Brighton is so often a trailblazer for new ideas. Or so we like to think. But as far as the development of homes using offsite techniques, we do drag our feet somewhat.
Yes, Brighton does have 36 shipping container homes, but that was the vision of BHT’s development partner, QED Property. YMCA Downslink Group is planning to use the revolutionary Y-Cube method pioneered by YMCA London South West.
Lewes District Council has partnered with the KSD Group to develop two fabulous two-bedroom homes. Read the KSD case study here. What is extra special about these homes is that they can be developed with rents of c£100 per week (although the land has been provided at no cost on a long lease). I have written a bit about these homes here and here, and there are photographs here.
But modern methods of construction have yet to be actively encouraged by the City Council, notwithstanding the cost effectiveness and speed in which developments can take place.
A survey of seventeen housing associations last year found that over the next three years, fifteen plan to start 22,544 homes, of which 12,818 (56%) are due to use offsite building techniques, up from 46% between 2011/15 for the same landlords for the 20,740 homes they built.
In an attempt to move the debate on, with colleagues from the Brighton and Hove Community Housing Network, we are organising a seminar (unfortunately, invitation only due to numbers) in early March which will showcase different models and methods.
There are fantastic schemes throughout the world using offsite techniques, shipping containers and the like. Here are just two examples I came across this week:
14 Story Wood Building (YouTube)