We’ve written a number of features about the role of prefab housing in the future of construction, so we were interested to read this week that Whitefriars Housing Association is trialling the use of volumetric modular construction homes in a joint project with Coventry City Council.
As reported by The Construction Index: As a pilot scheme, two homes will be built by Totally Modular at its factory in Cradley Heath and transported to the Littlethorpe site in the Willenhall district of the city. With foundations in place ahead of arrival, each home is expected to take just hours to install and connect to services.
The purpose of the pilot project is to trial the process and assess whether the buildings are good enough to address the city’s housing needs.
Totally Modular houses are steel framed and clad to customer specification. They arrive on site with kitchens and bathrooms already fitted out, and other rooms already decorated.
Totally Modular focuses on the affordable and social housing market. As well as detached, semi-detached and terraced houses it can build micro-living modules, airspace apartments and room-in-a-roof solutions. It can also stack a number of modules together to create apartment blocks.
Back in 2017, Reuters reported that prefab housing was becoming a popular option in the UK, adding: “This represents something of a turnaround in a country where ‘prefabs’ have borne a strong and lingering stigma dating back to the 1940s when Winston Churchill ordered tens of thousands of cheap, flimsy, ugly units to be built to address a shortage housing after World War Two.
“The change is being fuelled by fears over a labour shortage in the British construction industry, which relies heavily on European workers like carpenters, joiners and bricklayers (post-Brexit). About 12 percent of its 2.1 million employees come from abroad, mainly the EU, according to official figures. The trend is amplified in London where a quarter of the 350,000 construction employees come from other EU countries, particularly eastern Europe.”
The Advantage team will continue to keep an eye on the use of prefab housing in the UK and we’ll be back soon with more emerging news and trends from the construction industry.
Image via: Dezeen.
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