Among the many benefits of modular construction is the speed with which a project can be completed, due to the fact construction of modular buildings can occur simultaneously with site and foundation work. By carrying out typically linear tasks simultaneously projects can reach completion 30%-50% sooner than with traditional construction methods.
The value of simultaneity in construction is also one of the benefits delivered by Performance Technology Group. By bringing together expertise and manufacturing capabilities across a wide range of disciplines, PTG are able to reduce the amount of activity required in ensuring a construction project meets fire, thermal, acoustic and other challenges.
Saving Time, Reducing Complexity
Whereas ordinarily, an architect, contractor or installer will have to liaise with multiple contacts across multiple businesses in order to source solutions for their construction project, with PTG there is a single initial point of contact. In principle, a project’s fire, thermal and acoustic requirements can be addressed in a single meeting, with PTG bringing all the necessary expertise to the table. This obviously represents a time-saving for customers (one meeting, rather than several), but there is also a subtler time-saving due to the reduction in complexity.
Complexity, particularly in construction projects, creates numerous opportunities for problems to arise. According to Sven Bertelsen, Senior Research Advisor to Lean Construction (Denmark), “Construction projects are in general rich in plan failure, delays, cost overruns and grief. Construction – along with most phenomena in our living world – must be perceived as a complex system, operating on the edge of chaos.” By reducing this complexity, PTG are able to mitigate the kinds of problems that can undermine and jeopardise the construction schedule.
PTG is also able to use its interdisciplinary structure to produce system solutions that would normally involve an architect, contractor or installer having to interact with a number of separate suppliers.
For example, in rainscreen cladding applications, PTG can bring together sheathing panels, the innovative Chi-Gasket cold-bridging solution (both from the Euroform arm of PTG) with a range of Open State Cavity Barriers from their AIM business to create an effective means of achieving compliance in relation to thermal performance and resistance to fire. PTG can also source and supply thermal insulation and high-performance cladding through their established third-party relationships and robust supply chains.
From Foundations to Fit-Out
PTG are involved at almost every stage of construction. They provide site protection from the very outset of a construction project. They supply both vibration isolation and thermal insulation for foundations. They are involved in every stage of the building envelope’s development, contributing to through-wall solutions to offer resistance to air, water, heat and noise transfer. They’re involved in HVAC solutions for both acoustic and thermal performance. They contribute to the acoustic effectiveness of wall, floors and ceilings, ensuring Part E compliance. Wherever and whenever, for example, an architectural technician finds themselves facing a challenge relating to the material performance of a building project, PTG will have, or will have access to, a solution.
The PTG Roster
PTG currently consists of nine businesses: AIM, CMS Danskin, Euroform, Mayplas, Ockwells, Central Refractories, IMS, Innogain and Insulslab. AIM is a manufacturer of mineral fibre and foam products, specialising in fire stop blocks and cavity barriers. CMS Danskin are experts in soundproofing and acoustic insulation. Euroform specialise in building boards and in ensuring fire and thermal compliance in building facades. Mayplas fabricate and supply a wide range of insulation materials, and specialise in highly bespoke cutting, lamination and encapsulation. Ockwells are a leading supplier of temporary site protection. Central Refractories, as their name suggests, a premier supplier of refractory products and services. IMS are experts in high-temperature insulation. Innogain are the innovators behind a revolutionary solution for through, anchor and precision hole-making in concrete. And, finally, Insulslab offer a complete foundation system, particularly for housing sites with difficult ground conditions.
Mark Fyfe, Group Sales and Business Development Director for Performance Technology Group, said, “We offer an industry-leading portfolio of trusted products, the interdisciplinary expertise to supply with confidence, and with an emphasis on highly bespoke fabrication and ambitious product innovation.”
The Mayor of West Midlands Andy Street, was recently taken on a guided tour of a West Midlands based modular housing company Totally Modular, which is hoping to contribute to the region’s ambitions to increase housing output.
Managing director of Totally Modular, John Connolly, and operations director, Mick Pettitt, guided the West Midlands Mayor around the company’s Cradley Heath HQ, where he was able to see a range of house types suitable for single occupants or families and met some of the skilled staff who design, construct and install them on sites around the country.
The company’s volumetric building method allows 97% of its homes to be completed offsite, before being transported to their permanent locations. It can then take as little as 48 hours from arriving on site, being put in place, and connected to utilities before welcoming its new residents.
Andy Street said: “It was great to visit Totally Modular and see first-hand their innovative house-building methods. The West Midlands Combined Authority is committed to tackling homelessness and increasing the number of homes being built in the region and it has been really helpful to talk with Totally Modular about new ways we can do this.”
The Mayor was accompanied on the visit by David Warburton, head of land and development at the West Midlands Combined Authority (WMCA), who said: “It was of great interest to see how the company can create much-needed quality housing, suitable for a range of people, in such a short time. I think modular homes could really speed up the entire process, and should be seriously considered by all housing providers.
“The WMCA is committed to embracing the benefits of modular construction leading to an enhanced delivery in terms of speed, quality and cost with a view to making the West Midlands the epicentre of the UK’s offsite construction sector.”
Totally Modular is looking to expand its operations throughout the West Midlands, and hopes to create up to 450 jobs in each of its regional facilities, through direct employment and with local supply chain partners.
Mick Pettitt, operations director, said: “It was good to see exactly how interested and impressed our guests were. They are so obviously determined to take practical measures to address homelessness and the housing shortage, and I believe Totally Modular is in an ideal position to help.
“Because our units are built under controlled conditions, workmanship is of the highest standard, minimising the need for site inspection and virtually making redundant the dreaded ‘snagging lists’ synonymous with new housing. The speed at which we can create these homes will allow for an increase in productivity when it comes to housebuilding in the West Midlands and across the UK.
“Our link with Dudley College and local Universities is also a great way of attracting young people into the industry and helping to bridge the skills gap. By teaching them advanced modular building techniques, we can provide the foundations for a multi-skilled career within the industry at a time when this is hugely lacking. ”