Driving well-being in modular construction

The Building Research Establishment (BRE) invited Ekkist to provide expertise on the health and well-being sub-committee for the development of the new BPS 7014 standard for modular construction. Ekkist made recommendations on construction techniques, materials and monitoring processes focussed on health and well-being.

BPS (7014) is designed to improve the global competitiveness of advanced manufacturing and supply chains, to support research and development skills training and capital investment to help supply chains achieve world-class standards and encourage major new suppliers. The Standard will specify performance and verification requirements for modular building systems and components, to be used in UK residential construction, which are constructed using advanced manufacturing processes.

Text courtesy of BRE. A draft overview can be found on their website: bregroup.com

BPS 7014 will provide a route to certification for modular systems for use in the construction of residential buildings.

The key objectives of the standard are:

  • To encourage new methods of construction and advanced manufacturing techniques whilst maintaining acceptable levels of safety and durability.
  • To create confidence in the use of such methods in residential construction.
  • To demonstrate compliance with relevant building regulations and national house building codes, as well as enhancing characteristics where appropriate.
  • To identify/quantify the comfort and wellbeing benefits to the householder of such construction.

The Standard is being aimed primarily at the certification of modular building systems for residential construction that:

  • Are not wholly covered under current recognised standards and codes, and/or
  • Have a limited track record of service in the UK.

Residents, owners and the financial sector have long term needs for the performance of residential buildings utilising modular systems. Historically, new building systems were often adopted without rigorous scrutiny, testing or certification, beyond that required by regulation. In some cases systematic problems emerged with particular building systems, with the result that over time these dwellings became unpopular with residents, landlords, owners, mortgage lenders and insurers. The purpose of the Standard, being:

  • To help manage this risk for modular building systems by demonstrating that they have been subjected to a rigorous independent review, testing and certification process, and,
  • To provide assurance to purchasers, insurers, lenders, designers, and other stakeholders using modular building methods, that they are at least equivalent to, if not better than, currently applied methods.
  • It is the intention that residential construction incorporating building systems certificated to this Standard should receive equivalent treatment for mortgage lending and insurance purposes to residential construction using currently applied methods.

The Standard will require building systems to meet the requirements of the UK Building Regulations for safety and functionality, a range of characteristics including buildability, durability, resilience, reparability, whole life performance, adaptability, and the provision of guidance on installation and maintenance. Manufacturers shall also have a factory production control system to ensure ongoing quality and undergo regular surveillance audits of these systems by the Certification Body.

In addition to meeting the requirements of UK Building Regulations, the Standard makes provision for manufacturers to submit building systems that exceed the requirements of building regulations, so that enhanced performance characteristics may be appropriately assessed and duly recognised. The new test methods and requirements are being developed to demonstrate additional characteristics of innovative building systems.

The Standard also includes factors that make the accommodation a comfortable place to live, including additional acoustic, climate and wellbeing elements.

If you would like to know more about how Ekkist’s expertise can be applied to your project, we would love to hear from you.