One of Britain’s biggest housebuilders has recently revealed that it plans to prefabricate around a quarter of their homes. Building them in factories, this is with the aim to tackle the shortage of houses we are currently facing in the UK.
Building around 4,000 homes a year, Berkley Homes plans to create a Kent based facility to build the prefab houses. There, builders will produce around 1,000 houses each year. These, will then be relocated and installed on site.
Berkley Homes aren’t the only ones planning to move to prefab either. Another company, nHouse are also setting up a factory in Peterborough. There, they will be able to build 400 prefabricated houses a year. These homes will also be complete with bathrooms, kitchens, light fittings and even bookshelves.
Claiming that these houses can be built in just twenty days, the company stated that it will only take half a day for the structure to be constructed on site too. A much shorter time frame in comparison to the traditional methods. In fact, a flatpack home has even been developed by engineers to be built in just ten minutes! Take a look at the contraption in action here.
And, with the government setting a target that by the next decade, 300,000 homes are to be built every year, prefabricated houses may just be what the industry needs. With an ageing workforce and skills shortage too, the 300,000 mark could seem far away. In fact, the latest annual figure was actually at 190,000 houses.
So, could prefab be the answer?
Berkley described back in December: “We have acquired a 10-acre brownfield site from the Homes and Communities Agency to build a factory for modular homes in Ebbsfleet, Kent.”
“This will have the potential to deliver up to 1,000 homes a year.”
“Construction of the factory could begin next year .”
“While the speed of production and the impact on skills and labour are important factors, our real driver is the quality we can achieve with modular housing.”
The director of nHouse also added that by creating these prefabricated homes, he feels that there would be less “snagging problems”. Especially in comparison to those that are being found in current new builds today! One homeowner was even left with her new build house falling apart around her. Take a look at the full report here.
But what do you think of this? Are prefabricated houses a good idea? Are we in for a prefab future? Let us know in the comments below.