The Seismic Building

Constructing Excellence

With the UK government pushing for platform-based construction solutions, the Seismic demonstrator building offers a glimpse of the future, representing the first example of a full system that has been delivered. Seismic provides the tangible evidence that is needed to drive a meaningful shift towards Modern Methods of Construction (MMC). Designed in line with the government’s Construction 2025 targets, it exceeds them in every way, delivering a building that is 75% faster to complete, 70% lower in carbon impact and 47% better value than traditional construction. It even competes with other modular solutions, with an improvement of around 30% on speed.

It is the culmination of a four-year project developed by a consortium comprising consultancy blacc, offsite manufacturers Algeco (formerly the Elliott Group) and McAvoy, Tata Steel, the Manufacturing Technology Centre (MTC), the National Composite Centre (NCC) and Specific (part of Swansea University).

Seismic has been worked on in two stages. Phase one was developed in response to a project with the Department for Education (DfE) to improve the delivery of schools. It focused on the design of a standardised, lightweight steel frame and connector and was completed in 2020. Because of its success, a second stage was commissioned. The objective was to design and construct core components that would work with the frame system, including wall, floor, ceiling and roof cassettes, offering an “all-in-one” solution for clients.

The project has been part-funded by Innovate UK and is already being used as an exemplar project to promote the benefits of standardised construction platforms.


Three Winning Facts:
  1. Sustainability – Seismic is well below Construction 2025’s target of 1,300 kg CO2 per m2, offering a 70% improvement over traditional construction.
  2. Legacy – the demonstrator is open for visits, new-build projects are in the pipeline, and work from MTC and NCC will help modular and product manufacturers to get involved with a platform-based approach to construction.
  3. Testing – tested as a complete system, clients can be assured that they will get an asset that is built to the optimum standards and delivered in line with their expectations and requirements, whatever the configuration they select.