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Why Aren't Houses Built In Factories?


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Luddite? :lol::lol::lol:

Lud‧dite  /ˈlʌdaɪt/ Pronunciation Key - Show Spelled Pronunciation[luhd-ahyt] Pronunciation Key - Show IPA Pronunciation

–noun

a member of any of various bands of workers in England (1811–16) organized to destroy manufacturing machinery, under the belief that its use diminished employment.

[Origin: 1805–15; after Ned Ludd, 18th-century Leicestershire worker who originated the idea; see -ite1]

The use of this word here is so far out of context, not to mention so obviously incorrect, as to be ludicrous.

Give yourself an uppercut son <_<

Yes, thank you for that, but I'm sure we all know what luddite means. I tend to use words that I know the meaning of. What do you do?

A luddite is anyone who rejects change (and in particular technological change) or finds it less acceptable than the status quo. Your references to prefab owners being "second class citizens" clearly puts you in the luddite camp. The fact that you refer only to your own experience is no mitigation against such an assertion. A luddite of the 90s would for instance have been heard saying "Huh, mobile phones? You've gotta be joking. had one in the 80s and in my experience the batteries are ridiculously heavy. That'll never catch on."

By suggesting the pre-fabs of your experience will determine the desirability or viability of modern factory built homes is an exemplar of ludditism.

Indeed, given the obvious cache of Huf, it would not be unreasonable to suggest that houses may soon follow cars down the "designer label" route. I don't find it impossible to imagine a time when factory built houses are regarded as "man and machine in perfect harmony / vorsprung durch technik" whilst bricks and mortar are seen as distinctly "scrap-heap challenge".

As Le Corbusier once said, "A house is a machine for living in."

Edited by Sledgehead
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By suggesting the pre-fabs of your experience will determine the desirability or viability of modern factory built homes is an exemplar of ludditism.

Then there is a misunderstanding. I was reporting the reality in the market in which I reside in response to an incorrect assertion.

I have no problem believing that they could, and are, a desirable alternative to traditional methods... particularly in Europe where technology is way ahead of this place.... and also in light of the finish of traditional new-builds, as highlighted above. In fact I'm looking forward to viewing these factory homes over there. I would be an enthusiastic fan if they are good as reported.

Over here, they are not up to scratch.

Truce!

Edited by wayneL
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A cultural problem.

An Englishman's home is his castle and therefore has to be built of brick, stone, or concrete for those with less taste. Mobile homes, prefab homes, or steel framed homes are just not culturally acceptable. Another problem is that prefab homes can be difficult to buy and sell because the mainstream mortgage lenders are reluctant to offer mortgages for nonstandard constructions. Until cultural attitudes change then prefab homes will remain a niche product for the eccentric and shunned by the masses in Britain, whereas in many other countries they will be ubiquitous. A HPC will further damage the prospect for prefabs.

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A cultural problem.

An Englishman's home is his castle and therefore has to be built of brick, stone, or concrete for those with less taste. Mobile homes, prefab homes, or steel framed homes are just not culturally acceptable. Another problem is that prefab homes can be difficult to buy and sell because the mainstream mortgage lenders are reluctant to offer mortgages for nonstandard constructions. Until cultural attitudes change then prefab homes will remain a niche product for the eccentric and shunned by the masses in Britain, whereas in many other countries they will be ubiquitous. A HPC will further damage the prospect for prefabs.

Could the nauseating quantity of property programmes on TV over the past few years encourage people to embrace the notion of a "concept" home?

I'd prefer steel and glass over some brick 1930s semi any day. It's all academic to me though!

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Many modern properties are a mixture of prefab and traditional. Timber framed homes are widely constructed with only the final fit out and external skin being built insitu. Most barratt type houses are of a generic design which can be constructed relatively cheaply.

Having looked at building my own house, the prohibitive cost, as previously suggested, is the land.

I have found that the cost of land, materials, labour and taxes very rarely adds up to the sum of its parts and in my view is not worth it.

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Until cultural attitudes change then prefab homes will remain a niche product for the eccentric and shunned by the masses in Britain,

I hope so. As an eccentric (clearly), I always loved Le Corbusier architecture and was set on buying an example until those presenting ponces on the BBC put the masses wise to what constitutes good taste. Then the prices went through the roof. With post and beams a la Huf already hitting the £2m mark I don't think I'd want pre-builts to get much more popular any time soon.

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Houses will become brands like cars and yachts. Both big car and yacht businesses, especially the luxury brands, should be looking for early mover advantage.

We are in agreement!

Indeed, given the obvious cache of Huf, it would not be unreasonable to suggest that houses may soon follow cars down the "designer label" route. I don't find it impossible to imagine a time when factory built houses are regarded as "man and machine in perfect harmony / vorsprung durch technik" whilst bricks and mortar are seen as distinctly "scrap-heap challenge".

Of course the only thing stopping it is investment. Perhaps some public sector subsidy would help. Then again, wars are so much more fun, done-cha-think?

