Last night was our Green Sky Thinking event 'Offsite: design meets manufacture' which comprised an exhibition, conceptual pod and panel discussion exploring the emergence, challenges and opportunities posed by offsite, as well as the role it could play in solving London’s housing crisis.
Nicky Gavron of the London Assembly, commented that we are at a ‘crucial watershed’ for London’s housing and that offsite poses a ‘massive opportunity’ to ease the shortage in London.
Andy Gatrell of Swan Housing, explaining the company’s plans to open its own factory later this year, demonstrated how offsite has huge potential for developing high quality homes quickly. At full capacity, their Basildon factory will produce 300 cross-laminated timber homes per year.
Offsite has suffered from negative perceptions in the past – something which is now slowly shifting. We believe that early collaboration between architects and manufacturers is essential in ensuring quality for new homes produced offsite. This also plays a vital role in allowing for flexibility later in a building’s life, meaning it can accommodate household or tenure changes, for example.
The pod, designed by our Detail studio and manufactured by Innovaré using structural insulated panels (SIPs), was on display to demonstrate the flexibility of the system through its bespoke, faceted form.