Construction output and notably housebuilding figures show encouraging growth, according to the latest data from the ONS.

Monthly construction output is estimated to have grown by 1.9% in volume terms in May 2024; this follows a fall of 1.1% in April 2024.

The main contributors to the monthly increase were a 2.8% increase in total new housing, with both private and public new housing increasing on the month.

Commenting on the latest numbers Beard Construction finance director Fraser Johns said: “Although more recent PMI data shows just how volatile the sector is, the news that both private and public new housing is leading this charge will be welcome to the many that rely on this sector. It is a real example of the resilience we continue to see from firms across UK construction.”

He added: “Until we see output and new orders increasing consistently month-on-month, we shouldn’t take anything for granted though. With the election now settled, the hope is we can all pick back up and continue to build momentum during the second half of the year. As we see borrowing conditions improve, with a potential base rate cut in the near future, this will certainly enable more clients to push ahead with plans.

Q New Homes director Michael Wynne echoed the positive sentiment: “Construction has gone from zero to hero in the space of just one month, moving from the being the weakest to the strongest sector of the economy in May.

“The jump in output can only be partly explained by the contrast between May’s good weather – which was officially the warmest on record – and the rain-soaked April, which delayed work on many building sites.”

He added: “Levels of new housebuilding spiked by 2.8% during the month, and while this is very welcome it’s worth remembering that this figure is flattered by comparison to the low levels seen during the first part of the year.”

He added: “A better test of the market’s health will come over the coming month, as housebuilders digest the reforms announced by the incoming Government and we anxiously await the Bank of England’s next interest rate decision at the start of August.

“The start of an interest rate cut cycle should unleash a surge of pent-up demand from both developers and homebuyers – which will determine whether today’s positive data is a blip or a bounce-back.”

More than three-quarters (76%) of senior industry decision-makers at large UK firms have high expectations for the use of AI in construction
New research commissioned by IFS found that more than two-thirds (68%) of construction decision-makers think their industry is adopting AI at a faster rate than others.

The findings highlight the increasing optimism of the sector about the potential of AI.

31% of the survey sample indicate that executives and board members have high expectations for AI’s ability to enhance market knowledge.

AI will also boost product or service innovation and create consistent growth opportunities, according to 29% of the survey respondents.

While 76% of leaders report a high level of readiness for AI adoption in construction, concerns persist about the quality of AI resources, especially human skills.

Over a third (36%) rate their team’s AI skills as merely passable, highlighting a gap between AI aspirations and current capabilities.

Equally concerning, more than a quarter (27%) indicate that upskilling is not a priority.

The report found that 36% of firms have developed clear strategies and are seeing tangible results from their AI initiatives. This demonstrates the benefits of a well-planned approach.

Another 31% are in the process of gathering proposals for pilot projects, highlighting a proactive stance towards exploring AI applications.

The remaining 31% are still in the research phase, indicating a cautious yet determined effort to understand the potential of AI in the construction industry.

Despite concerted efforts, almost two-thirds (64%) of respondents believe it will take one to three years for AI to make a significant impact on their organisations.

42% of respondents indicated that their legacy-based technology landscape is hindering their progress in adopting and deploying AI.

Additionally, 41% expressed uncertainty about potential AI use cases within their business, underscoring the need for a clearer strategic direction.

Kenny Ingram, VP of construction and engineering at IFS, said: “While the enthusiasm for AI in the UK construction sector is clear, our research shows that there are significant challenges to overcome. The legacy technology landscape and the need for upskilling are potential obstacles.

“However, with a strategic approach and investment in the right resources, these barriers can be addressed effectively.”


According to new data published on 12 June by the Office of National Statistics, construction output fell dramatically in April, which marked the third consecutive monthly fall since a small uplift was recorded in January.

The 1.4% contraction in activity was caused by decreases in both new work (- 1.9%), and repair and maintenance (-0.8%).

The survey returns suggested heavy rainfall and strong winds dampened activity during April.

The latest figures will be a blow to the Government, which on 11 June laid out its Manifesto plan to boost house building with stamp duty cuts and reinstatement of help to buy for first-time buyers.

