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4 For Swan Housing Group, Beechwood is just the start. Offsite will form a key part of their construction programme, whilst the NU living team will continue to build traditionally too. As Geoff Pearce, Swan’s Executive Director of Regeneration and Development explains, to Swan, offsite is part of the solution to the housing crisis: “Whilst we will continue to build traditionally as part of our housing programme, for each new project we will consider carefully if offsite is the right option. With the Mayor of London promoting offsite construction and ambitious targets to deliver 50% of new homes in London by 2021 with 50% offsite components, we can only see demand for all forms of offsite construction growing. “However, it’s not just about delivering many more new homes more quickly, it’s about delivering homes that people really want to live in. When we began looking at offsite, we read an ‘attitudes to home buying survey’, which found about 80% of buyers would not buy a brand-new house because they all look the same. Hence our approach which is giving buyers a ‘Grand Designs’ - type experience without the hassle of doing the build themselves. It also gives us the chance to upsell – underfloor heating, wine fridges, enhanced finishes and so on. The experience will be very similar to buying a new car, easy for the buyer, but also great for the community as it will create a neighbourhood which is diverse, with no two houses exactly the same. As ever with Swan, all profits made on these private sale homes


are reinvested in affordable housing - £65million so far, helping us build great mixed tenure communities that people really want to live in.”

Swan have a target of delivering the home to the buyer 16 weeks after the order is placed. They plan to launch their customisable homes in April and are confident that they will raise the profile of offsite manufacturing still further and demonstrate how this way of manufacturing can make a big impact. Swan have experienced much interest in their approach and their team have taken part in many thought leadership events around the topic. “There’s been a real shift since we first began talking about an offsite approach,” adds Geoff Pearce. “Initially people asked us why we would do this, and perhaps were sceptical that offsite could make a real impact but now they are more likely to ask how we are doing it and how they can get involved too, as the sector itself realises that offsite – whatever form it takes, can and must take a role if we are to meet the Mayor’s challenging targets around the delivery of new affordable homes for London. It’s great to see real collaboration going on, with the GLA supporting this approach and learning being shared. “From Swan’s perspective, it’s all about working together to deliver more high-quality homes that real people


really want to live in. We are confident that offsite manufacture will be a key part of our construction activities going forward and will help us generate over £250 million in gift aid from our commercial activities which will be reinvested in more affordable homes to meet housing need in London and the South East.”

SWAN HOUSING ASSOCIATION Swan Housing Association was first formed in 1994 and provides high-quality and affordable homes to rent, buy and operate in Essex and East London and locally manage over 11,000 homes, with plans in place to deliver over 1,000 new homes as part of an ambitious three year strategy. Swan are one of the UK’s leading regeneration housing associations and boast a host of award-winning schemes and deliver new, high-quality housing across all tenures.

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Images: 01-04. Beechwood Village is an ambitious scheme that will see delivery of 550 modular CLT homes to Swan’s £130 million regeneration of a 1960’s estate in Basildon

Offsite Magazine - Issue 10 (March/April)  

Offsite Magazine contains the latest news, exemplar case studies, comment, interviews and feature articles from leading lights in the indust...

Offsite Magazine - Issue 10 (March/April)  

Offsite Magazine contains the latest news, exemplar case studies, comment, interviews and feature articles from leading lights in the indust...