Blog: Offsite SECBE Awards 2020 finalist - Manufacturing Led Construction

15 June 2020

Sponsored by Heathrow Limited

Offsite SECBE Awards 2020 finalist - Manufacturing Led Construction (submitted by Mid Group)

*** Winner! ***

The Mid Group was established in 2015 with the aim to be the most sustainable contractor in the UK, with offsite construction as the enabler. They adopt an approach of Manufacturing Led Construction. They collaborate with a range of manufacturers and use their manufactured components and assemble them on-site, working as an integrator.

Mid Group has engineered solutions for a wide range of project types, utilising a broad range of manufactured components. These deliver projects in a predictable and efficient manner. 

They have 16 components to deliver 90% of a school. The components are held in a BIM library, which designers use when developing a school design. This makes the design process more efficient for all, as there are no surprises once a design is developed, eliminating re-design.

Working with manufacturers, they have developed efficient components that:

  • Undertake more than one job - they want all components to deliver more than one role and to reduce the overall number of components in a building, such as acoustic lighting rafts, which incorporate all sensors, capturing 4 typically separate components in one. 
  • Are highly energy-efficient, using right-sized components that run more efficiently. 
  • Can be installed quickly - with the installation process considered in the design and manufacture of the component.
  • Become better - learnings from one scheme is fed back to suppliers, with improvements in performance required for the next scheme. 

The use of standard components, repetitively across a wide range of projects, means they achieve much greater certainty on projects compared to traditional approaches. This improvement in certainty captures:

  • Cost predictability - they know the cost of components at the start of the design process and how long it takes to install
  • Programme certainty - each component has a known installation time and components are selected on their ability to be installed quickly.

One of the outcomes of their approach is significant productivity increases compared to other contractors. Their turnover per head is in excess of £1m, over 250% more than most other main contractors. 

With improved productivity and greater certainty, they can create a more sustainable environment for staff and suppliers. There is less stress and no need to work long hours as staff are not seeking to deliver unrealistic budgets or programmes. Staff engagement is improved, with suppliers and staff driving continuous improvement across their business as they see the benefits. They have also created a flexible holiday allowance, with staff having no fixed holidays. 

Projects include:

The Robert Clack Lymington Fields School - delivered 7 months early. This is Europe’s largest school with over 4,000 pupils. The school was also delivered for £36m, significantly under the £47-49m tenders received from the market.

The Greatfields School - delivered with less than 1 tonne of waste to landfill and achieved an EPC Score of 10, whilst fully air-conditioned to futureproof it against climate change. Their simple approach resulted in 90% of the Greatfields project being delivered using just 16 pre-manufactured components, also delivering:  

  • Exceptional airtightness of c.3m3/m2/hr
  • Very low onsite energy usage
  • Deliveries to site were less than half of traditional construction
  • Construction was complete in 7 months.
  • Cost of c.£2,00m2
  • Carbon emissions of 5.55kgCO2/m2/yr
  • Primary energy usage of 55 kWh/m2/yr
  • Construction was delivered to net zero carbon.

Highlights:

  • The adoption of Manufacturing Led Construction has enabled the Mid Group to grow from a standing start to £100m turnover in just 5 years.
  • The use of Manufacturing Led Construction has resulted in the Mid Group winning c.80% of projects tendered, demonstrating the viability of offsite construction.
  • The use of Manufacturing Led Construction has allowed the delivery of Europe’s largest school, with an EPC Score of just 10, in only 16 months, 7 months ahead of schedule.


About the Offsite Award: 

The SECBE Awards team look for a number of qualities in our Offsite finalist entries including: a systematic approach to the implementation of offsite solutions, the potential of new and innovative approaches, tangible benefits, addressing commercial demands and local community needs whilst also unique and innovative - particularly compared to traditional construction methods.

Find out more about the other finalists here

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