Health support and supply critical to make the world go round. With further tremendous insult to our NHS by the government’s offer to increase wages 1% timber has increased cost up to 180% worldwide. Something is clearly wrong. The USA in a position to pay far more for timber leaving the UK to pick up the scraps.
The UK has made plausable progress with vaccination technology and a nationwide roll out in jabs and without our amazing Healthcare system – well it doesn’t bear thinking about the position we would be, the results have been incredible and we are all proud. However compared to the ongoing boring saga with our Housing Crisis the system in place is clearly wrong. Lack of investment for decades, a dramatic slow down and yet still the UK is only creating under 10% of homes using Modular Construction. Overseas countries including the Baltic States are ahead of the game by 30-40 years in actual delivery (to Scandinavia note who demand highest quality and speed of delivery) and whilst more investment comes in to the construction sector of late and homegrown Off-Site Manufacturers (OSM’s) there are still major problems we hear from suppliers including installers waiting months for payment from major players no names mentioned, backed by huge investment firms and deciding to not pay until taken to court – no specific reason given for slow payment. It is quite frankly a disgrace and we need to urgently adopt MMC where possible including Hybrid and collaborate worldwide ensuring we teach, we implement durable sustainable apprenticeships. News of huge frameworks published, the opinion of many that these will not be delivered to satisfaction on the basis of lack of experience – whose fault? A mix of government, lack of MMC education by too many and a distinct objection to anything new that saves time, creates better quality and delivers homes that our great nation deserves.
The UK has a fantastic workforce and ideal opportunity to learn from others, to share valuable experience.
If the UK had been head of the game with housing using MMC decades back we wouldn’t be in such a position now with our begging bowls reaching out further afield ever than before with Saw Mills who would let’s face it rather sell to the USA and other more profitable markets most probably – we may consider that short-term-ism on the basis that the UK is more stable and loyal but at the end of the day it is what it is and securing timber is incredibly challenging in this currently market.
We need to erase nepotism now, open ‘closed’ minds, deliver critical experience for leaders downwards to young people including travelling to Europe and further afield if required – which will create knowledge, jobs and homes for our great nation. Overseas investors are willing to invest in to joint ventures with Local Authorities, we know many that are keen to team with us to deliver affordable quality housing quickly without all the red tape. We have the most incredible work force but also close access to European world leaders in Off-Site Manufacturing. UK delivery teams are highly experienced but yet many architects and consultants fail to understand Modular, our experience (and partners) in UK housing and leisure has been shocking to say the least – including investors badly advised creating disasters from day one. For the very small majority that have ventured outside the UK to meet the super powers of OSM some have visited 1-3 which is no way near conclusive to form valid opinion and to consider the true merits of MMC. Majority of overseas OSM’s have not worked in the UK or have zero interest for multiple reasons but those that do are keen to support improving our housing crisis – combined with local talent we can create something rather special – alongside multiple build methods. Then we have some UK homebuilders insistent to use traditional for too long then finally agree to embrace OSM eventually investing hugely – yet their teams of management tell us they have little faith in the actual delivery of those factories – again no names mentioned.
It is all more than doable despite ‘smoke and mirror’s we endure still after many decades from various divisions of the construction sector. Mark Farmers report highlights many problems in what is an archaic British construction system which is shocking. Not only Local Authorities attempting to be all things including developers have had casualties including Merton Brick by Brick failure – the system is needs revolutionising to the benefit of our nation eradicating unnecessary profit racketeering by developers who deem contractors not worthy. Stick to what you know and embrace the worlds resources including state of the art OSM’s, attract overseas investment and create team focused project delivery.
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