We looked at how innovations in housing construction and manufacturing could improve the speed, scale, and quality of housing delivery across London.
The research looked at new construction techniques – such as modular construction and prefab homes – as well as innovative approaches to land assembly and tenure, and identifed barriers to these innovations being adopted on a large scale.
The Mayor of London’s most pressing priority is to increase the availability of good quality, affordable homes for Londoners. The New London Plan has set out a rightly ambitious target: 66,000 homes to be delivered per year from 2019 onwards. This target reflects the need to catch up on housing delivery from previous years – only six boroughs met the targets set by the previous London Plan.
This research project focused on tackling some of the stumbling blocks that have hindered housing delivery; namely “where” to build – the availability, provision and assembly of land – and “how” to build – whether current construction methods allow us to deliver housing at speed, quality and quantity – through housing innovation.
Our research aimed to address the following questions:
- What has been the take up of modular construction in London and other cities so far?
- How substantial a contribution can prefab homes make to increasing housing supply?
- What is the impact of off-site, modular construction on the delivery, cost, speed, quality and sustainability of new homes, and the barriers to their widespread adoption?
- What are the threats and opportunities for the future of modular construction, and its potential to disrupt and allow new entrants to the current model of housebuilding?
- What role could central government and the GLA play in supporting housing innovation?
- Which innovative forms of land tenures could be used to encourage off-site construction?