Coventry Building Society Arena

Modular technology is ever evolving and to help keep pace with this fast-moving sector, Modular Matters demonstrates how to tackle industry challenges through a range of project case studies, innovative architecture and building design together with net zero.

DAY one Speakers

Darren Richards – Managing Director, Cogent Consulting

Day One Conference Chair

Minister Lee Rowley,  Minister for Housing – Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities

Overview of the Construction Industry

Lee Rowley was appointed Minster of State (Minister for Housing, Planning and Building Safety) in the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities on 13 November 2023. He was previously Parliamentary Under Secretary of State in the Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities between 7 September 2022 and 13 November 2023. He was also Parliamentary Under Secretary of State in the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy and Government Whip, Lord Commissioner of HM Treasury between 17 September 2021 and 6 July 2022. He was elected the Conservative MP for North East Derbyshire on 8 June 2017.

Edward Jezeph – Senior Investment Manager, Homes England

Presentation Title – Housing innovation and MMC with Homes England

Edward is a Chartered Surveyor with a background in real estate equity investment and finance. During the last 7 years at Homes England, he has been involved with the financing of innovative MMC (Modern Methods of Construction) housing projects and Manufacturers. Homes England supports the Government’s MMC housing innovation strategy, which seeks to improve construction productivity, quality, sustainability and safety through MMC and industrialised construction.  

Professor Mike Ormesher – Project Director, Off Site Homes Alliance (OSHA)

Presentation Title – Future Model for Housing Delivery

Mike has a specialised manufacturing and building physics background of over 35 years, at leadership level, predominantly in DfMA process engineering. His career has focussed on project development and project management for disruptive innovation, across many stakeholders involved in value chain propositions. Mike now heads up Ottersbrook Consulting Limited, (MMC Consultant) and is also an RICS registered expert witness for all things MMC. An Honorary Research Professor at the University of Salford for energy performance (EH2), Mike is also a key support partner of DLUHC on the new MMC PAS 8700 standard and is a regular speaker at conferences and events. Since inception in 2019, Mike has represented the Off Site Homes Alliance (OSHA) as the social housing client’s Project Director.

Helen Spencer – Executive Director, Great Places Housing Group

Presentation Title – Future Model for Housing Delivery

Leading the Great Places Growth director, Helen is responsible for the delivery of Great Places’ £1bn affordable housing development programme, the Cube Homes market sale programme, the Plumlife sales team, and the organisation’s in-house building Contractor, Terra Nova Developments Limited. Helen is also responsible for leading the £750m Innovation Chain North construction framework and OSHA MMC framework. Helen is the client lead for OSHA representing the interests of >20 RP clients, all seeking to deliver new homes using MMC.

James Pickard – Co-Founder, Cartwright Pickard

Presentation Title – Murray Grove: Standing the test of time

James Pickard co-founded Cartwright Pickard in 1997 and runs their London studio. He has helped the practice to develop a reputation for innovation in offsite construction methods, with a focus on low carbon solutions and wellbeing. Following the success of Murray Grove, the UK’s first modular apartment building, he was invited to become an advisor to five foreign governments on the potential of modular construction for large-scale affordable housing projects. The practice continues to pioneer offsite solutions today, including Vastint’s 600+ home Aire Park neighbourhood in Leeds, and Merrick Place, a 575-home development in London’s Southall for Grainger and Sovereign Network Group.

Keith Blanshard – Industry Advisor, Buildoffsite

Presentation Title – Murray Grove: Standing the test of time

Keith Blanshard has worked in the off-site sector for 40 years, overseeing the design, manufacture and construction of major building projects – a number of which won acclaimed industry awards for innovation and in sectors as diverse as apartments, retail, commercial, health and education. He was a Director of both Portakabin Ltd and Yorkon Ltd. He was one of the founding members of Buildoffsite and now holds the position of Industry Advisor. He is also an independent consultant working with off-site manufacturers on design development and product implementation. During his career, Keith has contributed to research into off-site construction carried out by CIRA and numerous Government DETR initiatives. He has worked on projects for the Steel Construction Institute about modular construction and pre-assembly, and represented the off-site industry on a Government Select Committee looking at engineered and mass production in the housing sector.

Daniel Paterson – Make UK Modular

Presentation Title – The future of construction in the UK

Daniel Paterson is Director of Government Affairs for Make UK Modular, the voice of the UK’s largest and most advanced manufacturers of volumetric modular homes. 

Fenella Lowden – Client Solutions Lead, TopHat

Presentation Title – Modular Apartments in Kent

Fenella Lowden is a Client Solutions Lead with TopHat, the sustainable modular housing company. Moving to modular from traditional construction supports her desire to have less impact on the world around her. With over a decade of experience of managing property and facilities including the maintenance services for a housing trust, Fenella also fully understands what it feels like from a customer’s perspective and the responsibility of managing buildings – commercial and residential.

