Building more affordable houses in Britain is back in the news, but how can this be achieved?
The UK Government recently announced new borrowing rules, which has reverted housing association classifications to private bodies, effectively removing £70 billion worth of debt. This will provide more funding to build homes.
New affordable housing
Increased funding is good news for everyone; but who will build these new homes, how will they be built, and how can it be guaranteed that they will be affordable? With the shortage of homes, UK house prices have risen extensively, beyond the reach of some residents).
Offsite construction is a possible solution to this problem, as homes are created in purpose-built factories utilising modern construction methods. Qtfhomes are a timber frame construction company that will use cross-laminated timber or timber frames that can be constructed to tight timescales and budgets to meet the needs of housing associations.
Using timber ensures quality while remaining affordable, as offsite and timber construction is approximately 30% quicker than other construction methods, meaning that this method can effectively meet the needs of the housing shortage.
Manufacturing costs are also reduced as the precise nature of timber construction results in lower snagging costs and less waste, reduced by up to 90%.
Wood also has far more environmental benefits, as it is renewable, natural, thermally efficient and reduces carbon emissions.
Accord Housing is one housing association that has chosen offsite construction. Located in the West Midlands, it used a timber frame construction company to accommodate local housing needs, building a specific factory to facilitate construction. Around 200 homes are currently created each year, with proposals to increase production.
Basildon Borough Council has also worked with Swan Housing to regenerate the Craylands Estate, built in the 1960s. A new factory was built for the manufacture of approximately 300 cross-laminated timber residences a year, creating around 40 jobs.
New skilled construction jobs
Offsite construction will also address the shortage of skilled construction labourers in the UK. The mix of manufacturing skills and timber engineering required creates roles for the local workforce, boosting the local economy.
While not needing a large workforce, offsite construction will provide jobs for the local community and can offer apprenticeships in fields such as building, manufacturing and design.