From rising unaffordability to a low supply of homes and skilled workers, housing is in crisis in the UK, and has been for some time.

Jack Wooler

This year, house prices rose to eight times the average salary from four times in the 90s; over half of UK construction firms are struggling to hire tradesmen; more recently the cost of building work on UK homes is set to rise as the price of materials has soared; and finally, the climate crisis is now well underway.

Meanwhile, the number of new homes built is still under the Government’s (arguably insufficient) target of 300,000 a year, and this is without the looming environmental goals that mean homes will not only need to be built faster, but better – with the aim of bringing UK emissions to net zero by 2050.

The upcoming Future Homes Standard for example is set to bring stringent – and absolutely necessary – changes to our built environment to help deliver on our carbon aims, focusing on a ‘fabric-first’ approach. It will however bring a host of challenges to builders, especially those who are not accustomed to the implementation of low-carbon heating or such high levels of air tightness – as well as pricing these features in.

Though controversial, the sweeping planning changes announced in the recent Queen’s Speech have the potential to help sustain the pace of building in spite of these challenges – the reforms being described as “the biggest overhaul of England’s planning system in 70 years.”


Brian Berry says SMEs need to be placed at the heart of the Government’s green building agenda



We have recently undertaken a survey, working with research consultants Edge Insight, on industry perceptions of offsite methods. It revealed that housebuilders and developers believe offsite technologies could positively impact many of the issues listed above – particularly speed, cost and skills.

Despite the technologies’ long history of success, the understanding of its benefits, and its relevance to these issues shown in our data, there were still some 40 per cent of respondents who as yet haven’t engaged directly with MMC, and 37 per cent of these don’t intend to.

PASSIVHAUS FOR THE PEOPLE Housing association Hanover (Scotland) launches its first Passivhaus scheme for social

housing near Loch Lomond, offering 15 households a way to avoid fuel poverty

Hanover (Scotland), Drymen, go to page 36


Covered in-depth on page 23 of this issue, our Exploring Current thinking On Modern Methods of Construction report highlights the biggest benefits of MMC for builders and developers, as well as its long gestation in the industry. It also poses the question to our readers: if they believe MMC can address the industry’s issues, what’s stopping its adoption across the board?

Jack Wooler, deputy editor

Energy consultant Harry Hinchcliffe on the ins and outs of the new Standard Assessment Procedure

Pelham Homes’ waterside scheme in Nottingham is shortlisted for national award

Splitting the country into Growth, Protection and Regeneration zones, the intention is to allow more new homes to be built on the right kind of land. The planning system has arguably been the most prominent complaint among housebuilders and developers in England in recent years, so any easing will be welcome to many. Some however believe planning has become something of a scapegoat for wider industry issues, and the Government’s heavy-handedness in its introduction of the new zones has also proved controversial.

Besides planning, one potential route to maintaining the pace towards tackling the above issues – and one that has been argued for by many in the industry for over 100 years now – puts Modern Methods of Construction (MMC) front and centre.


Publisher Anthony Parker

Managing Editor James Parker

Deputy Editor Jack Wooler

Editorial Assistant Roseanne Field

Studio Manager Mikey Pooley

Production Assistants Georgia Musson Kimberley Musson

Account Manager Sheehan Edmonds

Sales Executive Steve Smith

PR Executives Suzanne Easter Kim Friend

Audience Development Manager Jane Spice

Managing Director Simon Reed

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