Homes for Scotland to explore offsite manufacturing opportunities

Philip Hogg
Philip Hogg

The Scottish Government has commissioned Homes for Scotland to research how alternative construction methods can be used to create a lasting transformation in the way new homes are built.

Through its Sustainable Housing Strategy, the government aims to a route map setting out a vision for a successful low carbon economy up to 2030.

The strategy calls for Scotland’s new build sector to consider further innovation in both design and construction methods in order to deliver greater numbers of warm, affordable, greener homes which contribute more widely to the establishment of sustainable neighbourhoods.

With new homes already having reduced their carbon emissions by 70 per cent since 1990 levels, trade body Homes for Scotland has responded to this call by engaging home builders in a research project to assess industry awareness, appetite and readiness surrounding alternative construction methods such as offsite manufactured systems.

Homes for Scotland chief executive Philip Hogg said the project is proving very timely as the industry’s capacity to increase production in light of more positive market conditions is currently being hampered by shortages in both skills and traditional building materials, prompting consideration of other innovative ways of responding to Scotland’s chronic undersupply of housing.

He said: “With our membership of some 200 members together delivering 95 per cent of new homes built for sale as well as a significant proportion of affordable housing, Homes for Scotland is uniquely placed to lead this research project on behalf of the Scottish Government.

“Rather than a technical study, it will seek to understand more about the attitudes and culture influencing decision-making in this area.

“As well as encouraging ambition and aspiration, we will also work to ensure that any transformation is not only sustainable but cost-efficient and demand-led. Support from a range of parties, including customers and lenders, is therefore crucial.”

Minister for housing and welfare Margaret Burgess added: “Through our Sustainable Housing Strategy, the Scottish Government is committed to working with Scotland’s housing industry to promote modern methods of construction that will makes homes greener and more energy efficient.

“That is why we have commissioned Homes for Scotland to carry out this research, which will engage with the industry to determine the level of interest in adopting alternative construction methods that would help us achieve this aim.

“It is important that Scottish companies maximise the potential of innovative design and construction techniques to deliver greener homes as part of our drive to build sustainable neighbourhoods, and I look forward to seeing the results of the research from Homes for Scotland.”

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