… and targets 1,000 off-site homes a year
“Off-site” to provide long term protection
By strengthening its offsite capabilities to reduce reliance on onsite trades, Willmott Dixon aims to shore up the future of its residential construction business
Three Year Deal to secure future build programme
The contractor has inked a three-year deal with suppliers for timber frame and light-gauge steel frame system to build 1,000 homes a year by 2017 through offsite, half the total stock of the 2,000 a year it currently delivers.
50,000 homes built
Since 1974 the firm has built nearly 50,000 homes for developers, housing associations and local authorities. The mix includes affordable housing, care homes, retirement villages, housing for sale and private rent, plus student accommodation.
Capacity Building to reduce Price Escalation
WD is set on building capacity via its people, engineering and technology to ensure the company has the resources it needs in the future and to hedge against future skills shortages and rising costs. Their COO for residential construction, Charlie Scherer, sees this as“… an important step in our strategy to provide a high-quality product that utilises all the benefits of factory-made systems while also reducing our exposure to the labour price escalation we’ve seen in recent years.”
Fast Delivery with Quality
His product director, Tim Carey, added:“If we are to address the significant capacity gap that currently exists in the construction sector, we need to think strategically about our supply chain… (this) will help maximise efficiencies across our projects, enabling us to deliver as many high-quality homes in as short a time frame as possible whilst ensuring they are delivered to the quality our clients deserve.”
As the construction industry changes to embrace new methods, Timber Frame and related systems, like SIP’s and CLT, are now well established and reliable ways of doing this. However, engagement of timber frame designers and manufacturers at the earliest possible stage is essential to capture all the benefits this holds for developers, builders and home owners.
Partnering for Professionals
As a good natural insulator - timber can help minimise or avoid cold bridging and internal condensation as well as assisting with construction sequencing to save significantly on time, effort and costs. To achieve this many architects and builders are turning to timber engineering firms able to interpret and deliver properly ‘sustainable solutions’ to secure high quality, factory produced elements and deliver better value in their projects.