Oct 18, 2016

Offsite construction could lay the foundations to meet surging demand for new housing

Greater adoption of offsite construction provides a ‘clear opportunity’ to meet surging demand for new housing, according to the UK’s leading designer and manufacturer of timber systems, Stewart Milne Timber Systems.

The claim comes on the same week that the think tank, the Resolution Foundation, published a report confirming what we already know: the UK is in the middle of a national housing crisis. The report revealed that total numbers of buyers had fallen by a third in the last decade, with homeownership becoming a pipedream for many. Affordability of housing was cited as one issue, availability being another.

This announcement coincides with the Centre for Economics and Business Research (CEBR) warning of a construction slowdown with the potential to wipe out more than a third of the GDP growth.

Despite this warning, Churchill Retirement – a retirement housebuilder – has reported strong sales following the EU referendum; and residential property group A2 Dominion has revealed they have completed 1,127 new homes in 2015/16 up from 579 in 2014/15.  

Alex Goodfellow, Group Managing Director at Stewart Milne Timber Systems, said: “We may be in the middle of a national housing shortage but there is a clear opportunity to address it now. Offsite construction is a proven way of building faster, to extremely high quality and without the same labour costs required by traditional brick and block construction.

“Greater uptake of offsite construction in large-scale housebuilding could make the difference between consigning an entire generation to lifetime renting, and creating enough new housing stock to kick over the obstacles to home ownership.”

At Stewart Milne Timber Systems’ factory in Witney, Oxford, 10,000 timber systems for new homes can be manufactured each year.

Alex Goodfellow added: “Factory-manufactured timber systems enable tighter control on costs, they’re precision-engineered to exacting standards, and they can be ready for moving in many weeks faster than with current building methods.”

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