Modular buildings to have quality standards assured

The building science organisation, BRE have announced a new Product Standard to support the upswing in the popularity of modular-type buildings and the need for these buildings to meet minimum standards when it comes to acoustics, daylight access and vibration.

David Gall, the Associate Director and Construction Products Sector Lead at BRE has stated that the quality of pre-manufactured buildings and the performance is paramount and that the public and professionals need to have the confidence to demand more of these types of homes to meet current demand.

Unfortunately, modular-type buildings have a poor reputation amongst the public due to the poor quality of the prefabricated buildings produced post-war. It is important to put these fears aside and build a perception and reality of high quality, long lasting housing stock that can be built quickly and cheaply.

According to BRE, modular buildings that are built off-site have the potential to reduce building times because of the standardisation across the sector, the shortening of weather delays and improvements in the impact of waste. Around 12% of construction in the UK is currently off-site and it has a value of £1.5bn and the potential to grow. The government have also set out an ambition to build around 100,000 modular homes over the next five years.

In November 2017, the government announced that they were in favour of off-site construction and that it represents good value for money for government projects.This view has been repeated across the private sector by housing firms including Berkeley Homes and insurance company Legal & General Homes.

Despite this industry backing, it is recognised by the BRE that the public needs to have confidence in the building method and as such, they have developed a set of recommendations regarding the quality expectations. Their new standard will cover all building types including residential, commercial, healthcare facilities, schools and prisons.