At the sector level, seven out of the nine sectors saw a fall in April. The main contributors to the monthly decrease were private housing new work, and private housing repair and maintenance, which fell by 4.4% and 2.5%, respectively.

In the three months to April, the industry has seen construction output fall 2.2%, mainly due to a 2.8% fall in new work brought on by project delays.

Clive Docwra, managing director of property and construction consultancy McBains, said: “After last month’s figures showed the construction sector still mired in technical recession, today’s figures come as a further blow for the industry.

“A close to 2% fall in new work across the board highlights the continuing caution shown by investors being reluctant to commit to new projects while so many economic uncertainties remain.

“New work in private housing in particular remains in the doldrums, seeing a fall of more than 4%.

“Many in the industry are crossing their fingers for a post-election boost, but today’s figures show that whichever party forms the next government has a job on its hands to restore confidence and encourage growth.”

Scott Motley, head of programme, project and cost management at AECOM, said: “After an uptick in the broader economic climate, many will be hopeful that construction industry output will soon follow suit.

“Importantly, the upcoming General Election will provide clarity on the nation’s future direction earlier than anticipated, bringing with it the prospect of a new infrastructure strategy and greater confidence in investment decisions in the second half of the year.

“However, the continued high cost of doing business will still make for challenging landscape post-election until interest rates drop significantly.”

Fraser Johns, finance director at Beard, said: “Given the poor weather conditions seen in April, it should be hardly surprising to see a drop in monthly construction output. A sixth consecutive fall in the three-month series is more troubling, however it shows the mixed bag of the industry in the current climate.

“While there are those across the country undoubtedly experiencing challenges and significant pressures, from our perspective, the south of England remains incredibly buoyant with growing confidence and demand from both clients and from regional and national frameworks helping to fill our pipeline.”

GRAHAM has initiated the construction of a £59m ($73.99m) low-carbon residential project in Edinburgh, named Burnet Point.

To be located in Abbey Lane, the project is claimed to be the first-ever mixed-use residential development of its kind by student accommodation provider Unite Students.

Unite Students group development director Tom Brewerton said: “This is the company’s first combined development of purpose-built student accommodation, build-to-rent and affordable housing. We look forward to contributing positively to the student and private rental market in Edinburgh to help address the supply-demand imbalance in the city.

“This development reflects Unite Students’ ongoing commitment to providing high-standard, affordable student accommodation in locations where demand is greatest.”

The project will utilise a low-carbon concrete and timber composite, an eco-friendly alternative to natural wood.

Burnet Point will feature 298 student bedrooms, including a variety of cluster and studio flats, with communal spaces and accessible landscaped roof areas.

In addition, the scheme will offer 66 flats for rent.

Of these, 17 units will be designated as affordable and managed by Hillcrest Homes.

The completion of Burnet Point is scheduled for September 2025, aligning with the 2025/2026 academic term.

GRAHAM Building North regional managing director Gary Holmes said: “Burnet Point is a unique project which prioritises sustainable construction.

“The demand for student accommodation continues to grow and the build-to-rent market remains buoyant, giving us a strong pipeline of projects in the coming years.”

Last month, GRAHAM, on behalf of Wirral Council, announced plans to initiate two motorway improvement schemes in Birkenhead’s town centre.

From Global Data


Bath and North East Somerset Council have announced a planning policy to reduce carbon emissions and work towards net-zero construction

This approach, in collaboration with the University of Bath, shows six initiatives aimed at achieving net-zero targets through local collaboration.

The report presented by the Key Cities Innovation Network (KCIN) in “Civic Partners in Net Zero“ sets an example of sustainable construction practices across the UK.

Achieving net zero by tackling construction pollution

Since January 2023, the Council has implemented strict local planning policies requiring that all new building developments achieve net zero operational energy. Major developments must also meet an incorporated carbon target, surpassing national building regulations. Bath and North East Somerset were the first UK local authorities to introduce these planning policies.

What happens in our cities – in construction, in transport, in waste processing, in energy consumption – has a major impact in how we reach our net zero targets as a nation

The council worked with the university to review the impact. So far, they found that initial assessments reveal a significant improvement in the projected outcomes of new applications, showing a promising shift towards eco-conscious construction practices. Industry support for the policy aims has been strong, showing a collective commitment to combatting climate change.

