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GBE MMC (Brain Dump) G#39443

By 20 April 2021June 2nd, 2021Brain Dump, Code, Encyclopaedia

GBE MMC Brain Dump

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GBE MMC Brain Dump

GBE MMC Brain Dump


  • MMC = Modern Methods of Construction
  • IMC = Innovative Methods of Construction

Brief or Performance Specification

  • Obtain brief or outline performance specification (OPS) for the building,
  • to judge designed proposal against


  • Efficient
  • Low Cost
  • Affordable
  • Manufacture off site
  • Assemble on site
  • Turnkey: ready to use

Avoiding Bespoke Systems?

  • Same system parts for multiple uses
  • Bolt together module for many uses
  • Bespoke Assemblies Possible


  • Autonomous company with all skills necessary
    • Or part of supply chain using other specialists
  • Design, Manufacturer, Procure and Install

Judge project or product against Brief or OPS

  • If no brief or OPS exists set out requirements to judge chosen assemblies and products against:
  • Rationalising design to deliver on brief


  • MMC Main Contractor/Constructor
    • Site works sub-contracted?
  • MMC Foundation?:
    • Screw piles?
      • As seen at Future build
    • Precast concrete piles and metal beams?
      • e.g. Bullivant as seen at BRE Innovation Park
    • Tolerances/accuracy at interfaces: +/- 5 mm
    • Assembly: mechanisms
    • Services: Below, above ground and within MMC and connections
    • Coordination


  • Feedback from any previous module assembly
    • Feedback loops back to design and drawings
      • Manufacturing
      • Pre-Assembly
      • On site Assembly
      • Photographic, written and remembered
    • Off site manufacture/On site assembly
      • Modular
      • Panel
      • Pods: Service Core, Bathroom, Kitchen
    • Assembly: Joints, Connections
      • Services Connection
      • Rationalise services bring many to one place
      • Spaced apart for airtightness measures
    • Onsite concealment of joints inside and outside

Module size:

  • Transportability
  • Vehicle and crane access and proximity
  • Lifting points
    • Strops, beams or frames
    • Crunch-points
  • Guide line connections


  • Encourage bolted
  • Encourage clamping
  • Minimise: welding
    • spot welding
    • fillet welding
    • full penetration butt welding

Assembly sequence:

  • Ground works
  • Foundation: Piles and/or beams
  • Sub-structure steel
  • Super structure steel
  • 3D Module or 2D Panel:
    • There a Pros and Cons with either
    • Light Metal Frame (LMF):
      • Thermal bridge issues
    • Light Timber Frame (LTF): floors, walls, roof
      • Much smaller thermal bridge issues
    • Structural Insulated Panel System (SIPS): walls, floor? roof?
      • Plastic insulation Overheating risk
    • Insulated Structural Panels Systems (ISPS)
      • Other insulation Options avoiding overheating
    • Cross Laminated Timber Panels Systems (CLTPS)
      • Need additional insulation
  • Servicing Pod:
    • Panelled Pod
    • Steel framed?
      • Vertical core for multiple storey

Assembly of modules:

  • Stacking modules
    • Male and female parts
    • Interlocking Pyramid shapes to guide parts together
  • Sliding module over parts
  • Protection for aperture and socket?
  • Steering or guiding bracing into slot

Insertion of Pods:

  • Jigsaw or slot together
    • Multiple Connections by many trades
    • Or plug and play design
  • Tolerances
  • Positioning relative to structure
  • Sequence of assembly
  • Connection to Pods
  • Integrity: Thermal, Weather, Wind and Air tightness, Acoustic, Fire


  • Design Life
  • Component Life
  • Component Competency
    • Proper materials BRAD Regulation 7
  • Maintainability v EA’s sacrificial construction

Seasonal or annual usage:

  • Fabric first
    • services to fill any shortfalls
  • Summer only (Holiday accommodation)
  • Summer and winter (Residential)
  • Comfort conditions
  • Lightweight fabric and lightweight insulation:
    • Summer Overheating risk

Site exposure:

  • Local Climate
    • marine/rural/urban exposure
    • durability of materials
  • weather-proofing
    • wind driven rain resistance
  • Corrosion protection
    • Hot dip galvanized
      • Bath size limitation for framing and stairs
    • Molten Zinc Spray
    • Zinc rich Paint
      • Wind and sand scour
      • Marine conditions


  • Solar Access
    • Tree shading
      • (now considered a temporary solution)


  • Cross flow
  • Open able opaque fabric vents
  • Ventilation permeability
  • Dead end hot spots

Moon and stars:

  • night-time moon lighting
  • star gazing rooflights?

