In pictures: Bouygues unveils first modular factory job

Bouygues has completed its first self-delivered modular project in the UK.

The 491-bedroom student accommodation block at The Riverside in Canterbury was assembled using modules produced in a dedicated offsite factory in Morocco.

A total of 430 modules were transported to the UK and installed on site, helping to ensure a shorter build time and less disturbance on site – according to the contractor – with the scheme costing a total of £59m.

 

The factory, owned by Bouygues’ French parent company, was built specifically for the UK arm’s student project

Bouygues UK chief executive Rob Bradley revealed to Construction News last year that the contractor had established the facility as part of moves to use offsite methods to help cope with labour shortages.

He said at the time that offsite allowed firms to “plan and work more efficiently” and it was the future for the industry, although the Canterbury build had been subject to some disruption.

“COVID didn’t help and then, of course, we had the issue with the Suez crisis that threw the world’s shipping market into turmoil.

“We learned how sensitive [that] market is when you’ve got a bespoke product coming from one country to another.

“Our planning on that was thrown into a bit of turmoil, but it was nothing we couldn’t overcome and we’re looking now at [using offsite for] the next generation of student accommodation or residential.”

In a statement on the completion of the job, Bradley said: “Modern methods of construction is a crucial part of the future for construction, and we have learned a tremendous amount from this scheme, which stands us in great stead for future modular projects.”

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