Kent A Top Location For Offsite Construction

Kent was recently named as one of the places for offsite construction where pre-fabricated housing is really taking off.

timber frame houses

Offsite is growing in popularity in the UK, with Kent recently named as one of the places where pre-fabricated housing is really taking off.

The Telegraph highlighted figures from Pinsent Masons, which found that of the 15,000 pre-fab homes constructed around the UK in 2017, 700 were located in Kent. There are a number of projects in this area of the country utilising offsite construction to help them deliver homes more quickly and efficiently.

Medway is one part of the county where they have taken on the idea of using offsite construction to help deliver the new homes required in the area. Medway Council’s head of planning Dave Harris explained why they have started using this technique more frequently.

“This type of house construction is 40 per cent quicker than traditional methods and from the day the pod arrives it can be ready to welcome new residents within four weeks,” he told the newspaper.

With councils under pressure to deliver new housing quickly due to high demand, making use of timber frame houses could therefore be a good solution to ensure they are able to meet the high targets being set by central government.

It’s also a good choice for self-builders, who are able to design and build their properties more quickly using this method than if they opted for more traditional construction methods.

Earlier this year, an article in The Architects’ Journal suggested that more house builders should consider using offsite construction in the UK because this can help deliver a high volume of homes in a short space of time.

According to the publication, construction firms should ignore this trend “at your peril”, because it is expected to become a more popular way of building new properties due to the growing demand and time pressures to deliver new homes quickly.

The journal also acknowledged that architects have an important role to play to ensure that the growth of this sector doesn’t result in a host of developments comprising “bland, inappropriate buildings”.

That means being aware of the possibility that offsite housing designs can become repetitive if the process isn’t carefully managed, and therefore taking steps to prevent that from happening.

Another advantage to timber frame properties is that they can help the sector lower its carbon footprint – which will become increasingly important as the government continues its drive to create a low-carbon economy in the UK.

In October, the government published its Clean Growth Strategy, which highlighted how businesses in a range of industries could benefit from the rise of low-carbon technology and products.

Climate change and industry minister Claire Penny commented: “By focusing on clean growth, we can cut the cost of energy, drive economic prosperity, create high-value jobs and improve our quality of life.”

Timber frame homes could fit in well with this approach, because they can act as a carbon sink as a result of the CO2 that the wood absorbs during its lifetime. There are also more opportunities to recycle and reuse materials, as well as producing less waste, in the offsite construction sector than with traditional methods.


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