Development Control: Planning:

  • Permitted development?
    • Other Dispensations?
  • Planning Aspires towards less repetition smaller projects
  • MMC aspires towards consistency and bigger projects
  • Platform approach
    • Modular parts
    • Variety in assembly
    • Variety in finishing

Regulations v Design Standards

  • Legal Minimum v Future Facing?
  • England Wales TAN6 Scotland Northern Ireland Other
  • RIBA 2030 Climate Challenge
  • LETI London Energy Transformation Initiative
  • Passivhaus
  • AECB standards
  • See GBC Green Building Calculator

Structural strategy and sequence:

  • Lifting design v foundation design
    • methods of fabrication/assembly
    • bolting clamping welding
    • support points and sub frames
    • lifting points
  • Site conditions: Different every time
  • Foundation:
    • Screw piles
    • Columns and Transfer frame
    • Tolerances and assembly issue
  • Services: Pod or conventional

Flood sites: Stilts

  • Corrosion protection
  • Decoration
  • Transfer Floor Frame
    • Cantilever balcony or access
    • Support to external stair
  • Timber based and insulated panels
    • Above flood levels
  • Diagonal bracing
    • In 3 planes
    • Support or/and Restrain

Flood tolerance:

  • Raised above site
  • Services at site level
  • Electrics at what levels?
  • Buoyancy of pod tanks
  • Flood pollution recovery
  • Salt water exposure recovery

Equality Act (Replaces DDA)

  • Stair access and egress
    • Disabled exclusion
  • Manoeuvrability in all locations
  • Internal visual colour/tone contrast visibility
  • Tactile interfaces?

Fire and life safety

  • Combustibility of materials
  • Cavity fire passageways
  • Means of escape

Sound exposure:

  • Sea, Wind, aircraft, roads, other
  • Acoustic Performance
  • Material choices
  • Construction methods
  • Air wind tightness
  • Acoustic ingress and egress


  • flat roof -ve pressure uplift
  • holding down straps
  • framing cleats,

Embodied Energy, Embodied and Sequestered Carbon

  • in the building and in waste making the building
  • Steel framing
  • Plastic insulation
  • Cement choices in Concrete foundations
  • Claddings

Thermal Insulation:

  • Fabric-first
  • Thermal comfort
  • Overheating
  • Thermal bridging
  • Thermal bypass
  • Ventilated cavities/wind washing

Glazing: Thermal insulating or Thermal comfort?

  • Frame material; Choices
  • Double glazed for energy efficiency
  • Triple glazed for comfort conditions
  • G value
  • Solar control: inside, glass or outside
  • Low E: what heat source?
  • Low Iron glass?
  • Cavity Gas
  • Spacer material: thermal bridge
  • Annealed, Toughened, Tempered, Laminated (façade fire and inter-layer?) combinations
  • Sliding casement interface performance
  • Track, wheel, bearing performance
  • Ironmongery performance
  • Installation: performance and thermal bridges

Balcony Walkways Stair Balustrade:

  • Containment: Building Regulations
  • Impact performance: Class A BS 6206 BSI Kitemarked
  • Safety glass
  • Laminated glass (containment)
  • Interlayer exposure at edges
  • Capped edges
  • Assembly

Air and wind tightness

  • strategy
  • heat loss, coolth gain
  • moisture management and vapour control
  • red-lining drawings

Appropriate material properties matching applications

Indoor air quality

  • Wind and Airtightness
  • Ventilation
  • Material choices
  • Healthy interiors

Corrosion protection

  • Splash zone
  • Marine environment
  • decoration
  • coatings
  • access for maintainability

Servicing strategies

  • In construction zone
  • Access for rodding
  • Direct routes, bend avoidance
  • Interfaces
  • Insulation integrity


  • Heating, Cooling Strategy:
  • Fabric-first
  • Energy Performance
  • Energy Sources
  • Fuel choices, Access and Fuel storage
  • Thermal comfort
  • Thermal mass
  • Decrement delay
  • Partial filled cavities, thermal bypass
  • Slumping insulation


  • Privacy
  • Solar control
  • U & G Value
  • Thermal comfort
  • Glazing gas
  • Spacer materials
  • Low E
  • Clarity & Low Iron & Solar control films

Off-site Prototype testing?

