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Pre-fabricated House to Meet the Demands for Social Housing in the UK?

Info: 7977 words (32 pages) Dissertation
Published: 9th Dec 2019

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Tagged: HousingSocial Policy

Abstract:

In the U.K there is a nationwide shortage of homes for the growing population, many factors have contributed to the sharp increase in the population. Such as immigration, economic migrants, free movement of people within the EU, refugees etc.

This has placed a lot of pressure for social housing in towns and cities with local authorities already struggling to house the general population, resulting in several families living in temporary accommodation.

Social housing is primarily available to house people from low income families provided by both the local councils and social housing landlords.

The U.K government has now set up plans and targets for local authorities and housing associations and developers to build 30000 homes per year, making more land available for development to meet this demand in the shortage of homes.

Current methods of construction whilst the methods of construction are quality and well-constructed requires a lot of time to build and complete before families can move in. They also can have a number of defects that require to be rectified after families have moved into their new homes.

With the advancement in housing technology an alternative of method of building homes quicker is being utilised. Homes can now be built in factories is a quicker and cheaper method of constructing homes to meet the shortages in housing for the U.K

The shortage of skills has also played a factor in the slowness of building enough homes every year to meet the government targets.

This dissertation has sought to establish why the uptake of the modern pre-fab techniques for house building has been sluggish when the demand for homes has outstripped the ability to supply this demand.

Contents Page:

Chapter 1 – Introduction

1.1 Introduction to the Dissertation

1.2 Aim

1.3 Objectives

1.4 Research Methodology

1.5 Research Limitations

Chapter 2 – Literature review

2.1 Social Housing

2.1.2 The Right to Buy in the U.K

2.2 Pre-fab after the two wars

2.2.1History of Pre-Fab homes

2.2.2

2.2.3

2.3Modern Methods of Pre-fab

 

Chapter 3 – Research Methodology

3.1 Introduction

3.2 Research strategy

3.3 Methodology

Research Aim

Quantitative Research

Qualitative Research

Mixed Methods

 

Chapter 4 – Data Analysis and Discussion

Introduction

Chapter 5 – Conclusion and Recommendation

5.1 Introduction

5.2

5.3

5.4

References

 

Bibliography

 

Appendices

 

 

 

List of Figures:

 

Figure – 1

Figure – 2

Figure – 3

Figure – 4

Figure – 5

Figure – 6

Figure – 7

Figure – 10

Figure – 11

 

 

 

 

Abbreviations:

 

 

CITB                                   Construction Industry Training Board

Pre-Fab                             Pre-fabricated

PRC                                    pre-cast reinforced concrete

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Chapter 1 – INTRODUCTION:

 

1.1 Introduction to Dissertation:

In the U.K there is a national shortage of houses which has been driving up the price of property all over the country. Social housing has existed since and

Local councils and Housing Associations

As the population of the U.K continues to grow year upon year there will be a need to provide homes for increase in the population.

Research Context

The research will potentially provide a stronger understanding of the attitudes and behaviours of social landlords and their opinions on the modern methods of pre-fab house building technology.

1.2 Aim:

 

The aim of this research is to investigate and establish why the uptake of pre-fab methods of house construction are being less used or slow to meet the demands for social housing in the U.K.

 

1.3 Objectives:

 

  1. To rationalise the need for more social housing in the U.K
  1. Investigate the cause or causes of the current shortage in the housing stock for social landlords and councils.

 

  1. Identify the initiatives in place by the U.K government for pre-fab house building.
  1. Analysis of offsite Pre-Fab Housing technology used in the past and their identified failures.
  2. Analyse the modern methods of pre-fab construction technology and why the adaptation towards this way of housing construction has been slow.

 

 

1.4 Research Methodology:

 

A literature review was conducted to accomplish objectives 1-4. This has consisted of a critical review of existing journals and books in this subject area (Fisher, n.d.).

The methodology for the research was gathered using the qualitative method and will be analysed and discussed for their reliability.

 

An interview will be carried out via telephone with the participants from a set of questions which will be posted to the individual beforehand for their reference.

 

 

1.5 Research Limitations:

 

The answers gained from the interview will represent the opinions of the induvial participant and may not represent the opinions of the whole industry or of the company as a whole.

