Within the late 1950s, greater than a decade right after the war and not long after the rock and roll explosion, Britain embarked on the house-building programme the like of which we now have never seen before or since.
There was suddenly a need for over a quarter of a million new homes every year as new towns were built to replace that old slums and families sought more space to support the child boom. To meet this, large numbers of houses were internal factories after which assembled on location.
These prefabricated house came to be as closely associated with the next couple of years as Billy Bremner or perhaps the Beatles. In truth, this was actually something of the exaggeration, because they never comprised over 15% of the latest builds within an era where high rises were a much bigger game changer.
During the early 1970s, prefabs suddenly went out from style, with high rises not far behind. The demand for such speedy building had reduced. Insurance companies had begun refusing to insure them because it became clear there were so many difficulties with the development techniques that they would not last nearly so long as 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 creating a comeback – though currently it will always be called off-site construction. In the event the momentum keeps increasing, it will go to dominate house building all over the UK and maybe elsewhere in a fashion that 06dexspky happened from the 1950s and 1960s.
Scotland is at the forefront. Partly this can be due to timber frame housing, which is more extensive north of the border. Timber frames became popular in Aberdeenshire within the 1980s in order to satisfy the nascent oil and gas industry, then gradually spread to other aspects of Scotland.
Through the early 2000s, framing companies began merging with other players such as 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 variety of new houses being built in the UK was around 200,000. This fell to just over 110,000 as demand collapsed. After several lean years it is about the up again (see image), fuelled through the UK Government’s Assistance to Buy scheme.
But a majority of experts agree it will have to cultivate far more quickly if we are going to satisfy demand for the future. The UK Government estimates that people should build 260,000 houses each and every year in England and Wales between 2015 and 2031 and 35,000 each year in Scotland.
Housing booms past and future. Edinburgh Napier
Not simply 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 market sector through the recession and therefore are not returning;
high average age in a few lines of employment, meaning increasing retirement rates;
large amounts of refurbishment to existing housing stock;
delays to utility connections on work sites;
pressure on prices and workers from demand utilizing sectors like oil and gas and major infrastructure works for rail, road and power stations.
When building fails
Lots of people think that offsite is definitely the answer. According to case studies by Build Offsite, the sector body, the savings feature a 10% to 15% lowering of the fee for building; along with a 40% decrease in vehicle movements.
It also helps with builders’ mounting energy performance requirements. House building has become put within the microscope lately to find out where improvements can be done – for instance one recent research area continues to be improving buildings’ external insulated fabric.
Off-site manufacturing is great for this since it gives builders more control over each stage of your construction process. Furthermore, it means you may reduce waste and also have better control of the kinds of waste being generated, while implementing techniques well-liked by other sectors like just-in-time delivery.
To employ this potential, steel workshop for example Kingspan, CCG and Stewart Milne have been investing heavily in facilities throughout the recession years.
Inspired by the lean construction types of car makers for example Ford and Toyota, plants have 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 other materials; when in Scotland it really is now 50 plusPercent.
CCG’s offsite factory near Glasgow. Edinburgh Napier University
With the help of the likes of the future Construction Scotland Innovation Centre, that can bring together academics and researchers from 11 universities, these manufacturers are developing increasingly advanced assembly techniques which will include smart technology, intelligent membranes and also nanotech. To reflect these technologies and systems some believe the the off-site sector may change its name to Advanced Construction.
The proportion of off-site construction will undoubtedly keep growing. It is likely that by 2017, greater than 70% newest Scottish homes will likely be built in this manner, while the remainder of the UK will demonstrate the identical upward momentum. A few of the prefabricated homes are also attracting interest from China, Europe, Brazil and Russia, where this segment has yet for taking off.
Having got off-site construction so wrong the 1st time around, this time promises to be very different. Just do the building industry a favour: don’t consider it prefab.