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Having worked in housing development for over 30 years, I have seen many well intentioned failed attempts to move away from the generic multi component site built standardised housebuilders product. In every case, the projects were compromised and eventually curtailed due to the short term management style of housebuilders, reinforced by the stock markets low opinion of them as investments. The typical analyst's view is that housebuilders are at the mercy of external forces and this is unfortunately a fair assessment.

Which other business involves the combination of:

1. Finite raw material, (land),

2. Complex, ever changing and unpredictable statutory controls, (planning, environmental, building standards and health & safety at every level from local to european with community consultation to throw programmes and intentions into a spin from day one),

3. Unknown eventual selling prices, (due to the timescales involved in development and market movements),

4. Inconsistent and limited labour resources, (even with the number of eastern Europeans joining the ranks), and

5. Fluctuations in the availability and price of components, (building material costs have risen above the rate of inflation for the last 6 years).

Given all of these variables, the housebuilder has relatively little scope to limit risk and is highly unlikely to embark on any form of radical change to their business or product, hence the predominant lowest common denominator nature of the industry. There are some very well informed and open minded people in the business who try to break the mould, but the odds are stacked against them and, due to the scale of investment involved, the financial risks enormous.

I can categorically state as a business insider that all of the top 10 housebuilders wish to reduce the number of apartment schemes in their overall business, in some cases even by selling on owned sites with planning permission for apartments even though it will be very difficult for them to buy alternative sites for family housing and by selling owned land they reduce the amount of land and plots they hold, both key indicators used by the City when analysing the health of housebuilders.

Much mention has been made of build costs and, having listed all of the external influences that affect housebuilding, you should understand that build cost is the only major factor that a housebuilder can successfully control in their business. Hence the reliance on low tech site built construction based on tried and tested design, (nowadays often jeopardised by Government's misguided concentration on saving the planet through increasing the standards of the relatively small numbers of new buildings while leaving the vast majority of our building stock to continue to waste energy unchecked). Work in progress is much easier to control when you use multiple suppliers and contractors than when you have a major production plant working to set build rates and programmes, ie just reschedule all of your builds and deliveries to a slower programme, take a little while longer to pay and lay off those little sub contractors. Try that with an industrialized process and you would be saddled with huge overhead costs / claims for loss of profit.

Build costs of apartments as £/m2 are much higher than family housing, even relatively simple 3 storey blocks can be twice as expensive to build as a family house. We are unfortunate victims of planning policy which has sought to limit land use by increasing densities to a point where the inclusion of apartments is usually unavoidable, regardless of whether there is any local demand or potential profit in them for the housebuilder.

Due to the nature of the tried and tested design approach of housebuilders, any variation away from this adds cost. The decades of effort given to reducing build cost has resulted in a highly optimised combination of materials and labour, you may find it hard to believe but, in it's own way, volume housebuilding is actually very efficiently designed. In a rising market, local management teams in housebuilders may add a few bells and whistles or even experiment a little but it gets binned when the market slows.

Old style self build was justifably popular in the '70s and '80s for those prepared / able to contribute time and practical skills to the building of their new home. Increases in land prices have made this route less accessible despite the availability of more flexible funding products, plus an increasing tendency to use contractors rather than pick up a shovel has eroded any build cost advantage as well. If you want a cheap build then learn a trade, if you really want to 'add value' to your project then persuade someone to sell you a piece of land without planning permission and take the risk that you will be able to get permission for something worth building, good luck.

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This has been an interesting set of posts :D

Love the airships. The Hindenburg and the Graf Zeppelin racked up hundreds of safe journeys across the Atlanic to South America and even Britain used (albeit smaller) airships on maritime patrol during WW1 almost without incident. Our current view is based on a few big accidents back in the 30's. I personally hope to see airships developed for mass transit, cheaper and much more ecofriendly than jets.

I also thought devprofessor's post fascinating because it shows why we are the poor cousins of Germany now. Our UK way is the best, I think not. All this concentration on Huf Haus ignores the fact that most of the big mainstream German companies use highly effiecient factories to produce high quality individual homes to order at prices that make them competitive even when imported over here. Try these for starters;

http://www.weberhaus.de/ (http://www.weberhaus.co.uk/)

http://www.innova-house.co.uk/index.html

http://www.platz-house.co.uk/index.htm

http://www.hanse-haus.de/en/index.php

as opposed to one of the best individual house builders

http://www.designandmaterials.uk.com/

ah but not this site :D

http://www.designandmaterials.co.uk/

and this for ideas on modern prefabs

http://www.fabprefab.com/

pip pip ;)

Edited by 2112
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Why are we obsessed with bricks and mortar, If you travel abroad a bit you'll see many wooden and thatched buildings.

Would you believe it's to do with the "Great Fire of London"

"A large part of the City of London needed to be rebuilt. By autumn 1666, a Royal proclamation ordered that all new buildings should be built of brick to reduce the risk of fire."

