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Places for People and Totally Modular Secure UKRI Funding to Revolutionise MMC Procurement

Totally Modular are thrilled to be a contributing partner of the trail blazing Transforming Construction funded project IGNITE, Integrated Intelligent Digital Tendering System. Working with one of the UK’s prestige national housing associations, Places for People we form part of a consortium that aims to implement an integrated software solution that will transform housing design, costing, tendering and manufacturing for MMC delivery. It will create a transparent procurement process for housing developers and MMC suppliers, and give certainty of specification back to housing providers and asset managers. It will act as the basis of the ‘Golden Thread of Information’, and allow landlords to respond proactively to changes in regulation throughout their supply chain. Through a collaborative approach the project is lead by Places for People with the following contributing partners; Totally Modular, The Manufacturing Technology Centre, LYNQ, Northmills Associates, Modular Wise and Project Etopia.

The aim of this project is to develop a digital process to reflect the roles of Architects and designers, and Quantity-surveyors into Manufacturing Supply-chain System (AQMSS) to support and enable a more dynamic and agile supply chain for modular housing. The AQMSS will deliver transparency of product design and costs and provide a full and complete digital record of procured houses to better enable and support whole life asset management.

The project will enable all of the consortium partners (and their sector equivalents throughout industry) to deliver their products and services more effectively, efficiently and collaboratively.

This will increase opportunity and drive greater productivity for all involved. Consortia partners are key stakeholders in the current state process and will be direct beneficiaries of the outcomes.

Digital tendering will focus Off-Site Construction (OSC) on improving their factory efficiency and adaptability. It will enable design and cost changes to be monitored in real time with transparency on both sides of the supply chain, providing mutual benefits.

MMC enabled home builders are expected to achieve a 30-50% increase in the effectiveness of their resources (employees and machines), helping to reduce the cost of manufacture and ultimately the price of OSC homes. This digitalisation and streamlining of the supply chain is expected to drive further efficiencies while allowing OSC home builders to react and respond to changes in regulation, local market demand, material specifications and other design changes.

Having better visibility of the design and costing process, Registered Providers (RPs) can optimise supply chains and bulk procure components, materials, fixtures and systems more effectively, reducing capital and operational costs. We anticipate material cost reduction of up to 10%. Planning and forecasting project delivery from “decision to build” to placing an order could be reduced by as much as 8 weeks.

John Connolly, Managing Director of Totally Modular said: 

“We are delighted to have played our part and to be associated with PfP’s successful application with regard the recent UKRI Transforming Construction call. In committing to an investment in excess of £100m in volumetric modular technology to support their housing development nationwide, PfP have a demonstrated their commitment to the model which they believe will raise the standard of how housing is delivered, maintained and monitored for their residents of today and for generations to come.

This technology led consortium will assist in raising standards of build, performance and life time operating costs of housing stock, thus reducing the negative connotations associated to some of the horror stories reported on of late via the national media and press outlets.”

Julie Alexander, Director of Technology and Innovation for Places for People said: 

“Project IGNITE will create a new digital toolset that will allow developers to regain control of house designs across the MMC supply chain. House builders that retain assets such as in the regulated housing sector require more input into the design of the products being procured to ensure they meet the needs of their customers and Project IGNITE will allow this to happen.

Developers will also get more visibility of the in-factory manufacturing process allowing them better financial control over MMC projects. The project will also ensure that all houses being procured will be delivered with a digital twin, critical for the future of asset management.”


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