The research has also been conducted with a small number of participants and in order to get a wider opinion a fairer representation will be required as the experience of Housing Associations will vary from region to region.

 

Due to the restriction in the time frame of completing this research the material and information that was available had to be condensed.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Chapter 2 – LITERATURE REVIEW:

 

2.1.1 Introduction

 

This chapter will look at the brief history of social housing and the aftermath of the population and housing after the two great wars. It will investigate the how the policies came into place to encourage the building of houses for the population. It will also critically analyse the pre-fab techniques used in the past to build houses for the growing population.

It will also look at the Right to Buy policy and if this has lead to a decrease in the stock of social housing.

The chapter will also review the current state of house building using pre-fab methods and existing incentives in place to encourage this method of house building.

 

2.1.2 Social Housing:

Social housing is homes provided to those who need it most or struggling with paying for housing at secure low rents. Social housing is normally provided by local councils and housing associations to the local population in the U.K. The law sets the limit to any increases in rent which ensures that they are kept affordable for low income families.

Social housing is allocated to families based on their needs unlike the private rental sector where tenancy agreements can be offered to anyone the landlord chooses. Since the localism Act 2011 councils can decide who is or is not eligible for social housing.

Social housing is owned and managed by registered providers i.e. Housing Associations and Councils. Housing Associations are independent and not-for-profit organisations that are allowed to use any profit they make maintain their existing housing stock as well as develop new ones.

Social Housing in the U.K is regulated by the Homes and Communities Agency who also provide financial support and is responsible for the construction of new homes.

The housing Acts of 1985 and 1988 enabled the transfer of council houses to non-for-profit housing associations. The 1988 Act allowed housing associations access to private finance by redefining housing associations as non-public bodies. This served as a strong motivation for the transfer of housing stock as the public-sector borrowing had been severely constrained.

From the figures below the English Housing Survey 2014 reported that it was well recognised that housing associations and the private rental sector were manging more houses then local councils by 2013 in comparison to 1996.

Figure 3

 

2.1.3 History of Social Housing:

Social housing exists in many countries around the world to provide homes for people generally in low to no income.

Social housing is defined as:

“social housing that is let at low rents on a secure basis to those who are most in need or struggling with their housing costs. Normally councils and non-for-profit organisations such as housing associations are the ones to provide social housing: (Shelter,2017)

In 1987 when the Conservative government won their third term they outlined a strategy which foresaw an end to the building of new homes by local councils.

Pawson and Mullins (2010) states that the phrase social housing was barely coined in 1988 due to council housing being the principal provider at the time. The term was completely opposed by some because of its affiliation with the Conservative party and their efforts to reduce council housing.

Legislative and administrative changes introduced in 1989 ushered in a new era for housing associations, in which they have become both the main providers of new dwellings at ‘affordable’ rents, and the fastest growing component of the British housing system (Malpass, 1999).

 

As local councils have stopped building anymore new homes the duty has now been passed onto Housing Associations to develop and provide homes for the growing population who require affordable rents.

 

 

 

 

 

 

2.1.4 Housing Policy:

 

The first provisional steps towards introducing a housing police were made in the periods prior to 1915.

Principal housing and public health legislation, 1848-1914

Figure 2 Source: Malpass and Murie(1999).

 

Most records of housing police in the U.K have been links its development to the industrialisation and growth of urban areas in the U.K. The first tentative steps towards a housing policy were made in the period prior to 1915 (Mullins and Murie, 2006).

A high standard of housing was needed to help drive the industrial revolution as there was a need for a healthy population to provide the labour force and for homes to be within each reach of the factories. Inadequate and unsanitary housing posed a health risk to the population and caused other social problems for society.

The first world war brought about a major change to society and housing in the UK. People who had survived in the first world war had new expectations and it was necessary to address the backlog of house building which had declined before the start of the war.

By 1915 some key elements of housing policy were in place and the structure of local governments had been established (Mullins and Murie, 2006). Between the two world wars there was a period of extensive house building both in the public and private sector.

 

2.1.5 The Right to Buy in the U.K

 

The right to buy your home if owned by the local council was introduced under the Conservative government. By 1979 around 32% of dwellings in Britain were council houses, totalling some 6.5 million properties (Disney and Luo, 2017). When the Conservative government won the election in 1979 under Margaret Thatcher they had a strategic plan that would change the way council housing operated. This was the through the Right to Buy which was introduced on 3 October 1980 and gave secured council tenants of two years or more the opportunity to buy the home they occupied at a discounted price (Reeves,2005). According to Murie (2016) this was one of the most prominent policies established by the Conservative government which would transform the socio-economic structure of the local governments and council tenants in the U.K.

