Construction Enquirer News Retirement homes giant turns to Modern Methods of Construction

Leeds-based Sigmat has agreed a major new partnership with retirement homes developer McCarthy & Stone to use its Light Gauge Steel Framing (LGSF) off-site structural system.

The deal will see Sigmat roll out its LGSF solution across five of McCarthy & Stone’s sites next year helping to build more than 200 units.

It is expected that Sigmat’s system will be used on around 25% of McCarthy & Stone’s total output within five years – equating to 400 homes a year.

The partnership will see McCarthy & Stone become one of the first national retirement community developers to back the Government’s agenda of increasing housing built off-site.

The plans have the potential to improve energy efficiency, compared with a traditional UK home and cut development times by up to half.

The framework agreement will also help fast-track the delivery of housing for older people which, despite the rapidly ageing population, is currently undersupplied across the UK.

McCarthy & Stone is looking to increase its proportion of off-site development by embracing other parts of Sigmat’s innovative design elements, including its pre-glazed window options.

John Tonkiss, CEO of McCarthy & Stone, said: “I am delighted that we are working with Sigmat who are one of the UK’s most innovative and quality driven manufacturers.

“Their team share our commitment to embracing MMC and can help us deliver high-quality retirement communities that push the boundaries of what consumers expect while cutting energy bills, waste and construction times.

“The Government has prioritised off-site manufacturing in recognition that we need different solutions to the housing crisis. We are responding to this with a serious, long-term commitment that will be a win-win for investors, policy makers and, above all our customers.”

Work has already started on the team’s first collaborative scheme in Hexham, Northumberland. The 48 apartment development is expected to be completed in September 2021.

Mark Eburne, CEO of Sigmat commented: “We are delighted to be partnering with McCarthy & Stone to help them embrace modern methods of construction by providing Sigmat light gauge steel panelised structural frames, including floors and walls.

“The Sigmat team have started on-site for our first project together in Hexham, and we anticipate more projects to commence within the following 12 months. By partnering with McCarthy & Stone we are committed to providing quality superstructures, manufactured off-site at our Leeds manufacturing facility for the UK retirement market.”

Sigmat’s Chief Operating Officer Marcus Wood also added: “This is a hugely exciting collaboration for both McCarthy & Stone and Sigmat.

“We have been working closely with the team at McCarthy & Stone over the last two years and we are delighted to be selected to help support their push in modern method of construction over the next five years.

“The retirement living sector is one of many ideal applications of the Sigmat system due to the eco-friendly, flexible and dynamic nature.

“This investment in both the McCarthy & Stone build expertise, Sigmat Modern Method of Construction and the partnering style will set new standards in delivering retirement living portfolios.

“Moving away from the more traditional ‘one off’ project construction methods and relationships into a more integrated and long-term solution across the portfolio making incremental improvements, lessons learnt and standardisation over time.”

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