Company announces plans to build 40 retirement communities using modern methods of constuction

Retirement housing developer McCarthy Stone has confirmed that 40 of its upcoming projects will be built using modern methods of construction (MMC), as it works to meet a new goal to develop half of its retirement communities using lower carbon techniques.

McCarthy Stone announced yesterday that it plans to work with light gauge steel frame specialist Sigmat to roll out its MMC solution, after successfully working with the Leeds-based company to build a retirement community in Hexham, Northumbria.

MMC, sometimes referred to as smart construction, has been promoted as a way to reduce the time it takes to complete construction projects while also conserving energy and using fewer resources. They rely on off-site construction techniques that benefit from factory and mass production methods, typically leading to higher levels of resource efficiency and lower levels of embodied carbon emissions.

McCarthy Stone said its new partnership with Sigmat would allow it to “fast track” the delivery of housing for older people, noting that the Hexham retirement community completed last yea had been built 15 per cent faster than similar developments. Future schemes could be built as much as 25 per cent faster, it predicted.

MMC buildings can also deliver significant reductions in carbon emissions during both their construction and operation, it said, noting the homes would need less fuel to heat and be better insulated than those constructed using traditional methods.

John Tonkiss, CEO of McCarthy Stone, said MMC was a “game changing” approach that would enable the company to build more energy efficient homes and greener communities. “This announcement paves the way to a more cost-efficient and sustainable future, and our long term aim is now to build 50 per cent of all our new retirement communities in this way,” he said.

The company now aims to build five sites using MMC this year, rising to 10 in 2023, and 25 in 2024.

Construction minister Lee Rowley commended McCarthy Stone for its commitment to building more homes using low-carbon techniques. “I am pleased to see McCarthy Stone will be expanding their commitment to deliver more retirement housing using modern methods of construction,” he said. “Their cleaner and cheaper construction method is helping the UK meet its net zero targets while also providing high-quality housing for our ageing population.”

Sigmat and McCarthy Stone said they had been awarded an accreditation for their “unique apartment system using light gauge steel framing (LGSF)” by warranty and insurance provider for UK homes, NHBC Accepts.

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