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Knauf and the Offsite Sector

The noisiest section of the new build market right now is surely that of offsite manufacturing (OSM) and modern methods of construction (MMC).

The Government has put a lot of effort into normalising the practice of OSM/MMC. Note, for example, the setting up of Homes England, sponsored by the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government (MHCLG), to accelerate the delivery of affordable housing across England and with a specific remit to focus on MMC.

One of the very first things that the new Secretary of State for MHCLG, Robert Jenrick, did was to visit a modular housing factory. That same week, the new Housing Minister, Esther McVey, visited a similar factory.

Need any more evidence that OSM/MMC is the hot topic right now?

The Crown Commercial Service (CCS) launched the Modular Buildings Solutions framework, a four-year drive to deliver OSM construction projects for the public sector, with an estimated value of £495m.

We at Knauf have kept our finger on the pulse, looking at which of our products are particularly suited to the OSM market – we’re confident that we offer great options to this sector: GIFAfloor, ThroughWall and Airless ready-mixed spray finishes are all perfect examples.

Homes England has identified the build-to-rent and affordable rented sectors as the areas where OSM is likely to have the biggest impact, partly because of the standardisation of the housing units in this type of development.

The more units of the same house type a factory produces, the quicker they roll off the line. It is estimated that once a factory is running at optimum capacity, homes can be turned out every two hours.

Knauf is already working in the OSM and MMC sectors: for example, earlier this year we showcased the supply of flooring to ZedFactory for its prototype LivShare, a multi-occupancy housing solution.  We’re also working with modular builder Ecofast in the largest self-build development in the country at Bicester.

So long as Government keeps on creating the right conditions, the right incentives and the right overall environment, OSM will continue to be normalised and Knauf is ready to be at the forefront of a building revolution.

For this reason, we will be exhibiting our range of solutions for the offsite and modular building market at the new Offsite Expo event, taking place at the Ricoh Centre, Coventry on 24 and 25 September.

Anyone interested in our offsite solutions, but unable to attend the event, should contact [email protected] for further information.


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