Mark Farmer to Chair Liverpool City Region’s Modern Methods of Construction Programme
The Liverpool City Region Combined Authority has announced the appointment of construction industry expert Mark Farmer as Chair of the Liverpool City Region’s Modern Methods of Construction Strategic Steering Group.
The programme will develop cutting edge manufacturing techniques to make 10,000 homes more energy efficient over the next ten years, while building 6,500 energy-efficient new homes over the same period.
Mark Farmer is CEO of Cast Consultancy and independent Modern Methods of Construction (MMC) adviser to the government.
He has 30 years’ experience in construction and authored a review of the UK’s construction labour model entitled ‘Modernise or Die.’ He is a member of the Construction Innovation Hub industry board, the Construction Leadership Council advisory group, West Midlands Combined Authority’s Advanced Manufacturing in Construction Advisory Group, and chairs the MHCLG joint industry working group tasked with enabling greater use of Modern Methods of Construction in the residential sector.
Speaking about Mark’s appointment, Councillor Graham Morgan, Liverpool City Region Combined Authority Portfolio Holder for Housing and Spatial Framework, said:
“We identified our Modern Methods of Construction programme as a key part of our £9 billion economic recovery plan for the city region as we build back stronger from COVID-19. Developing and using modern manufacturing techniques will play a key role in improving and increasing our housing stock, and in our drive to reach net zero carbon.
“This programme offers the opportunity to improve the quality and quantity of our housing stock, whilst delivering significant social and environmental impacts, and could have a hugely positive impact for the UK as a whole, by enhancing design and production quality for housing, along with ensuring lower carbon and energy use.
“Mark is the leading figure in this work nationally and his appointment to this vital role shows just how committed we are to ensuring this innovative programme’s success.”
Reacting to his appointment, Mark Farmer said:
“I am delighted to be taking on the chair role for LCA’s MMC programme. We are at a critical stage in the evolution of the UK’s MMC market and the role of demand aggregators including Mayoral Combined Authorities is going to be increasingly important in creating a sustainable industry where there is more uniformity and scale that can be used to better shape the manufacturing market.
“Liverpool City Region’s ambitions align with the vision of Government, both in terms of new build homes and retrofit of existing stock. There is also an opportunity here to collaborate with other like-minded aggregators including other Combined Authorities and Housing Association groupings as well as to interface more strategically with Government. I look forward to helping make that happen.”
Liverpool City Region’s Modern Methods of Construction programme will develop cutting edge technology to retrofit existing homes and build new homes with new, state-of-the-art, methods of construction. It is being developed in a collaboration between the Liverpool City Region Combined Authority, the Manufacturing Technology Centre (MTC), the Construction Innovation Hub, Peel Land and Property, Torus Group, Housing Associations, and Industry Partners.
The programme will aim to retrofit 10,000 homes over the next ten years, bringing them up to at least the EPC (Energy Performance Certificate) “C” rating for energy efficiency, as part of a post-COVID recovery stimulus package, whilst developing and upskilling the workforce by applying new methods and systems of refurbishments and construction.
Under the new build element of the programme, the MTC and LCR stakeholders have aggregated an initial pipeline of over 6,500 homes to be built over 10 years. At the same time, it will support the development and success of the modular, digitised manufacturing sector in the LCR, increasing productivity, ensuring a strong supply of employment opportunities across the supply chain and supported by an apprenticeship programme.
Today’s announcement is the latest phase of the LCR National Centre of Excellence in Modern Methods of Construction for Homes programme, one of the key projects in the city region’s £9 billion ‘Building Back Better’ economic recovery plan, launched in August 2020.
The programme has already started on an initial pilot using a sample of Torus properties, which will provide insight and intelligence to inform the larger programme. Torus is a social purpose regeneration and housing group, the largest in the North West where all profits are reinvested to build stronger communities.
The Modern Methods of Construction programme will develop specialist technologies which aim to achieve significant reductions on initial and life cycle costs, halve delivery times, and realise the following benefits: