We could address the staff shortage through factory built housing

time to plan

Registered User
Messages
467
Does anyone have an idea of how problem might be partially alleviated by a move towards modular housing construction?
 

time to plan

Registered User
Messages
467
Yes. There's lots of posts and a few threads on the topic.
Then it may be relevant to this thread. Not so many construction workers are required in Ireland if construction activity is transferred to manufacturing activity, which could either take place overseas, or which could conceivably be a growth opportunity for Irish manufacturing (which is a side point to the main argument).
 

PGF2016

Registered User
Messages
638
Read this thread.
Construction is a total disaster when it comes to increases in productivity and modern methods of manufacturing. Houses should be assembled, not built on site.
Why is it that a public company such as Cairn Homes doesn't move to modern methods? Why are share holders not pushing for this?
 

Purple

Registered User
Messages
12,928
The first thing we need to do is stop calling it modular housing. It should be called factory built housing or using modern (latter half of the 20th Century) methods to build housing.

When robotics was first introduced in manufacturing it was very expensive, required very high volumes of parts to be economical and took months to implement. Now a good robot costs €30k, can be implemented into a production process in hours and is economical on low volume production runs.
The same applies to any technology; it gets cheaper and easier with time.
 

Purple

Registered User
Messages
12,928
Why is it that a public company such as Cairn Homes doesn't move to modern methods? Why are share holders not pushing for this?
Because our standards are all specific to traditional build methods and the Department of the Environment won't revise them. That's why Big Red Barn are making homes in Mayo and exporting them to the USA but can't sell them here.
 

Purple

Registered User
Messages
12,928
Great article, but it describes them as modular homes

Brendan
True. My point is that there's a perception that they are like the school prefabs from the 70's and 80's whereas they are a superior product to houses built on site.

Imagine if you ordered a new Toyota and a few weeks later a bunch of guys rocked up to your house and started assembling it in your driveway. Suppliers shipped to your door in no particular order and quality control was done by a guy who turned up for a few minutes every day. That's how we build houses.
 

losttheplot

Registered User
Messages
511
I've been looking at getting a garden room to use as a gym/office. The high end ones are amazing. When people see the price the first comment is 'you could build one for that'. There's an automatic assumption that traditional block is the gold standard.
 

Brendan Burgess

Founder
Messages
47,830
Purple

The examples on the two links you provided seem to be for detached houses on their own land.

I presume it would be easier to build an estate of houses much more easily this way. Do you have any links to these?

Does it apply to apartments as well?

Brendan
 

time to plan

Registered User
Messages
467
Purple

The examples on the two links you provided seem to be for detached houses on their own land.

I presume it would be easier to build an estate of houses much more easily this way. Do you have any links to these?

Does it apply to apartments as well?

Brendan
In general terms, high volume low variation is where this approach should be at its strongest.
 

Purple

Registered User
Messages
12,928
Purple

The examples on the two links you provided seem to be for detached houses on their own land.

I presume it would be easier to build an estate of houses much more easily this way. Do you have any links to these?

Does it apply to apartments as well?

Brendan
There's no reason why not. Many industrial units are built using largely pre-fabricated elements.
 

Purple

Registered User
Messages
12,928
In general terms, high volume low variation is where this approach should be at its strongest.
True, initially, but it should be like buying a kitchen. You go to the showroom, spec it out from standard small modules, pick you flooring, bathrooms, finishes, fittings etc, see what it will look like on CAD, and get a price there and then.
Even if you are buying from the plans on a new build all the interior fittings and finishes, even the configuration of the rooms, could be done that way.
 

noproblem

Registered User
Messages
3,155
I would strongly advise anyone who is thinking of building to visit the offices of Big Red Barn. It really isn't possible to explain what they're all about in a few sentences. It'll be an eye opener for anyone that goes to the trouble.

Big Red Barn​

https://bigredbarn.ie
 

Peanuts20

Registered User
Messages
694
Plenty of Rhofab houses from the 70's still dotted around the country, especially in the South so we have done this before. However there are issues, not least the fact that the banks may need to change how mortgage funds for new builds are released since the modular factory may want payment prior to construction is complete. Also there is limited scope for change, so once the moduler units are built, adapting them to an issue on site is far more difficult. Hence they are probably not ideal for once off housing
 

Purple

Registered User
Messages
12,928
Plenty of Rhofab houses from the 70's still dotted around the country, especially in the South so we have done this before.
Yes, things have moved on in the last 50 years. We just missed it.
However there are issues, not least the fact that the banks may need to change how mortgage funds for new builds are released since the modular factory may want payment prior to construction is complete.
Agreed. The game changer will be when someone like Amazon starts building houses or building factories to build houses. If we can ship wind turbines around the world we can ship modular houses.
Also there is limited scope for change, so once the moduler units are built, adapting them to an issue on site is far more difficult. Hence they are probably not ideal for once off housing
They are perfect for one-off houses, as you can have a virtual walk-through using a VR headset before anything is built. Why would you want to change anything after that?
 

Brendan Burgess

Founder
Messages
47,830
A good article here


Why Modular Housing Could be the Answer

But modular housing could be the perfect solution to the housing crisis for four reasons:

  1. Modular homes are more affordable as they take less time to build, and therefore making it easier to produce more in the same time as a more traditional built. For example, a modular home can be built in 2 days whereas the average traditional build takes 32 weeks.
  2. Unskilled workers can also be hired – As modular homes are manufactured on a production line, it’s easier to train staff which will help overcome the current declining workforce in construction.
  3. Poor weather can’t hamper construction – Again, because modular homes are manufactured in factories, the number of days that construction can’t take place will be reduced.
  4. They’re cheaper than traditional builds – Prices start at £25,000 which is 11% of the cost of the UK’s average house price.
 
Top