"Lessons in fire safety were learned, and when the current Globe Theatre was opened in 1997, it was the first building in London with a thatched roof since The Fire."

Wiki: Great fire of London

Museum of London

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I work for Corus, and a division of ours called Living Solutions builds modular barracks for the MOD. It's a fairly successful business now it's got off the ground. All the modules are steel clad and are quite well finished inside - but they're not cheap.

Anyway, enough plugging. I want to live in an airship too!

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Why are we obsessed with bricks and mortar, If you travel abroad a bit you'll see many wooden and thatched buildings.

Would you believe it's to do with the "Great Fire of London"

...

Yes, in Chicago, also destroyed by fire, you will find a similar affection for brick builds,

it was also the mother of invention for the skyscraper...

Anyhow getting slightly back on topic, I saw a documentary a few months ago about

an Italian architect in the 60's who erected concrete cupolas in the australian desert.

They were made of reinforced concrete, but the reinforcing rods were laid out on a

huge tarpaulin, in a kind of radial pattern. Concrete was poured on top, another tarp on top

of that, then the whole thing blown up like a giant balloon with a compressor.

The basic structure was up and dried inside one day.

Cool idea

ABB

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I work for Corus, and a division of ours called Living Solutions builds modular barracks for the MOD. It's a fairly successful business now it's got off the ground. All the modules are steel clad and are quite well finished inside - but they're not cheap.

I remember Corus showcasing a steel plate office on News 24 following one of our governments terror windups warnings. Apparently they are pretty bomb-proof amongst other things.

What was that guy saying earlier in the thread concerning why pre-built will never catch on? Ah yes: an Englishman's home is his castle, so it has to be trad built. Maybe a Barrat home could withstand a few Medieval bow and arrow assaults, but let's face it, you could crack the windows with an airgun, cut out the pvc units with an uzi 9mm and make a new front doorway in any external wall you liked with an M-2HB. Failing that, you could just kick in the front door : some f@cking castle!

If you are after a castle, best be contacting mark_nwales @ Corus (I think I'm allowed to plug for you mark! :D )

Edited by Sledgehead
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I am involved in a business which will be launching in mid October 2006, where the housing units will be manufactured in factory conditions, in the UK, to high specification.

These units are made from steel and are very robust and are not of poor or inferior quality. Other nations have been using Modern Methods of Construction for decades and the UK is still obsessed by "bricks and mortar".

These units have been designed by high end architects and look modern and stylish.

They cost the same as traditional build, however the savings that are made are by reducing time on site by between 25% and 40%.

This will be the future of housing in the uk but people will need to become more educated in regard to this.

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I am involved in a business which will be launching in mid October 2006, where the housing units will be manufactured in factory conditions, in the UK, to high specification.

These units are made from steel and are very robust and are not of poor or inferior quality. Other nations have been using Modern Methods of Construction for decades and the UK is still obsessed by "bricks and mortar".

These units have been designed by high end architects and look modern and stylish.

They cost the same as traditional build, however the savings that are made are by reducing time on site by between 25% and 40%.

This will be the future of housing in the uk but people will need to become more educated in regard to this.

I hope you haven't invested your own money in it. People in the UK just will not buy into steel houses.

What other nations have been using Modern Methods of Construction for decades? I have been to a lot of countries and am always amazed at how similar buildings are. Most houses or dwellings are built from wood, brick or stone.

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I think you are speaking for older people. Most young people I know like futuristic houses.

Futuristic materials will look like brick or stone (indistinguishable to human eyes and touch - not like nowadays), if wanted, but will be much cheaper, less environmental impact, super-insulating and zero weight. There's no way they won't be used - or that people won't be persuaded to want them.

Marina, to answer your question yes I have along with many others who are savvy business people who are not in the habit of throwing away their money. I suggest that you investigate Japan for the best examples in regard to Modern Methods of Construction where it is deemed a higher quaility product than traditional build. Most people in the UK are ignorant of this and IMO are blinkered from it as developers over here have never been tasked by the buying community to be innovative and to produce anything that mirrors what other more advanced nations are doing in this area. Once the factory built units are put together on site they can be clad and roofed in any way, so they can be made to look just like traditional build.

We will be supplying units only and will not be looking at development as this will mean us investing in land and having to sell the units. In this way we can make our profit even if land prices drop, which I beleive they will. Only after land prices have reduced to more affordable levels will we plan our own developments.

Durch, absolutely spot on. Would you build a car in the garden? So why build a house in one? Factory conditions allow for a much better end product, less future problems, more environmentally friendly and far more economical. Once developers are under heavier economic constraints to produce higher quality at lower costs then they will start to have to use modern methods a lot more within their businesses. We can reduce development time on site by at least 25%, so this is an area developers can reduce costs.

We will be launching in mid October in Tottenham Court road, so people may be able to make up their own mind.

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  • 439 Brexit, House prices and Summer 2020

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      • down 5% +
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      • up 5%



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