Frequently Asked Questions

We’ve got all the answers you need when it comes to modular buildings

FAQ’s

What does MMC stand for?

Modern Methods of Construction

What is MMC or Modern Methods of Construction?

MMC is an abbreviation of Modern Methods of Construction and encompases many different types of construction such as Volumetric Modular, panellised, Timber frame, concrete and more. For more information on the MMC definition, you can download the definition guide here or visit https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/modern-methods-of-construction-working-group-developing-a-definition-framework

What are the benefits of Off-site construction or Modern Methods of Construction?

More and more people are unlocking the Benefits and Advantages of Modular Off-Site Construction in order to build versatile, lean, energy-efficient and sustainable buildings within demanding deadlines. Our system comes with many benefits such as; programme and cost certainty; environmental factors; quality controlled factory environment and design flexibility to name a few. Your project could also benefit from more individual factors such as; our ability to work in more restricted areas; speed of additions/extensions; the ability to future proof easily and many more.

What do you mean by volumetric construction?

Volumetric is just another term for modular and involves the production of steel framed 3D units in factory controlled environments

What’s the difference between modular/volumetric construction and off-site construction?

Modular/volumetric construction is a method of precision engineered 3D component construction which takes place in a factory and is known as ‘Off-site’ construction. There are many different methods of ‘off-site’ construction now under the umbrella term of MMC (Modern Methods of Construction).

What is a modular building?

A modular building is a structure made out of 3D steel framed units (likened to how lego works) which are designed for manufacture and then precision engineered in a factory before being transported to site for assembly as homes, schools, hospitals etc..

What is your off-site product/system?

IAll of our products use a Light Gauge Steel Frame system which is flexible and adaptable in design. This system allows us to build from 1 – 6 Storeys.

Where do you supply your modular buildings?

We have a factory in Hull and deliver to on-site locations nationally.

What types of modular buildings do you build?

Predominantly we have always built schools but we have delivered hospitals, rail facilities, office & welfare buildings, retail units and houses. We have split our website up into 3 sections Residential | Education | Commercial for you to easily navigate through our achievements and see what is possible with Modern Methods of Construction.

How can I access off-site methods for procurement?

We have worked hard up-front so that you don’t have to. We are an appointed contractor on a number of OJEU compliant, flexible frameworks which will lighten your load and give you that peace of mind you’ve been looking for. Easy access to a number of ‘best in class’ contractors, speed in procurement without compromising quality, rigorous testing and quality control procedures already undertaken and dedicated support from the framework .gov departments. Read more about our frameworks

I've got planning permission for my traditional build....can I go modular?

In most cases, Yes! We are finding that the local planning authorities are open to off-site for its many benefits and it’s amazing what we can do to give the appearance and performance of traditional buildings. Finding the right modular contractor who will give quick programme and cost advice is key to this transition being successful, and we have just the team!

I've heard modular is more expensive, why?

Modular doesn’t mean more expensive, and we’ve challenged many a budget with success on the basis of build cost alone.  We work hard to understand your operational challenges and can find better value by: –

  • Delivering the project as the Main Contractor – we are a main contractor with a factory not just a modular supplier – by cutting out the middleman you’ll be saving an additional layer of prelims, plus a pesky risk percentage as others spend your money hedging their risk! 
  • Focusing on the benefits for a leaner programme, if this means trading can start sooner, or a lease on an existing facility can be shortened then you could be quids in! 
  • Lifecycle costs – the factory process allows us to prevent water ingress during construction, work in a better environment that is well lit and allows our work to be overseen by full time quality controllers means that material inherent properties aren’t adversely damaged. Wet insulation and sodden air tightness membranes result in a product that initially passes, but can fail in its lifecycle.
  • Reviewing pipelines – if the work is repetitive, and means we can recycle construction details that the customer has already paid for, you’ll see a cost effective product. A product that will have turbo charged improvement with the lessons learned being implemented.

I’m a supplier - How do I work with M-AR?

To deliver off-site solutions on time and within budget, M-AR engage and collaborate with a diverse range of industry leading professionals which include SMEs and local businesses. Our supply partners offer technical support and collectively a wide range of products and services allowing us to operate in multi-sector environments.

It is understood that the benefits of supplier value is not based on cost alone, further considerations must me made to include consistency, reliability and service. All of our core suppliers share our company values and mirror our desire to deliver a positive end-user experience.

We recognise that the foundations of all great buyer/supplier relationship is built around three main pillars; Trust, allowing us to identify risks and share opportunities which will accelerate us beyond our competitors. Transparency, integrity must be present to successfully work together in collaboration, and Compatibility, identifying strengths and importantly understanding limitations to meet expectation and allow our partnership to thrive.

Adopting each of these pillars is essential to ensure that we achieve the best possible service and outcome for all stakeholders.

I’m a main contractor - What’s in it for me?