The right to buy played an integral part of decline in social housing investment (Wilson, 1999).

 

2.1.6 An ageing population:

The U.K is not only facing an increase in the population year upon year due to various factors but an ageing population as well who are living longer and require specialist housing. This is putting additional pressure on local councils and Housing Associations to provide the correct housing needs and requirements for the U. Ks older population. Most councils are ill prepared to meet the challenges or grasp the opportunities for a population that is ageing, said the Audit Commission in its report published this week (O’Dowd, 2008).

 

 

 

2.2 NON-TRADITONAL HOUSES FROM THE PAST:

 

2.2.1 Introduction

This chapter will look at the Non-traditional technology and methods used in the past to build large amount of homes in the shortest time possible to house the population after the two world wars.

 

2.2.2 After the first world war:

 

After the first world was there was a sudden urgent need for thousands of houses. Due to a number of homes being damaged from the bombings during the war. There was no new construction of any houses during the war and the existing houses had no maintenance work carried out to them. There was now a great need for housing to house all the soldiers and their families from the war.

When the war had ended there was a shortage of building materials, such as bricks, timber and skilled labour. As the war had resulted in many casualties and no training schemes in place for skilled building trades. During this period till the second world war around 50,000 system-built homes were built by local councils to meet the demand for housing throughout the U.K. Large number of different system-builds were approved, including timber frame, steel frame, concrete frame/slab and in-situ wall slab.

 

2.2.3 After the second world war:

 

The similar shortage for homes was experienced after the second world war with many homes destroyed by enemy fire. There was also an extreme shortage of available skilled labour and raw building materials. The number homes which were destroyed was on a much larger scale then the first world war, the post-war baby boom added to the pressure for more housing.

The government responded by providing more generous funding for both traditional and non-traditional build houses. During the period of 1945 and 1955 around 20 percent of new houses in England and Wales were system-built while in Scotland it was 50 percent.

 

2.2.4 Non-traditional Houses:

 

Non-traditional buildings are called system build properties which have been built around the country and are still housing many families. Rather than using traditional construction methods and materials, such as brick and stone walls, alternative materials and methods were used. There was no awareness for energy efficiency or a lack of it. Concrete was one of the main materials used, usually cast into slabs then taken to site, Steel and aluminium were also popular.  These were structures that were assembled in factories and then transported to site. These types of houses were built due to a growing shortage of building supplies and coupled with the loss of skilled construction labour after the Second World War, it was necessary to find alternative ways to rebuild the nation’s houses as large number of homes were needed quickly.

System build designs include the following types of houses still in use today:

 

Aiery

BISF

Boot

Boswell

Cornish

Laing Easi-Form

Wimpey

Mowlem

Telford

Orlit

Reema

Tarran/Dorran

Unity

Woolaway

Wates

This method of manufacturing of pre-fab houses after World War Two has been discounted as more modern methods have been developed with the advancement of technology.

 

 

2.2.5 Defects in System-Built Houses:

 

Carbonation of concrete:

Defects with system-built houses that are in use are prevalent, both concrete and steel houses are experiencing various types of problems. It should be noted that the individual houses frequently had variations in design and construction.

System-built houses with pre-cast reinforced concrete (PRC), cast in situ in concrete or steel, many of these were erected between 1945 and 1955. A great number of these houses were subsequently demolished for various defects. It is noted that some are still in good condition but may still suffer from problems that is not visible without further investigation. Most are still owned by local councils and their continued use is due to the lack of capital available to replace them with modern new houses.

PRC houses have been severely affected by the carbonation of concrete, carbonation is a natural process that takes place in all concrete, but where insufficient allowance has been made. It can have disastrous consequences on reinforced concrete, as it can lead to corrosion on the steel and cracking or spalling of the concrete.

Exposer of the house to moisture and humidity will affect the speed of the carbonation in PRC houses. In appearance the affected building components tend to show longitudinal cracking along the line of any steel reinforced bars.

