As we sit on the cusp of a potential governmental shake up, discussions around house-building have been high on the campaign agenda for many. This is not without reason and comes largely in response to the very real ramp-up in construction activity over recent months and how this can be maintained to meet current and increasing future need for new homes.

An increasing focus of this debate has been the part that offsite house-building can play in delivering the housing we need in the time-scale we need it.

In response to on-going talks, Brandon Lewis, the housing and planning minister created a ministerial round table to consider to what extent offsite can help meet demand.

Underlining the degree of potential of this method of construction, the Greater London Authority (GLA) aspires to double its new build housing figures – from 18,000 to 36,000 – by utilising offsite housebuilding techniques.

Drawing on our own experience, the STA was asked to speak at a series of National House Building Council events recently in response to unprecedented demand for timber frame homes.

We’ve also noted a great deal of additional interest in our own members’ factory tours, which are now taking place at a rate of three times that of last year. Similarly, we’re receiving increasing attention from the architectural profession. We’ve also seen attendance at our Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA) Continuing Professional Development presentations increase significantly, with at least two a week being requested currently.

Faced with these very real facts – not theory, it’s hard to ignore that offsite structural timber solutions are indeed the way forward when it comes to meeting the increasing demand for new housing. Quick to build and transport to site, offsite construction makes sense financially and logistically.

It allows for vast numbers of units to be reproduced as required, giving builders and developers the capability to quickly respond to demand as it grows.

Of course, whilst it may seem very obvious, there are additional benefits to building with timber, not least of which from an environmental and low carbon perspective – both of which have been key drivers for many years and sit in line with the Construction 2025 strategy and the Sustainable Construction Agenda which, despite not moving as quickly as it was before the recession hit, is still going at some pace behind the scenes.

Looking ahead, it’s fair to say that however the Government changes, offsite timber building will continue to grow in importance – especially in light of the many pledges made surrounding housebuilding in the run up to the election itself.

And we at the STA will continue to highlight our industry’s capacity to help the country meet its housing need and accelerate that growth.