The lack of housing to accommodate the growing population in the UK is one of the most challenging issues our country is facing, a problem that is magnified in the capital. To contextualise this problem, a recent report revealed that in the year to June 1st 2018, London fell short of its housebuilding target by approximately 21,900 homes.
As key players in the property industry, we know that to tackle the London housing crisis we need to be innovative and find new ways to accelerate the pace of delivery and meet the current Mayor’s housing targets of 66,000 homes per year. Modular construction is a solution already at our disposal, yet the benefits and capabilities are not fully understood.
I was recently invited to speak at the NLA’s ‘Factory Made Housing: A Solution for London’ conference, where development specialists from across the UK considered the current perceptions, challenges, and state of the Modern Methods of Construction (MMC) industry.
There was a strong underlying tone to the event highlighting that the UK is behind and needs follow in the footsteps of countries such as Sweden, Norway and Germany and up our current adoption of MMC from 15,000 homes a year to eventually pioneering the industry. If the industry comes together as all of the speakers in the room were discussing that day, I certainly think this is possible.
However, as well as discussing the positives, we identified a number of key challenges to adopting a modular mindset which span the entirety of the sector from investors to local authorities, the built environment profession and even the general public.
To further explore these challenges, we will be publishing a series of blogs in the coming weeks on topics including public pre-fab misconception, the industry’s understanding of (or potential lack of) the MMC industry capabilities, logistical constraints and design confidence. Keep an eye out on our LinkedIn updates to find out when these go live.
At Apartments for London, we have developed a model that embraces all of the benefits MMC can offer, from the speed of delivery, to cost efficiency and quality. To allow members of the public and industry to see and feel the quality of our end product and demonstrate what can be achieved through modular, we are launching our modular show apartment. This will be available to visit in spring 2019.
By Seema Mistry, Design and Technical Manager