Modern methods of construction (MMC)
The concrete industry embraces innovation and
modern methods of construction (MMC) by offering concrete
solutions which can be used to reduce construction time and promote
sustainable development, as well as offering cost savings.
Precast Flat Panel System
Floor and wall units are produced off-site in
a factory and erected on-site to form robust structures, ideal for
all repetitive cellular projects. Panels can include services,
windows, doors and finishes. Building envelope panels with factory
fitted insulation and decorative cladding can also be used as
load-bearing elements. This offers factory quality and accuracy,
together with speed of erection on-site.
3D Volumetric Construction
3D Volumetric construction (also known as
modular construction) involves the production of three-dimensional
units in controlled factory conditions prior to transportation to
Modules can be brought to site in a variety of
forms, ranging from a basic structure to one with all internal and
external finishes and services installed, all ready for assembly.
The casting of modules uses the benefits of factory conditions to
create service-intensive units where a high degree of repetition
and a need for rapid assembly on-site make its use highly
This modern method of construction offers the
inherent benefits of concrete, such as thermal mass, sound and
fire resistance, as well as offering
factory quality and accuracy, together with speed of erection
Tunnel form is a
formwork system that allows the contractor to build monolithic
walls and slabs in one operation on a daily cycle. It combines the
speed, quality and accuracy of factory/offsite produced ready-mix
concrete and formwork with the flexibility and economy of cast
This fast-track method of construction is
suitable for repetitive cellular projects, such as hotels,
apartment blocks and student accommodation. It offers economy,
speed, quality and accuracy, as well as utilising the inherent
benefits of concrete, such as fire and sound resistance.
Further information can be found in the
publication 'High Performance Buildings using Tunnel Form Concrete
Construction' published by The Concrete Centre. Click
here to download. To find out more click here.
Flat slabs are built quickly due to modern
formwork being simplified and minimised. Rapid turnaround is
achieved using a combination of early striking and flying formwork
systems. Use of prefabricated services can be maximised because of
the uninterrupted service zones beneath the floor slab; so flat
slab construction offers rapid overall construction, as it
simplifies the installation of services.
In addition to saving on construction time,
flat slab construction also places no restrictions on the
positioning of horizontal services and partitions. This offers
considerable flexibility to the occupier, who can easily alter
internal layouts to accommodate changes in the use of the
structure. Post tensioning of flat slabs enables longer and thinner
slabs, with less reinforcement, and hence offers significant
programme and labour advantages.
Hybrid Concrete Construction
Construction (HCC) combines all the benefits of precasting with
the advantages of cast in-situ construction. Combining the two, as
a hybrid frame, results in even greater construction speed, quality
and overall economy. HCC can answer client demands for lower costs
and higher quality by providing simple, buildable and competitive
structures that offer consistent performance and quality.
Thin Joint Masonry
Thin Joint Masonry
allows the depth of the mortar to be reduced from 10mm to just 3mm
or less, resulting in faster laying and improved productivity,
particularly on long runs of walling. Construction speed can be
further increased by some 13.5 per cent using large-format concrete
blocks, which have a face size equivalent to two traditional
concrete blocks. The mortar cures rapidly, achieving full bond
strength within one to two hours, eliminating the problem of
'floating' therefore enabling more courses to be laid per day.
Insulating Concrete Formwork
Formwork (ICF) systems consist of twin-walled, expanded
polystyrene panels or blocks that are quickly built up to create
formwork for the walls of a building. This formwork is then filled
with factory produced, quality assured, ready-mixed concrete to
create a robust structure. The expanded polystyrene blocks remain
to provide high levels of thermal insulation and the concrete core
provides robustness and good levels of sound insulation.
Precast concrete systems can be used to
rapidly construct foundations. The elements are usually to a
bespoke design and cast in a factory environment, giving assured
quality for the finished product. The foundations are often
supported by concrete piles and connected together.
These systems improve productivity, especially
in adverse weather conditions, and reduces the amount of excavation
required - particularly advantageous when dealing with contaminated