Can modular housing solve the housing crisis?

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modular housing, residential sector, Bruceshaw
© Alexander Kondriianenko

In its first paper of 2019, Bruceshaw explores how in order for modular housing to truly boost the residential sector, we must change the mindset people have on prefabrication

Modular housing in design offers flexibility and ease of use, benefits that also have a positive impact on waste and cost, however, this is coupled with the enduring PR problem that anything associated with prefabrication has.

However, this is only one of the issues the industry has to address if it is to meet the one million homes target by 2020, set out by the UK government.

“We need to change the mindset people have over prefabrication. I prefer to call them ‘Precision Manufactured Homes’ because that is exactly what they are,” says David Nash, senior associate at Bruceshaw.

Hot topics include:

Contamination

How do we make use of local authority or social housing delivery mechanisms to ensure that small, contaminated pockets of developable land within urban centres are used to help sate demand for new homes where they are needed most?

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Alternatively, can we ensure plots that are currently not financially viable for development through scale or contamination could be incentivised and made economically viable?

Senior Living

Can we relieve pressure on the middle and higher rungs of the housing ladder by providing smaller, high-quality right-sized ‘senior living’ homes for those currently at the top?

Can we ensure that developers look at the viability and delivery of quality schemes which meet resident accommodation requirements, provide easy access to a range of facilities and make senior living aspirational?

Modern Methods of Construction

How do we encourage the use of Modern Methods of Construction across all modular housing developments by building well designed, qualities homes and change public perception?

Will MMC becomes the immediate focus for all architects, designers and developers, regardless of scheme location? If current UK housing targets are to be met and forward house-building strategies to be realised.

Planning

We need an open and robust review of current planning legislation, including that of the green belt and preserved green spaces, to unlock the development potential of ex-industrial and brownfield sites within. How can we create greater communications amongst all stakeholders?

Technology and Skills Shortage

The desperate shortage of skilled trades, engineers and operators has and will continue to blight the construction sector. How do we overcome this in a practical, timely, effective and efficient way?

How do we encourage full acceptance of BIM across the supply chain?

Bruceshaw provides building consultancy services across a number of sectors, including retail, commercial, datacentres and residential. Through a sequence of Bruceshaw Voice whitepapers, experts from Bruceshaw team up with a journalist specialising in the chosen sector to explore current and future trends, in order to bring greater value to its clients.

Read the whitepaper on modular housing here.

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