The UK housing market is facing a number of challenges, including a shortage of affordable homes and construction skills. In the UK, modular construction (also known as offsite construction) is becoming increasingly popular as a way to address the housing shortage. The government has set a target of building 300,000 new homes per year by 2025, and modular construction is seen as one way to help meet this target.
What is modular construction?
Modular construction is a method of building homes that involves assembling prefabricated sections or ‘modules’ in a factory (offsite) and then transporting them to the construction site for final assembly. This method of construction has several advantages over traditional on-site construction.
What are the benefits of modular construction?
Modular construction has a number of potential benefits, including:
- Faster build times: Modular homes can be built up to 50% faster than traditional homes, which can help to reduce construction costs.
- Cost: It’s said that in general a modular home can entail a lower spend than a traditionally built home, typically 10 to 35 per cent less.
- Increased quality control: Modular homes are built in a controlled factory environment, which can help to reduce the risk of defects. Modular buildings are built to meet or exceed the same building codes and standards as site-built structures, and the same architect-specified materials used in conventionally constructed buildings can be used in modular construction projects.
- Reduced environmental impact: Modular homes can be made from sustainable materials and can be assembled with less waste than traditional homes. The factory-controlled process generates less waste, creates fewer site disturbances and allows for tighter construction.
How does modular construction work?
The process of modular construction typically involves the following steps:
- Design: The first step is to design the modular home. This includes creating the floor plans, elevations, and structural drawings. Modular homes can be customised to meet the specific needs and preferences of the homeowner.
- Manufacture: Once the design is complete, the prefabricated sections are built in a factory offsite. These sections can include walls, floors, roofs, and even entire bathroom and kitchen pods. The windows and doors are often installed at this stage.
- Delivery: The modules are then transported to the construction site.
- Build: The modules are assembled on the construction site. This process is typically completed much faster than traditional on-site construction. One key element that makes modular architecture popular is its reduced need for different skilled labour during construction. Most of the calculations and prerequisites for construction are done during the design and manufacture stages. The assembly on site almost requires no traditional building skills except for the knowledge of the assembly itself.
- Finishing: Once the modules are assembled, the home is finished on-site. This includes installing the interior finishes, such as flooring, cabinets, and appliances.
The current state of modular construction in the UK
Modular construction is relatively new in the UK, but is growing in popularity. There are a number of companies that specialise in modular construction, and they are developing new and innovative ways to use this method.
The UK government is considering a number of policies to encourage the use of modular construction, and there is growing interest in this method of construction from both the private and public sectors. As modular construction technology continues to develop, it is likely to become an increasingly popular option for homebuilders in the UK.
The social impact of modular construction
Modular construction is a promising new method for building social housing. It has the potential to address a number of challenges facing the social housing sector, including the need to build more homes quickly and affordably, and to improve the quality of social housing. Homes England, the UK government’s housing and regeneration agency, has long been a champion of modular construction as a solution to deliver social housing in a fast and efficient way.
Westcoast Swedish composite windows and doors for modular construction
Westcoast has seen a recent upturn in orders for composite windows and doors for modular homes and has been working with two UK developers delivering these solutions.
To find out more and discuss your requirements with our UK-based team please contact: firstname.lastname@example.org or call 01359 241944
Westcoast will be exhibiting at the upcoming Offsite Expo in September. Find out more about the show at: www.offsite-expo.co.uk