With margins being squeezed and the inevitable “race to the bottom” to win tenders, the need to explore added value has never been so important. Put simply, exploring off-site as an option for your customer may just win you the job!

By selecting M-AR as your partner you’re buying into our ability to service and manufacture. We can offer a simple box right through to a fully finished and commissioned building. 

We will be actively involved from the initial enquiry offering pre-construction advice, undertaking a design solution and partnering with your on site team to reduce your programme and preliminaries. Our solution will mean a reduction in the on-site labour, reducing safety risk and treading lightly on the local community. It’ll help score top marks for BREEAM and Considerate Constructors. 

Commercially, as we can offer cost certainty you can appraise your risk allowance and contingencies and have a lean team on site whilst ensuring the same contract performance. Some projects even warrant an open book approach, we can work together to assess packages and explore the most cost effective ways to procure between us!

Are all of your supply chain and staff fully and rigorously assessed?

Our material supply chain also go through strict procedures (PQQ) to make sure.

To ensure all materials and services entering our supply chain are sourced and delivered in an ethical and sustainable manner with full traceability and the correct certification under the appropriate legislation, all frequent suppliers to M-AR are asked to complete a pre-qualification questionnaire (PQQ) which ensures that suppliers have the appropriate levels of financial stability, commercial competency and possess relevant levels of experience to support technical projects.

Our standard PQQ will call for details of service & product compliance, request evidence of quality  process & procedures and identify CSR policies which should complement our own as a minimum. Qualitative Analysis is conducted on supplier responses by applying a weighting to each response so that when conducting a benchmark the evaluation reflects a balance between cost, mandatory and desirable requirements.

Suppliers are audited in-line with our ISO 9001 commitment, status records are reviewed periodically to ensure any changes to ratings have been captured and adjusted accordingly.

Residential FAQ’s

What is a modular home?

A modular home is the same as any other home, except it has a steel frame and was precision engineered in factory conditions before being transported to site and assembled for life. Why not have a peek at our showhome from the comfort of your chair

Are modular homes cheaper?

Most of the time, Yes, but this is entirely dependant on the specification of the home and volume being driven to unlock the advantages with a surety of pipeline.

Are modular homes safe?

Our modular homes are built to stand the test of time using a steel frame structure so are extremely safe. Coupled with our rigorous testing, numerous accreditations and quality procedures our homes are as safe as houses! Modular homes are often misconstrued as the ‘Pre-fab’ poor quality temporary buildings from the post war era and so this question pops up. We are working hard to change the perception of today’s modern methods of construction.

Are modular homes mortgageable?

Our homes ARE mortgageable yes. We have undergone stringent processes of accreditation which evaluate and facilitate the adoption of best practice by manufacturers and constructors in key performance areas. BOPAS is backed by Lloyds Register & BLP insurance to give further Quality assurance and have a latent defects warranty so that your homes are mortgageable and insurable assets. Do be careful of any home builders who do not have a stamp of approval, it’s always good to do your research. You can find out more about BOPAS here

What do your modular homes look like?

Our showhome is available to view at our factory but because that’s not always convenient or cost effective we have produced a 3D walk-through for you to enjoy from the comfort of your chair. Why not have a look around here

Can I design my own steel framed/modular home?

Yes in a word. However, in order to unlock the advantages of off-site construction, you will need to drive volume and design for manufacture and assembly, but we can help you with all of this as we have a specialist in-house design team.

Does standardisation mean that I won’t be able to use my own design?

Standardisation for us, means that your homes are built using standard components. If you have a design, we can work with you to standardise it in the most efficient way. This does not mean that you can’t achieve architectural flair. We can also work with you to design bespoke homes that suit your needs but standardised for the factory process. By providing the pipeline volume, with a standardised product, you will accelerate your programmes and reduce costs dramatically

What is your residential capacity?

Currently, we can complete 8 homes per week, fully finished, internally and externally…

How fast can you build a modular home?

As fast as ordering a sofa… Depending on the scope you are typically looking at about 12 weeks from start to finish.

What happens to a modular building after it’s design life?

Nothing. Our houses are the same as any other traditional house, we just use a steel frame instead of blocks and mortar. Providing it is maintained and it’s component parts replaced when required throughout its life, a modular house will last a lifetime. Unlike its traditional counterpart, a modular build can actually be recycled should it ever need to be demolished.

If you have any questions you would like us to answer, why not connect through our social channels or drop us an email and we’ll do our best to list your FAQ’s here for everyone to benefit.

Take a look at what we can do for you

Residential

From development partnerships to single self builds, our Residential sector takes care of everything a new home needs.

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Commercial

Whether you need office space, restaurants, waste plants, warehousing or healthcare facilities, we do it all. From beginning to end.

Learn more

Education

Specialised learning environments to give the next generation of students the best educational facilities on offer.

Learn more

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