Ron Beattie – Managing Director, Beattie Passive

Presentation Title – Delivering Passivhaus Plus at Scale to Help Tackle the Housing Crisis

Cardiff Council and Beattie Passive will provide an overview of the UK’s first large-scale, fully demountable and relocatable ‘Net Zero’ modular housing development. Developed on the site of a former gasworks, the scheme is comprised of forty-eight volumetric one, two and three-bedroom modular apartments, and two large ancillary blocks, which have all been constructed to ‘Passivhaus Plus’ standard. The scheme has been developed as a ‘meanwhile’ housing solution to provide temporary accommodation for families struggling with homelessness. The presentation will provide an overview on the scheme, how it was delivered and the benefits both to the residents and the Council of delivering Modular Net Zero housing.

David Jaques – Associate Director, Development & Regeneration, Cardiff Council

Presentation Title – Delivering Passivhaus Plus at Scale to Help Tackle the Housing Crisis

 As the Assistant Director for Development & Regeneration at Cardiff council, David is responsible for maximising the delivery of affordable housing and investment within local communities. David is currently delivering the largest council house building programme in Wales, which will build over 4,000 new homes throughout the city. The award-winning housing development programme is at the forefront of innovation and the drive towards a low-carbon future, embracing renewable technology and modern methods of construction. In response to the current housing pressures being faced in the city, new delivery models are being explored to increase the scale and pace of the programme. 

Richards Hawkins – Technical Innovations Manager, Sevenoaks Modular

Richard trained as a mechanical engineer, and has over 10 years’ experience in industrial manufacturing, specialising in precision engineering sectors. Since completing a MSc in Environmental Building Design, Richard transitioned into construction and joined the Sevenoaks Modular several years ago, bringing his passion for sustainability with him. In this capacity he has brough his technical and manufacturing background in to assist with production and operational efficiencies. As Technical Innovations Manager, Richard researches and delivers improvements for our products and manufacturing. This focusses mainly on increasing the uptake in natural materials, scaling their use for manufacturing, and decarbonisation of our operations.

Tom White, CEO – Lighthouse

Tom is CEO of Lighthouse, a high-growth startup delivering high-quality, sustainable homes – precision manufactured using modular technology. He is actively involved in high-growth startups including board positions and executive roles.

Robin McGrenary – Independent Living Development Director, Centrepoint

Presentation Title – Independent Living – Reuben House

As the Independent Living Development Lead for Centrepoint, Robin has responsibility to head up the delivery of new independent living homes in London and Manchester. Robin managed the modular development program for Reuben House from initial planning through to project completion in Jan 2023. Robin has extensive experience in managing complex transformation programs throughout the globe, including building international manufacturing centres and directing teams within various housing associations in the UK. When not working on the Independent Living Program Robin is a keen Crossfitter and runner.

Brendan Geraghty – CEO, UKAA

Presentation Title – Accelerating BTR – the scope for MMC

As an Architect and Development Strategist, Brendan is skilled and heavily involved in design and thought leadership for Build to Rent (BTR) industry, this has led him to a new role as CEO of the UK Apartments Association (UKAA). This requires him to position & drive the evolution of the UKAA as the BTR authority in the UK. To provide leadership, develop codes of practice and generate high value knowledge that will allow BTR to grow and thrive.

John Fleming – Founder and Chairman, Vision

Presentation Title – Taking Volumetric to New Heights

John Fleming is Founder and Chairman of Vision. Following a long and prolific career in construction and contracting, John has been instrumental in the growth of modular housing in the UK through his leadership of offsite specialist manufacturer Vision. Working alongside Tide, its developing and contracting arm, the companies have reached a strong track record of delivering high profile volumetric buildings that combine expertise in both traditional and modular construction. Vision has produced over £3.5 billion worth of real estate. The system has broken records by delivering 7 of the 10 tallest modular buildings in the world, reaching 50 storeys.

Stuart Marshall – Head of UK & Global Sales, Elements Europe

Presentation Title – High Rise Modular

Stuart has extensive knowledge in modular, having been involved in the modular and off-site industry for over 20 years.  Stuart has previously worked at Corus, Kingspan and Elliot Modular in addition to the 5-years that he has worked with Elements. In his previous role of Pre-Construction Manager at Elements, he was part of the team that secured the 254 bed hotel, 23 storey East Road in Hackney and 551 apartment, 26 storey Camp Hill project in Birmingham.

