The smart construction solution to the housing crisis

5th April, 2018

Off-site construction has been hailed by experts as being the solution to the UK’s housing crisis

It is no secret that the UK faces a severe shortage of homes, particularly in the social housing sector. The pressure on the housing supply comes at a time when the average age of the construction workforce is reportedly increasing, creating a ‘potential time bomb’ that will play out over the next 10 years as the workforce shrinks by an estimated 25%.

There is said to be a smart solution – the industry reportedly needs to embrace offsite forms of construction to increase the attractiveness of the industry to new entrants and to improve productivity to increase output with less labour. Offsite manufacture in a factory environment is by no means a new concept and the benefits are said to be clear.

Major manufacturers working in the offsite sector say that they can deliver the capacity required, however to do this, they need committed volumes to generate a climate of confidence for investment.

Chair of the Explore Offsite Housing Event, Darren Richards, managing director of offsite experts, Cogent Consulting, supported this view saying: “By far the largest house building programme that is going to be delivered is by the government. For the industry to have the confidence to invest, a committed government housing pipeline is required, but I think this should be taken a step further to offer greater economies of scale and instead of buying as a single programme – the government should aggregate demand across residential sectors and regions.”

The official figures released at the end of 2017 show that the number of new homes in England increased by more than 217,000 in 2016. This is said to signify the highest level of net additions since the recession and it is the first time in almost a decade that the 200,000 milestone has been reached.

Without doubt, some progress is being made – experts have reportedly hailed offsite construction as the only way to respond to the huge demand for new housing. This is said to represent a major opportunity for construction professionals operating in or entering the offsite arena. Crucial to success, is understanding the construction dynamic and keeping abreast of constant innovations within the sector.

Explore Offsite Housing does not claim to have all the answers but says it can offer in-depth insight from those who are shaping the future of the social housing and private residential sectors – as well as learnings from a host of innovators and thought leaders in the offsite sector. The conference and exhibition will offer the opportunity to learn direct from a speaker line-up featuring Sir Edward Lister, chair of Homes England; Aiden Wilkie, deputy director for housing diversification at the Ministry for Housing, Communities and Local Government and Jenny Coombs, project director for Local Partnerships.

Explore Offsite Housing brings together industry leaders and pioneers to discuss the latest innovations in offsite technologies and the growing opportunities that the housing shortage presents. For the full speaker programme go to:

Original link - Building Products

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The next issue of Offsite Magazine is closing very soon and includes skills development, hotel construction and the ways volumetric modular technology can revitalise a wide range of building sectors. Plus...

  • We hear about how the Marriott, Travelodge and Premier Inn brands are using offsite methods to create a new breed of hotel plus a detailed look at the Hampton by Hilton Hotel at Bristol Airport.
  • A summary of the reaction to the Hackitt Review of Building Regulations and Fire Safety.
  • The CITB and BEX (Built Environment Exchange) tell us more about building a new skills base surrounding offsite technology and sustainable construction.
  • An overview of Centres of Excellence such as the Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre (AMRC), Manufacturing Technology Centre (MTC) Offsite Management School (OMS), Construction Scotland Innovation Centre (CSIC) and Dudley Advance II.
  • Mark Hargreaves at DLA Design and Emily King from Portakabin highlight the potential of modular construction within the Education sector.
  • Derek Thomson at Loughborough University explains the need for through-life performance and design configurability with modular design.

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