Pennie presented findings from Whitehill and Bordon new town. The town was historically an army town with 14,000 residents, 46 miles from London, but the army left in 2015. The council is planning to regenerate the area into a “Green” and “Healthy” new_town.
The newly formed Whitehill and Bordon Regeneration Company led to 3,000 jobs being created and supported tackling construction skills gap. Builders are “being challenged to deliver advanced standards and high quality”. The revamp will incorporate a new town centre, secondary school, leisure centre and skate park. The green space around the town will be safeguarded. In particular, the new Quebec Park housing development, part of Whitehill and Bordon, is a national exemplar of Zero Carbon Homes. One hundred new energy efficient homes are expected to deliver a comfortable and sustainable living, offering low energy bills and producing at least 45 per cent less carbon emission compared to building regulations limits. Higher water efficiency standards have also been used – with an 18 per cent reduction in water consumption expected over that of a new build home.
Bevan Jones, Managing Director, Sustainable Homes.
Bevan gave the “definition of a housing crisis” – the turning point of a disease when an important change takes place, indicating either “recovery or death” – and questioned both the “quantity and quality” of house building in the last 10 to 15 years. Bevan cited last year’s government Housing White Paper and the independent Bonfield Review as tools to identify challenges. The government’s Committee on Climate Change, the role of housing and the Paris Agreement on Climate Change were
He suggested that – as an industry – we need to be more “critical and sharp”. Indeed: the Grenfell Tower fire last summer was now “front and centre” in the industry. Something positive must come out of this in terms of quality and customer safety.
The housing construction sector is behind in its knowledge and implementation of modern methods of construction (MMC). Housing associations keep building to high standards – but other tenures are just catching up. The sector sacrifices sustainability for growth as they are viewed as incompatible – this needs to change.
Bevan wrapped up by calling on industry to be more open minded to different models of delivery, for example, offsite and MMC. The fall in quality “opens the door” for a new standard. Different technologies and the introduction of manufacturing processes should be exploited to achieve a change in culture in the housing industry.
This event follows on from the success of BSRIA’s first Building Better Homes Faster event that took place in July 2017. Building Better Homes Faster 3 (off-site/modular construction, M&E services, new home construction trends and quality) is taking place on Friday 13th July 2018 at Thomson Reuters, Canary Wharf.