Page 48

HOUSING people to consider using these offsite construction to meet the challenges of the housing market. Despite this widespread support for an increase in modular construction, our research shows that a fifth of the population think prefabricated housing is poor quality, with one in six claiming it is old fashioned. Nearly a fifth don’t think a modular home would last as long as a traditionally built house.

1

UNDERSTANDING MODULAR APPEAL Why does the UK population struggle to understand a key solution to the housing crisis? Martin Hurn, Managing Director of Futurebuild Events Ltd created a survey to find out why. It’s no secret that offsite construction is a sector which is experiencing significant growth, but at the moment it still only accounts for around 10% of the UK’s construction output. At this year’s ecobuild there was standing room only at many of the seminars in the Offsite District and exhibitors were inundated with inquiries, so why is this percentage so low when the need for affordable new homes is so high? Ahead of ecobuild 2018, we decided to look into whether public uncertainty or even scepticism about offsite could be the answer and the findings were enlightening. The survey, which was completed by more than two thousand people, shows much more needs to be done to educate UK consumers about the 48

benefits of modular housing and there’s still a great deal of confusion around the subject. In fact, half of respondents (49%) were unable to identify what the term modular home refers to. Yet two thirds (62%) were able to correctly identify a modular home from a selection of images. It takes around half the time to build a home using modular construction, compared to traditional methods. It’s no wonder then that with the government’s target of building 300,000 homes a year, offsite and modular construction are seen by many as an answer to accelerating housebuilding to required levels. In fact, Housing Minister Alok Sharma recently launched a working group of key stakeholders from across the housebuilding sector, to encourage

WWW.OFFSITEMAGAZINE.CO.UK | MARCH/APRIL 2018

There seems to be public support for new approaches to housebuilding and more than a quarter of people who completed our survey called for more inventive ways to solve the housing crisis. At ecobuild this year we showcased some fantastic homes utilising the latest techniques in offsite and modular construction and visitors were queuing out of the doors to have a look around. One of the properties on display was from Brooke Homes. The company’s Managing Director James English, a chartered engineer, told me that: “People are increasingly more aware that offsite is the disruptive technology we need to rapidly deliver high-quality, affordable housing. The key for offsite construction to really deliver is collaboration. Councils and housing associations need volume, and quickly, which the traditional builders are not delivering. Manufacturers require volume to remain competitive against traditional build. “To address the housing crisis we need to see the likes of developers, councils and housing associations collaborate with offsite construction specialists, introducing them into their wider housing schemes, with offsite specialists being brought in far earlier in the design process, to provide quicker rollout without sacrificing quality.” With our research revealing that 75% of people think it’s either difficult or very difficult to buy a house or flat, now really is the time for us to shine the spotlight on offsite construction to help solve this problem and get thousands more people on the property ladder. For more information visit: www.futurebuild.co.uk Images: 01. To address the housing crisis developers, councils and housing associations need to collaborate with offsite construction specialists. Courtesy Brooke Homes

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...