Project Description

Tonbridge Extra Care Housing

MFS were appointed by Jenner Contractors Ltd of Folkestone who were looking for alternative build methods to deliver within a very tight timescale. MFS did just that using their i-Form Solution™ utilising the Xella Silka Element system with Xella Ytong thin joint internal walls, completing the project in just 26 weeks.

Green Housing

‘A’ Rated
Finalist for the Constructing Excellence SECBE Innovation Award 2019

Construction at a glance:

Location: Tonbridge Extra Care Housing, Rosewell House, Tonbridge Kent
Client: Jenner Contractors Ltd
Build TypeCare Homes
No of Units: 59 apartments over 3 storeys
Status: Project Completed in November 2017.
Build Duration: 26 weeks on site
System: MFS i-Form Solution™
Awards: Finalist for the Constructing Excellence SECBE Innovation Award 2019

Construction Platfoms:

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Tonbridge Care Home Construction

Project Details

Xella Ytong System
Xella Ytong Factsheet

With severe time constraints and a very tight handover schedule, Jenner Contractors Ltd of Folkestone first approached us to discuss what alternative build methods we could put forward that would ‘fast track’ the construction shell, to significantly reduce the build programme with assured delivery.

After a fully consultative process, it was agreed that the MFS i-Form Solution™ employing the Xella Silka Elements as the primary construction ‘platform’ offered the best opportunity to achieve the timescales.

MFS, in co-ordination with Xella, were engaged to construct the whole structural envelope of the 3 storey 59 apartment Extra Care Facility in just 26 weeks.

Finalist for the Constructing Excellence SECBE Innovation Award 2019

Within 6 months we were able to handover on schedule, and everyone would have to agree that our involvement in the project, and the use of the Silka large format block system has been a resounding success.

The successful completion of this project is significant; a clear testament to the Silka Element system and our ability to manage and organise complex projects. We have proven that we can maintain a schedule in a difficult climate, not to mention an acute skills shortage.

Jenner have been a supportive working partner, enthusing about the potential of the Silka Element system and the client suggesting they wish they had used this system on a sister project, which we see as the ultimate endorsement.

When you crunch the build programme by 50% you actually increase the intensity by 200%. The logistics behind this are an exercise in their own right.

We are extremely proud of the achievement, both in its entirety and in individual successes. On this project, we were the first contractor to commission 3 new mini cranes into the UK and we trained 8 operatives on site in a live environment.

Many visitors to the site over the build period commented about the lack of noise, waste, and dust on site, with all cutting taking place off-site.

A good project design helps to create improved productivity and speed, ensuring no manual handling, no cutting, no waste, and no scaffolding. In fact the benefits are 5 fold resulting in a substantially quicker, cheaper, and more cost effective build programme. But this is only true if we get the upfront design, coordination and planning right.

Our early involvement on the Tonbridge project has brought it home to us more than ever. We have been able to work with the main contractor to design-in, as many parts as we can to the Silka Elements before they get on site. We can also then future proof our time on site, taking into account what other contractors may be doing and plan ahead to ensure that we are onsite and offsite in a cost effective and efficient way. This helps us to avoid the many issues that the industry takes for granted and faces on a day to day basis. Inefficient delays and annoying defects / snagging are generally avoided by this future first approach.

We all speak about ‘Early Involvement’ and ‘getting it right 1st time’, using a build system such as Silka takes the discussion to a whole new level. The system work best when planned ahead lending itself to an efficient and quick set up, providing the design and planning has been done well.

The upfront investment in the Design, Coordination and Planning process are absolutely key ingredients to ‘getting it right 1st time’ when the Silka Elements arrive on site. Put the investment in and then when you arrive on site you are able to reap the rewards and deliver to programme.
Without that, you might as well just continue with the defects, and inefficient planning so many of us are subjected to on building sites around the UK.

Construction Achievements:

0 weeks
less time on site
Reduction in Labour
Less waste on site
Overall build saving

Key Performance Indicators


  • 12 weeks in Dfma

  • 26 weeks on site


  • 17 weeks less time on site than a traditional build

  • 50% less labour required

  • No internal scaffolding

  • 100% less waste on site

  • Reduction in defects and higher build accuracy

  • Occupation 17 weeks earlier than traditional builds


  • Fire resistant: Excellent 4hrs+

  • Acoustic: Excellent

  • Fully load bearing: Up to 10 storeys

  • Thin Joint Mortar: Sets within 2 hours vs traditional 24

  • Green Credentials: A rated


  • NHBC Approved and BBA Certified

  • Part E & Part L Building regs

  • Meets Approved Document A3 Disproportionate Collapse Class 2A & 2B

  • BIM compliant

  • Advanced and environmentally friendly manufacturing process

  • BREEAM Certification

The Role of MFS

MFS took a hands-on management role, effectively taking over the whole superstructure build, including being involved in the design and co-ordination. Their early involvement with Jenner’s Design Manager was felt to be fundamental to the successful project delivery using their trademarked i-Form Solution™ methods and construction platforms – a PDfMA approach to MMC.

MFS Design Innovations

Finalist for the Constructing Excellence SECBE Innovation Award 2019

Client Testimonial

“As well as shaving over 3 months off the programme, a huge factor for us was the management role that MFS would provide, effectively taking over the whole superstructure build, including being involved in the design and co-ordination. Their early involvement with our Design Manager has been fundamental to the project delivery…with MFS managing the build.

The block build process and the Silka material itself has improved the build programme timeframe, they also support the sustainability and efficiency values.”

Jenner ConstructionMichael Withers , Jenner Construction

Construction Image & Video Gallery

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