construction presents.”
Forum members went on to discuss how the industry needs to shift its focus to a new delivery model – one which has increased standardisation and pre-manufactured content, with digitally-enabled, integrated teams and client-led procurement.
Darren Richards Managing Director of the UK’s leading offsite construction consultancy, Cogent Consulting, added: “Engaging directly with the offsite supply chain is an important ingredient in developing the future offsite industry strategy for CE. Sessions of this nature open the eyes of members that are not familiar with manufacturing environments and lead to a much greater understanding of what makes an offsite manufacturing facility tick.
“The most important aspects to come out of this excellent visit was the clear understanding of the need for early client engagement and the need to focus design teams on the principles if DfMA (Design for Manufacture and Assembly). Feedback from the visiting group was excellent and we are most grateful to Fusion for facilitating this session.”
CE’s Offsite Forum members in attendance were: Darren Richards, Cogent Consulting; Brian Morris, BCM Consulting; Jackie Casey, Success Train; Trevor Richards, Cogent Consulting; John Skivington, LHC; Jon Lorimer, JLo Innovation; Mark Beirne, Birch Collaboration; Peter McDermott, Salford University; Robert Stacey, Heathrow Airport; Rob Ewen, Heathrow Airport; Graham Robinson, Pinsent Masons; Phil Henry, Polypipe; Maya Jani, Heathrow Airport; Ashley McGoldrick, Westfield; Andrew Carpenter, Constructing Excellence South West; Don Ward, Constructing Excellence; Alison Nicholl, BRE.
For further information visit www.constructingexcellence.org.uk