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Modern methods of construction: reflections on the current research agenda

Green, S. D. ORCID: (2022) Modern methods of construction: reflections on the current research agenda. Buildings and Cities, 3 (1). pp. 653-662. ISSN 2632-6655

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To link to this item DOI: 10.5334/bc.265


Modern methods of construction (MMC) comprise a value-laden and highly flexible discourse. Nevertheless, the constituent narratives have long-lasting consequences for the material fabric of the built environment. Current policy sources can be seen to possess an embedded pro-innovation bias that offsets any appetite for evidence-based research, especially that which relates to the mistakes of the past. Many policy narratives in favour of MMC are further characterised by an exaggerated sense of hubris, with an in-built institutionalised preference for disruptive innovation. Liberalised economies are especially prone to technological optimism, with a tendency to cast regulation as a barrier to be overcome. The Grenfell Tower tragedy provides a stark reminder of the limitations of viewing regulation solely through the lens of innovation. Hence, it illustrates how the prevailing built environment research–policy consensus has failed the civil society which it purportedly serves. These failings should be of concern to those who privilege evidence based research as a means of negating the alarming onset of the post-truth society. Research is required that looks beyond the imperatives of narrowly defined productivity. It is essential that policy narratives such as MMC are fully explored in terms of their short-, medium- and long-term implications.

Item Type:Article
Divisions:Science > School of the Built Environment > Construction Management and Engineering
ID Code:107150
Publisher:Ubiquity Press


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