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DfMA Overlay to the Plan of Work

The Design for Manufacture and Assembly (DfMA) Report and Overlay provides guidance on implementing seven categories of Modern Methods of Construction through each RIBA Plan of Work stage.

First published in 2016, the Design for Manufacture and Assembly (DfMA) Overlay to the RIBA Plan of Work was quickly embedded as a project management guide when implementing modern methods of construction (MMC).

The new edition is based on five years of evolution, including the definition of seven categories of Modern Methods of Construction (MMC), and aligns with the RIBA Plan of Work 2020. The supporting report sets out drivers of change towards a manufacturing mindset as well as explaining why a DfMA approach must be adopted as a default to fulfil the outcomes our industry needs to achieve.

As much as DfMA is a technical process, it is also a philosophy that should be seen as an extension or evolution of the designer’s ordinary way of working – and does not alter the fundamentals of good design and production, which have always been about getting the best possible outcomes for clients and communities.

The DfMA Overlay to the RIBA Plan of Work aims to dispel the myth that DfMA is a barrier to great architecture or reserved just for a few new build sectoral building types. As the case studies in the report clearly highlight, DfMA can produce extraordinary, award-winning architecture, with few limits on where it can be applied. It is relevant to all kinds of projects, including small projects and work on existing buildings.

"Architects can be seen as the natural custodians of good design and have the potential to help lead in the adoption of DfMA. Not least as we understand that successful implementation lies in collaboration at the boundaries between traditional disciplines and in developing hybrid solutions that draw on a wide range of different bodies of knowledge."

Simon Allford
RIBA President and Executive Director, Head of Design Studio, Allford Hall Monaghan Morris

The overlay has been produced by a group of industry experts and has been kindly supported by Akerlof, Buildoffsite, Kier, Supply Chain Management School and UK Research and Innovation, and endorsed by Mark Farmer, Founder of Cast Consultancy and UK Government MMC Champion for Homebuilding.

Download the DfMA Overlay to the RIBA Plan of Work below for the complete guidance.

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