Actis says more off-site construction is key if the plans in a report into how the UK manages its housing market are to be achieved.
The report, “Green, pleasant and affordable”, came from Conservative think-tank Onward last month. It suggested that councils should be given more power to buy land to develop new villages and towns, and recommends building cheaper housing for young people.
Actis’ Regional Sales Director Jemma Harris says a key factor in enabling this to happen would be increasing the volume of off-site built homes, as the process is much faster.
She said: “Building a timber frame house is around 30% faster than brick and block. With a shrinking workforce and the likelihood that this situation will worsen in the light of Brexit, off-site is a vital way of creating the homes we desperately need in this country.”
Harris explained that most of the skilled element takes place off-site. The timber frame walls, floors and roofs, along with electrical wiring, plumbing and insulation are built in factories fairly quickly.
After that, the site crew has to erect everything in the right order, with the build time being between seven and 12 days, depending on the size of the house.
While a traditional block and brick house requires a bricklayer to construct the inner and outer skins of a cavity wall, the joinery, wall ties, and installation – with the panel system all they are required to do is the outer skin of the house, saving valuable time.