Ilke Homes boss urges government backing for MMC
The boss of offsite homes manufacturer Ilke Homes has challenged the government the throw its weight behind modern methods of construction (MMC).
As figures were published last week showing housebuilding activity was still on the decline despite the government’s ambitions to ramp up the construction of thousands more homes, Dave Sheridan said ministers had to “lead from the front” and invest in MMC to scale up delivery.
While there was no “one size fits all” solution to the housing crisis, Sheridan said the government had been presented with a great opportunity to enact genuine and wholesale changes to the housebuilding sector.
Offsite manufacturing could help mitigate the risks posed by Brexit while ensuring the UK has a future-proofed workforce, he added.
And Sheridan said that as well as central government investment the country’s local authorities had a crucial part to play by addressing the UK’s “rigid planning system” and streamlining the process.
“Creating this stability and certainty could bring about a step -change in the way the UK delivers homes.
“It’s now a well-known fact that MMC affords the housebuilding industry the ability to deliver high-quality, sustainable homes at a pace 50% faster than traditional methods, but the benefits reach far beyond time-saving efficiencies,” Sheridan said.
Last week IHS Markit reported housebuilding activity had fallen for the fourth successive month as overall construction activity deteriorated at its second-fastest pace since April 2009.
Sheridan said offsite manufacturing could provide the domestic construction sector with a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.
“With an ageing workforce, a dwindling pipeline of young talent and the exodus of EU workers, the sector is at a crossroads. Offsite manufacturing can help change this.
“Manufacturing homes within a controlled-factory environment requires a completely different skill set based on a strong knowledge of information technology, engineering and design, making it far more appealing to the next generation of industry professionals,” Sheridan said.
Article & image source: Housing Today