New Method of Building Homes Fast Winning Favour & Respect in Residential & Holiday Property Sectors
There is a housing crisis across Europe, with countries such as Germany, Ireland, and France all suffering an acute shortage.
Here in the UK, some reports suggest that more than 350,000 homes per year are required for the next decade and this is just to keep up with rental demand.
Looking at the UK housing construction data from the last five years, it appears there isn't the remotest chance of solving this debilitating issue. This crisis has triggered an increasing number of people to call for a strategy to deal with housing issues.
In the midst of the backlash against the homes’ shortfall, the concept of modular homes has been put forward as one of the most workable and planet-friendly solutions.
Modular homes - constructed in sections away from the building site and then installed on site - have been described by many experts as "the future of UK housing" with senior government figures putting their weight behind the initiative to increase supply.
But some people quite rightly ask how the quality of modular homes stack up when compared to homes built in the more traditional way, with bricks and block construction.
In this article, the construction, safety, and quality of modular homes will be explored to find out why the modular approach is becoming increasingly popular.
Construction of modular homes
The construction of traditional and modular homes both involve planning, design, preparation of the site and development. Beyond these similarities, they differ very much.
With traditional construction, the foundations are laid, the bricklayers get to work on building the walls, the roof is added and works on the interior then get underway. Closer to the end of construction and fit-out, a snag list is drawn up, any issues are dealt with and work on the property is completed to the handover stage.
In comparison, modular construction, involves the building being assembled in a factory. This includes work on the interior and exterior finishes, together with electrics, plumbing and flooring.
Prior to the building being transported to the site, any items on the snag list are rectified at the factory, this before the building is finally transported and fixed in place.
This building method is referred to as permanent modular construction.
Benefits to the environment
Modular homes win a lot of favour because they are environmentally friendly. This is due to the fact that they are more energy-efficient, they create less waste and increase the use of sustainable materials.
Due to the use of better design and insulation materials, homeowners can expect to pay much lower utility bills, often presented as being up to 60% less.
The carbon footprint of the build is also reduced as fewer people are traveling to and from the site during the construction process.
Due to the fact that modular homes are built according to specific measurements, building waste during the construction process is reduced significantly, as there is no need for excess material. It is estimated that waste can be reduced by 52%, with some structured insulated panel (sip) buildings able to reduce site waste by a staggering 90%.
This on-site waste reduction is a very important part of the green eco-friendly argument because the renovation and construction waste aspect from the building sector accounts for around 40% of landfills.
Minister outlines the safety and quality of modular construction
Adding a further boost to the drive for modular homes is Housing Minister Esther McVey, who has voiced her desire for the UK to be the world leader in the construction of modular housing in the next decade, citing the speed, safety and quality of such properties as the key reasons why this method should be accelerated.
Addressing an audience at the MIPIM – an international property event – Ms McVey said: "I want to set this ambitious goal here today with you: that the UK becomes the world leader in a modular building within the next ten years with safety, quality and choice, and precision at its heart.
"Technology now means building off-site gives you the precision-manufactured homes, tested for quality and safety."
Ms McVey has since gone on to predict that this could be a burgeoning post-Brexit industry and Britain's high-tech manufacturing answer to Silicon Valley, saying: "If we get it right, once the industry matures it could be worth an estimated £40 billion to this country.
"We must invest in this new technology. It's as simple as that. The benefits are clear. Some modular homes can be built in a factory over a week and assembled on-site in a day.
"Industry has told us some homes built using modern methods can have 80 percent fewer defects and heating bills up to 70 percent lower.
"Homes built using modern methods can be of higher quality, greener and built to last. I want to see a housing green revolution."
Modular homes built to last
Anyone purchasing a property would naturally want to be assured that it is going to stand the test of time and be able to withstand the elements. It is a misconception that modular homes should be viewed as temporary buildings.
The old prefab homes, built as an emergency post-war solution for the shortage of available housing, were low-quality and nothing like the high-quality modern constructions on offer.
Modular houses are actually designed to be stronger than traditional homes. This is achieved by replacing nails with screws, adding glue to previously dry joints and using more lumber. The result is that modular homes are robust and flexible, with enhanced stability from top to bottom.
With the latest methods and technology in place, modular homes are built to last for centuries. As an example, one leading builder of modular houses, Proto Homes, estimates that their constructions will last up to 300 years!
Holiday home provider Aria Resorts has a mix of traditional brick-built homes and modular buildings amongst their UK portfolio, which encompasses the Isle of Wight, Cornwall, and Yorkshire. However, most of their future constructions will be using the eco-friendly modular building option.
Aria Resorts is just one of several UK holiday property players who look favorably on the modular approach to building.
Commenting on the subject of modular, Iain Brown, CEO of Aria Resorts, said "Modular buildings really do measure up to the quality and longevity scrutiny. Our lodges are modern, spacious and they cope really well in the extremities of cold and heat, with an impressive energy-efficiency performance.
“Our holiday homes are built to full residential standards, they come with a ten-year manufacturer’s warranty, a RICs valuation and are fully mortgageable. We are proud to be putting our weight behind the green way of building."