The recent statement by Secretary of State for Housing Robert Jenrick, announcing the 2021-2026 £11.5bn Affordable Housing Programme, sets out a series of ambitious housebuilding targets to help improve the efficiency of the UK development sector.
Organisations seeking Grant and looking to sign “strategic partnership” deals with Homes England to build large numbers of affordable homes will have to commit to using modern methods of construction (MMC) to build at least 25% of their pipeline.
Langley Structures Ltd has welcomed the updates to the Permitted Development (PD) rules that will allow increased utilisation of upward extensions to provide much needed social housing. However, Langley Structures, experts in rooftop capitalisation, warns that the quality and design of new developments and the impact on the local community must be prioritised.
The new rules allow the construction of up to two additional storeys on purpose-built, detached block of flats, subject to certain conditions. This includes that existing blocks must be three storeys or more and the extended building must not be more than 30 metres high.
The resounding message to new Government is clear - we need affordable, well designed and energy efficient homes that address the significant issues of fuel poverty and climate change. Sustainable building methods and renewable energy are pivotal in delivering a sustainable solution.
We live in a time where people are beginning to wake up to the threat of climate change. Something must be done. Increased onus now rightly resides on housebuilders to deliver sustainable and energy efficient homes as part of the greater effort to reduce CO2 emissions, energy consumption and waste as an industry. These environmental considerations will transform how our buildings are constructed, what materials are used and which methods are employed.
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.
Editor Victoria Galligan asks Joseph Daniels, CEO of modular homes provider Project Etopia, about the advances in MMC and how a joint venture enabled modular developments to get up and running…
Modular homes Q&A with Joseph Daniels, Project Etopia
Tell us about the factory: what type of properties can be made onsite and where will the modular homes be placed?
The factory will create the panels needed to build modular homes. It has the capability of producing enough panels for 2,000 homes a year, although we have ambitions to grow capacity to 6,000 homes a year. By using a panelised system, the parts can be transported to any part of the country where a house can then be built on-site.
Increasing pressure on contractors to deliver bigger, quicker and cheaper builds can result in mistakes that can sometimes cost lives. The construction industry shoulders much responsibility, so the importance of making fundamental changes to methods of working is immeasurable. Glyn Coates from Zeroignition looks at the flaws in traditional methods of construction – and the solutions offered by adopting an off-site approach, particularly when concerning fire protection.
Select the right contractor
A finished building should be fully compliant and fit-for-purpose. To accomplish this it is essential projects are designed, specified and constructed by accredited professionals. However, it appears in practice that many contracts are awarded to the lowest bidder rather than to well researched and vetted companies.
Agile Ageing Alliance (AAA) is a joining of innovators from across the building and housing sectors, as well as health, care, design & technology and finance advisors who have come together to produce a new way of retirement living. Neighbourhoods of the Future from the AAA is a vision which modern methods of construction (MMC) can make a reality, providing much-needed affordable homes in multi-generational developments.
Here, Ian Spero – founder of Agile Ageing Alliance – answers editor Victoria Galligan's questions on how MMC can help to solve the housing crisis.