Chloride attack on concrete:

Up on till the late 1979s calcium chloride was commonly added to concrete mix to accelerate its curing process. Especially during the cold winter weather to speed up the construction time. Unfortunately, it has now been identified that this method can break down the alkaline content of the concrete. Poor site quality control resulted in uneven distribution of the chemical which accelerated the problems. The loss of alkalinity within the surface of the concrete removes it protective capability to stop any oxidisation of the steel encased inside. However even if there is no carbonation present a chloride attack can still lead to steel suffering from corrosion.

In the presence of a chloride attack and carbonation steel can suffer from sudden failures affecting the structural integrity of a system-built house. As it can become very brittle from extreme corrosion.

Thermal Problems:

Before the 1970s insulation to houses was given very little consideration as it is now, system-built houses had very low levels of insulation incorporated into their construction. The system-built houses that were constructed using steel and concrete for the main frame suffered more problems then the houses that were built with a solid wall or cavity wall. This situation was further accelerated by a lack of any central heating systems.

System-built houses have various types of defects that affected the structural frames as well as the ability to keep the house warm. To prolong the life of some of these system-built houses local councils have been installing external insulation as this appears to be the more economical option available to them. Then to demolish these types of houses and build new ones in its place.

 

2.2.6 Timber Framed Pre-Fab.

System built timber frame houses were slowly introduced in the U.K in the 1920s due to the shortage in available labour after the first world war. The external walls of the were either heavy-framed panels or solid timber planks. System built houses with timber studded external walls were built between 1927 and 1941.

Between 1945 and 1965, approx. 20,000 timber framed houses were built for the local population. All using the timber stud construction method, from 1966 to 1975 system-built houses were widely used in social housing. Many timber frame systems were developed during this period. The design of timber framed house construction did not incorporate any insulation between the stud works. The frames were lined with fibreboard or plasterboard possibly over timber boarding.

 

 

 

 

2.3 MODERN PRE-FAB HOUSING CONSTRUCTION:

2.3.1 – Introduction:

This chapter will seek to explain all about what is off site construction and the modern methods of pre-fab technology that is available for housing construction in the U.K.

2.3.2 – What is modern pre-fab:

There are a number of terminologies used for pre-fab construction but primarily its is the manufacture and pre-assembly of components in factory production line which are later transported to the desired site for final assembly.

Offsite construction is terminology is

2.3.1 Current methods of house construction:

 

The traditional methods of constructing homes has

Literature Review Summary:

 

The literature review critically analysed the current methods of construction and barriers

Barriers and benefits of offsite pre-fab construction

The literature review has been able to analyse the

 

Pre-fab methods of house construction are also known as modern methods of construction and according to

The Benefits of Modern Methods of Pre-Fab:

Quality:

Pre-Fab construction practices allows the control of quality

Waste:

There is a greater control in managing waste of materials

 

Reduction in Build time:

The Barriers to Modern Methods of Pre-Fab:

Issues of Cost:

There is an issue of cost as the initial start-up cost is very high for the appropriate machinery and components to mass produce pre-fab houses.  The manufacturing cost per unit becomes higher if only a small number of units are produced and depending on demand prices can fluctuate.

Skills and Experience:

Pre-fab manufacturing requires a highly skilled workforce both for producing the pre-fab units and the modules that are used to set up the manufacturing components. Due to the small demand for Pre-Fab less people have been exposed and trained in the manufacturing techniques.

Design Flexibility:

Once the manufacturing for pre-fab has begun it is very difficult to alter the design of components as any design changes may affect how different parts fit together.

 

Motivation and Culture:

Many of the professionals in housing associations are suspicious of the performance and quality of pre-fabs, due to the high-profile failures in the past

 

Chapter 3 – RESEARCH METHODOLOGY:

 

3.1 Introduction:

This chapter will analyse the methods used to carry out the research into the construction methods for social housing currently. The chapter will also discuss the limitations of the research.

 

3.2 Quantitative Research:

This method of research is used to accurately measure a problem through the collection of numerical data that can be analysed to provide statistical information. According to Naoum (2013) quantitative research is objective in nature. Charts and graphs can be produced using the quantitative research method which can show areas of concern as well as testing the theory against the facts presented from the data.

