The number of private developers adopting Modern Methods of Construction in the UK grows at a very encouraging rate. Meanwhile the public sector's commitment to MMC demonstrates the continued confidence of government in the rapidly emerging field of modular/offsite/MMC building techniques.
The latest indication that this trend will continue in public building and infrastructure projects is the announcement that the Crown Commercial Service has launched a tender process for a £10 billion government offsite framework.
The CCS is an executive agency and trading fund that acts on behalf of the UK government's Cabinet Office in the procurement of common goods and services to provide maximum return on the investment of taxpayer's money. Its new collaborative Offsite Construction Framework will apply across all government departments. It replaces the original £500 million modular building solutions deal agreed four years ago between the CCS and 23 businesses, including five of the largest contractors in the industry. The size of the new agreement - a 20-fold increase in financial terms - is one of the government's highest-profile endorsements so far of the expanding modular/offsite/MMC wing of the UK construction industry.
After the scheme's official launch at 11.00am on 1st September 2022, the CCS will open the process of inviting contractors to bid in six essential areas of the pubic built estate. A bidders' day is planned at which the new framework and its multi-lot structure will be explained in detail.
Firms will be asked to bid in the following categories and sub-categories:
Lot 1: Built Estate including Education
This contains three sub-lots. Lot 1.1 is for up to £15 million purchase and hire 3D turnkey solutions only, with a total value of £700 million. Lot 1.2 is for purchase-only 3D turnkey solutions over £15 million with the same £700 million value. Lot 1.3 is for purchase-only 2D turnkey solutions with a total value of £55 million.
Lot 2: Healthcare
Here there are just two sub-lots. Lot 2.1 covers purchase and hire 3D turnkey solutions and has a value of £435 million. Lot 2.2 is for purchase-only 2D turnkey solutions to a total value of £750 million.
Lot 3 concentrates on residential properties and has a fund value of £450 million.
Lot 4: Justice
The two sub-lots in this category are for 3D turnkey solutions to a total value of £1 billion and 2D turnkey solutions up to £830 million.
Lot 5: Defence
The breakdown for Defence, the largest lot in financial terms, is similar to Justice. Lot 5.1 covers 3D turnkey solutions with a total fund value of £2.8 billion while Lot 5.2 deals with 2D turnkey solutions and has a total value of £1.3 billion.
Lot 6: Thermal Efficiency Upgrades
There are contracts worth £485 million in the final lot. It may be one of the more modest of the six, but nevertheless represents a significant investment in energy efficiency.
The agreement will last for seven years and will be used by government departments, arm's length bodies, local government, housing associations, charities and the wider public sector. Firms have been given a deadline of 7th October to make a bid.