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Housing Crisis Solved with Off-site Volumetric Construction?

Off-site, volumetric construction set to solve the housing crisis

An off-site volumetric construction promises to solve the UK’s housing crisis. A reduction in labour as a consequence of Brexit could further deepen the ongoing difficulties in meeting the UK’s housing requirements. The whitepaper from Ackroyd Lowrie identifies a number of ways the target of building 300,000 homes per year can be meet through offsite, volumetric construction.

Offsite Volumetric Construction

Representing a significant shift in the way buildings are produced, offsite volumetric construction enables bespoke housing projects to be delivered 30-60% quicker by building them in factories. By building through this method, windows, kitchens and even brickwork can be installed on a production line requiring significantly less time and labour on site.

Virtual Reality Pre- Construction

To further enhance the efficiency and speed of build Acroyd Lowrie have introduced a virtual sign off process, enabling clients to walk around different versions of their home via a virtual reality headset. This pre-build process allows the consumer to make exact changes to their home before their home is built.

Key Benefits from the Whitepaper:

  1. Complete construction in days, not months – Offsite construction can save a great deal of time on site, which leads to financial savings for the client. The method can offer  30-60% time saving over traditional methods.
  2. Bespoke, high quality homes – Prefabricated homes gained a reputation for being repetitive and low quality due to those produced in the post-war period. However, modern factories can achieve bespoke designs using high quality materials
  3. Fewer Defects – Because these homes are built in factory conditions, the quality and consistency of work can be higher
  4. Collaborations with award winning architects – Advances in 3D computer modelling allow award winning architects to collaborate directly with the factories producing the homes to achieve contemporary, beautifully designed homes

Liz Peace CBE, Chair of the Old Oak and Park Development Corporation, one of London’s key regeneration bodies, said of the research:

The house building industry is not renowned for being particularly innovative but in offsite, volumetric housing we are confronted with something that could…revolutionise the way we build homes and make a significant dent in the housing numbers we so desperately need. As an industry, we cannot let this opportunity pass us by. This is why we need the call to arms the Ackroyd Lowrie White Paper offers – to inspire, to inform and most all  to make things happen.

Concluding the research, Oliver said:

If there was any political will to solve the housing crisis, it would be by building faster. Offsite construction is objectively the fastest way to build and results in properties with fewer defects. Innovations in the industry mean that developers can create completely bespoke solutions for sites of all sizes, for clients with virtually any preferences.

The whitepaper from Ackroyd Lowrie can be read in full here.

Read more about Offsite Construction in Paul Foressters recent article, or explore the potential benefits of artificial intelligence in construction and insulation here.

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