With offsite construction and MMC set to play an increasingly important role in easing the UK’s new homes shortage, particularly in the social housing sector, never before has there been such a great opportunity to raise the bar on quality, explains Hush.
However, this is providing that the right materials are specified and applied correctly.
A combination of factors, not least climate change, a shortage of on-site labour and recent major investments by manufacturers in state-of-the-art factories, means modular housing could be about to enter the premier league.
Until now, it is a building approach that has been recognised for its enormous potential but, for various reasons, it has never been able to break through.
That could all be set to change, thanks to greater support from the UK Government, which includes an incentive for housing associations to use MMC in Homes England’s £11.5 billion Affordable Housing Programme.
A condition of accessing funding via this programme is a commitment to use MMC to deliver a quarter of homes; this would be a game-changer for modular housing.
Speed of construction is usually the highlighted as the main reason for using MMC for housing – and it is easy to see why when new housing starts lag so far behind what we need them to be.
But in pursuit of rapid delivery, we must not overlook the opportunity to not only maintain but actually increase quality standards versus traditional build.
By delivering a housing product faster, and to a higher standard for the same or less budget, will help quash any negative views of MMC housing, which have arguably restricted its widespread use.
That is why we need to maximise the opportunity and ensure every factory-built home today offers outstanding acoustic performance.
This can make a big contribution to how a new home owner or tenant perceives the ‘quality’ of their new property, as well as having a big influence on their overall level of satisfaction.
On a traditional building site, it is not uncommon for overstretched and sometimes inadequately trained contractors to fit sound insulation poorly, use the wrong type of insulation or forget to use it at all!
This often goes unnoticed, as it is impossible for every property be individually checked by building control during construction.
This kind of thing doesn’t need to happen in the factory controlled environment, where the implementation of proper quality control procedures offers the ability to achieve precision.
In fact, there is more scope to use sound insulating products throughout the modular construction, to eliminate as many sound transmission paths as possible.
This attention to detail on acoustic performance is possible thanks to the vast array of advanced products available from Hush Acoustics.
Whether it is Hush-Slab 100 fibrous infill insulation for cutting airborne transmission between walls and floors, wall boards, flooring underlay, acoustic foam or resilient bars, the company has a product for all aspects of a modular home’s construction.
Hush can also support modular housing designers and manufacturers to get the best results too, with its specification team on hand to guide offside manufacturers to solutions that will cut sound transmission – including impact noise and flanking – through each home.
Training can be provided to operatives in the factory, so they can get the application of these products right every time.
With the right products, applied correctly and effective QC in the factory, the margin for error and risk of poor workmanship can be virtually eliminated in modular housing, which means there are fewer snagging or longer-term build issues post-completion compared with traditional construction.
For social housing providers, this is really vital given they are responsible for maintaining the asset post-completion, and equally positive for private housebuilders seeking to achieve or maintain their NHBC five star rating.
Here’s to a bright future for offsite housing!
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