Section: Building & Regeneration

Pioneering research programme aims to shape the future of housebuilding

Posted 16.06.20
L&Q: Further reading

Could a digital toolkit save the UK construction sector over £7 billion per year, whilst helping to tackle the housing crisis? The COLAB consortium, a partnership led by L&Q alongside Virtual Viewing, Hawkins\Brown and HTA Design, certainly think so.

The group has kick-started a new project that has the potential to transform the way homes are designed and built in the UK, by setting out to develop a digital 'Design for Manufacture and Assembly' (DfMA) toolkit.

Off-site manufactured technologies are increasingly seen as the future of housebuilding in the UK, speeding up construction times whilst enabling the delivery of consistently high-quality homes.

However, barriers still exist that are delaying the transition from traditional to modern methods of construction. Housebuilders have typically struggled to deliver off-site manufactured homes at volume and scale.

The DfMA software will make this easier, by creating a central database within which off-site components can be stored and selected for use in new homes. It also has the potential to allow developers to source materials directly from suppliers.

The toolkit will display information about sustainability and waste, helping housebuilders find solutions for building cleaner and greener homes.

It's estimated that this programme, believed to be the first of its kind in the UK, could speed up design and construction programmes by 30%, providing total savings of around 25% to housebuilders.

If adopted more widely, it could result in an average saving of £7.6 billion per year to the housebuilding sector.

The team are aiming to have the project completed by June 2021, and partner with housing associations, local authorities and housebuilders to roll it out.

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Stonewater strikes £23m modular deal with ilke Homes

Posted 04.06.20
Stonewater: Further reading

Stonewater has agreed a £23 million deal with ilke Homes that will see the modular specialist deliver 120 properties for the landlord.

The factory-built homes will be installed at a derelict former trading estate in Hereford, after being built in ilke's North Yorkshire facility.

The deal is part of a new 'turnkey' approach by Homes England-backed ilke that involves the specialist buying land to develop on before selling it to the client.

It is part of Ilke's bid to become a fully integrated developer, having opened new offices in London, Birmingham and Bristol.

The tie-up is the second high profile deal ilke has struck with a housing association after it signed up Places for People in a £100 million agreement a year ago.

Modular housing firms have long trumpeted the benefits of factory-built homes, pointing to the faster speed that units can be delivered and savings on residents' energy bills.

However high profile players in the market have all racked up significant losses due to start-up costs.

The government has stepped up its backing of the sector to tackle the housing crisis. Last November, Homes England invested £30 million in ilke Homes.

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Reporting on June 2020

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