Housing crisis

Is modular housing the solution to the housing crisis?

Modular housing could be the solution to the housing crisis, delivering homes 50% faster and cutting emissions in half, according to Make UK Modular

Modular housing could be the solution to the housing crisis, according to research by Make UK Modular.

“Greener, Better, Faster: The Role of Modular in Solving the Housing Crisis” found that modular homes can be built to consistently high sustainability standards in factories, many of which have been established in more of 40 post-industrial provincial towns, creating over 3,000 jobs and £700m of investment in low growth, low employment areas.

Modular manufacturers produce 3,300 homes a year, or one in 60 of all new homes in the UK.

Without a hitch or a flaw, it is possible for a single crane to completely install a house in one day, much faster than traditional construction.

Make UK Modular argues that the government should speed up planning permission for modular housing solutions to deliver 20,000 low energy homes across the country which would cost 55% less to heat than home average “bricks and mortar” family car in the UK. .

Modular housing offers energy savings in the face of cost of living crisis

Factory engineering can deliver modular homes to a high level of sustainability, saving 55% on energy consumption compared to the average UK home and costing 32% less to heat than new build traditional.

This translates to savings of up to £800 per year for a three-bedroom family home, and energy reductions of up to 60% for one- and two-person households living in smaller properties.

This investment would create even more energy-efficient homes in the months to come, at a time when households are grappling with an unprecedented cost of living crisis.

Modular homes are not only more efficient in everyday life, but also throughout the construction lifecycle

Research has found that building modular homes is both more efficient and produces 90% less material waste than traditional construction.

The amount of transport access to venues has also been reduced, with 80% fewer vehicle movements to venue, creating less local disturbance and pollution.

Current housing targets have not been met

Homes England has missed its affordable housing target for 2021-22 by 21.5%, a problem exacerbated by a shortage of skilled construction labour.

However, modular factories have been installed in areas of the UK where employment is needed, creating a secure labor pool.

Employment prospects are attractive, with module builders providing training and development for new hires, helping to ensure fast delivery of homes to areas of the UK where housing is scarce.

The research goes on to suggest that the government should dedicate 20% of its affordable housing delivery program to modular housing to continue this growth in housing stock and local economies.

Report says government support will boost innovation and productivity in modular housing, providing a solution to the housing crisis

Modular building companies’ record spending on research and development accounts for 30% of all R&D in the entire construction industry.

The research goes a step further by outlining key ways in which government can drive the modular housing industry to new heights:

  • Dedicate 20% of their affordable housing delivery program to modular housing that has already shown they can deliver new homes quickly
  • Offer expedited planning, prioritizing modular and green homes in land allocation
  • Raise energy efficiency standards for new housing, where modular already meets higher criteria than traditional construction, reduce stamp duty based on energy efficiency and net zero performance and require everything to be sold and that homes provide an accurate date on energy bills

Collectively, these changes would increase standards, while providing pipeline safety to modular producers and helping the industry grow.

Steve Cole, director of Make UK Modular, the trade body for modular housing, said:

“There’s a housing success story in this country, and it’s modular. This report definitely shows that modular is now a big player in the UK housing market. The government must take advantage of this, because the opportunities to turn our broken housing market into the most sophisticated in the world do not arise every day.

“The government must accelerate modular delivery, building on the investments made and the jobs created, by removing the remaining barriers that are holding the industry back.