Currently in Great Britain the vast majority of housing is delivered using on-site masonry construction. This is an indication that on-site construction using masonry has benefitted from innovation and is an efficient, sustainable and cost effective method. On-site masonry solutions will continue to deliver at least a similar number of houses in the future if not many more. There may be a place for off-site methods but there simply has not been sufficient traction despite many years of effort by off-site protagonists for these solutions to deliver more than a part of future increases in housing starts. If the Government’s target of 200,000 houses per annum during the course of this parliament is to be met, there is a need to increase both onsite masonry construction and off-site construction.
On–site masonry solutions use locally UK produced materials and local skills, unlike a number of off-site systems. They can deliver the most energy efficient housing. They are resistant to fire, offer flood resilience and protection from overheating. They provide tried and tested long term durability, an absolute necessity, given that at current build rates houses must be serviceable for hundreds of years, compared with design lives for some offsite solutions of decades. Onsite masonry housing is also the most economical form of construction. They provide flexibility with respect to availability and, flexibility for speed of development which ensures optimum cash flow for the developer. They are flexible in terms of what design can be offered and in response to design changes before build and in future refurbishment, extension or modification.
There has been significant innovation in onsite masonry housing in recent years and this has enabled on site masonry solutions to deliver high performance housing that meets and exceeds requirements.