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Design for Manufacture
& Assembly

For more information on any of our DfMA services contact Nigel Ostime

We can use our experience of Design for Manufacture and Assembly (DfMA) to provide specific MMC Adviser consultancy services. We can also use our unique skills in developing digital tools to create a tailored kit-of-parts approach that drives productivity and value and delivers consistent project outcomes.

DfMA Toolkit

Bridging the gap between design and manufacturing, the new digital DfMA Toolkit from COLAB (a consortium of L&Q, Hawkins\Brown, HTA Design and Virtual Viewing) was launched in December 2021.

Awarded funding through an Innovate UK competition, COLAB was tasked with developing a digital solution that addressed one of the construction industry’s key issues: how to implement Modern Methods of Construction.  The DfMA (Design for Manufacture and Assembly) Toolkit is designed to encourage housing providers to think about the building process earlier in the project programme, so that the benefits of offsite manufacture can be designed in.

Helping the project team understand the processes and create improvements, the DfMA Toolkit app uses 3D interactive graphics to allow the user to visualise aspects and impacts of the toolkit. The app draws on the significant improvements and advancements made by the COLAB consortium in the processing of BIM models and the data they contain. Below the line and powering much of the data visualisation is a centrally held data-lake, accessed by secure API, allowing the app to pull on the latest, verified data available.

To ensure resources are used responsibly, the DfMA Toolkit can also establish data on the carbon footprint of transporting MMC products to sites, while promoting design efficiency.

“We anticipate this project’s outcomes will provide an organisation like L&Q with 30% reduction in design and construction programmes and 25% increase in return on capital employed if applied across its development programme.”
Lanre Gbolade, Production Innovation lead at L&Q

Find out more about the DfMA kit here.

DfMA Consultancy

Hawkins\Brown provided MMC Adviser services to help optimise project outcomes and deliver value to the local authority client.

The Family Welcome Centre, Harold Hill

The Family Welcome Centre will provide high-quality, emergency accommodation for vulnerable families in the London Borough of Havering. It will include 74 dwellings in a variety of sizes, with the largest accommodating up to eight family members, as well as a health centre. Forming the first phase of the Harold Hill Town Centre Regeneration Masterplan, it will replace existing hostel accommodation in the area.

Considering the full set of MMC Categories, we explored the methods available which would enable us to deliver a flexible building with potential for future reconfiguration (and minimal structural walls) as well as minimise disruption to local residents and businesses.

Recommendations included the use of volumetric structural and non-structural units manufactured offsite – a steel structural system, cladding systems, bathroom pods and service cupboards etc. – which will provide the best balance of social, economic and environmental benefits.

Housing Pattern Book

We are delivering a Pattern Book for London Borough of Barking & Dagenham’s in-house housing provider Be First, that will allow them to deliver value to the community and high quality affordable homes across their portfolio of mid-rise developments.

The Pattern Book builds on the research and development of the COLAB DfMA Toolkit and our other DfMA consultancy in the UK and the USA to provide the right balance between standardisation and flexibility, allowing Be First’s designers and contractors to increase productivity whilst maintaining the freedom to deliver great architecture and placemaking.

The Pattern Book will be made available to other local authorities and affordable housing providers to capitalise on aggregating demand in the supply chain and reduce capital expenditure in the long term.