Modular construction – The future is here

Imagine we start asking a question:

Should we build faster, more quality buildings, with reduced waste and lower embodied carbon, in a safer environment for the workforce?

The construction industry is ready for disruption. It is not going to happen overnight. However, the traditional way of building by sending people to a muddy field, delivering tonnes of material and leaving them exposed to the weather conditions, to be fitted in an environment riddled with potential safety issues doesn’t make much sense anymore.

Modular manufacturing is not something new, it has been tried before and in doing so, many issues have been unearthed. It has taken decades for technology to catch up. Architectural software, 3D modelling, repetitive and iterative models adapted to local conditions, all resolve the challenges that the modular industry faced.

The National Housing Federation ‘People in housing need’ report (September 2020) highlights that nearly 3.5 million people in the UK are living in overcrowded households.

The Ministry of Housing, Communities & Local Government, in their Housing supply report from 30th June 2021 indicates that there was a total of new homes built in the 12 months to March 2021 of just 155,960. The numbers from the previous 5 years are very close to that figure. 

Without an accelerating factor, the reality is that the number of new homes delivered every year will continue to be below the increase of demand for the foreseeable future.

In conclusion, we need to build more and faster.

The same National Housing Federation report suggests that there are nearly 8 million people in England with unmet housing needs. This includes those in poor quality housing and overcrowded conditions.

We not only have to build more, and faster, we also need to build quality housing. Modular is typically manufactured in a factory environment. This means that the is less risk of disruption by external factors (i.e. rain, wind and other weather conditions). It also means that the workforce is working in a permanent environment where risks are continuously assessed and conditions are improved from that of a site. By separating each stage of the development there is certainty about the completion dates, and the workforce is able to train and improve their skills continuously.

Quality control is part of any manufacturing process. At Stelling, we are very proud of having achieved ISO9001 and BOPAS certification in a relatively short period of time. In a factory environment employees become more efficient with time, they enjoy better working conditions and there is real scope for process review. This results in the elimination of defects on site as corrective actions, if required, are taken prior to installation. 

Importantly, at Stelling, the team on the factory floor and the design team are working closely together, not only physically, in the same building but also benefiting from stable relationships which drive product innovation. This has already resulted in our first Patent being filed recently.

We keep hearing that in the future, buildings will be more sustainable and more efficient. We think the future is now!

We are delighted to work with Housing Associations, sourcing land, designing and developing their social, affordable or shared ownership project, but also with other public bodies to deliver high-quality Student Accommodation, worker accommodation and meanwhile housing.

Long-lasting partnerships are our DNA. We work with a selected number of private developers to deliver a turnkey project.

Are you ready to deliver change? Get in touch with us to discuss how to deliver a better future together – antonio.lopez@stellingproperties.com