By trialling new methods of house building, the project aims to improve the speed, cost and social value of nearly £78m of housing set to be built in Bristol over the next five years. Using traditional methods, it has not been possible to provide enough homes to tackle the housing crisis. This new project aims to unlock the current barriers, and enable YTKO and the consortium to examine how using Modern Methods of Construction (MMC) can help to cut the costs of housing production and increase the speed of delivery.
Bristol has a range of social and community-led housing developments planned for 2020-21 using a spectrum of pioneering modern construction solutions. These housing developments act as a unique opportunity for this innovative ‘demonstrator’ project, with Innovate UK funding a major R,D&I programme to quantify the benefits of MMCs and deliver product, process and procurement improvement.
The funds provided by Innovate UK will enable YTKO and the consortium to address barriers to the delivery of new homes in a coordinated manner and create a nationally replicable delivery model that encourages the use of MMC solutions, balancing the supply of new homes with growing demand.
The project outcomes include a ‘council change model’ supported by a decision-support ‘toolbox’, with the ambition in the longer term for these to enable local authorities across the UK to address development challenges by using MMC.
Bristol City Council’s published Social Value Policy responds to the legal obligation upon local authorities and other public bodies under the Public Services (Social Value) Act 2012 to consider the social good that could come from the procurement of services, before they embark upon it.
This legislation, and BCC’s policy, gives us an opportunity to build into procurement the wisdom of longer-term decision making, addressing issues such as the quality and sustainability of our housing in a way that the traditional prioritisation of cost as the principal benchmark makes difficult.
A major part of this funded project is to use the opportunity to consider housing holistically, to not just build units, but to consider the implications in the way homes and communities are built and the knock-on effects of these decisions.
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