Last edited 06 Feb 2021

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BSRIA Institute / association Website

BSRIA supports plans for 100,000 off-site homes

On 31 October 2016, BSRIA gave its support to the announcement that volumetric off-site constructed homes will be part of the solution to the housing crisis.

An article in the Sunday Telegraph on 29 October 2016, suggested that more than 100,000 modular homes may be created and that a white paper will be published including measures to encourage banks to lend to firms fabricating homes off-site. The Telegraph wrote that housing minister Gavin Barwell had confirmed the Government sees a “huge opportunity” in manufacturers building houses off-site.

These off-site constructed homes will be built in a factory then transported to site by lorry and craned onto shallow foundations. Fast to build, and at an estimated £50,000 per ‘cube’, giving a rent of £148 per week, it is argued that these homes will be both quicker to deliver and more affordable than traditional buildings.

Unlike post-war ‘prefabbuildings, it is suggested that these new homes will be modern, spacious, comfortable, and eco-friendly, and that residents will have their own front door and entrance space.

Lynne Ceeney, Technical Director at BSRIA, said: “Off-site manufacture is not a new method of construction, and many high-end homes such as those manufactured by HufHaus are popular and reliable. The move towards volume production of good quality, more affordable off-site manufactured homes is very welcome, with the associated increased rate in housing output offering an essential contribution to help young professionals, key workers and those starting their careers to get a foot on the housing ladder.

“It is good to see the industry taking steps towards off-site and advanced manufacturing techniques. As well as providing more housing, off-site manufacture can provide better working conditions for construction workers, shorter time on site, and improved environmental performance in the construction process. Since the construction is more standardised and controlled than on-site construction, it enables innovative techniques to be rolled out more quickly.

“Having a central construction base also enables the training and upskilling of workers and retention of a regular workforce, all of which will help address the ever increasing industry skills shortage.”

Legal & General, Laing O’Rourke and architects Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners and ZEDfactory are currently investing in plans to deliver major off-site housing programmes.


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