News and opinion from Modularize

What the new DfMA overlay means for architects

The new RIBA Plan of Work is out incorporating Modern Methods of Construction (MMC) and a Design for Manufacturing and Assembly (DfMA) approach! This is a huge step for the industry and has brought together some of our most trusted and respected leaders to help architects and construction professionals understand what they need to do differently in each of the stages of the project lifecycle.

The project life-cycle, as outlined in the above, now incorporates a DfMA overlay highlighting what should be done at each stage whether you are developing or improving a modular solution or panelised building system or even if you are trying to integrate MMC systems into your project.

This new edition of the RIBA Plan of Work is based on five years work and the objective is not to drive out designers and architects but enable ‘our’ creative masterminds to design the optimum solution for their clients and communities. Below we set out some of the implications for architects as they embrace the new RIBA Plan of Work.

We have to appreciate that offsite might not be the solution for every project so we have to be system-agnostic and not try to shoe-horn a system into a scheme. It’s therefore so important to have MMC or Offsite expertise at those early briefing and feasibility stages because this is how the optimum solution will be achieved.

Gaynor Tennant, our Chief Business Development Officer explains what architects and designers need to do to advise their clients in those early stages.


Research undertaken in the DfMA Overlay to the RIBA Plan of Work shows that one of the key challenges slowing down the adoption of DfMA is the relationship between designers and manufacturers. Gaynor explains that the industry is definitely ripe for improvement and collaboration from the outset between all project teams is how we will bridge the gap between designers and manufacturers to create the optimum solution.


As specialist Offsite / MMC Consultants DfMA is a more than just a methodology it is a philsopohy and we need to shift the whole industry’s mindset and stop looking at projects as bespoke and individual in order to continually improve what we do and make DfMA and MMC mainstream.

In the video below Gaynor explains how Modularize incorporates MMC into everything to reduce components and increase efficiencies in the whole design and build process.


Architects certainly have a critical role to play going forward to remove the preconceived judgement of offsite only being able to create ‘boxes’ from volumetric and modular options – we have to remember there are other MMC categories that designers can use that should not impinge on the level of creativity.


To download the new DfMA Overlay to the RIBA Plan of Work please click the download link below. Thank you to all our expert contributors including Akerlof, Bryden Wood, CAST Consultancy, Hawkins\Brown, HTA Design, Kier Group, L&Q, Ministry of Housing, Communities & Local Government, Stride Treglowan and UK Research and Innovation.



Create the optimum design solution

We put together the ultimate modular transport guide – this is a great starting point for designing houses that suit modular construction helping you to create the optimum design solution for your offsite modular project.