Could prefabricated homes help solve the housing crisis?
A recent article in The Times, which featured a company that has successfully implemented off-site manufacturing, proves how effective the delivery of prefabricated homes has become.
The housing industry has long since realised the merits of off-site building and how it can reduce construction costs and overcome material or manpower shortages, while returning the savings back into the market. We have long since known that the Homes and Communities Agency (HCA) has hopes of increasing the amount of homes built through off-site manufacturing, but it seems that the national media are realising how the initiative can combat the UK housing crisis too.
We have already announced our plans to create a social housing ‘factory’ which would be the first of its kind for the sector and is soon set to be a reality following numerous assessments on its viability. After careful consideration of all the potential barriers, such as funding, location and the safety regulations for the plant itself, we’re confident that this is a solution we can deliver.
Once the off-site factory is completed, the rewards for the North West are unbounded. The rate at which we are building houses for the region will be increased dramatically, as things like bad weather or a lack of materials will no longer be an obstacle. Off-site manufacturing is one of the first solutions presented that can help us meet the volume of properties needed to combat the housing crisis.
Our prefabricated homes will create cost reductions for many different aspects of the house building process. For example, social landlords are put under cost pressures to meet building and environmental standards which require precision engineering. This is notoriously difficult to achieve on-site, but in a factory, it’s relatively straightforward. Alongside this, the HCA has made it clear that any bids which include a proposal to use modern construction methods, such as off-site factory building, will receive priority for grant funding in the 2015/18 affordable homes programme.
It’s great news that both the housing industry and the national media are uniting in support of prefabricated housing versus conventional on-site building. While there are still some creases to iron out, the proposal for our factory will create quality structures, which can be created cost-effectively, and be put together on-site in a matter of weeks. Off-site manufacturing is undoubtedly the greatest threat to the housing crisis so far, and we’re excited to be a part of it.