Mace chief executive Mark Reynolds has called on the government to reward firms that “take the lead” on modern methods of construction (MMC).
Mr Reynolds was commenting on the government’s announcement today that it plans to put MMC at the heart of its £600bn public pipeline.
“Modern methods of construction are key to dramatically increasing our industry’s productivity, quality and safety challenges,” the Mace boss said.
“It is encouraging that the government recognises the benefits of MMC and is committed to its adoption through public procurement.
“It makes sense for the government to reward the companies who are willing to take the lead.”
Mr Reynolds said he believed the investment needed in R&D would only produce results through government and industry working more closely.
“Transformation and innovation will not happen without significant investment in research and development, which is why the government and the industry must work together to realise the benefits this announcement provides, alongside the sector deal,” he added.
The government has proposed a preferred approach to building infrastructure – dubbed “a platform approach to design for manufacture and assembly”, or “P-DfMA”.
It described this as a modern method of construction that constitutes a specific form of design for manufacture and assembly.
These proposals are designed to help meet the government’s objectives as outlined in the industrial strategy, the sector deal and the Transforming Infrastructure Performance programme, including the presumption in favour of offsite construction announced in last year’s Budget.
WSP also responded to the government’s pipeline, calling for clear leadership from Westminster to reduce uncertainty in the construction industry.
The firm suggested this could be achieved via national policy statements for sub-national transport bodies, and associated growth corridors.
The consultant also said the industry needed a “joined-up” plan for all types of infrastructure.
WSP director Adrian Hames said: “Our society is changing, and so are our businesses, and the need to build modern and most importantly flexible infrastructure that makes use of the latest technology has never been greater.
“As we gear up towards Brexit, we need to find new ways to attract private investment so we can get construction under way and start delivering on transformational infrastructure if we’re to truly maintain our edge as a global leader.”