Ambitious house building project set to bring 4,000 troops home

Stewart Milne Timber Systems, the UK’s leading offsite timber frame manufacturer, will this month begin work on a collaborative project to relocate approximately 4,000 service personnel and their families from Germany to Salisbury Plain in South Wiltshire.

The prestigious house-building project is part of a £250 million contract awarded to housing-led regeneration experts, Lovell, by the Ministry of Defence (MOD). The project will involve the construction of over 900 homes at three sites Ludgershall, Larkhill and Bulford by May 2020.

Stewart Milne was selected for the project following a two-stage tender process, with key requirements including a fast build time, high levels of energy efficiency, scope for adaptability, and cost efficiency.

The relocation scheme is part of the MOD’s Army Basing Programme (ABP) and each site will include construction of six different house types, each comprising of 3-4 bedrooms. Stewart Milne will deliver 467 of the 917 modern first-class homes across two of the three sites; Ludgershall and Larkhill. Each home will have an energy performance improvement of 25% over building regulations.

With a handover rate of approximately 20 homes per week, the high-volume fast-track homes project will be the largest-ever contracting scheme for Lovell, part of the UK construction and regeneration group Morgan Sindall Group plc.

Successful completion of the scheme will rely on the support and skills of a high-calibre supply chain and an accelerated construction programme. Stewart Milne has applied its in-house design expertise to successfully adapt its standard automated manufacturing process to align with the specific requirements of the scheme.

Mike Perry, Sales Director at Stewart Milne Timber Systems, said:

“This is an exciting house-building project for Salisbury Plain, and we’re very proud to be associated with it. We have a proven method for manufacturing high-quality, value-engineered products, consistently on time, and will apply this to meet Lovell’s target of 20 completed homes per week.

“Typical industry pace is delivery of one-to-two homes per week, so it’s a stretching target, but from the outset of this project, we have all committed to working openly and collaboratively to ensure the successful completion of this scheme. We believe that this project will be an exemplar for the industry. It will demonstrate what can be achieved with an offsite manufactured timber frame solution and a collaborative working relationship with all partners.”

Commenting on the appointment of Stewart Milne Timber Systems, Lovell’s Major Projects Director, John Leary, said:

“Intelligent selection in supply chain assembly is essential in a project of this magnitude.  This stands across the trades but is clearly crucial on key packages such as timber frame.  The speed of build on the SFA scheme means that timber frame and thus an element of off-site manufacture was a given but the choice of provider is the challenging piece.

“After an extensive selection process considering the country’s leading providers, we elected to partner with Stewart Milne Timber Systems.  We have worked successfully with Stewart Milne in the past and have only a positive history.  Importantly we have been entirely comfortable working together in a very open and transparent manner, developing design solutions and fashioning the technical and commercial package over a series of months.

With a company of this stature and credential exhibiting such a supportive and collaborative approach, we are extremely confident in our ability to deliver the timber frames to programme, across each site.”

Stewart Milne Timber Systems will begin construction of the first timber frames for the Ludgershall site in June 2018. Construction for the Larkhill site is planned from late summer 2018.