Within the late 1950s, more than a decade once the war rather than long after the rock and roll explosion, Britain embarked with a house-building programme the like in which we have never seen before or since.
There seemed to be suddenly a need for more than a quarter of your million new homes annually as new towns were manufactured to replace the old slums and families sought more space to fit the infant boom. In order to meet this, large numbers of houses were built in factories after which assembled on location.
These prefabricated house came to be as closely of the next couple of years as Billy Bremner or maybe the Beatles. In truth, it was actually something of the exaggeration, given that they never comprised over 15% of the latest builds inside an era the location where the high rises were a bigger game changer.
In early 1970s, prefabs suddenly went out from style, with good rises not far behind. The need for such speedy building had reduced. Insurance carriers had begun refusing to insure them mainly because it became clear that there were countless difficulties with the development techniques that they can would not last nearly provided that people had hoped. Suddenly new homes comprised blocks and bricks and were between two and four storeys in height.
Yet whisper it, pre-fabrication is setting up a comeback – though nowadays it is usually generally known as off-site construction. When the momentum keeps increasing, it is going to come to dominate house building throughout the UK and perhaps elsewhere in ways that 06dexspky happened inside the 1950s and 1960s.
Scotland is leading the way. Partly this is certainly as a result of timber frame housing, which is far more extensive north from the border. Timber frames became popular in Aberdeenshire from the 1980s to satisfy the nascent oil and gas industry, and after that gradually spread for some other aspects of Scotland.
From your early 2000s, framing companies began merging with some other players for example insulators and gradually took benefit of their new strength comprehensive to go into building kit houses offsite. From the pre-recession peak of 2007, off-site new build had grown from under 10% of new Scottish houses to between 25% and 30%.
By that year, the total number of new houses being built throughout the uk was around 200,000. It fell just to over 110,000 as demand collapsed. After a few lean years it really is about the up again (see image), fuelled from the UK Government’s Aid to Buy scheme.
But the majority experts agree it is going to have to increase considerably more quickly if we will satisfy demand in the future. Great Britain Government estimates we should build 260,000 houses each and every year in England and Wales between 2015 and 2031 and 35,000 annually in Scotland.
Housing booms past and future. Edinburgh Napier
Not just are these targets way prior to everything we were building even during the pre-recession peak, there are several other pressures on construction:
replacing skilled workers who have left the business sector throughout the recession and therefore are not returning;
high average age in many lines of labor, meaning increasing retirement rates;
considerable amounts of refurbishment to existing housing stock;
delays to utility connections on work sites;
pressure on prices and workers from demand using their company sectors for example oil and gas and major infrastructure works well with rail, road and power stations.
When building fails
Many people think that offsite is the answer. According to case studies by Build Offsite, the sector body, the savings include a 10% to 15% reduction in the fee for building; and a 40% reduction in vehicle movements.
It can also help with builders’ mounting energy performance requirements. House building has been put underneath the microscope in recent years to understand where improvements can be made – as an example one recent research area is improving buildings’ external insulated fabric.
Off-site manufacturing is great for this as it gives builders additional control over each stage of the construction process. It also means you can reduce waste and possess better control over the kinds of waste being generated, while implementing techniques popular with other sectors including just-in-time delivery.
To take advantage of this potential, steel warehouse including Kingspan, CCG and Stewart Milne have already been investing heavily in facilities throughout the recession years.
Inspired by the lean construction types of car makers like Ford and Toyota, plants emerged or expanded in places like Glasgow, Manchester, Aberdeen, Derby and Motherwell. Off-site now comprises between 15% and 20% of house building in England and Wales, having moved beyond timber frames to numerous many other materials; when in Scotland it can be now 50 plus%.
CCG’s offsite factory near Glasgow. Edinburgh Napier University
With the help of the likes of the future Construction Scotland Innovation Centre, which brings together academics and researchers from 11 universities, these manufacturers are developing increasingly advanced assembly techniques that can include smart technology, intelligent membranes as well as nanotech. To reflect these new technologies and systems some believe the the off-site sector may change its name to Advanced Construction.
The proportion of off-site construction is only going to keep growing. It is likely that by 2017, greater than 70% of new Scottish homes will probably be built this way, while all of those other UK will show the same upward momentum. Several of the prefabricated homes will also be attracting interest from China, Europe, Brazil and Russia, where this segment has yet to adopt off.
Having got off-site construction so wrong the very first time around, this period promises to be really different. Do the building industry a favour: don’t refer to it as prefab.