The British housing market is extremely dysfunctional. There simply aren’t enough affordable homes available for the people that are struggling the most. There has yet to be any significant action that demonstrates some sort of progress. However, modular homes could potentially be a solution to the current housing crisis and pave the way for the future of UK housing.
What are Modular Homes?
Modular homes aren’t built in the same way traditional houses are. Rather than laying bricks and pouring concrete on a building site, modular homes are constructed in a completely different way. Sections of a house are built offsite in a factory, before being delivered to their destination and bolted together for final assembly.
Surprisingly, the final product looks very similar to existing buildings. The main difference is that 80% of the construction work is completed elsewhere. As a result, more buildings can be built in much less time and are of better quality. Furthermore, other buildings can be constructed as well as houses, including schools, hospitals and prisons.
Will The Government Implement Modular Homes?
Chancellor Philip Hammond announced in his autumn budget that the state will use its purchasing power to ensure that this technology is adopted by 2019, whether that is through the Ministry of Transport, Justice, Health, Education or Defence.
Currently, the infrastructure that is required cannot be fully delivered because there isn’t enough capacity. Additionally, the shortage of labour and skills only emphasises the problem.
Advantages of Modular Homes
Many industrial companies are in full support of offsite manufacturing and the government plans to have 300,000 homes a year built by 2025, but the sector can only deliver 190,000 at the moment. Modular homes reduce overall construction time by 50%, making them ideal for enabling the government to hit their desired target and ultimately help people who are desperately in need of permanent homes. Other benefits include lower labour costs and less materials, therefore their costs are lower overall.
Not an Instant Solution
There is still much to be done to make modular homes the norm. Investing in offsite manufacturing from the construction industry is still in a very early stage. Capital costs are high at present and many top tier companies don’t have a strategy that they can implement. The government remains in support of modular construction but has yet to mandate on it.