Monika Wandzik – Head of Architecture & Planning, Stelling Properties

Presentation Title – Modular Construction, Continuous Improvement in Integrated Value Chains

Monika is an award-winning architect with experience in residential and Modular Construction design. Having graduated from Aachen University in 2009, Monika joined Ayre Chamberlain Gaunt a Multi-Award-winning architect firm, which specialises in private residential and commercial student housing projects, Monika moved on to work for PegasusLife where she was responsible for later living projects including site acquisition and early feasibility , through to planning , tender and construction. Monika is currently Head of Architecture & Planning at Stelling Properties, playing a pivotal role in turning a client brief into a design which allows for standardisation of manufacture and easy on-site installation.

day two speakers

Richard Hipkiss – Development Director, The  Modular and Portable Building Association.

Day Two Conference Chair

With an engineering background before moving into the construction industry in the early 2000’s, the impact of the fusion of manufacturing and construction comes as no surprise. Richard has been a Director of the MPBA for 5 years, setting up the Learning Hub to close the knowledge gap across the industry and help develop a solution for possible skills shortages in the future. 

Darren Moore – Head of Category, Crown Commercial Services

Presentation Title – Supporting Public Sector Procurement within the MMC market

Darren has been involved in public sector procurement for over 25 years primarily across built estates strategy and has worked within the construction sector for over 17 years. He currently heads up the Offsite Construction team in CCS, which oversees development and application of strategic solutions – including most recently an Offsite manufacturing framework for public sector organisations. He sits as part of a number of key government working groups aimed at influencing and driving the uptake of MMC approaches within government, including alignment with the Construction Playbook policies and best practice ways of working.

Kumar Kairamkonda – Category Lead, Crown Commercial Services

Presentation Title – Supporting Public Sector Procurement within the MMC market

Kumar joined the Crown Commercial Service (CCS) in July 2021 as a Category Lead building and maintaining relationships with key stakeholders, understanding their business and strategic priorities, and developing these into category strategies that support key priority areas including Government Construction Strategies and Policy, Central Government, Wider Public Sector and CCS business and corporate objectives. Kumar has over 19 years of experience within the construction industry. He started his career as a Quantity Surveyor and has both pre and post contract management experience working on various projects over the years. His current role as Category Lead is to manage the Offsite Construction Solutions framework and drive the policies and uptake of MMC within the construction industry.

William Chung – Managing Associate, Mischon de Reya LLP

Presentation Title – Mitigating financial risks in modular construction

William Chung is a Managing Associate in the Construction Group within the Commercial Real Estate team at Mishcon de Reya specialising in non-contentious matters. William acts principally for developers, property owners and institutional funders on high value commercial real estate developments, with a particular focus on those transacted on a forward funding or forward purchase basis. In addition to advising on the full range of construction documentation, William also advises his clients on procurement strategy, risk allocation and interface issues on projects spanning across the build-to-rent, purpose-built student accommodation, life sciences, office and hotel sectors.

Anne Daw – Associate – Head of MMC delivery, HLM Architects

Presentation Title – Increasing Demand Through Kit of Parts Design & Collaboration

As ‘Head of MMC Delivery’ at HLM Architects, a firm of over 200 designers providing architecture, landscape and interior design services, Anne is spearheading HLM’s commitment to maximizing the potential of modern methods of construction in delivering thoughtful designs for clients, contractors, and end users. HLM has been an early adopter of MMC and can cite projects in all its sectors, giving Anne a broad overview of the range of adoption and implentation challenges in MMC. In addition to her strategic role, Anne is also actively involved in R&D projects that are pushing the envelope for MMC in healthcare, education and housing design.



Oliver Green – Product Manager, KOPE

Presentation Title – Design as a Service: Capturing Your Product Logic in KOPE

With a background as both an architect and software developer, Ollie is used to communicating complex designs to a range of both technical and non-technical audiences. This forms a key part of his role as Product Manager at the construction technology startup KOPE. He has a passion for solving difficult problems, process automation, machine learning and design tool creation. Combining his knowledge of architectural workflows, design technology and construction, Ollie leads the design of many aspects of KOPE, including MMC Market. He has a passion for design, creating quality digital products, UI/UX and an unquenchable natural curiosity across a wide range of subjects.

Daniel Leech – CEO – Design4Structures

Daniel is the CEO of Design 4 Structures, a Civil and Structural Engineering Consultancy with a difference. As the first practice of its kind in the UK, he has led on developing a transformative approach, that is revolutionising how the modular sector constructs and manufactures. With an entire team, dedicated to DfMA, Daniel offers invaluable and astute insight into optimisation and collaborative strategies, that enable us all to construct with greater accuracy, certainty and efficiency. Never afraid to challenge the ‘status quo’, he always brings an energy that encourages curiosity, discussion and future opportunity. 

