Our world is in the depths of a housing crisis. From developing countries to leading economies, the lack of quality affordable housing worldwide has reached critical levels. We’re simply not building homes at the scale speed and Quality that is needed.
While there is no simple solution and with many complications making rapid progress difficult, the construction sector is now stepping up to the challenge.
With the adoption of MMC modern methods of construction, we can take away a lot of the problematic, costly areas that exist within the development and that will ultimately drive cost down for building
but performance up.
This is how we can build more homes faster.
Despite millions of us striving to own our own home
The goal is quickly drifting further out of reach for many In the united states, nearly two-thirds of renters say they can’t afford to buy a home, and with house prices rising twice as fast as wages, it could be some time before their Fortunes change.
It’s a similar situation in the UK where homeownership is becoming a distant dream for much of the country’s younger population.
Millions are living in unaffordable.
Unsuitable homes, while a lack of high-quality social housing is pushing more people into poverty and, in extreme cases, homelessness.
While inflated house prices caused by low-interest rates
rising population and ineffective government policies are
partly to blame a shortage of housing supply is a critical issue.
Affordable homes are not being built fast enough to meet
demand And the UK government’s pledge to create 300 000 houses each year by 2025 is ambitious.
A lack of suitable development sites causes delays in low productivity and construction heavy reliance on outdated building methods and a lack of skilled workers entering the industry.
The rise of technology and modern methods of construction such as off-site manufacturing could
hold the answer.
This is where elements of a building or even entire structures are prefabricated away from the site
in factory conditions before being delivered to their site locations and assembled.
Economies of scale can be achieved through automated production lines productivity can be significantly
increased, and Quality can be improved.
The approach also reduces the amount of time that a product is on-site for helping to lower costs negate
site-specific challenges and minimize disruption catering for what is currently a shrinking workforce.
While off-site manufacturing has been present in part of the construction sector for decades, the unique challenges of today are now catalyzing its adoption.
Almost half of all new houses in Sweden, which has a long history of timber construction are now produced off-site.
In a country where temperatures can drop below -20 degrees celsius making the ground impenetrable for
building pre-fabrication has become a crucial part of delivering new homes.
In some areas, new buildings are required to be built using off-site timber manufacturing by law.
In Japan, the country’s off-site house building sector produces more homes each year than the UK’s
entire housing market.
The Japanese approach has resulted in homes set new standards for durability and customization.
The country is home to Sacuzi House widely considered to be one of the world’s leading housebuilders and a modular housing pioneer with an expanding global reach.
Although ongoing challenges off-site manufacturing is also on the rise in the UK, several firms are now scaling up long-established factories, and many new businesses are obtaining investment.
The result is a marked increase in the number of schemes manufactured away from their sites
undertaken by long-established builders and newcomers alike.
One of those newcomers is project Etopia founded in 2015 the Cambridge based firm specializes in modular homes that combine energy-efficient affordable passive design with renewable energy generation and intelligent systems.
Project Etopia I’ve identified a route to market for the built environment by combining energy construction and intelligent technologies to effectively build an off-the-shelf technological housing system
that will provide a more sustainable, economic, and environmental approach to building.
Speed is another of the system’s strengths with the construction of an average house typically taking just four weeks to complete.
With its own 46,000 square meter manufacturing facility
in Ellsmere Port Cheshire which it claims is capable of producing 2,000 homes each year the company is now midway through its first full-scale residential scheme
a development of 47 modular eco-homes in the commuter town of Corby in Northamptonshire So Corby was identified as one of the key eco-development plots it’s a part of the vision for 2050 under based the government body, and it was to identify what can be built can we build 2050 today and we’ve come we’ve delivered that as a developer and so we’re building the
future today, we’re building 2050.
We are trying to utilize existing skills and make it scalable and accessible to not only national and big developers but also smaller local councils and districts
to really maximize the output, enabling us to tackle the housing crisis.
We have lots of house building going around those locations at in Corby, and this is one of those I think will help us realize that ambition of doubling our population.
We want energy-efficient homes we want people to have lower bills we want people to be able to live in an environment which encourages healthy living, and I think these types of developments do all of that.
While technology can be found throughout its finished homes, Project Etopia has also embraced technology to optimize construction processes, save time, and manage projects.
A lot of the focus whether you’re working with these policymakers or you’re working with global accreditation is digitalization it’s you know how do we make processes more digital by working with Procore we were able to create a synonymous smooth development process, and so we now know that we can track it
anywhere in the world, it’s like an operating system
for development and construction, they have the ability for us to plug in some of our unique methods into it and
most importantly, track and create procedure around these deliverables it’s that operating system that Procore offers allow us to harmoniously deliver on site.
Project Etopia’s system and the others like it could also help with other more urgent housing crises around the world.
In late 2019 Etopia built a high-performance modular home in Namibia, highlighting how modern methods of construction could provide a workable alternative to shantytowns in Africa.
When you look at these different places, the standards are building the same pretty much the same products from the same materials, but they always use
different protocols my objective is to develop a system that could get signed off due to it’s you know hurricane performance its thermal performance its fire performance its technological performance and to design something that when you change the shape and size, it will fit the local aesthetic but realistically will perform the same Everywhere in the world.
With these technologies now finding traction around the world, it’s clear that off-site manufacturing could make a
a significant difference in the housing crises facing many nations and helped create high-Quality, affordable homes
for the millions that need them.