THE initial findings of a live research project in Gateshead could have a major impact on the UK’s critical housing shortage, it has been claimed ahead of their release.
Home Group is set to present the early findings from its study of modern methods of construction (MMC) at the Gateshead Innovation Village (pictured) during a special conference later today.
The project has brought together five different manufacturers of MMC and modular design to test their ability to build homes on a large scale, enhance living, and improve energy efficiency and sustainability.
Gateshead Innovation Village, a partnership between Home Group, Homes England and Gateshead Council, involves building a community of 41 homes – 35 MMC and modular, and six traditional properties – and carry out research into the effectiveness of different construction types and what it means to live in such homes.
Today’s conference will bring together a range of stakeholders, including Government, local authorities, construction and development companies, and mortgage lenders, to discuss the potential for MMC and modular to play a significant part in solving the UK’s housing crisis.
The Government has set a target to build 300,000 homes per year in the UK to satisfy current demand. Last year, just over 163,000 were built.
“To tackle the housing crisis, we need to do something differently – MMC and modular gives us the opportunity to do that,” said Will Gardner, Home Group’s director of development.
“If we keep doing things in exactly the same way, it’s going to be extremely difficult to meet the Government’s target as last year showed – a target many people believe is already an underestimate.
“But we can’t just rely on the assumption that MMC and modular provide quality and efficiency, we must prove this. That is precisely why we embarked on the Gateshead Innovation Village project.
“Today’s conference will reveal findings that will give us all the confidence to look at MMC and modular as a real opportunity to tackle the shortage issue we are facing. The key to being successful rests on all stakeholders working together to make this type of construction mainstream.”
The conference will also outline research activity which is being carried out by the Building Research Establishment (BRE) and Northumbria University. The year-long research will look at construction efficiency, effectiveness and sustainability, as well as what it is like for people to live in this type of home.