With offsite construction and MMC set to play an increasingly important role in easing the UK’s new homes shortage, particularly in the social housing sector, never before has there been such a tremendous opportunity to raise the bar on quality – providing that the right materials are specified and applied correctly.
A combination of factors, not least climate change, a shortage of on-site labour and recent major investments by manufacturers in state-of-the-art factories, means that modular housing could be about to enter the premier league. Until now, it is a building approach that has been recognised for its enormous potential but for various reasons it has never been able to break through.
That could all be about to change thanks to greater support from the UK Government, which includes an incentive for housing associations to use MMC in Homes England’s £11.5 billion Affordable Housing Programme. A condition of accessing funding via this programme is a commitment to use MMC to deliver a quarter of homes – that could be a game-changer for modular housing.
Speed is of the essence, but what about quality?
Speed of construction is usually the highlighted as the main reason for using MMC for housing – and why wouldn’t it be when new housing starts lag so far behind what we need them to be. But in pursuit of rapid delivery, we must not overlook the opportunity to not only maintain but actually increase quality standards versus traditional build.
By delivering a housing product quicker, to a higher standard for the same or less budget will help dispel any negative perceptions of MMC housing, which have arguably held back its widespread use.
That’s why we need to maximise the opportunity and ensure that every factory-built home today offers outstanding acoustic performance. And this can make a big contribution to how a new home owner or tenant perceives the ‘quality’ of their new property, as well as having a big influence on their overall level of satisfaction.
On a traditional building site, it is not uncommon for overstretched and sometimes inadequately trained contractors to fit sound insulation poorly, use the wrong type of insulation or forget to use it at all! This often goes unnoticed as it is impossible for every property be individually checked by building control during construction.
This kind of thing needn’t happen in the factory controlled environment, where the implementation of proper quality control procedures offers the ability to achieve precision. And, in fact, there is more scope to use sound insulating products throughout the modular construction to eliminate as many sound transmission paths as possible.
Advanced acoustic products + better application = quality results
This attention to detail on acoustic performance is possible thanks to the vast array of advanced products available from Hush Acoustics. Whether it is Hush-Slab 100 fibrous infill insulation for cutting airborne transmission between walls and floors, wall boards, flooring underlay, acoustic foam or resilient bars, we have a product for every aspect of a modular home’s construction.
And we can also support modular housing designers and manufacturers to get the best results too. Our specification team can guide offside manufacturers you to solutions that will cut sound transmission – including impact noise and flanking – through each home, and we can provide training to operatives in the factory so they can get the application of these products right every time.
With the right products, applied correctly and effective QC in the factory, the margin for error and risk of poor workmanship can be virtually eliminated in modular housing, which means there are fewer snagging or longer-term build issues post-completion compared with traditional construction. For social housing providers, this is really important given that they are responsible for maintaining the asset post-completion, and equally positive for private housebuilders seeking to achieve or maintain their NHBC five star rating.
Here’s to a bright future for offsite housing!
Find out more about Hush Acoustics solutions for offsite construction at www.hushacoustics.co.uk
About Hush Acoustics
Hush Acoustics launched in 1984 in Scotland, which is now considered in the industry as the home of sound insulation. Hush relocated to North West England in 1998 so that the company could establish a nationwide distribution network, covering all areas within the UK. From our facility in Liverpool, we manufacture and distribute our range of acoustic products and systems to all corners of the UK. When possible, we like to get products to site on a next day delivery service. We have opened offices in London and West Yorkshire in order to enable us to cover the UK more easily and offer what we believe to be a unique service.
At Hush Acoustics we have developed an extensive product range to cater for all acoustic applications. This includes our wide range of acoustic flooring, acoustic batten and cradles, acoustic insulation, resilient bar systems, suspended ceiling systems, specialist wall and ceiling boards, flanking strips, absorber panels and much more.
All products and systems have been developed by Hush to achieve or exceed the UK’s minimum requirements for sound transmission in Scotland (Section 5), Northern Ireland (Part G) and England & Wales (Approved document E). This also includes Robust Details solutions, improved acoustic performance for Planning Applications and Building Control Approval, BB93 Acoustics in Schools and BREEAM levels.