 

This method of research can be challenging in the context of obtaining sufficient data due to an increasingly high non-participation of survey and structured interviews (Ahmed, et al., 2016). Though it can still be argued that quantitative research method is better at achieving a more reliable and objective outcome. Using this method of data collection, the views and feelings of the researcher is recognised less.

Quantitate research methods are referred to, to find out how much, how many, how often and to what extent (Farell,2011). Quantitative research is used to test the hypothesis or theory and are presented in a graphical form from the analysis of numerical data from questionnaires and surveys.

 

 

 

3.3 Qualitative Research:

Qualitative method of research is primarily an explanatory way of proving the hypothesis. This method of research is conducted by collating data through the direct contact with individuals who are part of the research. This can be through interviews, observations and focus groups. It allows the researcher to develop their knowledge in their research field and engage in the opinions and trends of a group of people or a specific subject area.

Some of the advantages of data collected from qualitative research methods is that it will allow the interviewee to expand on the participants views and answers. It can also help to generate a new hypothesis or theories and will allow the researcher to explore any complex questions that maybe difficult to examine using the quantitative method of research. Quantitative research has the ability to reach a larger audience and does not have to be selective. Whereas qualitative research consists usually of a smaller number of results and can be targeted to a selected group. It is argued that some of the disadvantages of this data include fewer people studied as it is usually more time consuming analysing qualitative data (Winter, 2000). Also due to the low number of people taking part in this type of data collection it can be difficult to gain a generalised finding. Last of all the findings could be dependent on the research skills and experience of the researcher. Who is carrying out interviews with induvial or at a focused group as it requires to extract out people’s opinions and experiences. Concluding from this the researcher has chosen to use the qualitative method for data collection to test the hypothesis that is stated in the research aim.

 

3.5 Data Collection Strategy:

The information for this research was gathered in two ways, the researcher analysed the data and information collected from literature reviews and conducted a series of interviews with selected individuals who are employed in housing associations.

 

3.3 Telephone Interviews:

The interviews will take place via telephone due to the difficulty in travelling to the various office locations of the Housing Associations. The interview questions are structured, and each participant will be asked the same number of questions, in the same order to ensure that the response will be fair as possible. This permits for the researcher to identify the comparisons and the contrasts of different answers given to the same question (Naoum, 2013). With semi-structured interviews the same set of questions are asked to all the participants, however there may be additional questions with different level of variances to help get a further understanding or clarification on certain issues.

Finally, an unstructured interview contains no particular set of questions and are conducted in an informal manner with the participant. The interviewee is given a subject to freely discuss with the participant. Interviews in this format can make data analysis difficult for analysis and compassion by the researcher but it can also revel other areas of the subject.

As part of this research it was important that the researcher attempted to provide interviewees with a friendly and non-threatening atmosphere (Connaway & Powell, 2010). A relaxed environment will help an interviewee feel relaxed and will encourage them to share their views and experiences openly.

There is an apparent bias towards telephone interviews as they are depicted as less attractive then face to face interviews. Yet, telephones may allow respondents to feel relaxed and able to disclose sensitive information, and evidence is lacking that they produce lower quality data (Novick, 2008). The research for this dissertation interviews were carried out in a semi-structured way. The research question participants were written to firstly informing them of the reason for the dissertation study and were also provided with information on the questions that were to be asked. The participants were also informed of the importance and the benefit of their contribution and how all information provided by them will be kept fully confidential and anonymous.

3.4 Case Studies:

Case studies for qualitative research is also a very popular way of collecting data as it can further support the information that is already present such as the responses from the interviews with participants. There are three types of case studies that can be used to carry out research to test a theory. Investigative case studies can be used to find the answer to a question and is often accompanied by additional data such as interviews and questionnaires to support the case study. There is also investigative or explanatory case studies which seek to find out how or why something has happened or occurred in questions. Lastly there the descriptive case studies, with descriptive case study they tend to involve the analysis of a certain event, theme or culture.

 

3.5 – Telephone Interview Respondents:

To carry out this research it was best decided that the professional targeted would be employed at Housing Associations due to the aim of this study. Most councils in the U.K have stopped or no longer are involved in the development and construction of new homes for the population. There appears to be a Housing Association in every town and city in the U.K of various sizes and due to the limitations of this research. 25 Housing Associations were selected at random from around the country to take part in the pre-arranged telephone interviews.

