Association says government should update the regulations and implement a ‘robust system’

Biba has urged the government to make more use of modern methods of construction (MMC) to meet its housing and environmental targets.

MMC involves a range of new ways of working and the use of innovative materials such as mass timber, low carbon concrete and recycled steel. 

In its manifesto, entitled Managing risk for growth and economic security, Biba said this was key for the government as it aims to build 300,000 new homes every year and meet its 2050 net zero target.

It made the claim as it cited research from Building Cost Information Service, which found that the average number of net additional dwellings each year over the last 10 hovered just under 180,000.

It also highlighted that the way the built environment is currently designed and constructed sees this sector contribute 40% of carbon emissions.

“Biba calls for action for government to update the regulations and implement a robust system of certification covering the design, manufacture and sign-off and controls around the offsite construction of buildings using MMC to ensure they are built with precision,” Biba said in its manifesto.


However, Biba also noted that such changes pose insurance challenges that must be addressed for widespread adoption to occur.

For example, it noted that a survey conducted in July 2023 by the Green Construction Board’s Low Carbon Concrete Group found that 41% of respondents identified insurance and warranty concerns as a significant obstacle to the widespread adoption of low carbon concrete.

”Like many big issues, the underlying problems lie not in the insurance market per se, but in the wider context in which MMC is viewed, regulated and in practice delivered,” Biba said.

The association added that the British Standards Institution was currently working on specifications and technical standards using a range of MMC categories and defining quality and assurance processes.

Biba also urged insurers to create property insurance solutions to encourage wider adoption of MMC and called for a tailored inspection and sign-off regime to help ensure tighter coordination between the offsite and onsite phases of any MMC project.

“This will make provision of relevant PI insurance at the design and construction phase of the project and subsequent latent defect and property insurance for the completed build more achievable,” Biba added.