Professor Ian White, Vice-Chancellor of the University of Bath, praised the joint effort, highlighting sustainability as a priority research theme for the institution.

Initiatives across the UK

The “Civic Partners in Net Zero” report also features other initiatives from across the UK including:

  • Coventry University and Coventry City Council’s new technology enables active recharging of electric vehicles, changing transportation in urban settings.
  • Lancaster University’s collaboration with educators integrates sustainability into everyday teaching, inspiring future generations to embrace eco-friendly practices.
  • Wrexham University allows communities and industries to drive the net zero transition, promoting a culture of environmental management.
  • The University of South Wales explores the potential of biotechnology to support a circular economy by transforming waste into clean energy and fertilisers.
  • The University of Southampton teams up with a theatre company to emotionally engage primary school audiences with climate science.

Cllr John Merry, Chair of Key Cities and Deputy Mayor of Salford City Council, said: “The ideas presented here are important and exciting. Important because what happens in our cities – in construction, in transport, in waste processing, in energy consumption – has a major impact in how we reach our net zero targets as a nation, and we in the Key Cities are determined to play our part. Exciting because they demonstrate the ingenuity in our universities and councils, and the strength of our growing civic partnership across the network. These are ideas we can build on, both as a network and in partnership with our communities, stakeholders and the government.”

Professor Maria Hinfelaar, Vice-Chancellor of Wrexham University, also highlighted the collective effort needed to replicate and upscale these initiatives.

Working towards net-zero-carbon construction

Cllr Kevin Guy, Leader of Bath & North East Somerset Council and Deputy Chair of Key Cities, said: “In Bath and North East Somerset, I am proud of the strong and longstanding partnerships we have with our two universities so it is great to see our collaboration with the University of Bath on net-zero-carbon construction so well reflected in the report.

Source: Open Access Government

Telford College’s apprenticeships team is helping to signpost businesses to as much as £10,000 for each candidate which fills a much-needed skills gap in the sector.

“The Construction Industry Training Board has grants for approved apprenticeships at level two and above that focus on core construction skills needed across the industry,” said Telford College business development manager Chris Field.

“Employers are entitled to £2,500 a year through the CITB for attendance whilst completing the apprenticeship, payable in quarterly instalments.

“On top of this, there is also £3,500 achievement grant which is payable on completion of the full apprenticeship.

“For an apprenticeship which runs for two and a half or three years, that could add up to more than £10,000.

“You have to be a CITB registered employer to be entitled to this grant aid – for smaller-sized construction businesses, this is free. Even for the larger companies, it’s worthwhile and the membership fee is a tiny fraction of the incentives which are available.”

Telford College’s construction-related apprenticeships which qualify for the CITB grant support include property maintenance, bricklayer, groundworks, highways maintenance and road surfacing operative.

Chris added: “We are here to support employers every step of the way. We recognise that they are experts in construction industries – not in filling out paperwork for grant applications. That’s where we come in, with our experience and expertise.

“It’s about encouraging the next generation into the construction industry to keep pace with huge demand for skills.

“Construction companies might not know about the grant support which is available through these channels – or think it’s too good to be true and there must be a catch. There isn’t.”

He added: “We can liaise with industry bodies and help with the paperwork. You can trust us to manage the process and make it an easy process.”

From The Shropshire Star

The North America modular construction sector is experiencing a significant upsurge, with the market size hitting US$ 27.3 billion in the year 2023. Forecasts indicate a robust continuation of this trend, with an anticipated climb to a market size of US$ 42.2 billion by the year 2032. This projection corresponds to a compounded annual growth rate of 5.0% from 2023 to 2032. This expansion signifies the industry’s growing commitment to sustainable construction practices and its response to the increasing demand for rapid, cost-efficient building solutions.

The substantial growth can chiefly be attributed to the augmented demand for prefabricated building structures in North America, coupled with the sector’s intent to diminish construction time and costs. The market’s upward momentum is further supported by the surge in infrastructure projects, encompassing healthcare, corporate offices, residential complexes, and educational institutions.

Additionally, heightened environmental concerns regarding the carbon emissions associated with traditional construction are propelling regional interest towards modular construction methods. Government initiatives across the United States and Canada that encourage the erection of green buildings have also played a pivotal role in the market’s growth. Moreover, the advent of advanced technology integrations, such as 3D printing and Building Information Modeling (BIM), is predicted to further amplify the market’s prospects.

Impact of COVID-19 on the modular construction sector

Despite healthy growth indicators, the modular construction market faced setbacks due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Measures to curtail the virus’ spread, such as lockdowns and stay-at-home orders, prompted the postponement of various construction projects, creating disruptions in supply chains and temporary facility shutdowns, all of which impacted market performance.

Key market segmentation

The market is segmented into distinct divisions, including Permanent Modular Construction (PMC) and Relocatable Buildings (RB). Additional segments comprise various sectors, such as public, residential, and commercial, alongside a breakdown by construction material, with categories encompassing wood, concrete, and steel, among others. Geographically, the market encapsulates profound analysis at both regional and country levels, with the United States and Canada being central areas of focus within the North American market.

Industry competitive landscape

The competitive dynamics of the industry have been carefully assessed, showcasing key players who are contributing to the market’s development and expansion. These industry leaders are fostering innovation and utilizing strategic initiatives to strengthen their market presence, ultimately serving a diverse range of construction needs in the modular construction space.

Looking forward

As the North America modular construction market paves the path toward a more sustainable and efficient future, it continues to offer substantial opportunities for players within the industry and potential entrants, with a steady growth rate that signals enduring demand for modular construction solutions across North America.

Source: Yahoo! Finance

Barfield Prep School welcomed a visit by the mayor of Farnham, Cllr Alan Earwaker, to open its new dining hall on Monday, April 22. Sustainable construction firm TG Escapes designed and built the new hall using modular construction methods in just four months, allowing children to continue their education.

The bespoke timber building offers panoramic views across the school’s grounds and plenty of natural light through its floor-to-ceiling windows.

It is a low energy ‘A’ rated building with solar panels on the roof, air source heat pumps, active ventilation and heat recovery, and LED lighting.

It boasts a commercial kitchen with cold and dry stores, pot wash area, office, toilet, plant room and a veranda overlooking the headteacher’s lawn.

Andy Boyle, Barfield headmaster, said: “Thanks to TG Escapes we now have a beautifully designed eco-friendly functional building for everyone at the school to enjoy and benefit from.”

Source: Farnham Herald

Algeco UK OSS has shared behind-the-scenes images of its latest 75-bedroom Single Living Accommodation (SLA) complex at the Ministry of Defence (MOD) Stafford. The company has delivered a full turnkey solution, acting as Principal Contractor to the Defence Infrastructure Organisation (DIO) and the British Army.

Modern Methods of Construction (MMC) refers to offsite and onsite techniques, which could include mass production and factory assembly as alternatives to traditional building methods. These are a fast way of delivering new buildings focused on the efficiency of materials and human resources.  Modular buildings devised utilising MMC have the potential to deliver significant improvements in productivity and quality for both the construction industry and the end user. They also minimise the work required on-site, which can have added benefits and appeal for those in sectors such as Defence.

The solution provided to MOD Stafford is a CTM Leve1 (Category 1) Pre-Manufacturing 3D primary structural system that will be used to house members of the army. The three-storey building, known as Beacon Barracks, is set to offer high-quality accommodation with integral communal areas, as well as a brick slip façade and sustainable features including solar PV and heat pumps. The modules for the barracks were manufactured in Carnaby in East Yorkshire and delivered to the site with a Pre-Manufactured Value (PMV) of around 80%. MOD Stafford was designed by AHR Architects, supporting the Algeco UK OSS team on the construction stage and architectural design through its Leeds offices.

