DLUHC MMC standardisation research and kit of parts


Jamie Hillier


Commissioned by the UK Government’s Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities (DLUHC), Akerlof developed a digital kit of parts for low-rise housing. This initiative aimed to catalyse the adoption of MMC by enhancing component interchangeability and choice, addressing in part challenges associated with market uptake and scalability.

What we did

Over a 12-month period, Akerlof conducted in-depth market research and stakeholder engagement with over 300 industry experts to pinpoint key barriers to the sustainable growth of MMC within the UK housing sector. Collaborating closely with DLUHC, we developed targeted mitigation strategies at a policy, programmatic and organisation level.

Our work included evaluating over 600 construction products, to identify standardisation opportunities within MMC Category 2 (2D structural) systems and Category 5 (non-structural) assemblies. Informed by detailed market analysis and stakeholder feedback, we curated a digital kit of parts, compromising of pre-manufactured components. We also developed standardised data structures and templates to maintain a common language and interoperability throughout.

The impact

  • Key barriers and challenges within the MMC housing market identified
  • Furthered the collective research and understanding of ‘platform’ (standard, repeatable) principles in cultivating a more mature, stable market
  • Translated the DLUHC’s policy ambitions into practice to market uptake of MMC technologies
  • Showcased a proof-of-concept digital kit of parts, demonstrating the advantages of digitisation, open-access collaboration and industry standardisation, instrumental in fostering a more sustainable, productive and profitable industry
  • Facilitated collaboration with over 300 industry experts across an otherwise fragmented stakeholder landscape – including connecting current industry research initiatives to encourage knowledge sharing across the sector

Jamie Hillier


With a penchant for tweed and jackets with leather arm patches, Jamie began his career as a quantity surveyor, before climbing the ladder to lead major projects for a Tier 1 contractor.

Eventually expanding his book collection beyond copies of SMM7, Jamie has interest in a broad range of subjects linked to delivering better outcomes for society and the environment.

His strategic insights on MMC and behavioural science have made their way into numerous government, industry and academic publications, including the Construction Playbook, Transforming Infrastructure Performance Roadmap to 2030, the Platform Rulebook and the RIBA DfMA Overlay.

John Handscomb


Construction is in John’s blood. Learning from his father who was a planner and project manager, John began his career by working on some iconic projects in both the public and private sector.

As a procurement expert and integrator of new ways of working, John has pioneered the integration of platform principles, DfMA processes and supply chain within over £5bn projects in the last 15 years, for some of the largest building programmes in the UK. Despite his considerable expertise, John keeps it simple, communicating complicated ideas with ease and helping to equip the industry with new knowledge and skills.

Outside of Akerlof, John enjoys his executive role with technology start-up ScanTech Digital, spending time with his family, taking trips down the football, playing a bit of golf with friends and the odd pint. 

Our name is shared with George Akerlof, a Nobel Prize-winning economist.

His seminal paper, Market for Lemons, demonstrated the devastating consequences of making decisions under the conditions of quality uncertainty and unequal information between buyers and sellers, increasing the chance of buyers ending up with a ‘lemon’.

This 50-year-old concept continues to retain parallels within the construction industry.

Through our insight and experience, we can rebalance this information asymmetry on behalf of our clients, levelling the playing field to deliver better outcomes.