Installation Of Modular Units, Ilke Homes, Hull
David Cowans, chief executive of Places for People, said this is “just the start” for offsite manufacturing

Places for People partners with Ilke Homes in £100m modular deal

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Nicholas Fearn

One of the UK’s largest housing associations has agreed to buy 750 modular units from Ilke Homes. Five hundred units will be used for sites Places for People already owns, and 250 for new schemes.

The companies expect the deal to result in a jobs boost at Ilke’s Yorkshire factory, which has the capacity to build 2,000 homes annually.

David Cowans, chief executive of Places for People, said this is “just the start” for off-site manufacturing and the company is going to “invest even more in modular.”

He added: “We will implement efficient processes and new design techniques which not only raise the bar for the industry – but crucially, give people across the country affordable homes to live in.”

Places for People received a grant from Homes England last year to deliver 2,603 homes through strategic partnerships with eight housing associations.

Transforming construction

Modular construction, where precision-engineered and factory-finished units are assembled on-site, is quickly gaining traction across the property market.

This construction method has the potential to halve development times, reduce snagging, produce around 90% less on-site waste and improve man-hour productivity by as much as 80%.

Ilke Homes claims to be the first modular manufacturer to be fully covered by the National House Building Council warranty. The warranty provides cover for newly built or converted homes, lasting up to 10 years, and works to raise the construction standards of new homes in the UK.

Dave Sheridan, executive chairman at Ilke Homes, said: “Ride-hailing apps have replaced standing in the rain to flag taxis, so it makes sense that we embrace the benefits of manufacturing homes in dry factories.

“A mature off-site manufacturing market could create an ‘Uber moment’ for construction, speeding up delivery, cutting cost and giving our customers unrivalled choice and quality.

“Our deal with Places for People will help continue to grow our capacity and is a huge vote of confidence in modular housing and Homes England deserves huge praise for its entrepreneurial approach to accelerating delivery.”

This isn’t the only major British modular homes deal to be announced in 2019. Last month, Japanese house builder Sekisui entered the UK housing market after forming a £90m deal with Urban Splash’s modular home business, and earlier this year Ideal Modular Homes announced that it had 400 units in the pipeline and was about to go into full-production.

Minister of State for Housing Kit Malthouse said the announcement supports “our urgent mission to deliver more, better and faster home construction to ensure a new generation can realise the dream of home ownership.”

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