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Construction sector pressed to do better, faster

Modernise the UK construction sector by improving project delivery, or face stark times.

That’s the view of a new, independent report commissioned by the government, which suggests that a lack of innovation, collaboration, and R&D could lead to a permanent state of decline.

There are more basic problems noted too, such as a lack of trained workers to simply do the jobs. With the UK’s housing crisis demanding urgent attention and more exacting building standards, this is sure to be of concern to everyone in the trade.

It’s suggested that construction would do well to look at manufacturing as a model for delivering on time, and to agreed standards. But while it’s all right dishing out a report citing ‘room for improvement’, where exactly can improvements be made?

Modular building is going to be a big part of the solution – and one the report cites as crucial in modernising the profession and increasing its attractiveness for young people. More than this, though, it offers great possibilities for saving time and money while guaranteeing quality, right now.

This is not a passing fad. It is no longer seen as a temporary solution in emergencies or a non-mainstream approach. It’s an option with all the durability of traditional building techniques—albeit with much easier deconstruction, and greater certainty in terms of delivery times.

Manufacturing building elements in factories significantly cuts down the time needed on-site – even by as much as 50% – while ensuring more efficiency in materials. This, naturally, saves money, and improves sustainability credentials. What’s more, modular building design offers smart possibilities for insulation.

Where timber frames meet highly-insulated, weather-proofed wall panels, it’s an excellent recipe for delivering top thermal performance and structural integrity. Load-bearing elements can also be considered in light of the building’s insulation needs off-site too – yet another way to offer greater guarantees about a project timeline.

Blown cavity walls also offer a cost-effective option to improve productivity and minimise delays. Installed internally after the walls are in, it removes the need for bricklayers to take on tricky and time-consuming rigid board cavity wall jobs, as well as the possibility of weather delays. Ultimately, this makes the best use of workers on site, while also providing the added bonus of minimising waste.

Of course, you can be assured of top thermal performance from Superglass products. At 0.034W/mK, our new Superwhite 34 offers the lowest thermal conductivity for blown glass wool insulation for masonry cavity walls in the UK. Plus, the Superglass Solutions team are on hand to provide expert guidance if you’re looking for technical guidance and support.

With the report’s words echoing in industry ears, the next few years will be crucial in ensuring construction is future-proofed and skilled for the task of building the homes the UK needs, sustainably and affordably. It’s far from an impossible task. With a few smart choices, the UK’s homes can be smarter too.