Simon McWhirter, Head of Engagement at Active Building Centre, discusses the need for a zero-carbon approach to housebuilding and how offsite construction can help reduce the emissions produced when providing new homes…
At UK Construction Week recently, offsite and modular featured heavily in the proceedings. There were myriad different structural solutions from lightweight steel frames to the latest in precast panelling. There is no doubt the construction industry is on the brink of significant change in that arena.
As has been the case for several years now, another topic woven through the seminar programme was sustainability. It was clear that policy-makers, contractors and developers are acutely aware of the impending legislative impacts, and the contingent need to introduce more eco-friendly systems and processes – essential to meeting the 2050 targets (or an even more ambitious set of regional, devolved and national aspirations) and the drive towards a net zero-carbon built environment.
Leading cold rollforming manufacturers, Hadley Group, will be bringing its expertise in light gauge steel solutions to stand C1 at the OFFSITE EXPO this year, as well as being a gold sponsor of the dynamic event.
Taking place on 24th – 25th September at the Ricoh Arena, Coventry, Hadley Group will showcase its high-performance light gauge cold rolled steel framing solutions for low rise residential buildings. Suitable for stick built or pre-panelised construction, the company can complete load bearing stand-alone structures including roofs, walls, floors, door and window openings, bracing and external finishes.
Components of the steel framing systems are designed, detailed and manufactured at the company’s advanced production facility then delivered to site, which is ideal for housing schemes with high volume requirements and for projects where space is limited on site. Offering a lighter and easier to erect alternative to steel or concrete primary frames, this fast track, lightweight steel housing system will significantly improve build turnaround times.
SMARTPLY FR OSB3 is the flame-retardant panel for use in structural applications, that can now be manufactured in panels of up to 7.5m long by 2.5m wide, making it ideal for offsite construction methods.
According to the housing white paper published earlier this year, the Government intends to utilise offsite technologies and build around 100,000 modular homes across Britain by 2020. This call for a quick and sustainable solution to the current housing shortage has created a unique opportunity for offsite construction to become a key building method to meet the demand in the housing industry.
The UK finds itself in the midst of an acute housing crisis. Current annual construction levels are typically less than half of the estimated 250,000 new homes this country needs built every year through to at least the 2030s. With only 63% of projects delivered on time and only 49% delivered to budget, it’s clear to see that traditional building practices, whilst still integral, are falling short of meeting major challenges on their own.