Housing developer Places for People has joined forces with ilke Homes to deliver hundreds of modular homes, as confidence in off-site manufacturing (OSM) grows.
In what is claimed to be the largest deal yet for Britain’s modular housing sector, Places for People are buying 750 units from ilke Homes, including 500 for sites they already own and 250 for new schemes they will partner on to “develop affordable and market-priced housing.”
With 198,640 homes across the UK and some of the country’s most significant regeneration projects, Places for People say their backing of OSM will “be welcomed as property chiefs respond to calls to speed up delivery, improve quality and fend off a construction skills crisis.”
They also say the benefits of volumetric modular construction, where precision-engineered, factory-finished modules are assembled on-site, include:
- The light gauge steel construction can be clad in traditional brick making it look like a normal house;
- Development time on site is halved, meaning income can be generated far quicker as factories engineer homes while foundations are dug;
- Significant reduction in snagging, thanks to dry and warm factory production;
- Around 90% less on site waste and 80% improvement in man-hour productivity;
- ilke is the first modular manufacturer to be fully covered by NHBC warranty;
Housing minister Kit Malthouse said: “This is excellent news as the UK blazes a trail in the modern methods of construction that are transforming home building. This announcement supports our urgent mission to deliver more, better and faster home construction to ensure a new generation can realise the dream of home ownership."
David Cowans, chief executive of Places for People, added: “This is just the start for off-site manufacturing, and we are going to invest even more in modular. We will implement efficient processes and new design techniques which not only raise the bar for the industry – but crucially, give people across the country affordable homes to live in.”
Dave Sheridan, executive chairman at ilke Homes, said: “Our deal with Places for People will help continue to grow our capacity and is a huge vote of confidence in modular housing, and Homes England deserves huge praise for its entrepreneurial approach to accelerating delivery.”
Sir Edward Lister, chair of Homes England, said: “It’s no secret that the housing industry has been facing significant productivity and skills challenges in recent years, which is why, as the government’s housing accelerator, Homes England is committed to championing modern methods of construction – such as modular homes – to increase the pace of delivery across the country. It’s exciting to see two of our partners, Places for People and ilke Homes, joining forces to increase the capacity of the off-site manufacturing industry and deliver much-needed new homes. This kind of innovation in the private sector is exactly what we need to see more of to disrupt the housing market and meet the country’s housing demand.”