Bishop of St Albans asks about use of 3D Printing in construction of affordable housing

The Bishop of St Albans received the following written answer on 5th January 2022:

The Lord Bishop of St Albans asked Her Majesty’s Government what assessment they have made as to whether 3D printing represents the future of sustainable and affordable house building.

Lord Greenhalgh (Con, Department for Levelling Up): DLUHC shares the cross-Whitehall objective of increasing the use of Modern Methods of Construction (MMC). MMC provides an important opportunity to improve the quality of new homes, deliver more energy efficient homes, reduce construction waste, improve productivity and address the shortage in construction skills.

Between 2018 and 2020, the Department convened an MMC Working Group, chaired by industry expert Mark Farmer. The group developed an MMC framework, which defined 7 categories of MMC. Category 4 MMC includes “additive manufacturing,” the industrial production name for 3D printing, a computer controlled process that creates three dimensional objects by depositing materials, usually in layers.

We recognise the potential benefits of all types of MMC. Different types of MMC will better support different objectives. Our strategy is to encourage uptake of MMC across the board, ranging from traditional building site productivity improvements to the smaller offsite manufacturers all the way to the high-tech end of the market. In the Affordable Housing Programme (2021-26) we set a target that at least 25% of units delivered through Strategic Partnerships will use MMC.

Our commitment to supporting modern methods of construction has been reconfirmed at the latest spending review, with further funding to be made available to support innovation in the housebuilding sector.


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