Last edited 14 Feb 2018

BRE Assessment Methodology and certification scheme for modular homes

At Ecobuild in March 2018, BRE is to launch a new product standard for modular and prefabricated homes as part of a bid to reassure buyers.

The new standard is intended to bolster buyers' confidence that modular homes will be built to the highest standards.

In the UK, an estimated 12% of construction takes place off-site, with a market value of £1.5bn. Experts believe that this push towards ‘modern methods of construction’ is needed to improve building quality and increase supply, and that the marked has significant growth potential. So far however, off-site methods have had limited traction in private housing, with the market continuing to prefer traditional methods. Instead, off-site has been favoured for industrial buildings, hotels, social housing, and purpose-built student accommodation.

The evidence that off-site growth is on the way can be found in the government’s ambition for 100,000 new modular homes to be built during the course this parliament. In addition, private firms such as Laing O’Rourke, Berkeley Homes, Pocket Living, and Legal & General Homes have already committed to modular expansion.

While this may indicate that the supply side is preparing itself to meet off-site needs, the critical factor remains convincing the general public of its merits and quality. David Gall, associate director and construction products sector lead at BRE, believes that the public perception of prefabrication is outdated and needs to change.

BRE’s new standard is intended to provide guidance to manufacturers, developers, planners, mortgage lenders, insurers and underwriters, as well as the general public.

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