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Laing O’Rourke wants projects 90% factory-built by 2025

1 September 2020 | By Will Mann

Laing O’Rourke’s Centre of Excellence for Modern Construction in Steetley, Nottinghamshire

Laing O’Rourke is aiming to deliver 90% of construction work on projects inside its factories by 2025.

Currently, the group’s goal is to manufacture 70% of a project’s components offsite, part of its ‘70:60:30’ strategy, which also targets 60% productivity gains and 30% programme improvements through use of design for manufacture and assembly (DfMA).

“We’re now driving towards 80% of our work being factory manufactured,” said head of infrastructure Declan McGeeney. “The Grange hospital in Gwent was in the high 70s. Ray [O’Rourke, group CEO] wants 90% to 95% by 2025.”

McGeeney, who revealed that Laing O’Rourke’s manufacturing facilities have been able to operate at full capacity for most of the covid lockdown said several work packages could become more ‘factory-friendly’.

“Structures is one,” he said. “We enter projects later than we would like, which can make it harder to change structural elements. Cladding is not consistent across industry. Finishes tend to be done quite traditionally.

“Getting digital embedded right from tender is key so we can build the project virtually before we reach site.”

McGeeney said he sensed a “marked shift” in attitudes to offsite, with factory environments making it easier to implement social distancing and clients seeing it as a way of de-risking projects.

“We have to plan for any second wave of covid so our projects are not impacted,” he said. “We have more offsite enquiries coming in. Some clients have asked us about redesigning a project to suit DfMA or to prefabricate elements like the structure, the lift shaft, the MEP.

“Even our competitors are asking our businesses about how to embed offsite within their business. Some 50% of turnover at [subsidiary companies] Crown House and Expanded is outside Laing O’Rourke, so we have a chance to shift opinion in the market.”

Comments

I wonder in the future if Ray O’Rourke will be seen, on a par with Brunnel and the likes, as a visioneer, who leads in, drives, commits to more modern, productive construction practices … .. .

David Hall, 2 September 2020

Precast has been around for 200 years

David Chisholm, 2 September 2020

Great article, it was really helpful to me and it suggested some great ways to tackle my own similar problems. Due to Covid 19 – right even the little guys are suffering. We all suspect this virus is never going to go away, when we think its been conquered a new outbreak commences calling for increased vigilance and measures. In the USA, an aircraft carrier had 995 sailors on board with Covid, only one went to hospital, how come? the sailors on board had the 3-MR measles injections before sailing. Eventually 3 died out of 1830 infected. For those itterested the USS Roosevelt was the ship involved. And every workplace in the country is in a way a ship. We are all at sea.

Bob Wilson., 3 September 2020

But people r not getting job, I have design exp on DFMA for Two Major projects for Laing when I was in WSP. No body is considering it. Only some big player taking all work.

Rahul Aggarwal, 3 September 2020

Factory built products are not new, just the British building industry hates change.

They prefer to block it with meaningless red tape and so called “experts” (both trade and media) pontificating on products and systems they know nothing about – but somehow seem to be the “go to” people whenever “reports” are needed.

Even India is some eleven years ahead of the UK in this area.!

tom, 5 September 2020

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