ilke Homes has launched a guide explaining how factory-built homes for families and young professionals could ease the housing crisis. Speaking at the Chartered Institute of Housing (CIH) conference in Manchester on 25 June, Dave Sheridan, Executive Chairman, ilke Homes (pictured), said that housing associations could speed up delivery and improve quality by embracing offsite manufacturing.
The new guide, entitled 'It all stacks up' explains how precision-engineered homes are far greener and more energy efficient than typical new build construction. It goes into detail about volumetric housebuilding - where houses are engineered in a factory, with complete modules being transported to sites and then assembled.
Official data from Homes England for the year to 31 March 2019, shows there were 45,692 housing starts on site and 40,289 housing completions delivered through programmes managed by Homes England outside of London - the highest for nine and four years respectively. Yet only a tiny fraction of these were built using offsite - something many experts believe needs to change.
"Housing associations are now being recognised for their ability to deliver at scale and to play a vital role supporting those most in need," said Dave Sheridan. "We're keen to help them build better quality housing and to do so quicker, ensuring that together we support the government's housing delivery ambitions"
"We are seeing interest growing substantially in the market and with such scale, housing associations have a crucial role to play in supporting investment into more factories using the same digital technology and precision engineering that we employ in Yorkshire. Our guide aims to demystify the process and share some of what we've learned to help break down some of the remaining barriers to entry."
Sheridan, who has more than 30 years' experience in the housing sector, believes that there is an opportunity to step up delivery of affordable homes deadlines and use grant funding in a clever way. Being only 21 months out from the original Shared Ownership And Affordable Homes Programme (SOAHP) deadline, if an Registered Provider (RP) hasn't started on a scheme yet, they could even complete by March 2021, for example, if they made it a volumetric scheme. To deliver more homes faster, RPs can take advantage of two key features of volumetric delivery highlighted in the new guide: a cash profile that lends itself to alignment with grant payments and faster, more certain delivery to meet completion deadlines.
The new guide includes contributions from key experts in and around the housing sector, including Places for People, NHBC, Trowers & Hamlins and HTA Design, who share tips and learnings for using volumetric and working with a manufacturer.