Modular housing should be used to address the housing crisis in the UK. With demand for housing far outstripping supply, the Government has announced targets of building 300,000 new homes every year by the mid-2020s.
However, that worthy target does not address the here and now, and that’s where modular homes can bridge the gap.
In a comment article on openaccessgovernment.org, Richard Hyams, director of astudio architects, said the pressure on the building industry itself could be relieved by using prefabricated properties that are affordable and can be delivered more quickly.
Prefab put together in days
While a traditional build can take up to six months, a prefab or modular home can be put together in less than a week. Nor is its construction at the mercy of the variable UK weather because they are built off-site using efficient manufacturing methods.
In fact, a modular home can cost as little as £125,000 to build, says Hyams. They are energy efficient and constructed to the highest quality, meaning their longevity is much improved.
Creativity and skill in the build
Hyams writes: “What about their desirability? Architects have long held qualms that modular construction constrains design creativity.
“This may have been a defendable view in the past. But recent technological innovations, such as in 3D modelling, have unleashed a new wave of ingenuity.
“The result is that modular buildings, large and small, require every bit as much creativity and skill as their traditional counterparts.”
Funding for the sector
In London, where astudio architects is supplying its own modular building method in Barking and Dagenham, Mayor Sadiq Khan has provided £11 million to 16 boroughs to use modular housing for homeless families. There is also funding for the sector from Homes England, indicating that modular may be the route for the future.
Hyams adds: “A great deal more needs to be done if we are to make inroads into the estimated £68 billion that needs to be spent, to build 300,000 properties per year required to keep pace with demand. Modular building is a very good start.”