From the late 1950s, greater than a decade right after the war and never a long time after the rock and roll explosion, Britain embarked with a house-building programme the like in which we have now never seen before or since.
There is suddenly a necessity for more than a quarter of your million new homes each year as new towns were created to replace that old slums and families sought extra space to accommodate the child boom. To fulfill this, large numbers of houses were internal factories then assembled on location.
These prefab house came into existence as closely of the next number of years as Billy Bremner or maybe the Beatles. In truth, this is actually something of an exaggeration, given that they never comprised over 15% newest builds in a era in which the high rises were a larger game changer.
In early 1970s, prefabs suddenly went from style, with good rises not far behind. The necessity for such speedy building had reduced. Insurance companies had begun refusing to insure them because it became clear there were countless difficulties with the building techniques that they can would not last nearly given that 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 is usually referred to as off-site construction. In the event the momentum keeps increasing, it is going to come to dominate house building throughout the UK as well as elsewhere in a way that 06dexspky happened inside the 1950s and 1960s.
Scotland continues to be leading the way. Partly this is certainly because of timber frame housing, which is much more extensive north of your border. Timber frames became popular in Aberdeenshire from the 1980s in order to satisfy the nascent oil and gas industry, then gradually spread with other elements of Scotland.
In the early 2000s, framing companies began merging along with other players for example insulators and gradually took benefit from their new strength comprehensive to go into building kit houses offsite. With the pre-recession peak of 2007, off-site new build had grown from under 10% of all new Scottish houses to between 25% and 30%.
By that year, the entire quantity of new houses being built in britain was around 200,000. That fell just to over 110,000 as demand collapsed. After a number of lean years it can be on the up again (see image), fuelled with the UK Government’s Aid to Buy scheme.
But many experts agree it will have to develop a lot more quickly if we are going to satisfy demand in the future. The United Kingdom Government estimates that we should build 260,000 houses every year in England and Wales between 2015 and 2031 and 35,000 annually in Scotland.
Housing booms past and future. Edinburgh Napier
Not simply are these targets way prior to whatever we were building even throughout the pre-recession peak, there are several other pressures on construction:
replacing skilled workers who have left the business sector throughout the recession and so are not returning;
high average age in a few lines of employment, meaning increasing retirement rates;
huge amounts of refurbishment to existing housing stock;
delays to utility connections on work sites;
pressure on prices and workers from demand using their company sectors including oil and gas and major infrastructure works for rail, road and power stations.
When building breaks down
Lots of people believe that offsite is the answer. Based on case studies by Build Offsite, the sector body, the savings add a 10% to 15% decline in the fee for building; and a 40% reduction in vehicle movements.
It can also help with builders’ mounting energy performance requirements. House building has become put underneath the microscope recently to understand where improvements can be made – for instance one recent research area is improving buildings’ external insulated fabric.
Off-site manufacturing assists with this as it gives builders additional control over each stage in the construction process. It also means you can reduce waste and possess better power over the sorts of waste being generated, while implementing techniques loved by other sectors including just-in-time delivery.
To take advantage of this potential, steel structure warehouse such as Kingspan, CCG and Stewart Milne happen to be investing heavily in facilities in the recession years.
Inspired from the lean construction designs of car manufacturers for example Ford and Toyota, plants 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 several many other materials; when in Scotland it is actually now 50 plus%.
CCG’s offsite factory near Glasgow. Edinburgh Napier University
By using the likes of the future Construction Scotland Innovation Centre, which brings together academics and researchers from 11 universities, these manufacturers are developing increasingly advanced assembly techniques that will include smart technology, intelligent membranes as well as nanotech. To mirror these technologies and systems some believe the the off-site sector may change its name to Advanced Construction.
The proportion of off-site construction is only going to keep growing. It is likely that by 2017, over 70% of new Scottish homes will probably be built by doing this, while the other UK shows exactly the same upward momentum. A few of the light steel villa may also be attracting interest from China, Europe, Brazil and Russia, where this segment has yet to take off.
Having got off-site construction so wrong the first time around, this time promises to be really different. Simply do the construction industry a favour: don’t refer to it as prefab.