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Housing crisis: report calls for more modular and pre-fab homes

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Traditional building practices will have to be replaced by more cost effective and sustainable designs if Britain’s worsening housing crisis is to be alleviated, according to a new report

The report comes just days after it emerged Taylor Wimpey was planning to complete its ground-breaking, pre-fabricated Oxley Woods housing development by Rogers Stirk Harbour + Partners (RSHP) with 29 traditional, brick-built homes.

Commissioned by the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS), the report demanded traditional building methods make way for cheaper and environmentally friendly designs in order to tackle the current housing shortfall.

It called on the housebuilding industry to make use of off-site construction methods, recycled materials and innovative structural designs to allow homes to be constructed quickly and more cost-effectively.

It also suggested housebuilders should make increased use of modular homes, which would be self-contained properties with kitchens and bathrooms, that were made off-site and then transported to their location.

UK construction rates are currently an estimated 80,000 homes below the level needed to tackle supply and affordability issues as well as covering the nation’s growing population.

Dr Chris Goodier, Loughborough University, primary author of the paper, said: ‘The need for more new homes in the UK has never been more critical than it is today. However, at current construction levels, an annual deficit of around 80,000 is a pressing concern.

‘While there is no quick fix to the problem, it is important that the Government and industry consider more innovative solutions to development. Without them, problems such as overcrowding, undersupply and unaffordable housing seem set to continue.’

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