Blog: Offsite SECBE Awards 2020 finalist - i-Form Solution

15 June 2020

Sponsored by Heathrow Limited

Offsite SECBE Awards 2020 finalist - i-Form Solution  (submitted by Masonry Frame Systems)

The MFS i-Form Solution is Masonry Frame Systems' structural build method. It incorporates floors, walls, roofs to form the structural envelope. MFS was founded in 2004 and evolved into a specialist masonry frame contractor that builds the structural envelopes of buildings in a quick, efficient, cost-effective manner - using lean management, intelligent engineering critical path analysis and some of the latest Modern Methods of Construction. Following the influence of the 2016 Farmer review of the Construction Industry, they called their approach the 'MFS i-Form Solution'.

The MFS i-Form Solution is a platform for DfMA approach to MMC that was developed in order to address challenges faced by the industry like:

  • Build more quickly and effectively
  • Reduce construction time and build costs
  • Improve productivity
  • Address the skills shortage and attract more newcomers
  • Ensure greater certainty of delivery
  • Reduce carbon footprint and build more sustainably

i-Form is split into 4 distinct approaches:

  • Design
  • Platform
  • Offsite Manufacture
  • Onsite Assembly

By applying more time and resource into the design, then determining which platforms are most suitable, the manufacturing process becomes more efficient and the actual works carried out on site are no more than an onsite assembly function, often carried out by less labour.

The i-Form platforms include the following:

The Xella GmbH Silka Element system - a semi-offsite 20N/mm2 strong element manufactured and delivered to site as a kit of parts, fixed together using thin joint mortar. This system is fully BIM compliant, with impressive fire resistance and acoustic performance - ideal for medium to high rise flats, apartments, care homes etc.

Precast concrete components - prestressed hollowcore floor planks, concrete landings & stairs, cantilevered balconies, thermal breaks and concrete back span slabs, Class 2B Disproportionate Collapse Solution.

Lissmac mini cranes - the installation of the Silka Element system is carried out by lifting and placing the elements by using a 110v version of the Lissmac LMK 400TFE. MFS requested that Lissmac developed and made a 110v version of their crane making it UK compliant.

The benefits of the MFS i-Form Solution:

  • Significantly overall quicker build times are achieved
  • Substantial improvements in productivity
  • Less need for skilled labour and attractive to young people
  • Consistent quality, lower defects, less shrinkage
  • Significantly cheaper and lower CO2 Emissions than RC Frame
  • All the benefits of traditional and greater flexibility than modular
  • Fully BIM compliant


  • The MFS i-Form Solution - formed offsite to offer significant onsite improvements with greater certainty of delivery, more environmentally friendly, quicker build times and a 20% lower overall construction cost.
  • The MFS i-Form Solution gives a greater speed of build and certainty of programme – it can halve the structural build programme. Also addresses the skills shortage and provides opportunities for new (and younger) entrants to the industry.
  • The MFS i-Form Solution provides major health, safety, wellbeing and environmental benefits - no cutting onsite, no dust created, no waste. Zero manual handling due to the use of remote control mini-crane.

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

Recent Blog Posts

SECBE Awards 2021 finalist - Bicester Heritage
13 May 2021
sponsored by Artelia Group
Read More

SECBE Awards 2021 finalist - hub by Premier Inn, Shoreditch
13 May 2021
sponsored by Artelia Group
Read More

SECBE Awards 2021 finalist - Long Curtain Moat
13 May 2021
sponsored by Artelia Group
Read More