Performance Gap:

  • Airtightness testing
  • Infrared Thermography

Feedback loops:

  • Do drawings suggest learning
    • from earlier prototypes
    • from build to design/drawing

Tolerances and Accuracy setting out

  • Site conditions and foundation methods
    • services interfaces

Structural strategy and implementation

  • thermal bridges through building fabric
  • condensation risk
  • corrosion risk
  • Mould risk

LTF Carcass

  • thermal bridges and thermal Insulation interfaces
  • empty cavities
  • correct placement of insulation in cavity
  • condensation and mould avoidance

Finishes and substrate compatibility

Flame retardant paint

  • appropriateness
  • surface spread of flame materials
  • ignitability
  • combustibility
  • application


  • Strength and stability
    • head restraint
  • Fixing for transport
  • Fixing for use
  • Patrass strength in walls
    • Local or generally

Flat roof competency

  • Acoustic performance
  • Thermal performance
  • Decrement delay overheating
  • Fire passage cavities
  • Interstitial Moisture management
  • Living Roofs
    • Green, Brown or Blue Roofs
    • Water storage, structural capacity
  • Fabric falls and drainage
  • Leaf filtration
  • Blockage risk
  • Overflow pathways down façade
  • Snow and freezing risks and overflows

Modular material design

  • Materials modules > Element Modules
  • Wall dimensions > Board dimensions
  • Resource efficiency
    • waste minimisation
  • Embodied energy and carbon in waste

Offsite prefabrication/

  • Circular Economy
  • Buildings as Materials Banks
    • BAMB project
  • On site assembly/connectivity
  • Joint design
  • Sequence of assembly
  • Assembly by numbers
  • Dictated sequences
  • Feedback loops
  • Method statement


  • Co-ordinated or not
    • What happens in reality?
  • In element layering or not
    • Structure zone
    • Framing zone
      • Notching drilling and cutting zone
    • Acoustic thermal fire insulation zone
    • Service zone
    • Lining zone
      • Air tightness
    • Cladding zone
      • Wind tightness
  • Integrity of building fabric
    • Acoustics
    • Thermal
    • Fire
    • Wind and Air


  • Passive/Active/Mechanical/Air Conditioning
  • Activation?: Humidity, Smells, CO2, heat
  • Extraction/heat recovery
  • Dispersal: Inlet and outlet separation
  • Envelop penetrations
    • Wind weather and Air tightness


  • Concealed or visible
  • Access
    • Maintenance
    • Rodding
  • Shower waste heat recovery

Rainwater drainage:

  • Vacuum flat
  • Gravity falls
  • roof falls
    • Firrings
    • Insulation cut to falls
  • pipe runs
  • thermal bridge at outlet
  • Wind and airtightness at penetration

Water harvesting and reuse

  • Black water (Settlement tank, cesspit, land drainage pipes)
  • Avoid Mixing Rainwater and Grey water
  • Energy and carbon or chemical intensity of cleaning and storing
  • Separate systems
    • Separate reuses

Site servicing

  • Autonomous?
    • PV, Wind, GSHP, ASHP, WSHP, Satellite, Mobile, Wifi
  • Off mains Storage on site
    • Bottled gas
    • Oil tank
    • Biomass fuel storage
    • Ash
    • Sewage
  • On Mains:
    • Power, Water, Cable
  • In bound
    • Common trench
  • Out bound
    • Drains to falls to sewers
  • Foundation interface

Clarify specification approach options to be adopted:

Options to consider:

Scope of Work:

  • Subdivision of trades?
  • Excluding Preliminaries
  • Structure and Services (By others?)

