Building Better, the National Housing Federation-supported alliance of 29 housing associations and local authorities working together to increase the use of modern methods of construction (MMC), has appointed three manufacturers to deliver its first offsite homes framework.
Procurement for Housing and Building Better have signed up ilke Homes, Impact Modular and TopHat to the volumetric framework which is worth up to £600m over five years. Social housing providers will be able to procure pre-manufactured 3D construction systems for both houses and apartments through the deal.
Over 185,000 homes are managed by the 29 housing associations and local authorities that make up Building Better. Initially, they will build at least 800 new offsite homes via the framework with a further 4,500 properties to be produced using modern methods of construction before 2026. This pipeline will grow as more social housing providers join the alliance.
Procurement for Housing and Building Better have appointed the three successful manufacturers to the framework on a direct award basis. This means that housing associations and local authorities won’t need to go through any additional tender process. It is estimated that this streamlined contracting approach will save each housing provider around £15,000 in procurement costs alone.
All MMC homes procured under the Building Better framework will be able to meet the Government’s ‘zero carbon ready’ Future Homes Standard, they will take a ‘fabric-first’ approach — prioritising insulation ahead of add-ons like solar panels, they will meet nationally described space standards and have the option to be wheelchair accessible.
Offsite homes developed by Building Better members will also be certified by the Buildoffsite Property Assurance Scheme and be assessed and accepted by building warranty provider the National House Building Council (NHBC).
Trina Chakravarti, Project Director of Building Better said: “In the past, housing associations, local authorities and manufacturers have often gone through the MMC process alone — there is no aggregation of knowledge or resources, and mistakes are repeated. We want to change this through early, honest partnership working between social housing providers, manufacturers and residents, sharing information and learning together to improve MMC and overcome traditional barriers.”
Steve Malone, CEO at Procurement for Housing said: “By assessing the MMC market, narrowing the field and appointing just three manufacturers, our goal was to reduce much of the due diligence and procurement complexity that housing associations and local authorities often face around MMC. ilke Homes, Impact Modular and TopHat all impressed us with their commitment to the collaborative ethos of this framework. For them, involving residents and working closely with housing providers is key to continually improving their MMC offer.”
Last year, Housing Secretary Robert Jenrick said that he, Chancellor Rishi Sunak and the Chief Secretary to the Treasury Stephen Barclay were “hugely supportive” of using modern methods of construction to build homes. The Government has made it a condition of their £11.5bn affordable homes programme that at least 25% of those homes should be manufactured through modern methods.