Modular housing will be the key to unlocking the housing crisis so, while it is good to see the Government making reference to it in last week’s Housing White Paper, it doesn’t go anywhere near far enough. We needed to see more commitment to delivering housing through modern methods of construction.
The Government’s recommendation that both traditional and modern methods of construction receive the same access to funding is right, but it’s use needs to be actively encouraged – or indeed enforced – if we are to build the number of homes necessary within the short timeframe needed. There needs to be a fundamental shift in mind-set - modular housing must be a natural consideration for the design and delivery of every scheme, instead of an after-thought or novelty component.
Offsite construction cuts time to housing delivery, improves design quality and can in the end be cost-effective when delivered at scale. Industry game-changers, such as Laing O’Rourke and L&G, are starting to systemise the modular housing build process at scale, which is delivering more security and normalising the approach for funders who have hitherto been cautious about its success rate.
The announcement was a step forward, but to maximise the full potential of modular housing, the method needs to be totally integrated into the wider house-building process. What we would like to see is offsite construction becoming a guaranteed element – or at the least a consideration – in any development.
Holly Porter, Founding Director, Surface to Air