Meeting More Than Just a Requirement – How CHIC’s Off-site manufactured home solutions can contribute to meeting Homes England’s MMC Targets

The recent statement by Secretary of State for Housing Robert Jenrick, announcing the 2021-2026 £11.5bn Affordable Housing Programme, sets out a series of ambitious housebuilding targets to help improve the efficiency of the UK development sector.

Organisations seeking Grant and looking to sign “strategic partnership” deals with Homes England to build large numbers of affordable homes will have to commit to using modern methods of construction (MMC) to build at least 25% of their pipeline. CHIC eagerly welcomes this news as we have an efficient, compliant solution to help deliver this requirement. 

Changing the face of housing delivery through MMC, particularly full off-site manufacture, has been on CHIC’s agenda for many years, and CHIC was amongst the few early adopters to deliver a procured solution. Being a housing consortium provides CHIC with a unique perspective to gain insight into the direction of the UK housing market. Having a close relationship with both housing and construction professionals means that CHIC can develop long-term contracts that accommodate the needs of a changing market.

The pre-existing BuildSmart framework has seen some success despite hesitancy in the sector. 19 of CHIC’s members have been using the framework since inception 4 years ago and have benefitted from efficiencies through collaboration. This year also saw the first completed fully modular housing scheme, following on from a range of frame and panel projects delivered for members and which continue as part of a portfolio of solutions.

In anticipation of increased demand and a requirement to produce more cost-effective homes, faster, and to increase the number of BuildSmart options available to members, CHIC tendered for 3 new modular providers in June. The OJEU compliant procurement completed in September.


We are pleased to announce that the new volumetric solutions are now live and available to developing Councils, Housing associations and other RP’s.

Comprising of three contracts for the manufacture, supply and erection of new modular (volumetric) homes, all also have options for all site works and turnkey contracts.

Lot one covers the manufacture of modular houses, flats, and bungalows, including an option to provide full site construction services for smaller schemes. Peterborough-based Impact Modular has been awarded this contract, utilising intelligent and clean energy technology to supply turnkey solutions.

“Our purpose is to be part of a forward-thinking global solution, which tackles the great emergencies of our time- climate change, housing and public health. We must change the way we build houses in the UK and Impact are perfectly positioned to provide future proof housing at large volumes from a safe factory environment. Following the recent statement from the Secretary of State for Housing, we are pleased to see that the momentum is continuing within the offsite industry, and the CHIC partnership allows for the perfect procurement route. Impact Modular are excited to be a part of this growing change, working with likeminded organisations in making a positive impact on the future of UK’s housing.” Robert Whitton, Chairman.

Lot 2 covers the same areas as the first lot with the proven capability to provide full site construction services for all schemes. CHIC has appointed Hull-based M-AR Off Site who will bring their collaborative and proactive approach, supporting their clients from initial handshake to final handover. 

“This is an exciting contract award for us, and are looking forward to working with all CHIC members over the next 5 years and beyond to deliver better, greener and more sustainable homes for the people and families who need them most. This lot truly allows our team to demonstrate our capabilities as a truly turnkey provider supporting members’ teams to deliver more, reduce their risk and provide solutions to their developments.

It is no secret that the UK housing industry has been facing significant productivity and skills challenges in recent years which look likely to be further exacerbated in the coming years. We have some of the most energy inefficient housing stock in Europe, and fuel poverty continues to create impossible financial challenges for households. We are keen to support members to overcome these challenges, and accelerate the delivery of quality-built homes, whilst driving the UK closer to zero carbon.

Scaling-up the delivery of affordable homes is vital to ensuring that everyone in the UK has a place to call home and as we face the current COVID-19 pandemic together it has never been more important for us all to do what we can to increase housing supply and help meet the government’s targets.

We look forward to working with the CHIC members to deliver affordable homes our country desperately needs, but more importantly deserves” says Amanda Grimbleby, Partnerships and Business Development Director M-AR Off Site.

The final Lot three will be for larger scale projects and covers the manufacture of houses, individual room pods, apartment blocks and high-rises. This lot is awarded to Elements Europe, bringing with them substantial experience and a wide range of impressive project delivery.

“We are really proud to be awarded this contract that will deliver housing that matters, enhancing communities and improving environments. It’s a great time to be involved as the government commit to making modern methods of construction a key part of its affordable housing delivery strategy” commented Simon Underwood, CEO Elements Europe.

“Elements Europe has over 15 years of considerable experience in the sector and now enjoys the support of our substantial shareholders GS E&C, a major international engineering and construction group. This should give the CHIC framework users confidence in our all-round ability” added Underwood.

The contracts will each run for an initial period of five years with an option of extension for two subsequent five-year periods. The turnkey solutions give CHIC’s members access to manufacturers who can manage the entirety of the project. This subsequently results in tighter management through adopting a ‘doing more with less’ approach and the improved likelihood for meeting crucial deadlines.

Development projects can be supported across England, Wales and Scotland.

If you would like to find out more on how BuildSmart can help meet your development targets please get in touch with Sarah Davey at