MMC Strategy | Supporting Bouygues at Oriel


John Handscomb


Oriel is a new £300m, 39,500m² hospital, built where the former St Pancras Hospital once stood near King’s Cross. A joint initiative between Moorfields Eye Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, the UCL Institute of Ophthalmology and Moorfields Eye Charity, the facility’s design sets the stage for exceptional specialised healthcare and cutting-edge research facilities.

Akerlof was appointed by Bouygues UK at tender stage, to work with the preconstruction team to craft a leading Modern Methods of Construction (MMC) solution to fulfil the precise client requirements, as well as deliver increased productivity, reduced carbon, meticulous logistics management, and quality in delivery.

What we did

Akerlof worked with the Bouygues in-house technical team to upskill the team on the client requirements and wider New Hospital’s Programme (NHP) in relation to MMC, measuring Pre-Manufactured Value (PMV) to identify areas of importance and improvement.

Due to the location, the site presented significant logistical challenges. Our team reviewed the construction sequence, methodology and investigated complexity throughout the programme. We collaboratively developed optimised solutions for key areas, such as the frame, façade, internal façade, basement and fit-out. All solutions were measured against the client’s key deliverables and the risk profile of the project.

Following this work, Akerlof produced an MMC strategy, allowing selected methods and future areas of development to be clearly communicated to the wider team, alongside the benefits to ensure buy in and technical excellence in delivery.

The impact

  • Bouygues was successful in winning the competitively tendered project, with the most rounded and advantageous tender
  • Upskilling and embedded expertise within the existing high-calibre technical team ensured the best possible solution
  • Clearly written and collaboratively-produced strategy faciliated ownership from a wide range of stakeholders
  • All outputs fully aligned with client-specific requirements and wider New Hospital’s Programme (NHP) ambitions

Don't just take our word for it...

Akerlof provided Bouygues with practical knowledge of the client’s needs, alongside a holistic view of modern methods construction. Coupled with our own technical team, this insight allowed us to work together to deliver the best possible solution. We are delighted to now be delivering this innovative building, which will be an exemplar for accessibility, tailored to the needs of its patients, and designed flexibly to meet their future needs.

David Murphy, Preconstruction Director, Bouygues

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.