For this research a questionnaire was created exclusively to get the opinions of construction professionals involved in development of new homes in Housing Associations see Appendix 2.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Chapter 4 – DATA ANALYSIS AND DISCUSSION:

4.1 – Introduction:

From the research and literature review pre-fab way of building houses are not a new concept and was utilised around the country after World War I and World War II. After the second world war pre-fab houses were constructed to provide housing in an emergency to the population who had lost their homes during the war. There was huge demand for housing as the country was rebuilding its economy and infrastructure after the war. To meet this demand local councils were tasked with working with architects and construction companies to build these houses as fast as possible. With the post war baby boom adding to the need for the requirements for homes.

During the 1960s there was an increase in the demand for additional social housing

The requirements for more homes

4.2 – Skills Shortage:

With traditional methods of house building, there is a requirement for many specialist skilled trades to be employed. A shortage in the availability of these types of skills can drive up the build cost of a new house.

4.3 – Land for Development:

For any new development land is always required and planning permission is granted to build such a development. With an increase in the pressure for land in urban areas

 

4.4 – Cost:

Currently the cost of pre-fab per unit is more expensive then the cost per unit of a traditional built house.

4.5 – Ideal Pre-Fab:

From the interview questions three of the respondents prefer to use the closed panel system for pre-fab house building. This is partly due to the external façade being completed with windows and doors fitted. This will also allow the house to be watertight within a week and a half of the build programme. Evidence suggests that this type of pre-fab has worked very well in practice as it ensures the quality control for windows and door installation are already completed in the factory.

 

4.5 – Research Aim:

The aim of this research was to investigate how best to meet the demands for more social housing and if the modern Pre-Fab methods could be used to meet the demands for social housing in the U.K.

From the analysis of the literature review, it has been identified that pre-fab construction methods is not a new technological way of building houses. After both World War I and World War II pre-fab method of house building was utilised to provide housing for the population in the shortest time possible. Due to this demand new methods of construction were encouraged by the U.K government. These construction methods were called system-built with various materials used to manufacture the components.

The Second World War resulted in a surge in the demand for homes for the population. There was an immediate shortage of building materials and skilled labour

 

 

Chapter 5 – CONCLUSION AND RECOMMENDATION:

 

5.1 – Introduction:

This chapter will aim to provide a conclusion which has been drawn from the qualitative research with the construction professionals in the social housing sector. It will summarise the objectives and discussions and will provide a recommendation for possible further research.

5.2 – Conclusion:

From the analysis of responses from the telephone interview, the general viewpoint amongst the professionals in housing associations, is that pre-fab methods of house construction would not resolve the shortage of homes in the U.K completely. However, the overall general opinion is that this is only a short-term solution to help reduce the housing supply shortage. In the researcher’s opinion there are many other barriers; analysis from the research highlighted obstacles such as political and other economic barriers in the adoption of pre-fab methods for house building. Housing association require further assurance and assistance that pre-fab methods will not produce problems in the future. As is the case from system-built houses with many still owned by councils around the U.K. These types of houses which are non-traditional construction methods have caused local councils a number of problems through out the years.

From the literature review system-built houses after the two world wars have lead to high capital expenses for the council due to the expensive maintenance for these properties to ensure they are habitable by families. Due to their limited lifespan such as BISF houses they are difficult to insure against and a mortgage is unobtainable for these types of properties. Where councils have been able to afford the costs, these problematic system-built properties have been demolished and replaced with new houses using the traditional methods for house construction. As many construction professionals are aware of the problems faced by councils all around the U.K. Adoption has been slow for the modern methods of pre-fab. Reluctancy is evident from the participants answers during research interview. The fear of high maintenance costs in the future will deeply affect any future development budgets. Housing associations require a guarantee from manufactures as well as the government if they are to encourage their adoption. Modern pre-fab housing has only been used for house construction since 2005 so the measurement to determine their reliability is not available. Manufactures give an estimated life span of up to 60 years comparing this against homes that been built using the traditional methods during the 19th century. Which are still in use today and are structurally sound with no or very minimum problems faced by the home owner.

