Modern Methods of Construction have been highlighted by Robert Jenrick, Secretary of State as the way forward to help resolve the housing crisis and urged Housing Associations and Local Councils to embrace new technology and methods of working. However, the log jam to completion of new build projects can be connection of the water supply, causing project delays and poor customer satisfaction, which in turn will impact on the new DMex figures.Surface mounted meters allowing ‘plug and play’ style installation can be the solution.

The recent change is lifestyle forced upon us by the COVID 19 pandemic has highlighted the importance of home and local community environment. In the Secretary of State’s speech to the Chartered Institute of Housing this autumn, Robert Jenrick, highlighted the impact the period of lockdown had on those with poor housing and the homeless.

The slow-down in new home build that resulted from the COVID 19 restrictions needs to be reversed and Jenrick has made MMC ‘central to the delivery of the new Affordable Homes Programme’ and set a minimum target for the use of MMC1. His aim is for ‘…the UK to be a leader in MMC, driving new jobs, better skills, as well as faster delivery of homes, and those homes, in turn, being better quality and more energy efficient, with all of the benefits of society and social justice that comes with that.’1

Jenrick urged rapid progress on Social and Affordable Housing. However, utility connections can often be the weak link in the improved efficiency the MMC provides.

Water supply is perhaps the most important item within the critical path of construction and is probably the most difficult to achieve. Imagine a situation where services can be fully installed prior to moving on site, the interior plumbing is pre-approved and certificated off site, with surface mounted meters allowing ‘plug and play’ style installation.

With Groundbreaker water management system, you have that ‘plug and play’ option. The only system of its type, it is designed to be installed at any time during the construction period. Fully compliant with Water Regulations, it provides an accessible, safe and secure location for the water meter and controls to a specific property.

The concept is simple. Water services are connected to an externally mounted, pre-installed water service controls. The pre-installation and certification of plumbing can facilitate early approval of water services to a plot. This allows flexibility in the management and scheduling of connection to the mains supply. The key benefit to the water company is that connection of the water supply is no longer a key element in the critical path of the project, so less likely to cause customer dissatisfaction and negative scores in DMex customer satisfaction surveys.

There is no need for boundary boxes or meter housings in the footpath, and this simplification of the connection allows for improved efficiency and reduces the time required for highway closures. An added benefit of removing meter housing from the footpath is that there is no disruption to the footpath, so no reinstatement costs.

Using Technology to Future Proof Housing stock

It is good to see that Jenrick has recognised the need to embrace new technology, to future proof housing stock. Utility companies have not been slow in recognising the benefits of a ‘Smart Home’. The ability to interrogate and manage energy usage at any given time of day or night has been recognised as an effective way for householders to reduce usage and manage costs

Gas and electricity meters located on external building walls has enabled easy upgrades and introduction of countrywide ‘Smart Meter’ programme. However, the traditional location of a water meter in a metal-covered hole in the public highway is not conducive to this new way of thinking. A ‘Smart Water Meter’ located in such a situation is exceedingly poor in transmitting a signal even to a local pick up. With Groundbreaker water management system, ‘Smart Water Meter’ technology can be easily installed, as it is introduced across the UK. Recent field trials of Groundbreaker have proven that the range of such meters can be over 3Km (2 miles).

For futher information on the Groundbreaker water management system visit