It's debatable for many reasons based on unit cost, trust, relationships, quality, thermal qualities, trading terms, price, accreditations, delivery, install, perceived image (biggest hurdle), etc - yes it's an extensive list & riddled with risk - but building is all about RISK as you well know.
So you won't be surprised also to hear 3D Volumetric is no cheaper product wise than traditional build yet the positives can far outweigh the negatives. The key issue is based upon speed (easily 25% quicker from start to finish - or 50% if you took the modules direct from the factory to the site only with foundations & everything else in place) and quality which creates better IRR for investors and people housed quicker is the upshot.
Glossy sales terms aside, it's 'horses for courses' which method you chose to use, where you purchase from and as much as I get excited about volumetric (I really do) hybrids systems in the UK are currently more popular based on a flexible approach - yet some will argue more risk associated on site but no where near traditional build issues.
Sustainable homes are the solution to replace temporary housing solutions costing the government Billions
The UK doesn't have anywhere near the production capacity despite what you may hear due to lack of investment & experience and constant deliberation based on little experience, mis-informed opinions. Overseas have been building homes like this for decades, the issue is that the UK is, in pockets, still hung up on the perception of cheap badly designed units going back to the 1940's. Now the government seem to be firmly behind making improvements investing, too late but never the less they are investing to help solve our crisis. 3-4 major UK players building good quality homes and lots of others with wild dreams of building 1,000 of homes without even owning a factory, yet (gulp). From an idea to reality your looking at what 2-3 years? perhaps less with luck on their side to be rolling out in full quality scaleable production. Another issue is what technology do you adopt considering an ever evolving industry.
What modular system do you use? 3D Volumetric (90-95% completed in the factory), SIPS, Hybrid, Bathroom/Kitchen & Utility Pods - what makes commercial sense? Who can you trust to deliver? Where does the responsibility lay? What impact it has if they don't deliver is a disaster for the project. Cost wise Volumetric is too expensive we have experienced so far for the North of England (& a few other areas) but generally very much geographically 'site specific' absolutely ideal for many budget hotels, student accommodation, schools & apartments.....and on a grand scale.
Confusing? Yes it is rather, and that just about sums up the industry in its current state - which is dependent on many factors one being attitude to change in the UK and your own risk profile, promises to stake holders and personal experience. There is room for every technology, many suppliers both homegrown and particularly the OSM giants overseas who mostly don't have production capacity (combined) or financial constraints.
Benefits to the home owners should be cheaper to run being very well insulated, easier to maintain and not stuck in unsuitable temporary accommodation. The homes are strong and built to last a very long time using sustainable materials built in a safe dry environment. We see the first UK OSM coming clean on costs last week, this is we hope just the start, which builds confidence with lenders & asset managers amongst many. OSM is not new to the UK, it just hasn't had confidence to roll out on a national scale which is understandable to a point. There is much confusion still on time saved, do you consider the time from the pods leaving the factory to the site to completion? (up to 60%?) or from design freeze to completion? no matter what it saves time let us not be pedantic, provides far better working conditions for workers, better quality product and far quicker returns potentially for investors helping towards solving our housing crisis.
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