Residential Hub event at Mitsubishi Electric



The benefit and impact of the supply chain on whole life costs and the predictability of offsite housing supply

The Residential sector is under pressure once again as there is a growing number of reports that are suggesting that in 2019 we are going to be building less homes than ever.

With government figures suggesting that we completed 220,000 homes last year and in light of the above does this mean that housing output is now in decline. If it is then “Why” and what can be done to alleviate the pressure.

The Residential Hub meeting on the 7th February at Mitsubishi Electric looked at the growing demand from investors as well as home owners who are looking to safeguard the longevity of their investments.

Dennis Seal, Buildoffsite

What is happening in the market sector?

Lack of homes, Brexit uncertainty and prospective interest rate rises negatively impact the volume of housing. However the positive side of this is that sales growth will slightly increase as house prices flatten.

What this means for offsite:

  • Next 5 years could see a move away from the conventional way of building homes
  • Market will be moving away from the standardised housing projects
  • It will be cheaper to buy homes
  • Millennials will want to have a say in how houses will be built

Trevor Clements, Hertfordshire Building Control: Fast Track Approval for Fast Track Construction

We need to contribute to efforts of building safe, durable and energy efficient buildings amid government’s increasing support for the sector.

Is offsite a risky business?

60 years on many of the buildings exist and some of them with listing status.

  • The performance and aesthetic of buildings have undergone massive improvement
  • The average new house put together in a factory environment is going to have a much better quality than one in a typical site building environment.
  • Performance gap: Offsite construction can only help in this regard
  • Fast track but not short cut

Stuart Bell, Mitsubishi Electric: Call to other members to open up discussions on early delivery and design of M&E with reference to supply chain and impact on whole life costs.

  • The quality, safety and design of manufacturing facility reflects offsite construction methodology
  • We need to add value to the sector and drive forward this type of solutions

*presentation to be added in due course

Joanne Booth, Lucideon The benefit of product testing on the supply chain and predictability of offsite housing supply.

Adrian Hall & Matthew Cockerill, JCB: How a well-established company is bringing a new perspective to offsite; including reference to the supply chain and whole life costs of approach.

Changing construction industry:

  • As processes change in terms of the way buildings come to market we have got to have a machine that can be used by contractors to facilitate that process

Massive skills gap:

  • Building houses in a traditional way is not going to deliver exponential growth. If we carry on doing what we have done the gap between supply and demand will get bigger. We have to embrace the change and Buildoffsite will allow us to satisfy the demands of the market.

Paul Foulkes, WAGO: With a focus on collaboration with other members including Mitsubishi Electric and how the supply chain is a key factor including how they have developed new working relationships.

David Whorwood & Gary Bright, Ideal lifts:

Challenging traditional thinking and disrupt the processes and complexities of conventional bespoke lift shaft construction on offsite projects.  How ongoing collaboration with other members and within the supply chain can simplify and improve the design, processes, management and safety of lift design, installation and maintenance.

*presentation to be added in due course

Charles Naud, Action Sustainability

Supply Chain School & Offsite management school are an industry led initiative aimed at building your understanding of offsite. They provide you with FREE practical support in the form of CPD accredited e-learning modules and training workshops, tailored self-assessment tools and action plans, bench-marking tools, networking opportunities and access to thousands of online resources. They would like input from the sector to help develop training programme and build capacity to train the whole industry on offsite. If you would like more information or to discuss further contact

Panel Debate – Picking up on the theme and speaker sessions the panel discussed the importance of the supply chain in offsite delivery, why clients should engage with them more to overcome design and cost barriers and why we should focus more on the whole life costs of the products we install to protect future budgets and expenditure. 

  • Offsite is the only solution to the housing crisis – to be successful we need to make sure we build durability and quality in what we build.
  • With offsite solution gaining proper momentum, collaboration between manufacturers and supply chain needs further encouragement.
  • We need to explain the benefits of offsite and what it can deliver – it is so much more than timber frame. There is a confidence issue with people as they automatically link offsite with poor quality, lack of mortgage. Offsite is not what it was before – it delivers a very different end product. Most offsite support is seen in the younger generation as they are being exposed to technology.
  • Millennials will make the decision – they want a product where they can have some say. Modular homes are differentiated by the ability to be customised. Adaptability in offsite needs to be looked at the same way we look at quality.