Still onsite: modern tech allowing modular housing developer to safely work on seven sites across the country

Modular housing developer ilke Homes has safely completed a housing development in Leeds and continues to work on six other sites across England, despite most traditional construction sites grinding to a halt.

Because the homes are made in a factory, minimal work is required when they arrive onsite. This means completion takes days – not weeks, and enables work to be finished safely while fully respecting all social distancing and safety rules. ilke Homes can restart delivery immediately with minimal workers on site, meaning that developers and housing associations can deliver homes faster and safer than through traditional methods of construction.

ilke Homes delivers modules by road to sites fully-complete with kitchens, bathrooms and interiors, before being craned into their final position. With utilities and foundations pre-installed, the houses are connected within a matter of hours with minimal labour, ensuring social distancing is maintained.

In just three days in April, ilke Homes safely installed four homes onsite at Wykebeck, Leeds. It is continuing work on six other sites across Leeds, Derbyshire, Wakefield, Kent, Cumbria and London which will be completed in May and June.

In addition, ilke Homes’ new land and partnership team, which is headed up by former Crest Nicholson Midlands managing director Ben Miller, has made three land acquisitions that will see the development of 205 homes across Derbyshire, Gloucestershire and Hereford.

The company has also been proactively refining and improving the state-of-the-art technology that it employs at its 250,000 sq ft factory in Knaresborough, North Yorkshire. This technology will ensure the safety of ilke Homes’ employees, eliminating any personal contact while maintaining the efficient production of homes.

Homes manufactured in the factory take half the time of traditional construction and result in greener, better quality buildings with fewer defects and twice the energy-efficiency of a traditional home. Because of the improved speed of its build process against traditional construction, ilke Homes believes that it is perfectly positioned to spearhead housing delivery once the current crisis ends.

The government has focused on ramping up the delivery of factory-built homes in an effort to meet its targets of building 300,000 homes a year, with offsite manufacturing capable of delivering homes twice as fast as traditional construction. Last year Homes England invested £30m into ilke Homes to help scale-up the company’s production capacity. It is now capable of producing 2,000 homes a year from its factory.

Dave Sheridan, Executive Chairman at ilke Homes, said: “We have had to make adjustments to ensure we can follow safety guidelines and protect our staff, but because homes manufactured in a factory can arrive to site fully-finished, we have been able to keep working and minimise delays. Offsite manufacturing is the safest and most effective means of building new homes in line with the government’s guidelines.

“We are now turning our attention to the long-term, as we look to build resilience into the industry by delivering high-quality, energy-efficient homes safely and at speed. This will be essential to the post-Covid recovery phase, and we want to be working with the government and partners across the industry to rapidly kickstart the country’s house building mission.”