Recognition for MFS as a key specialist contractor, innovator in the use of concrete technology and for offering a highly cost effective solution for post-covid construction sites.

Offsite Awards Finalists

Masonry Frame Systems are up for two further awards this year, Best Use of Concrete Technology and Contractor of the Year. We share the shortlist with some of the finest innovators and major players in the industry and are looking forward to the virtual awards on 22nd September 2020.

However, our Best Use of Concrete Technology shortlisting may need a little further explanation, as it is not strictly Reinforced Concrete as you would know it.

MFS have combined the use Precast Concrete components such as Hollow core floors, stairs and balcony units with our Xella Silka Element masonry wall panel system and some clever engineering to form a ‘semi’ offsite P-DfMA solution, suitable for the structural envelopes of ‘medium to high’ rise residential accommodation.

With all core components manufactured and cut to size ‘offsite’ and delivered for onsite assembly, ‘zero’ waste to landfill and a smart cost effective solution to meet Class 2B Disproportionate Collapse; this is a very viable alternative to a traditional RC frame system, with all the benefits of speed and precision of ‘offsite’ manufacture.

A highly attractive alternative to RC Frame construction

In fact independent industry experts recently concluded that the MFS i-Form Solution® is quicker, cheaper and uses significantly less labour than traditional RC Frame construction.

Recently we were asked to be part of a Cost / Benefit analysis conducted by a leading UK Developer & Main Contractor and two top London QS practices. They were tasked with evaluating and comparing various MMC solutions for post-Covid procurement and had targeted the MFS Silka Element system to be part of the study, comparing it directly with a conventional RC Frame build.

A number of exercises were undertaken with both ‘real’ world and ‘simulation’ models. They concluded that the MFS i-Form Solution® was both substantially quicker and at least 20% cheaper than RC Frame and Metsec infill and used less than 25% of the expected workforce. This was particularly pertinent for a Covid-secure construction site, where social distancing and maintaining productivity levels are continuing to prove extremely challenging.

In fact in one exercise, based on a real life 630-unit high rise apartment scheme, which was estimated should take c. 54-56 working weeks to complete; they had an average of 130 site based operatives on site for the duration of the structural build programme. They concluded that the MFS i-Form Solution® would reduce that estimate to just 46 weeks, with typically only 25-30 operatives on site.

The study group was also impressed by the excellent fire, acoustic and environmental credentials of the system and are recommending the system to their procurement personnel and groups as a viable and cost effective MMC option for the future.

So really, the MFS i-Form Solution® should be seen as a hybrid system and competitive alternative to using purely concrete technology.

Norman Hinckes, MFS MD “The MFS i-Form Solution® is our P-DfMA approach to MMC and we were really pleased by the way it performed in this study and the awards, especially as it excels and delivers really tangible benefits in our new post-covid environment.

This approach is ideal for ‘medium to high’ rise flats, apartments, care and extra care homes, retirement and student accommodation and is extremely cost effective from 3 storeys up to 10-12, with the ‘sweet spot’ on or around 5-8 storeys. In fact we can now go up to 15 storeys, but the study did not extend that far.

MFS procure and manufacture 80% of the component parts ‘offsite’ including block, floor and roof elements, staircases and balconies.

Once delivered to site our teams of just two operatives working with a remote-controlled mini-cranes achieve the same productivity levels as 8+ traditional brick-layers, significantly reducing the ‘normal’ site labour head count onsite, without compromising quality or output.

Furthermore, once the structural envelope is complete it is ready to receive spray plaster direct, negating the requirement for drylining / plasterboard and plastering, completing the internals in a fraction of the time taken by traditional plastering, with significantly less waste.”


The MFS i-Form Solution® is our trademarked P-DfMA approach to MMC and has four distinct phases > Design > Platform choice > Offsite manufacture > Onsite Assembly.

P-DfMA = Platform approach to Design for Manufacture (offsite) & Assembly (onsite)

MFS i-Form Solution® Project Portfolio