Ben Haldin – Managing Director, Fulcro

Presentation Title – Creating Project Certainty

Ben Haldin is Managing Director of Fulcro Engineering Services, a company he co-founded in 2002. Fulcro has a rich history of innovation, and over the past two decades it’s built an enviable capability in DfMA, MMC, digital prototyping, and extreme collaboration. This knowledge has been deployed on 28 Hospital Projects and was also used on what was the world’s tallest modular building in Brooklyn New York. With a customer base that includes the Crown Estate, AZ, Intel, Landsec, Skanska, MACE, Willmott Dixon and more, Fulcro helps lead the digital transformation of the construction industry.

James Morton – Ramboll

Presentation Title – Modern Methods of construction: A study of upfront carbon

Explore the insights unveiled in Ramboll’s analysis of the IStructE publication, delving into their extensive research on evaluating the initial carbon impact of various MMC projects. The focus lies on a comparative analysis between steel modular construction and in-situ reinforced concrete design. Join us for an enlightening session that will navigate through the motivations behind this study, the discoveries made, and the rationale supporting our insights. Gain valuable perspectives on the potential applications of these findings across diverse industries, with a special emphasis on their relevance to sectors such as education and healthcare.

George Edwardes – Technical Director – Fire Protection Association

Presentation Title – Is Fire Safety an Afterthought in Modular Construction?

George joined the FPA in 2014 with experience as a research and development engineer. During his time with the organisation he has held a multitude of roles focused around managing fire tests and providing consultancy, including as Laboratory Manager, Project Manager, and Technical Consultant. As the FPA’s Technical Director, George is responsible for collaborating with stakeholders, and directing policy development and quality assurance. He also manages the Technical Steering Group, comprising the FPA’s technical experts. George holds a BEng (Hons) in Mechanical Engineering and is currently conducting an MSc by Research, focusing on fire safety assessment tests for external cladding systems. 

Stuart Norris – Technical Product Manager, Portakabin

Presentation Title – Portakabin within Education Market – Modular Construction Cradle to Handover

With over 25 years of experience in the modular industry, Stuart has spent his career designing, developing, and detailing innovative modular platform solutions for Portakabin Ltd. These are for both temporary and permanent modular buildings across a wide range of commercial sectors. His early career saw him specialising in fabric design and is a keen advocate of Passivhaus design principles. In his role, he oversees compliance across the disciplines of Structure, Fire, Thermal, and Sustainability for current platform solutions across Europe. Stuart is an active member of the MPBA Technical Committee and is enthusiastic about exploring innovation around platform design & standardisation, and how the continued reuse of modular buildings can help to create a more circular built environment.

Chris Leese – Technical Director, TG Escapes Modular Eco-Buildings

Presentation Title – Modular Construction in Education and the importance of flexible design

I am a Structural Engineer and Certified Passivhaus designer. I have had a passion for sustainability since I started in the industry, which has dictated my career direction in timber construction and low-energy building design. I have been fortunate to be on the design teams for some amazing structures. However, it was an educational project which I enjoyed the best. I am now working heavily in R&D and designing better metrics for modular in Education.

Martin Harvey – Head of Design & Technical Services, McAvoy

Presentation Title – Case Study: How a modular rental solution was used to rapidly deliver ward space for University Hospitals Birmingham NHS Foundation Trust

Martin has led the design on numerous prominent projects at McAvoy from concept to completion – from client engagement and planning, through to manufacture and construction stage. Martin oversees McAvoy’s internal design team and external design partners and is responsible for advancing McAvoy’s platform-based solutions which optimise offsite manufacturing opportunities, whilst providing maximum flexibility to clients. Martin is heavily involved in innovation and product development and led McAvoy’s involvement in the Seismic consortium, the Education Sandpit innovation project with the MTC and the Low Carbon Pathfinder project for DfE. Martin is currently leading his team to develop the McAvoy digital model to maximise the outputs of the digital asset, with a view to further support manufacturing and project delivery.

Narcisio Simioni, Architectural Lead – Mtx

Paul Ruddick – Founder & Chairman, Reds10

Presentation Title – Imjin Barracks Single Living Accommodation: ‘The role of SMART Technology in decarbonizing our buildings

Paul has been involved in the construction industry for over 20 years and has etched a reputation for himself and for his enterprise with his positive and proactive leadership. After undertaking initial training as a Chartered Quantity Surveyor MRICS) and Project Manager with Davis Langdon, Paul left to found Reds10. Since that small beginning in 2005, he has gone on to show the power of a can-do attitude, building Reds10 into a leading off-site construction specialist with its own factory. Paul’s experience has enabled him to have a clear insight of what is required to achieve the complete success of a project.  He has ultimate responsibility for overseeing all projects in their entirety, to ensure they are completed on time, within budget and to the highest quality.