Assignment of responsibilities:

  • CDP Contractor Design Portion in sub-contracts?
  • MMC
    • 3D Modular
    • 2D Panels
  • Structural frame
  • Services
  • Stairs
  • Lifts

Method Statement:

  • Sequence and dependency
  • Assembly feedback loops
    • Lessons learned in factory passed to site to avoid repetition
  • Assembly by numbers
    • Or sequence instruction
  • Assembly worker training
    • toolbox talks

Clause types:

  • Elemental Assembly Performance clauses cross referencing to…
  • Elemental Prescriptive Assembly clauses cross referencing to…
  • Component clauses cross referencing to …
  • Workmanship clauses
  • Manufacturer recommended workmanship clauses extracted from literature/specifications/certification

Inspection and Choosing

  • Mock ups,
  • sampling
  • control samples
  • Right first time or:
    • quality control
    • snagging
    • correcting

Calibrating Testing and Commissioning

  • Soft landings?
  • Controls in particular

BUG Building User Guide

Bespoke work sections and clauses examples

  • CAWS Classification extended
  • A90 Performance Specification
  • A94 Airtightness testing
  • A95 Infrared thermography
  • G10 Steel frame
  • G13 Light Steel Framing System (LSFS)
  • G20 Timber frame
  • G25 Light Timber Frame Systems (LTFS)
  • G26 Structural Insulated Panel Systems (SIPS)
  • G27 Insulated Structural Panel Systems (ISPS)
  • P14 Air/Wind tightness systems
  • Z20 Connectivity

© GBE GBC GBL NGS ASWS Brian Murphy aka BrianSpecMan **
December 2020 – 20th April 2021

GBE MMC Brain Dump


© GBE NGS ASWS Brian Murphy aka BrianSpecMan
20th April 2021

GBE MMC Brain Dump
See Also:

GBE Templates

GBE Brain Dump


  • GBE Brain Dump (Template) G#20308 (this page)


GBE Brainstorm

GBE Books

GBE Issues

GBE Issue papers

GBE Projects

GBE Links

‘Spotlight on Offsite’

Offsite Construction Awards (OSC)

  • call for entries
  • Advisory
  • Mtech Group Limited, Maple House, The Professional Quarter, Shrewsbury Business Park, Shrewsbury, SY2 6LG
  • Tel 01743 282280
  • Fax 01743 357367

Offsite Directory

  • The Annual Offsite Directory
  • Mtech Consult and Building magazine
  • the most comprehensive reference listing of offsite manufacturers available in the UK.
  • over 650 offsite manufacturing, service and consultancy companies
  • Categorized by area of expertise
  • industry reports and editorial insights
  • expert opinion on key issues affecting the off-site sector
  • sustainability and regulatory compliance Since 2004
  • Offsite Directory
  • acknowledged as the essential independent reference guide for offsite construction
  • Offsite Directory for FREE
  • Post & Packaging: costs
  • Contact
  • Rhonda Farr
  • 01743 357377

Mtech Consult

  • If you would like to understand more about Mtech and the unique type of consultancy we offer with regard to building sustainable developments by using or combining new technologies then please visit our website
  • If you feel you have a project that may need expert help or would like us to present to your company our CPD “Insight in to Offsite” please do not hesitate to call me.
  • Kind regards
  • Susie Bell
  • Mtech Consult Limited
  • DDI  01743 276041
  • Mtech Consult Limited, Maple House, The Professional Quarter, Shrewsbury Business Park, Shrewsbury, SY2 6LG
  • Mtech Consult
  • Using modular, re-locatable and more importantly re-usable buildings may require the architectural team and client to take some visionary steps in a previously unconventional direction
  • – but then, to save £1m on a project what wouldn’t you do?
  • Mtech Consult
  • The materials and construction methods employed in today’s modular buildings makes re-use or incorporation into the new build a very practical proposition
  • To make Offsite really work, you need expertise and know-how
  • Mtech initial consultation is FREE, so call now and discover how they can help you
  • Save money by incorporating modular buildings designed as permanent features of the finished project
  • Build faster and with less on site disruption
  • Reduce the overall footprint of the project by building up to four stories high
  • …and if this is all too much to handle, sell or rent them on!
  • At the end of their “tour of duty”, decant accommodation only requires minor refreshing to ensure that the buildings perform as new
  • Use or reuse and recycle!

© GBE GBC GBL NGS ASWS Brian Murphy aka BrianSpecMan **
20th April 2021

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