Collaborative working – the key to delivering successful housing projects

Collaboration has long been recognised as a goal in the construction industry, Constructing Excellence created the Collaborative Working Champions; which has identified 10 themes as most essential in achieving superior performance from fully integrated collaborative working in the UK construction industry. 

The increase in the use of MMC by public sector organisations has only added to this need – with factors such as early manufacturer engagement coming into play. Even when looking at the blockers to the use of MMC, working together and collaboration underpin them all. 

With all this in mind, when Wiltshire Council approached SWPA to help deliver 100 new council houses every year for the next ten years, we drew upon the expertise of the appointed companies on our Offsite Construction of New Homes (NH2) and Offsite Project Integrator (OPI1) frameworks.  

Mary Bennell, Director at SWPA says ‘The two frameworks go together to create a complete offering; the combined expertise of both the consultant and the manufacturer mean that many of the barriers to MMC, including the different ways of working, can be overcome.’ 

This collaborative approach was one of the key reasons that Wiltshire Council decided to move forward with the procurement for the project with the SWPA frameworks.  

But what has this collaboration achieved? 

When designing and creating the project plan, Wiltshire Council were able to draw upon the technical expertise and local knowledge of Rollalong and Taylor Lewis – who have also worked with another local housing association, Magna Housing. 

This has meant that despite a pandemic Rollalong are manufacturing the units for the first 19 homes, five of which will be wheelchair-accessible bungalows, to be transported and completed on three pilot sites. 

The benefits of this cannot be understated as it addresses the housing crisis with sustainable homes, while negating the common project problems - which reduces risk to all parties.  

The gold standard 

This project through the SWPA frameworks is innovative in another way, it demonstrates all parties are committed to working towards or achieving many of the recommendations in Constructing the Gold Standard. 

The early supply chain involvement, focus on quality, collaborative working, and use of MMC found in this project are all highlighted within the recommendations.  

Find out more about this project with our latest case study. Any public sector organisation interested in a procurement route to build modular housing can contact SWPA to get access to our frameworks and DPS’. 

Opi1 Casestudy
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