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Construction Technology and Innovation - Essay Example

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THE MODERN CONSTRUCTION METHODS AND TECHNIQUES THE MODERN CONSTRUCTION METHODS AND TECHNIQUES For long, the UK building industry has been depending heavily on prefabricated materials. Most of the houses in the UK are still constructed using the traditional ‘brick and block’ masonry…
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Download file to see previous pages Unlike modern construction approaches, the traditional building methods are characterized by multiple deliveries, expansive skilled workforce and uncertainties arising from costing and poor performance. The traditional building techniques also involve inter-dependent sub-groups and as such the quality of the final product cannot be assured. The tendering process could further complicate the whole process as learning curve problems are likely to resort. This paper discusses the modern methods of construction that are common in the UK. Modern Construction Methods The House builders Federation of the UK defines MMC as techniques, which entail efficient production management processes to achieve more quality building products. The modern methods of constructions that have become popular include open panels with lining materials, insulation services, windows, doors, internal wall finishes and external claddings. The UK construction industry is also embracing the use of ready-made parts, which are then pieced together. Unlike traditional houses, modern houses are built using concrete moulds and steels. A number of techniques have been embraced by those using modern construction methods. One of the popular techniques is the adoption of volumetric approach, which entails construction of three-dimensional modular units (Pan, Gibb & Dainty 2007, p.183). According to Parliamentary Office of Science and Technology (2009, p.3), other common modern methods of construction include the use of floor and roof cassettes, pre-cast concrete foundations, and pre-formed wiring looms. In the recent past, UK MMC developments have been redesigned to look like traditional brick houses. It is assumed that this new approach will continue gaining favour with the UK residents. Industries and educational institutions could also take advantage of these new construction approaches in order to achieve the benefits that are detailed below. According to the UK government, modern building techniques have a host of attendant benefits. Firstly, modern houses are easier to construct and environmentally friendly as they involve less transportation of materials and produce less waste. Secondly, they result to fewer accidents and have less impact on local residents during construction. In addition, the modern housing methods require less labour and are economical as fewer materials are required. Thirdly, the modern methods of construction significantly reduce onsite build time by 50%, and thus reduce labour costs. According to a study that was commissioned by the Office of the deputy Prime Minister, the volumetric approach, reduces on-site build time to 16weeks compared to 39 weeks for brick and block style. Likewise, using open panels reduces on-site building time to 20 weeks compared to 39 weeks for brick-and-block style (National Audit Office 2005). The benefits of the modern construction methods are best highlighted by a report that was commissioned by National Audit Office (2005, p.7). According to this report, MMC guarantees the UK residents safer houses because most of the materials are produced under controlled environments (Roy, Low & Waller 2005, p.60). This is unlike on-site building techniques where enhancing quality of products becomes very challenging. In addition, customers are able to preview the complete houses before making any purchases. Although modern methods of construction are likely to become popular, their levels of acceptability among the UK residents are ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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