Northern Housing Mag
Triple Reasons for Investment
Investing in energy-efficient homes and tackling climate change is key to the country’s economic recovery from the COVID-19 crisis, Together Housing Group has stressed.
The housing association, which manages over 36,000 homes across Yorkshire and Lancashire, is backing for the National Housing Federation’s Homes at the Heart campaign, which calls for a ‘once in a generation’ investment in social housing.
Decarbonise for a ‘Greener’ Country
This week, the coalition backing the campaign are urging the government to invest in decarbonising and retrofitting homes to put homes at the heart of making the UK a greener country.
Steve Close, group chief executive at Together Housing Group, said: “Few organisations have the ability to help fulfil the government’s decarbonisation and employment ambitions in the way that housing associations do. A big part of our core purpose is to invest in our communities and people to enable them to have access to quality housing and to thrive.
“Bringing forward the decarbonisation funding that has been promised will mean that housing associations in the north are able to mobilise plans to retrofit thousands of homes, build new energy efficient housing and create much needed employment and career opportunities in the process.
“We have the infrastructures, skills and expertise to deliver on these ambitions if we can access the support we need from the government.”
Energy Saving Grants
Earlier this year in his Summer Economic Update the Chancellor Rishi Sunak announced several green measures for the housing sector, such as the £3.8 billion Social Housing Decarbonisation Fund and the £2 billion Green Homes Grant, which subsidises energy-saving home improvements.
However, Together Housing, part of the Northern Housing Consortium (NHC), says the government should use the autumn Spending Review to provide an economic package for the sector that will help deliver its priorities of levelling up, net zero and new homes.
20,000 more Jobs
The NHC, which represents over 90% of social housing providers in the North, says that helping housing providers to decarbonise existing homes and build new homes will create 20,000 jobs across the North of England.
More Help Called For
The NHC has called on the government to use the upcoming spending review to release more investment for the Social Housing Decarbonisation Fund, which would enable social landlords to improve the least energy-efficient social rented homes.
Reduce Strain on NHS
Doing this, it says, would help to improve the North’s typically older and colder homes, make fuel bills more affordable for tenants, and reduce strain on the NHS. It would also help the government achieve its net zero targets.
Solar Battery + PV Pilot
Together Housing has already looked to embrace the net zero agenda as it has been piloting a solar battery and PV project across 250 of its homes in Nelson and Colne in Lancashire, a project covered in the last issue of Northern Housing.
Meeting ‘Net Zero’
Patrick Berry, managing director of Together Energy Services, part of Together Housing Group, added: “The social housing sector has a major role to play in meeting the net zero challenge and leading the transition to energy efficient renewable heat and power in homes.
Renewable Heat Concepts
“Together Housing has begun its journey to meet the carbon reduction challenges but recognises that it has only taken the first step. The projects we have developed around renewable heat, solutions for new build properties and solar PV and battery systems have been designed to provide proof of concept so that much larger investments can be made across our stock.
“Underpinning this approach is the aim to use energy assets as investments that generate revenue in the emerging markets, and power purchase agreements that enable cheaper energy bills for tenants. This approach is a step change in traditional thinking.”
HA’s are not alone in their endeavours and aspirations. The wish of Self-Builders as well as most UK Builders to deliver excellent low energy buildings and top notch homes is now driving an increasing number to choose Modular Off-Site for their developments. And as ‘OffSite Hub” notes, architects and designers are moving toward DfMA, something we have been encouraging for over 20 years. The emergence of LA Developers will only speed up this process
Learn & Earn with DfMA
Applying DfMA (Design for Manufacture & Assembly) to lightweight structures defines the process of taking these to the next level. For example, standard designs from our very low rise ‘SolidLox’ brand enable us to provide buildings that do not require massive foundations and which can avoid harming tree roots while delivering on time and within budget.
Such projects require a systematic, solution driven approach which brings discipline to the process, sharing information and communications.; a welcome change in the overall approach to project management and development – and to those who just ‘talk about it’!
Saving Waste – from Concept to Clearance
Modular Off-site MMC SIP & Timber Frame structures provide excellent ways to save waste and deliver top energy rated homes. Working with architects, planners and environmentalists to satisfy all types of design, we are already well on the way to incorporating waste reduction measures into our procedures and processes. This means our ‘Volumetric’ and ‘Flat pack’ modular building solutions envisaging ultimate demolition and clearance can ‘tread lightly on the earth’ as we adapt business innovations and developments to environmental needs.
Partnering for Modular Progress
All of this entails a shift in thinking to that already practiced by established ‘Off-Site’ MMC manufacturers. It can be quickly and easily incorporated into procedures and processes of building and development. Better still, you can make partnering arrangements with such manufacturers to gain all round benefits.
Greater Speed, Accuracy, Quality and Lower Costs
Greater collaborative ‘partnering’ between architects, builders and manufacturers will deliver these. The greater speed, accuracy and quality that can result from manufacturing components in a dry, controlled factory environment, together with the ability tom incorporate (yet to be invented) ‘Smart Ware’ gives home builders perhaps the only way of achieving this, together with improved on-site build quality AND controlling costs.
Easy Timber Frame
To assist them in doing so our “Easy Timber Frame “ now offers standard size modular timber frame elements for them to use as a design base, cutting down on technical design and engineering to produce win-win results. This virtually provides any housebuilder or architect with their own bespoke design factory facility.
Better all-round Savings
Our specialist services and CUSTOM homes division deliver best value and protect the interests of land owners, house-builder developers, professionals and private individuals seeking to build their dream home. Our off-site construction systems also reduce the amount of material that gets wasted on site, helping to avoid land fill, hazardous waste separation and handling, They also deliver better value for you and your customers.