Stuart’s blog, March 2017: Building faster, pre-fab and flat pack

Hat’s off to property developers embracing newer construction systems – but the utility companies need to keep up

I recently reviewed a report on a new housing scheme constructed from a pre-fabricated flat pack kit.  It was constructed start to finish in 5 weeks. BLG also funded a more traditional build but using a flat pack timber frame structure where from first dig of the footings to roof on has been achieved in just 4 weeks; the full house should be delivered in around 5 months’ total. This is building in the 21st Century and hats off to those builders who are embracing newer construction systems.

Conversely, we are trying to get a new water supply delivered to a 10 house scheme AND get a high voltage power moved to finish a 7 apartment development. The water utility has quoted 4-5 months to conduct the work and the electrics have been waiting +9 months.

At times I have been critical of building industry practices; compared with Europe or the USA, some UK construction methodologies can appear antiquated. Increasingly UK builders are catching-up but our utility providers are still way behind.

If the UK is to deliver 250,000 plus good quality affordable new homes each year, we need an end-to-end supply chain that is committed to excellence. Our construction professionals are trying and steadily succeeding. The utility providers that run quasi-monopoly operations have some catching up to do. #buildmoreaffordablehomes

Stuart Parfitt is Managing Director for BLG Development Finance and a keen cricketer.

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