photo of Dr Chris Goodier speaking at previous event

Loughborough academic to present evidence to Houses of Parliament on Modern Methods of Construction

Dr Chris Goodier, Director of the Centre for Innovative and Collaborative Construction Engineering at Loughborough University, will present evidence at the Houses of Parliament on Monday 4 March.

He will be an invited witness at the Housing, Communities and Local Government Committee’s inquiry into Modern Methods of Construction (MMC) at the Parliamentary Estate in Westminster.

He will be joined by Mark Farmer, author of the UK Government Review of the Construction Labour Market Model ‘Modernise or Die’, and Ben Derbyshire, President of Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA).

He will provide answers to questions such as:

  • What are the benefits and risks of MMC, and how can they sustainably boost the housing supply?
  • How can SME house builders better utilise MMC?
  • How can the Government increase demand for MMC?

Chris also led the research underpinning the recently published white paper on ‘The role of Standards in offsite construction – a review of existing practice and future need’.

Commissioned by the British Standards Institution (BSI), the research also involved other Loughborough academics Dr Mohamed Osmani, Professor Alistair Gibb, and Dr Farid Fouchal, as well as Buildoffsite and West One Management Consulting Ltd.

Loughborough investigated if current construction standards are fit for offsite and MMC and identified areas where standards could help better support their uptake. Issues highlighted as being of major interest were accuracy and tolerances, and integration and connections between differing offsite and traditional systems.

Full research findings are in the report, which is available from the BSI online.

Talking about his parliamentary visit, Dr Goodier said: “There is a recent spectacular growth in, and demand for, offsite and MMC in the UK, partly due to the increased demand for housebuilding, a shortage of skills, and the need to raise quality as well as quantity.

“Much of the focus, however, has been on how the latest technological advances will save the sector, without an understanding of the embedded and systemic barriers to innovation and change, the role that standards play in facilitating, but also sometimes stymieing innovation and change, the economic peculiarities and uniqueness of the UK construction industry – in particular the housebuilding sector – and the role that labour and craft-based skills play in shaping our delivery of the UK’s built environment.

“Loughborough University is proud to contribute to the evidence base to this enquiry on MMC, as well as recent previous ones on new approaches to building and offsite manufacture.”

Dr Goodier also recently submitted evidence with Loughborough’s Dr Derek Thomson to the Infrastructure and Projects Authority’s call for evidence on a new approach to building, as well as evidence to last year’s House of Lords Science and Technology Committee on ‘Off-site manufacture for construction’ with Loughborough’s Professor Alistair Gibb.

Dr Goodier is a chartered builder, academic, researcher and expert witness with more than 20 years’ experience of all aspects of construction, including research, contracting and consultancy, and has published more than 200 papers, books and reports. He has worked at Loughborough University for over ten years, having worked previously for BRE and Laing O’Rourke, and is based within the School of Architecture, Building and Civil Engineering.