Off Site Manufacturing - Change is coming!
Updated: Jun 25, 2020
Modular homes are proving to be an exciting and rapidly growing proposition, it's all very exciting but is this the right band wagon to be on?
So - full disclosure - I'm a huge fan of the potential for modular homes, and I enjoyed this article by Gary Fleisher, but having worked with other MMC (Modern Methods of Construction) I know it's not the only game in town so step back and breathe.
This quote from the US producer 'Blockable' paints a picture.
"We don’t sell boxes, we develop real estate. Blockable’s unique process and product significantly reduce the cost and time required to create and operate new multi-family housing. We partner with market rate and not for profit land developers and service providers to make housing happen. Building at lower cost, higher quality, and in less time, we create real estate equity."
I agree with much of this so why is there a nag in the back of my head saying hang back?
The right solution for the right site!
There it is - Modular offers some real benefits but I don't believe we're universally there yet and applying it to the wrong site will create horror stories setting the concept back as I explained to a client recently. We're looking at a beautiful coastal town site, back from the front and with potential for an exciting mixed use development and he's buzzing at the thought of a modular designed solution. He's heard of the Park Street project in Bristol but his site would be new build so easier.
Off site construction is absolutely a viable solution but we didn't have to walk far before his modular dreams were dashed. This is an old fishing town, not designed for cars let alone articulated lorries with 11 x 4.5m loads. A crane can get through, panels can get through so we'll deliver a beautiful, low energy, off site constructed project but we're not going to jump on the modular wagon, for this site at least.
Our experience assessing risk on a project contributes to forming the brief ensuring our time in design is spent on the best solution for our client.