Modular House

  • Client
    The McAvoy Group
  • Architect
    TODD Architects
  • Engineer
    Semple McKillop
  • Site
    Concept Design, suitable for UK and N. Ireland



Provide quality housing solutions to meet client’s needs, using Modern Methods of Construction (MMC)


To assist The McAvoy Group in producing the design for a single dwelling unit, which could be used to assess the potential of adding off-site housing to its current UK and ROI product range.

The McAvoy Group, the first off-site contractor to be certified BIM Level 2 compliant, adopted BIM’s open collaboration work practices to define a clear set of deliverables for each member of the Design Team; this enabled the completion of the conceptual design phase within a four week period.

This fast track approach required data drops to deliver design elements at four key stages of the process. Team members progressed their aspect of the design concurrently while collaborating to meet the end goal.

A cloud-based Common Data Environment (CDE) was used to host and share the 3D models, 2D drawings, specifications and all the other design data. The concept of ‘Open BIM’ was supported through the use of the IFC file format for the 3D information, ensuring interoperability issues were minimised between the software packages used by each Design Team member.

By federating all the 3D models using Solibri Model Checker, the full design was able to be reviewed, checked and validated throughout the process. All issues were communicated and tracked by the design team using BIM Collaboration Format (BCF) files and reports.


One of the key design considerations was scalability, enabling the initial scheme to be suitably adapted to meet a future range of needs: for example by easily incorporating an accessible ground floor shower room.

The four volumetric modules were designed to be largely self-contained; this aids the factory production process and reduces installation work and time on site.

The external walls have been designed to allow for a range of finishes to be adopted to suit location or market preference.

  • Dual Pitch
  • Mono Pitch & Flat
  • Hybrid


  • Structural steel frame design
  • Structural foundation design
  • Lifting strategy design
  • Steelwork connection design
  • Fabrication Level of Detail (LOD5) output
  • Building Information Model deliverable


  • Common Data Environment (CDE)
    Used ‘Viewpoint For Projects’ cloud collaboration solution

  • BIM & Project Co-ordination
    Through application of BIM processes in accordance with PAS 1192:2

  • Co-ordination of the Design Between Disciplines
    Weekly data drops to allow federation of the BIM models

  • Clash Detection
    Solibri Model Checker and BCF (BIM Collaboration Format) reports to track progress, & manage the process

  • File Share Format
    IFC using ‘Open BIM’ philosophy

  • EIR / BEP / MIDP or TIDP
    McAvoy generated a full Bim Execution Plan (BEP) for BIM services, and monitored its progress on the CDE 

  • Software
    Tekla Structures : Structural BIM authoring
    Tekla Tedds : Structural design calculations
    Revit Architecture : Architectural BIM authoring
    Revit MEP : Mechanical and electrical BIM authoring


In summary, the ultimate outcome is for The McAvoy Group to finalise a concept design that would facilitate further investigation by the company into the feasibility to enter into the offsite housing market.

Download Full Case Study Here


David Clark

Innovation Manager - McAvoy Group

In particular our experience of working with D4S has been a great success, whereby we have been able to avail both structural design services along with the provision of a fully developed and ‘ready for manufacture’ structural steel model and drawings. The whole process of streamlining the structural design and fabrication level steel detailing together from a single ‘one stop shop’ has been a breath of fresh air, and has ensured that the McAvoy Group have significantly reduced the chances of data loss when using multiple sources to produce this same level of information. The proactive approach from D4S to agreeing and producing a design, that was right first time, brings added benefits to the McAvoy Group in respect to faster delivery of design for the overall project.