Traditional methods of house construction can take a number of weeks to complete depending on site conditions and any potential delays that may arise during the build process such as supply of raw materials or unexpected adverse weather conditions. If temperatures are below a certain degree, the mixing of cement with sand to make mortar is prohibited and quality checks will fail if a house wall is built in very low temperatures. A pre-fabricated house can take around 13 weeks to complete and be ready to house a family in that time. This represents a distinct advantage when it comes to time. Insurance companies are also willing to provide cover with modern pre-fab houses as long as they meet the required British Standards in safety and quality. The requirements for any maintenance in pre-fab houses will prolong the lifespan of the house and will be down to the maintenance departments in each housing association to arrange.

Due to a skilled labour shortage in the construction trades the cost of building houses has been driven up. The government is trying to bridge this skills shortage by trying to train a new generation of skilled trades professionals. But this shortage has opened the market to explore the potential for pre-fab house construction further. The rise in labour cost may potentially cause the cost of traditional methods of house construction to match the cost of a pre-fab house.

Many of the professionals who took part in the telephone interviews have expresses their concerns, that some insurance companies are restrained in granting cover for pre-fab houses were the materials used have an unknown reliability. Insurers have expressed that materials and new construction methods should be certified by the construction industry regulators. Giving the reassurance that checks are in place and are adequate to ensure quality is not lost. If every housing association was to be fully versed in the construction processes and methods of the modern pre-fab houses. Then there would have been a sharp increase in their uptake and the demand can drive down the overall price from the economics of scale. There is a constant demand by the government for the development of sustainable new homes but no incentives in place to adopt modern methods of pre-fab. A considerable amount of wastage is eliminated by pre-fab homes as construction site wastage is still a major issue.

The research also identified that hardly any of the participant of the survey had any experience with modern methods of pre-fab house construction. Therefore, this was most likely the reason for their reluctance and sceptical attitude towards adopting pre-fab methods for house construction whole heartedly.

The barriers of modern methods need to be overcome

5.3 – Recommendations

From the research I would recommend, Government incentives to increase the construction of house building by Social Landlords using modern Pre-fab construction methods. The incentives should help to make pre-fab methods more competitive with traditional methods of house construction.

There should also be a guarantee scheme in place should in future there was a major failing in the structure of a pre-fab home that insurance companies are unwilling to provide cover for.

By decontaminating brown field land before making them available for house construction will also increase the attractiveness for Housing Associations to build more homes as the cost and risks of a brownfield development has been eliminated.

This will provide a short-term relief towards the spiralling cost of housing around the country, but as the population continues to grow so too will the requirement for further housing.

Further information needs to be provided in detail to help change attitudes towards modern pre-fab as some of the participants to the interview previously were employed at local councils. Where they were involved in resolving heaps of problems associated with system-built houses.

The attitude needs to change

5.4 – Avenues for Further Research:

 

5.4.1 Further interviews:

The option to conduct further interviews with every council and Social Housing Landlord in the U.K would provide a more wider scope on the thoughts of Pre-Fab construction methods for housing.

This will also show a comparison between councils and Social Housing Landlords who have a bigger budget and are able to carry out large scale developments.

 

The effects of the failings of system-built houses on housing associations to determine if or how much this affects the attitude or prove that fear is a factor in the slow uptake of modern methods of pre-fab house building.

REFERENCES:

 

Fisher, C. (n.d.). Researching and Writing a Dissertation.

 

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Disney, R. and Luo, G. (2017). The Right to Buy public housing in Britain: A welfare analysis. Journal of Housing Economics, 35, pp.51-68.

The establish the failiurs of pre fab housing technology in the past

To identify the pre-fab house technology already been used in the past.

Is there any other factors that are possibly contributing to the shortage of homes being built in the U.K such as skills shortage.

Pre fab manufacturing of modern methods relatively still in its infancy

Pre fab has been in used extensively since world war 2

Avon croft black country museum bbritish steel

Brown field sites and green belt land land avilablilty

Government incentives for building pre fab on brownfield land

Limitations due to not being so new

Gaining the correct insurance and correct level of cover

Limitations to research in the uk only

Will look Time Cost Quality

Not enough data to measure against quality

History of prebaricatd and the problems such as rust and lift span

Targeted audience are construction professionals

My research is to compare and contrast two types of house construction. One is the tradional methods of house construction compared to the offsite

Skills shortage

There is many types of pre fab in the market

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Social Policy is policy set out by the Government, related to the quality of life and welfare of people. Social Policy includes guidelines and legislation, with policies created for housing, education, health, and other relevant areas of life.

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