Which of the following best describes how long have you worked on the projects using offsite building techniques?

Which of the following offsite building methods do you currently use?


WHAT IS OFFSITE HOUSING? Offsite housing means exactly what the name suggests – the construction of at least part of a home in a factory or away from the building site. An analogy often used is the car industry; it would be more

impractical, accident prone, and slow if an automotive manufacturer were to deliver each part of a vehicle to a purchaser’s home, and then bring a team to put those parts together where the buyer desires. Yet, this is still how homes are largely built in the UK. Almost all modern manufacturing processes outside

housing are completed ‘offsite’, and as such, the benefits of doing so are well established -– products can be put together faster in controlled factory environments, fewer defects are apparent through the same processes, and it is easier to reduce energy use and waste. Houses can be – and have successfully been for some time now – constructed in these same controlled environments. Timber frames can be built up and delivered to the site to be slotted together, and even entire volumes, rooms or ‘pods’ can be built in factories, to be craned onto the structure and bolted together onsite.

HOW IT GOT STARTED Prefabricated housing is not new, with timber frame houses having been built in Britain for over 10,000 years, and examples of timber frames built in the UK and shipped across the country prevalent throughout the middle ages. In the last few hundred years, MMC has widened from just

timber – though it is still one of the major materials – with steel, iron and concrete methods first developed in the early 20th century.

Some of the earliest iterations of these forms of MMC were seen at the 1905 Letchworth Cheap Cottages Exhibition. Responding to the shortage of cottages in rural areas, architects were commissioned to exhibit a range of innovative designs, including experimental reinforced precast concrete homes and steel frame cottages. Other early iterations of the technologies in the UK were

similarly formed in times of high demand, including galvanised corrugated iron ‘Nissen’ huts developed for speedy erection during the First World War, or the prefabricated homes built after the Second World War, or during the slum clearances of the 1960s – with a reported 1 million prefabricated homes built during the 20th century.

THE TECHNOLOGY AS IT STANDS TODAY While modular construction – especially timber frame builds – are widely used in countries such as the USA or Scandinavia, and have been for many years, adoption in the UK has been relatively minimal. Times are changing however; MMC is seeping into the UK

construction industry, and the technology has been taken to new heights in the early part of the 21st century. When it comes to timber, large format load-bearing panels

of cross-laminated timber (CLT) are being utilised to construct not just individual homes, but residential towers such as Dalston Works in London which reaches up to 33 metres, reportedly the largest CLT building in the world at its inception – though continuing such innovation has arguably been hampered by the Government in recent years. 50 per



Page 1  |  Page 2  |  Page 3  |  Page 4  |  Page 5  |  Page 6  |  Page 7  |  Page 8  |  Page 9  |  Page 10  |  Page 11  |  Page 12  |  Page 13  |  Page 14  |  Page 15  |  Page 16  |  Page 17  |  Page 18  |  Page 19  |  Page 20  |  Page 21  |  Page 22  |  Page 23  |  Page 24  |  Page 25  |  Page 26  |  Page 27  |  Page 28  |  Page 29  |  Page 30  |  Page 31  |  Page 32  |  Page 33  |  Page 34  |  Page 35  |  Page 36  |  Page 37  |  Page 38  |  Page 39  |  Page 40  |  Page 41  |  Page 42  |  Page 43  |  Page 44  |  Page 45  |  Page 46  |  Page 47  |  Page 48  |  Page 49  |  Page 50  |  Page 51  |  Page 52  |  Page 53  |  Page 54  |  Page 55  |  Page 56  |  Page 57  |  Page 58  |  Page 59  |  Page 60  |  Page 61  |  Page 62  |  Page 63  |  Page 64  |  Page 65  |  Page 66  |  Page 67  |  Page 68