Modern Methods of Construction

Unpacking offsite construction

There is a discernible global trend towards an increased focus in modular and offsite construction with the next generation of housing stock to heavily involve modern methods of construction (MMC).

This is an exciting and complex market, with players of all sizes in this sector, differing levels of automation of MMC products and numerous delivery methods.

At the heart of this approach is the product, the method, the system, the kit or the module. Be it volumetric, panelised, site-based innovations or such hybrid systems incorporating a combination.

Combined with UK frameworks brought out by public sector contracting bodies indicating a push towards the use of MMCs, it’s now vital that operators have sight of the wider MMC landscape and stay up to date with industry trends, ‘unpacking’ the options available.

Why choose Foot Anstey?

With our multi-practice approach, and deep industry knowledge, we provide developers, lenders, contractors, suppliers, housing associations and other public bodies solution focused advice in respect of offsite construction. We focus on adapting our advice and drafting of contracts to reflect the method, system or kit in question.

We start by understanding our client’s objectives, which can be commercial, regulatory compliance, collaboration, net zero carbon construction, use of renewables – often a combination. We then tailor our service to respond to this.

We work closely with our client’s team on handover, assurance and maintenance & use requirements, so we understand the outputs our clients require.

How we help clients

Real Estate

We provide transactional services ranging from early input on Heads of Terms and deal structures involving off-site manufacturing/construction through to detailed drafting, negotiation and completion of development agreements, estate transfers, golden brick (or similar) structures and ancillary documents.

We can support you through the whole site acquisition and disposal process, and everything in between, ensuring your due diligence, reporting and registration requirements are met in the best ways to suit your needs.  Additionally, our experienced Real Estate Litigation team can advise on dealing with (and avoiding) disputes.

Construction and commercial

We advise on contracting strategy in respect of offsite construction, procurement routes (including via frameworks), and draft and review contracts. We work with most industry standard form contracts (such as JCT contracts) and also deal with bespoke contractual amendments.

We also advise clients on risk mitigation strategies and tactics, and in dealing with construction or commercial disputes such as adjudications and litigation.

Planning

We help our clients navigate the complex planning system.  We can negotiate section 106 agreements and review draft planning conditions to ensure a project is suitable for off-site construction including customisation of the DfMA to local planning requirements.

Where clients are purchasing land with the benefit of an existing permission, we can assist in the pre-acquisition due diligence and, where appropriate in the re-negotiation of existing section 106 agreements.

Plot Sales

Our approach to site set up is focused on limiting and avoiding incoming enquiries from buyers’ solicitors to achieve your exchange deadlines by pre-empting road blocks that your buyers may encounter.

We understand the unique challenges faced in the MMC plot sales process and highlight practical solutions to secure exchanges.

Energy and Infrastructure

We can help you towards achieving net zero carbon construction, achieving energy efficiency, and deals with environmental issues in the development sector, and sustainable construction.

Health & safety

MMC provides greater control over the working environment, which is already a risk limiting factor on the H&S front.

However, we advise on risk minimisation strategies and compliance, and on all matters relating to enforcement action under health and safety law.

Dispute resolution

Our disputes team focus on providing project management support to both mitigate risk and to assist with practical project management such as payment – a key risk factor in MMC projects.

In addition, we advise on strategies to deal with disputes such as adjudications or other forms of dispute resolution.

Mobility

Transport and mobility is integral to society and there is a growing need to develop a transformational national transport policy that places the needs of the consumer at its centre.

We are able to provide you with invaluable insight on sustainable transport policy, mobility planning and the delivery of projects.

Data

Digital technology facilitates the collection and storage of data about the construction, operational phases, and in respect of materials. This has far reaching effects for the end-user (energy usage, cost reduction, and assists also with risk assessment by insurers and banks).

Our team can advise on data accumulation during construction and operational phases, and digitalisation. Investing in these areas can assist with improving or establishing sustainability credentials and with risk mitigation e.g. the provision of information to emergency services.

Technology

Technology is at the heart of the way businesses interact, communicate, manage staff and position themselves in the market place. 

Our technology team can add value by engaging with you on business and technology strategy as well as simply advising on legal issues.

Procurement

Public bodies are under increasing pricing pressure to procure smartly and in a cost effective manner.

Our team of expert lawyers can operate on both sides of the procurement process, for contracting authorities and for bidding parties.

Our people

The advisory approach of our multi-disciplinary team captures the breadth of our knowledge and expertise in different areas involved in MMC – finance, planning, construction, renewables, mobility, data, & technology, public procurement, so we can safely say that there isn’t a once size fit all. With a focus on speaking to industry leaders and trend-setters, we track what's current, offering tailored-advice that is always up to date, practical and situation-specific.
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