A full site inspection has now been carried out with strong feedback received by attendees and participants, particularly regarding the overall quality and feel compared to comparative schemes.  Volumetric Air tests are carried out on all completed projects and the SLA Block at MOD Stafford has achieved a rating of 1.18. Lee Kenton of Build Energy commented that 1.18 is “exemplary for the size of the building” and “far exceeded” the Passivhaus gold standard of 0.60, with an air change rate of 0.48.

The new barracks at MOD Stafford is part of an £800M investment into SLA by the Army over the next decade. This investment into modern infrastructure is set to provide military personnel with the fit-for-purpose accommodation facilities they deserve, as well as contribute to ambitions to become Carbon Net Zero by 2050.

Brigadier Pete Quaite, head of army infrastructure plans, said: “I visited the Single Living Accommodation under construction at Beacon Barracks at the start of this year. To see the finished block just two months later shows the impressive pace of progress being achieved through our modular design and build programme. This new SLA is another excellent example of how ongoing Army investment is improving the quality of life for our people, providing them with modern, spacious and well-designed accommodation.”

Wayne Yeomans, Algeco UK OSS sales and marketing director, added: “This is modular and offsite construction at its best. I must applaud the Algeco UK team as well as our supply chain partners, including AHR Architects, for making this possible. Working with architects means we have incorporated innovative features into the design, such as solar PV orientation to maximise the amount of electricity produced and optimising the number of overall modules required.

“We were selected as the modular building partner by the MOD because of our track record in supplying high quality accommodation on a diverse range of other publicly funded projects, along with our willingness to collaborate with project partners and deliver excellent value for money. “The quality of these solutions is proven by results, like the industry-leading scores achieved in our recent volumetric air test, which is not an easy achievement. We have learnt so much from this project and we are proud this will also help inform the Defence Infrastructure Organisation’s future Programmatic Design approach.”

The report “Modular Construction Market by Type (Permanent, Relocatable), Module, Material (Wood, Steel, Concrete), End-Use Industry (Residential, Office, Education, Retail & Commercial, Hospitality, Healthcare), Region – Global Forecast to 2029” estimated the global modular construction market size will grow from USD 104.1 billion in 2024 to USD 140.8 billion by 2029, at a CAGR of 6.2% during the forecast period.

The modular construction market is growing rapidly due to urbanization, population growth, and the need for faster, more efficient building methods. Technological advancements have enhanced the quality and customization options of modular buildings, making them increasingly popular. Additionally, the focus on sustainability drives the adoption of modular construction, which generates less waste and requires fewer resources compared to traditional methods. However, factors such as lack of awareness and volatility in transportation charges may stall the growth of the market.

Permanent modular building is estimated to dominate the market

The modular construction market is categorized as permanent and relocatable. Permanent modular buildings are reported as having the largest market share in the modular construction market. Permanent modular construction saves time and labour, thus lowering the construction cost.

Steel is projected to be the fastest growing segment in the modular construction market

Steel is the fastest-rising segment for the modular construction market from 2024 to 2029, in terms of value. This is because of the increasing use of steel in construction activities. Steel is also lighter in contrast to other materials, which makes it easy to be craned and transported into a place in a more efficient manner, resulting in less disturbance to the local area.

The residential segment is expected to dominate the modular construction market.

Residential building structures can be built using modular construction solutions in about half the time as compared to conventional site-built construction methods. Different countries are turning to the adoption of modular construction methods as the modular construction helps in waste reduction during the construction process as the different modules are made in-factory. The residential end-use industry reported the most substantial demand for modular construction in 2023, in terms of value and volume.

Asia Pacific is the largest market for modular construction.

The Asia-Pacific (APAC) region emerges as the largest market in the modular construction industry among APAC, North America, Europe, the Middle East & Africa (MEA), and South America, primarily due to several key factors. Construction, one of the biggest and most valuable manufacturing sectors in the region, is highly fragmented and consists of a considerable number of large, medium-sized, and small construction companies. The construction players in the industry have adopted various technologies as a strategy to sustain the growing demand and competition. Rapid urbanization, industrialization, and expanding middle-class populations in countries like China, India, and Southeast Asian nations contribute significantly to the region’s dominance in the market. Furthermore, increasing urbanization has led to changes in lifestyle and consumption patterns, driving the need for independent housing units.