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Heathrow has announced plans to boost the offsite construction sector as part of its £16Bn expansion project. The airport will be looking for areas across Britain to host four new logistics hubs that will manufacture and assemble the components before they are transported to Heathrow. It is envisaged the hubs will help the airport reap the benefits of the offsite construction process including greater efficiencies in time, cost and reduced carbon footprint.

The announcement follows a report from WPI Economics that revealed growth in the offsite manufacturing sector could see a £15Bn boost for the construction industry outside the capital by the end of this decade.

Heathrow say the decision not to use traditional onsite construction methods on the expansion will enable the economic benefits to spread across Britain. For those involved in the offsite manufacturing sector, the airport’s decision is a massive boost, as it will demonstrate the capabilities of the modular building on a major infrastructure project.

Up until now, offsite construction has been limited to a supporting role on large-scale projects and has predominantly been used in the housing sector resulting in cost reductions of up to 25% and increased project delivery speeds of 30%.

Heathrow hopes that its faith in offsite construction will see a “step-change” for Britain’s construction industry.

Heathrow CEO John Holland-Kaye said: “The global construction industry is set to be worth £15 trillion by 2025 – that’s a huge prize that Britain deserves a bigger share of and Heathrow can help. We want to use Heathrow expansion to not only upgrade Britain’s infrastructure, but cultivate a new world-leading sector and drive growth across the whole country. Boosting off-site construction will help make expansion more affordable and environmentally friendly and give Britain a lasting legacy of expertise that it can sell around the world – helping Britain lead the pack in global construction.”

Source – UK Construction Online

Source – HSE

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