All eyes on off-site

20 September 2017

On the last day of August a report was released by the London Assembly which, because of its timing during the summer holidays, may have gone relatively unnoticed.

The report details the contribution of offsite manufactured homes to solving London’s housing crisis and urges the capital’s mayor to adopt the construction methods to meet housing needs.

Among the recommendations to the mayor are the establishment of a London-specific pre-qualified OSM led procurement framework and development of a manufactured housing design code to drive a more standardised approach and a call for funding for OSM.

It gives further backing to the advance of offsite, or as is now being coined “pre-manufactured”, with build quality, speed and the lack of available traditional construction skills being driving factors.

The last of those is being talked about more and more across the construction industry and by decision makers.

It seems we are fast approaching a tipping point where offsite manufactured homes will enter a new phase of growth.

Report author and assembly member Nicky Gavron, a former deputy mayor of London, said “traditional construction techniques” would go only so far in meeting London’s housebuilding targets.

She described offsite manufactured housing as innovative and an exciting way to close the gap, lauding the environmentally-friendly benefits of the method. report.

Which should all be music to the ears of the timber construction industry.

Given the size and importance of London and the sheer number of housing developments in the city, drivers like this report could give a significant boost to timber consumption.

The report will be a talking point at TTJ’s Building Britain roundtable on timber construction on September 29, taking place immediately before the TTJ Awards 2017. It’s fitting that new awards category Structural Timber Systems Supplier of the Year is being launched this year in association with the Structural Timber Association.

This issue contains the Awards Supplement, detailing Weinig’s production of this year’s trophies in American black walnut and maple, as well as introducing the host and guest speaker, broadcaster Steph McGovern.

We’re hoping for a great day, with about 400 industry guests in attendance. Hope to see you there!