Collaborative working is certainly the key to success when it comes to OSM, the Baltic's alone have been at it for decades, working within specific clusters...to get the job done. We have seen it with our own eyes, possibly one could debate the only positive thing from ex-Soviet era bringing together neighbouring countries 'united' providing highest quality housing, across the world. They even have forums where the common language is English despite the majority of attendees from that one specific country which proves their open-mindedness with regards to export.
Our equally magnificent country is catching on there are far smarter ways to build adopting modern methods of construction working collaboratively with experts both home grown and abroad. JLL proclaim along the lines it would take many OSM factories the size of 200 football pitches to achieve government targets, we cannot consider how they come to that equation, perhaps like us they have visited the very best mega size factories in the world extensively but in addition recording a time and motion study? Who knows but well done JLL for the initiative.
What we do know is that many promises have been made and some not delivered by limited UK OSM's now struggling to go beyond bothering to complete tenders and then providing efficient pilot schemes for Local Authorities etc full to the brim of production capacity - good or bad? depends which way you look at it. The very latest word on our street is that Lithuania are set to create a brand new 100m+ Euro facility with their eyes set on the UK ready to compete directly aggressively with their neighbours Estonia & Latvia, this is revolutionary as Lithuania is absolutely dwarfed by those competing nations production capacity and size wise currently due to far smaller factories - but not anymore. Multiply that by other factual gossip across the world the UK has an opportunity to compete as much as humanely possible, as any other home-grown industry. There are currently more than 54,000 homeless households alone described as living in temporary accommodation in London, typically rented flats, B&B's or hostels so plenty of work for everyone.
Most Baltic systems are either wooden, steel frame 3D volumetric or mostly a variety of panel solutions including some concrete. Albeit working to higher standards in Norway, the majority of overseas factories have limited experience in the UK, but the trick is of course to locate a proven UK delivery partner (a contractor willing to share the risk) which is deemed less risk to the developers. Within our supply chain alone 30+ OSM's the total coverage is over 20 countries throughout Europe, Asia, North & South America so albeit challenging at times due to specific regional requirements the UK is not an obstacle in anyway.
Our Turkish partners and many other nationalities are building thousands of homes a week using a variety of technologies some more ideal for transportation, less bulky some using light weight steel but can be converted in to modules if need be, on arrival to the UK and other countries close by in a covered dry space. The smart bit already completed in their country (smart: highly digitised & connected production facility) most have no intention of setting up factories in the UK other than creating a docking mechanism and completion using semi-skilled local labour which is good news for our country in one aspect. Why? because there is a dire skills shortage and why would they increase risk in a foreign country manufacturing, with far higher labour costs? Unite with UK delivery partners by all means combining expertise including highly skilled British architects, civil engineers, MEP, project managers, contractors etc.
The problem in the UK is the OSM growth has come far too late, despite bravado in the press, to keep up the demand and whilst there is opportunity for many factories when they are finally built, then they move towards associated problems with actual production roll-out, producing a prototype before they know they are full of capacity:- which is the name of the game. But still not able to provide a solution to our critical housing crisis volume wise which is our deepest concern. With incredibly well-funded overseas firms to the rescue and sufficient business for most nations the end result should be utopia not the current dystopia.
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