Research & Innovation
SCHOOL OF THE BUILT ENVIRONMENT
Construction manufacturing engineer - KTP Associate
The McAvoy Group Ltd
Based in Dungannon, Northern Ireland
KTP Associate with The McAvoy Group
In collaboration with The McAvoy Group Limited, the University of Salford has been awarded a Knowledge Transfer Partnership (KTP). The project’s aim is to develop and implement new processes and products in the manufacture of affordable volumetric houses. Based primarily at The McAvoy Group offices in Dungannon (BT71), the successful applicant will manage the project supported by experienced staff from both The McAvoy Group and the University of Salford.
Numerous studies have attempted to examine the reluctance in offsite: potential homebuyers hold negative perceptions of post-war prefabs; technical difficulties i.e. site planning, logistics, structure and the legal framework; and a fragmented supply chain all inhibit acceptance. Additional costs of offsite -v- traditional construction severely restricts UK offsite housing developments; this appears at odds with economies of scale theories. Offsite cannot currently compete with traditional construction in cost terms and is not an option for social housing providers. Therefore, a new approach in volumetric housing production is necessary to revolutionise construction, enabling McAvoy to make a significant contribution to UK’s housing requirements and bridge the gap between supply and demand. Strong evidence and benchmarking for the true cost of project delivery, asset use, supply chain, and whole life costing is not currently available for volumetric offsite housing; understanding this will allow solutions to be developed. Housing requires a high-volume manufactured product, that lends itself to a more ‘production line’ process, employing DFMA (Design for manufacture and assembly) and lean processes to produce the volumetric modules (more aligned to automotive industry). Thus allowing them to be fully fitted out to a turnkey specification before they leave the factory, with all mechanical and electrical items pre-installed, and the units fully finished. This KTP would enable McAvoy’s to develop their innovative product solution that is a more assembly-led process that will optimize automation, thus providing a housing solution which meets the market needs through economies of scale and a standardised approach.
The Academic team at the University of Salford consists of Dr Gerard Wood (Associate Dean Academic) and Professor Angela Lee (Associate Dean (Engagement, Enterprise & International).