Berkeley Homes buys land for offsite factory

11 December 2017

House builder Berkeley Homes has bought a site for its own modular housing factory which it hopes to launch in the future.

The company has acquired a site in Gravesham, Kent, from the Homes and Communities Agency and a planning application has been submitted for a 160,000 sq ft facility. The company has assembled a team of specialists who are working with the group’s construction teams to design the factory space with the first components undergoing testing.

The news was revealed in the company’s latest results for six months up to 31 October 2017.

For the period the luxury housebuilder reported pretax profit of £533.3m, up 35.8% from £392.7m.

In 2016 the company unveiled a new customisable house design which can be prefabricated offsite.

The Urban House design has already been used to build 22 homes in-situ its Kidbrooke Village development in south London. According to Berkeley the design “enables twice as many homes to be built on a site” compared to traditional terraced housing.

According to the latest results, the company is now setting up trials of emerging energy and smart technologies on this house type.

2018 could be set to be the year of offsite, with new company Ilke Homes set to announce the location of its own offsite factory, while Arcadis and offsite construction specialist Caledonian have signed a collaborative agreement that will see them develop new modular designs for the residential sector.

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Wonder would this company consider setting up a satellite factory in Northern Ireland? We could do with the work here.

SEAN MORGAN, 14 February 2018

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